paritrÄá¹Äya - for the deliverance; sÄdhÅ«nÄm - of the devotees; vinÄÅÄya - for the annihilation; ca - and; duá¹£ká¹tÄm - of the miscreants; dharma - principles of religion; saá¹sthÄpana-arthÄya - to reestablish; sambhavÄmi - I do appear; yuge - millennium; yuge - after millennium.
According to Bhagavad-gÄ«tÄ, a sÄdhu (holy man) is a man in Ká¹á¹£á¹a consciousness. A person may appear to be irreligious, but if he has the qualiï¬cations of Ká¹á¹£á¹a consciousness wholly and fully, he is to be understood to be a sÄdhu. And duá¹£ká¹tÄm applies to those who do not care for Ká¹á¹£á¹a consciousness. Such miscreants, or duá¹£ká¹tÄm, are described as foolish and the lowest of mankind, even though they may be decorated with mundane education, whereas a person who is one hundred percent engaged in Ká¹á¹£á¹a consciousness is accepted as a sÄdhu, even though such a person may be neither learned nor well cultured. As far as the atheistic are concerned, it is not necessary for the Supreme Lord to appear as He is to destroy them, as He did with the demons RÄvaá¹a and Kaá¹sa. The Lord has many agents who are quite competent to vanquish demons. But the Lord especially descends to appease His unalloyed devotees, who are always harassed by the demoniac. The demon harasses the devotee, even though the latter may happen to be his kin. Although PrahlÄda MahÄrÄja was the son of Hiraá¹yakaÅipu, he was nonetheless persecuted by his father; although DevakÄ«, the mother of Ká¹á¹£á¹a, was the sister of Kaá¹sa, she and her husband Vasudeva were persecuted only because Ká¹á¹£á¹a was to be born of them. So Lord Ká¹á¹£á¹a appeared primarily to deliver DevakÄ« rather than kill Kaá¹sa, but both were performed simultaneously. Therefore it is said here that to deliver the devotee and vanquish the demon miscreants, the Lord appears in different incarnations.
In the Caitanya-caritÄmá¹ta of Ká¹á¹£á¹adÄsa KavirÄja, the following verses (Madhya 20.263â264) summarize these principles of incarnation:
sá¹á¹£á¹i-hetu yei mÅ«rti prapaÃ±ce avatare
sei Ä«Åvara-mÅ«rti âavatÄraâ nÄma dhare
mÄyÄtÄ«ta paravyome sabÄra avasthÄna
viÅve avatariâ dhare âavatÄraâ nÄma
âThe avatÄra, or incarnation of Godhead, descends from the kingdom of God for material manifestation. And the particular form of the Personality of Godhead who so descends is called an incarnation, or avatÄra. Such incarnations are situated in the spiritual world, the kingdom of God. When they descend to the material creation, they assume the name avatÄra.â
There are various kinds of avatÄras, such as puruá¹£ÄvatÄras, guá¹ÄvatÄras, lÄ«lÄvatÄras, Åakty-ÄveÅa avatÄras, manvantara-avatÄras and yugÄvatÄras â all appearing on schedule all over the universe. But Lord Ká¹á¹£á¹a is the primeval Lord, the fountainhead of all avatÄras. Lord ÅrÄ« Ká¹á¹£á¹a descends for the speciï¬c purpose of mitigating the anxieties of the pure devotees, who are very anxious to see Him in His original Vá¹ndÄvana pastimes. Therefore, the prime purpose of the Ká¹á¹£á¹a avatÄra is to satisfy His unalloyed devotees.
The Lord says that He incarnates Himself in every millennium. This indicates that He incarnates also in the Age of Kali. As stated in the ÅrÄ«mad-BhÄgavatam, the incarnation in the Age of Kali is Lord Caitanya MahÄprabhu, who spread the worship of Ká¹á¹£á¹a by the saá¹ kÄ«rtana movement (congregational chanting of the holy names) and spread Ká¹á¹£á¹a consciousness throughout India. He predicted that this culture of saá¹ kÄ«rtana would be broadcast all over the world, from town to town and village to village. Lord Caitanya as the incarnation of Ká¹á¹£á¹a, the Personality of Godhead, is described secretly but not directly in the conï¬dential parts of the revealed scriptures, such as the Upaniá¹£ads, MahÄbhÄrata and BhÄgavatam. The devotees of Lord Ká¹á¹£á¹a are very much attracted by the saá¹ kÄ«rtana movement of Lord Caitanya. This avatÄra of the Lord does not kill the miscreants, but delivers them by His causeless mercy.