Avatara

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Avatar lit. ‘one who crosses down’; a form or role assumed by the Lord or one of His devotees when they descend from the spiritual world to the material world. In general, the Lord has six types of Avatars: Purusa-avatars (who maintain the creation), Lila-avatars (who perform special Pastimes), Guna-avatars (who regulate the modes of material nature), Manvantara-avatars (the fathers of mankind), Yuga-avatars (who establish the dharma for each age), and Saktyavesa-avatars (souls who are empowered to perform particular functions).

— books Sri Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya / Glossary