- Pandit Ved Prakash Upadhyay has argued in his book "Kalki Autar aur Muhammad Sahib," that Prophet Muhammad completed all the prophecies of the "Kalki" avatar. The book "Muhammad in the Hindu Scriptures," claims to be based on research from all the Vedas, the Puranas and the Upanishads to claim that Prophet Muhammad was the last and final messenger.
- In his book, "The Aquarian Message," Samael Aun Weor claims to be the "Kalki" Avatar.
While many Hindus reject the idea of 'avatars' outside of the traditional Hindu faith, some Hindus with an universalist outlook view the central figures of various non-Hindu religions as 'avatars'. Some of these religious figures include:
The Chanakya Legend: There are several legends associated with this great political and military genius. Over time myth has mingled with reality and often overtaken it; the current environment of despair feeds the legend. Perhaps the lack or the absence of inspirational and towering personalities (in the mould of Chanakya) and an abundance of 'little Einsteins' continue to feed the legend.
Thomas R. Trautmann has listed down the following elements as common to the different forms of the Chanakya legend:
- Chanakya was born with a complete set of teeth, a sign that he would become a King, this was considered inappropriate for a Brahmin like Chanakya. Chānakya's teeth were therefore broken, and it was prophesied that he will rule through another.
- The Nanda King (Dhana Nanda) threw Chānakya out of his Court, prompting Chānakya to swear revenge.
- Chānakya searched for one worthy man or disciple for him to rule through. Chānakya encountered a young Chandragupta Maurya who was a born leader and displayed character, courage and leadership qualities right from his childhood.
- Chānakya's initial attempt to overthrow the Nanda King failed, thereafter he came across a mother rebuking her child for burning himself by eating from the middle of a bun or a bowl of porridge rather than from the cooler edge. This incident served as an eye-opener for Chānakya and he realized his initial strategic error and, instead of attacking at the heart of the Nanda territory, slowly chiped away at its edges.
- Chānakya discontinued his alliance with the Himalayan King Parvatka due to the latter's obstinacy and non-adherence to the principles of the treaty as agreed between them.
- Chānakya enlisted the services of a fanatical weaver to rid the kingdom of rebels.
- Chānakya used to add small quantities of poison in the food eaten by Chandragupta Maurya, now the Emperor, in order to make him immune. Unaware of this, Chandragupta feeds some of his food to his Queen, who was then in her ninth month of pregnancy. Not used to eating poisoned food, the Queen died. In order to save the unborn baby - the heir to the throne, Chānakya cut open the belly of the dead Queen and took out the baby and called/named him 'Bindusāra' because he was touched by a 'drop' ('bindu' in Sanskrit) of the poisoned blood - on his head.
- Chānakya's political rivalry with Subandhu (a Minister under the then Emperor Bindusāra) led to his (Chanakya's) death.
- Legend has it that once the Mauryan forces were hiding in a cave. There was no food and the soldiers were starving. They could not come out of the cave either, as there was a threat to their lives. One day, Chanakya saw an ant carrying a grain of rice, whereas, there was no sign of food or grain anywhere. Moreover, the grain of rice was cooked. Chanakya ordered the soldiers to search everywhere (for the source of the grain of rice) and they found that their enemies had been dining under the cave - somewhat similar to that of a ground floor. As soon as they discovered this, they escaped and thus were saved.
- According to a Kashmiri version of his legend, once when a thorn had pricked Chānakya on the foot, he uprooted the tree and poured buttermilk in the roots.
Here is the link that leads to "Chanakya Neetishashtra:" http://www.scribd.com/doc/6910747/Chanakya-Neetishashtra
Chanakya's teachings and philosophy are very profound yet so simple. The hallmark of great science is indeed simplicity. Equations like E = mc2 or F = ma are path-breaking, simply because they are so simple. Similarly, the greatest of philosophies or knowledge or teachings are rooted in simplicity.
Note: Information gathered and photographs - courtesy Wikipedia.
Photographs: (in clockwise order)
1) A picture depicting Chanakya writing the "Chanakya Niti."
2) A Copper engraving of "Kalki" - from the late 18th century.
3) A stone plaque depicting "Kalki" - from the 18th century.