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Appendix 2 Avatars : Genuine and Fake
The word 'avatar' means "one who descends", or more specifically "one who descends from the spiritual sky". In the spiritual sky there are innumerable Vaikuntha planets, and from these planets the expansions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead come into this universe. In the Bhagavad-gita (4.7), Lord Krishna says:
yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutanam adharmasya tad atmanam srjamy aham
"Whenever and wherever there is a decline of religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion— at that time I descend Myself."
Lord Krishna generally appears on a particular schedule, at the end of Dvapara yuga of the twenty-eighth millennium of the eighth Manu, in one day of Brahma. The principles of religion are the direct orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (dharmam to saksat bhagavat pranitam). The Lord therefore appears by His own will whenever there is a predominance of irreligiosity and a disappearance of true religion. Sometimes He descends personally, and sometimes He sends His bonafide representative in the form of His son (Jesus), or servant (Mohammed) or Himself in some disguised form (Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu).