MIND-CHANGING MYTHS OF AVATAR
Kjos - February 8, 2010
"We...need to reawaken something very old...our understanding of Earth wisdom. We need to accept the invitation to the
dance -- the dance of unity of humans,
plants, the Earth." Deep Ecology
"I propose that Cameron is alluding to that
tenth avatar of Vishnu becoming
manifest as the US marine in Pandora's universe.
The deliberate choice of the blue skin instantly,
magically and metaphorically relates our
protagonist to two previous avatars namely
Rama and Krishna." Sita Wadhwani,
"When I woke up this
morning after watching
Avatar for the first
time yesterday, the
world seemed... gray.
It was like my whole
life, everything I've
done and worked for,
lost its meaning.... I live in
a dying world."
"...the whole world
is under the sway of the evil one." 1 John 5:19
long-tailed natives of Pandora, a distant
earth-like moon, fit into a unified
spiritual network that links
all of nature. They ride through the skies
on powerful birds, climb the stony walls of magnificent hanging mountains,
worship their goddess, and despise the corporate monstrosity
that has invaded their
habitat in search of priceless
earthly intruders intend to excavate
Pandora's most sacred spot. To avoid war, they brought a scientific
team trained to befriend the indigenous Na'vi people and persuade them to move.
team includes latecomer Jake Sully, a
paraplegic Marine replacing his slain twin
brother. After some training, his mind and
consciousness would periodically be
transferred to his Na'vi-like avatar -- a body
originally made to match his brother's DNA.
Remember the Hindu word
avatar? It refers
to an incarnation or manifestation of a
Hindu god. The most common
avatars are incarnations of the god Vishnu,
and they include the
mischievous flute-playing Krishna (pictured
below) and the bow-and-arrow carrying Rama
(pictured above). Both are pictured with
bluish skin -- just like the native Na'vis.
his new avatar legs, tail and body, Jake
heads for the forest, admires the flowers,
and faces a rhino-sized beast. This
strange world is nothing like the gray,
polluted earth he left behind!
later, a snarling panther-like thanator
him deeper into the
woods where he meets the beautiful Neytiri
who aims her bow and arrow at him.
receives a message from her mysterious
goddess through a cloud of white flower-like
creatures that settle on Jake -- a clear
sign that the goddess [Eywa] wants Neytiri
to befriend this ignorant stranger. But
first she scolds him for causing the death
of other terrifying pursuers.
you wonder why Neytiri carries a bow and
arrow when "all life is one"?
his best to follow the sure-footed Neytiri
(climbing, leaping, etc.)
back to Hometree, her clan's sacred domain.
She introduces him to Mo'at, her
psychic mother who happens to be the tribal
tsahik (shaman speaking for Eywa). She tells her daughter to train this
"dreamwalker" in their native ways.
Some of the clan warriors
Jake is a good pupil, and
his lessons on pantheistic unity soon shift his loyalty from his worldly mission to the tribe and
Eywa. So when his commander prepares
to destroy Hometree and much of the sacred
forests, Jake springs into action. Through
psychic linkage, he tames and
rides the fiercest bird of all -- the mighty Toruk, who became his "spirit animal"
through a ritual
Spirit Quest. Speeding
above the forests, he gathers Pandora's
tribes for war.
prays to Eywa for help, and she
answers his plea. She summons birds and beasts of every kind.
With such an army, how could they lose?
final "miracle" is to transfer Jake's life
from his injured earthly body to his Na'vi avatar. Now, he's one of them!
It all sounds good to
love the myth of
pantheistic oneness! No wonder thousands of viewers
became depressed (even suicidal) after
visualizing Pandora's wonders -- then
having to drop their 3-D glasses into the
recycling bin at the exit! Ponder
the potential effect of this seductive journey
on those who love fantasy more than facts:
"Ever since I went to
see 'Avatar' I have been
depressed. Watching the
wonderful world of
Pandora and all the
Na'vi made me want to be
one of them. I can't
stop thinking about all
the things that happened
in the film... I even
thinking that if I do it
I will be rebirthed in a
world similar to Pandora...'"
reality behind this mind-bending,
feeling-based mythology is the existence of
an occult spiritual system. Avatar's
promotion of pantheism and
panentheism point to
the "spiritual unity" at the heart of Hinduism, Native American
shamanism and the worship of Mother
Earth. They all clash with God's truth.
those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness!" Isaiah 5:20-21
1. HINDU GODS AND THEIR AVATARS
Writer and director Sudipto Chattopadhyay
believes that Cameron's choice of the title
(Avatar) reflects a
"The ancient Hindu scriptures have forever reiterated
that whenever the world would be on the brink
of disaster and mankind faces extinction... the divine
Vishnu would consider it his duty to manifest
himself in mortal, palpable form to save mankind
from the impending doomsday. ...the Avatar is
meant to be the savior, the messiah of
his own race and people."
In Cameron's mythical movie, planet Pandora
was certainly facing a
major disaster, and Jake -- incarnated in his Na'vi avatar -- seems
to be the saving avatar. After all, he was chosen and approved by the
Chattopadhyay is not the only one affirming the Hindu
suggestions in this movie. Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism,
repeats the need for intervention through an avatar -- though he may not approve
“'Avatar', a Sanskrit term, means descent or incarnation.
Hinduism is shaped by its traditional belief in the incarnation of Vishnu (the Preserver in Hindu trinity) into ten forms to establish
dharma (divine law), which include Matsya, Kurma...
Rama, Krishna, Buddha....
Hindus believe that without such intervention, the entire created universe would have gone into decline."
understand the pantheistic aspects of
Hinduism, please check our
Glossary of Religious Terms. For a
glimpse of the dark side of Hinduism
Let the Little Children Come.
2. GODDESS SPIRITUALITY
"The spiritual sense of our place
in nature... can be traced to the origins of human civilization," wrote Al
Gore in his 1990 book,
Earth in the Balance.
Mr. Cameron would
probably agree. Since
he and Gore seem to think alike on some
this next statement. Here Al Gore suggests
"a goddess religion was
ubiquitous throughout much of the world until the antecedents
of today's religions.... The last vestige of organized goddess
worship was eliminated by Christianity. ...it seems obvious
that a better understanding of a religious heritage preceding
our own by so many thousands of years could offer us new insights..."
Useful "new insights"
from "goddess worship"? What might they be?
In his next statement, Mr. Gore gives us a
"The richness and diversity of
our religious tradition throughout history is a spiritual resource
long ignored by people of faith [Christians?] who are often afraid to open
their minds to teachings first offered outside their own system
of belief. But the emergence of a civilization in which knowledge
moves freely and almost instantaneously throughout the world
has... spurred a renewed investigation of the wisdom distilled
by all faiths. This panreligious perspective may prove especially
important where our global civilization's responsibility for
the earth is concerned."
Finally, Gore quotes Dr. Karan Singh, a Hindu
environmentalist who wrote,
Earth is our mother, and we are all her children."
That should arouse fear rather than comfort,
for when we look back to ancient
goddess-worshipping cultures, we see
3. NATIVE AMERICAN PANTHEISM, ANIMISM,
Gore, Native American religions "offer a rich tapestry of ideas about
to the earth." He quotes Chief Seattle, who supposedly asked this
you teach your children what we have taught our children? That
the earth is our mother? . . . This we know: the earth does not
belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected
like the blood that unites us all."
like Pandora, doesn't it? And it's
just as unreal. Those words were actually
written by Ted Perry for a 1971
environmental movie. It was just the
message they needed to persuade viewers of
their point of view!
the mythical Na'vi present "right"
ideology. Largely patterned after today's
idealized views of Native Americans, they
draw viewers into an unforgettable encounter
"illusions of oneness." Few
realilze that behind the
"beautiful side of paganism" lie the same human tendencies
that bring pain and destruction to all parts
of the world: greed, violence, competition,
The late Dr. Clark
Wissler, Curator Emeritus of the Department
of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural
History, was recognized as a world authority
on Native Americans. In his book,
Indians of the
United States, he describes all the admirable
aspects of their culture: their love for
their children, their hospitality and their beliefs.
had the courage to expose the
sad facts. Stripping
away the popular myth of perfect harmony,
shows us that Native Americans struggle
with the same human nature we do. Look
at some popular myths in the light of additional
Harmony with nature? To stampede a herd of
buffalo, hunters might set the grass on fire
behind the flock. The escaping herd would
"flounder into a swamp or tumble over a
Preserver of life? "The early Indian hunted
the wild horse for food, which may be one of
the reasons why they became extinct long
before white men came to America."
Respect for all life? The Iroquois, noted
for democratic self-government, "planned to
destroy the Huron. It was not to be a
war of subjugation; they hated the Huron
intensely.... After taking the first town,
the massacred the entire population. If they
took captives, it was to torture them to
I don’t want to
diminish the wrongs committed against Native
Americans: killing, selling alcohol, taking their land, ignoring
treaty obligations… Yet our children need to
see these tragic violations in the light of
the whole truth. Apart from our Creator
and Savior, human nature everywhere will express
its selfishness and violence. If we dismiss
uncomfortable facts in order to prove a false
ideal, we perpetuate the lies. We also hide
the only solution that works –-
minds with occult visions will surely
immunize the masses against the
Truth of God.
His reality is
incompatible with mystical fantasy! Yet
people has, through the ages, chosen to
compromise God's truths with their
imagination. Remember the
moral condition of the masses back in Noah's
"...every imagination of the
thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5
Similar conditions will prevail when Jesus
(See Luke 17:20) Today's
occult movies and computer games, playing on the
imaginations of impressionable children,
could open a "Pandora's Box" of paganism and
spiritual bondage. So let's heed His
lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the
tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world,
and not according to Christ." Colossians
Bill Devall and George
Session, Deep Ecology (Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1985), p. ix.
2. "The religious backdrop to James Cameron's
comment by "Hill" at
Avatar: The Na'vi Quest, Adapted from
the movie by Nicole Pitesa, (Harper
Festival, 2009), pp. 1, 57. This small book
provides some details not explained in the
The above book answers that question: The
Na'vi were meat-eating hunters, but they had
to had to understand the pantheistic oneness
before they could take life. When Jake kills
a hexapede, he prays: "I see you,
brother, and thank you. Your spirit goes
with Eywa, your body stays behind to become
part of the people."[p.39]
Hindus ask for a disclaimer with James
Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ at
Earth in the Balance;
Ecology and the Human Spirit (Houghton Mifflin, 1992), pp. 260, 258-259, 261.
Indians of the United States (New York.
Anchor Books, Doubleday), pp. 270, 14, 287, 131.