/av"euh tahr', av'euh tahr"/, n.
1. Hindu Myth. the descent of a deity to the earth in an incarnate form or some manifest shape; the incarnation of a god.
2. an embodiment or personification, as of a principle, attitude, or view of life.
3. Computers. a graphical image that represents a person, as on the Internet.
[1775-85; < Skt avatara a passing down, equiv. to ava down + -tara a passing over]

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In Hinduism, the incarnation of a deity in human or animal form to counteract an evil in the world.

It usually refers to 10 appearances of Vishnu, including an incarnation as the Buddha Gautama and Kalkin (the incarnation yet to come). The doctrine appears in the Bhagavadgita in the words of Lord Krishna to Arjuna: "Whenever there is a decline of righteousness and rise of unrighteousness then I send forth Myself."

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Sanskrit  Avatāra 
 (“descent”), in Hinduism, the incarnation of a deity in human or animal form to counteract some particular evil in the world. The term usually refers to these 10 appearances of Vishnu: (Vishnu) Matsya (fish), Kūrma (tortoise), Varāha (boar), Narasiṃha (half man, half lion), Vāmana (dwarf), Paraśurāma (Rāma with the axe), Rāma (hero of the Rāmāyaṇa epic), Krishna (the divine cowherd), Buddha, and Kalkin (the incarnation yet to come). The number of Vishnu's avatars is sometimes extended or their identities changed, according to local preferences. Thus, Krishna is in some areas elevated to the rank of a deity, and his half brother, Balarāma, included as an avatar. One formulation of the doctrine is given in the religious poem the Bhagavadgītā (Bhagavadgita), when charioteer Lord Krishna tells Arjuna: “Whenever there is a decline of righteousness and rise of unrighteousness then I send forth Myself. For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked, and for the establishment of righteousness, I come into being from age to age.”

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • avatar — [ avatar ] n. m. • 1800; sanskr. avatâra « descente » 1 ♦ Dans la religion hindoue, Chacune des incarnations du dieu Vishnou. 2 ♦ (1822) Fig. Métamorphose, transformation. Après de nombreux avatars. « cette Cisalpine s appellera République… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Avatar — (Sanskrit Avatara, „Herabkunft“) steht für: Avatara, die körperliche Manifestation eines Gottes im Hinduismus Avatar (Internet), eine künstliche Person oder ein grafischer Stellvertreter einer echten Person Avatar, ein… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Avatâr — Avatar (hindouisme) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Avatar. Dans l hindouisme, un avatar (ou avatâr, descente en sanskrit) est l incarnation d une divinité sur terre. « Pour la sauvegarde du bien, déclare Krishna dans la Bhagavad Gîtâ, pour la… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Avatar — • The word is used, in a technical sense, in the Hindu religion to denote the descent upon earth of a portion of the essence of a god, which then assumes some coarser material form, be it animal, monster, or man Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • avatar — AVATÁR, avataruri, s.n. (În unele concepţii religioase) Reîncarnare succesivă a unei fiinţe. ♦ (fig.) Transformare neprevăzută (şi chinuitoare) care intervine în evoluţia unei fiinţe sau a unui lucru. – Din fr. avatar. Trimis de ana zecheru,… …   Dicționar Român

  • avatar —    Avatar is a modern Hindi word from the SAN SKRIT word avatara, which means “one who has descended to the earthly realm.” The word in both its Sanskrit and its Hindi forms is used in VAISHNAVISM to refer to the incarnations of Vishnu, which… …   Encyclopedia of Hinduism

  • Avatar — Av a*tar ([a^]v [.a]*t[add]r ), n. [Skr. avat[^a]ra descent; ava from + root t[.r] to cross, pass over.] 1. (Hindu Myth.) The descent of a deity to earth, and his incarnation as a man or an animal; chiefly associated with the incarnations of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • avatar — s. m. 1.  [Religião] Na teogonia bramânica, cada uma das encarnações de um deus, especialmente de Vixnu, segunda pessoa da trindade bramânica. 2.  [Figurado] Transformação que ocorre em algo ou alguém. = METAMORFOSE, MUTAÇÃO 3.  [Informática]… …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • avatar — (Del fr. avatar, y este del sánscr. avatâra, descenso o encarnación de un dios). 1. m. Fase, cambio, vicisitud. U. m. en pl.) 2. En la religión hindú, encarnación terrestre de alguna deidad, en especial Visnú. 3. Reencarnación, transformación …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Avătar — (ind. Myth., d. das Niedersteigen), 1) die Verkörperungen der Götter, wenn dieselben auf die Erde herabsteigen u. körperliche, bes. menschliche Gestalt annehmen; bes. 2) die 10 Verkörperungen Wischnu s (s.d.) …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • avatar — ou avatara (a va tar ou a va ta ra) s. m. Dans la religion indienne descente d un Dieu sur la terre, et en particulier, les incarnations de Vishnou qui sont en dix principales formes : poisson, tortue, sanglier, homme lion, nain, les deux Sama,… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

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