The Avatar-ness of Mother Theresa

by Aranyakananda

There is a varying opinion as to what makes one an avatar. Recently some discussion of this came up at my Temple’s Bhagavad-Gita discussion group. We were talking about how God, if truly coming in the form of an avatar whenever and wherever dharma is lacking, as promised in Chapter 4 of the Gita, must necessarily come not just on Indian soil.

Jesus was put forth as an avatar, and then even Mother Theresa. But then it was pointed out that Mother Theresa was merely a saint, not on the same level as Krishna, or Jesus.

But I say that sainthood was something that was just bestowed upon her by the Catholic Church. It doesn’t mean she was not at least a minor avatar. After all one of the prerequisites of sainthood as decided by the Catholic Church is that at least two miracles must take place with said Saint’s intercession after their death (unless one is martyred, then you’re in already).

Performing miracles, after leaving the physical realm sounds to me like the act of an avatar. If this is the case, then the Catholic Church has avatars represented all over the globe. And Avatardom goes far beyond the constructs of religion. What say you, dear reader?

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4 Responses to The Avatar-ness of Mother Theresa

  1. Prabhat says:

    Actually Mother Teresa was a big hoax propogated by Congress to convert more and more people.. When she was ill..to gain health benefit she had undergone through a therapy proposed by church in which number of peoples were converted to christianity..As the church believe it will benefit her…

  2. Mother Tereas a hoax? now that’s a new one.

  3. Dhrishti says:

    I don’t think Mother Theresa was a hoax.

    I am also heavily inclined to believe that she was no more an avatar than my own self. For that matter, this idea of a “minor avatar” is strange to me. Is this meant to suggest that God is only a little present in “normal” folks, entirely present in a personality like Krishna, and intermediately present in someone like Mother Theresa? That seems questionable. I’m far more inclined to simply agree that she was a saint and leave it at that.

    On that note, I think this points to a fine yet blurry line that defines an essence within Hinduism. Our saints are often deified and elevated to divine status, and I often think this is misleading.

    I agree that Avatardom goes beyond the limitations of religion, but I don’t think it includes “post-mortem” miracles. In my understanding, an avatar is simply a face God wears temporarily. Before the avatar comes, during the avatar’s existence, and after the avatar “leaves,” all credit should be given to God who manifested at that time.

    I have many more thoughts on this. šŸ™‚

    • treadmarkz says:

      All good points as usual. By minor avatar I do not mean any less “present” but less “manifested” perhaps. For instance I have Yogananda and Vidyadhishananda on my home mandir but I do not pray to them. Some do. I simply revere them for their guidance as I do feel that Divinity has “manifested” in them beyond what I have “manifested” so I look to them. Certainly you are right that all glories go to the Lord for anything that happens before during and after an avatar’s presence physically. Hence the subtitle of this weblog. But I also think sainthood is a way of recognizing that Divinity in that form at that time. If you have many more thoughts, perhaps a rebuttal guest post would be in order? šŸ™‚

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