avatar

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avatar

1. Hinduism the manifestation of a deity, notably Vishnu, in human, superhuman, or animal form
2. a movable image that represents a person in a virtual reality environment or in cyberspace

Avatar

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Vishnu is the Hindu god of goodness. He has come to Earth when needed in the past in a series of so-called descents or avatars. These are incarnations. Tradition says there will be ten of them, nine of which have already passed:

A dwarf who saved the world from a demon. Prince Rama, defender of the good. Krishna, the poet and warrior who reestablished the principles of religion. A fish that rescued the first man, Manu, from a worldwide flood. A tortoise. A boar. A man-lion. A warrior hero. Prince Gautama, the Buddha. Yet to come: A messiah with a sword of flame who will come at the end of the fourth period of the world to save the righteous and destroy the wicked. He will be riding a white horse.

avatar

[′av·ə‚tär]
(computer science)
A virtual representation of a person or a person's interactions with others in a virtual environment, conveying a sense of someone's presence (known as telepresence) by providing the location (position and orientation) and identity; examples include the graphical human figure model, the talking head, and the real-time reproduction of a three-dimesional human image.

avatar

(chat, virtual reality)
An image representing a user in a multi-user virtual reality (or VR-like, in the case of Palace) space.

avatar

(2)
(CMU, Tektronix) root, superuser. There are quite a few Unix computers on which the name of the superuser account is "avatar" rather than "root". This quirk was originated by a CMU hacker who disliked the term "superuser", and was propagated through an ex-CMU hacker at Tektronix.

avatar

A graphic identity that users select to represent themselves in a chat, instant messaging (IM) or multiplayer gaming session. An avatar is generally a caricature, rather than a realistic photo, and can be anything from a simple cartoon to a bizarre fantasy figure. However, images of real objects are also used. The term is a Sanskrit word that means the incarnation of a god on earth, and this usage of the term came from the gaming and 3D chat worlds. See VRML.


Some Avatars
These are four examples from the AvatarDB website, which has more than 50,000 images arranged by category. People choose an avatar based on how they want others to see them. For more information, visit www.avatarsdb.com.
References in periodicals archive ?
Arcavatara, the descent (avatara) of the deity as an image (arca), emphasizes both the transcendence and the accessibility of God.
The notion of avatara offered a theological language for the practice of image devotion.
The later Srivaisnava theologians employed the avatara notion to emphasize that, although a human being creates the image for Visnu, it is Visnu's free will that decides on Visnu's abiding there.
As noted above, Srivaisnava teachers (acaryas) employed the concept of avatara to offer a sophisticated theological grounding to the community's ritual practice.
This auspicious form exists in five different modes: (1) the supreme form (para), "the eternal, unchanging form of Visnu seen only in heaven"; [29] (2) the emanations (vyuha), which relate to different stages of the universe's evolution, particularly the creation, preservation, and dissolution of the world; (3) the "[m]anifestations at particular times (vibhava [or] avatara)," [30] including the historical descents of Visnu as Krishna, Rama etc.; (4) the "Inner Controller (antaryamin or harda)," [31] the subtle form of Visnu within human hearts; and (5) the descent into an image (arcavatara).
[47] On the one hand, there has been a great deal of work done comparing the Hindu notion of avatara with the Christian doctrine of incarnation.
For Srivaisnava, the concept of avatara gave coherence to a long tradition of image devotion.
2-3); and their explications of the avatara of Krsna announced in Gita 4 (chap.
Though insisting that "avatara" and "incarnation" can be used "interchangeably" (259), perhaps to highlight ground shared by the two key traditions believing that God takes bodily form, T.
This superb study should be required reading before any further consideration of the topic; it permanently lays to rest the notion that avatara and Incarnation mark identical theological constructions.
Rather, Madhva was fully convinced that he was an avatara, the result of Visnu having taken possession (avesa) of him.
Like Vyasa, whom Madhva adds as a full avatara next to Rama and Krsna, his own duty "is on the intellectual level and consists in imparting knowledge to mankind ...