Avatar.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bob the Spiderman, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. Can somebody please tell me why we use this word as our signature, especially as I associate the word with Hinduism.

    Many thanks. Bob F.
     
  2. JeffKohn

    JeffKohn

    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Funny, I associate it with the Ultima CRPG's. :)

    I would guess that it has its roots in RPG's and MUD's where the term has long been used for the icon/symbol that represents your character in the game, since it seems to have a similar meaning in the context of forums such as this one.
     
  3. Jeff. I think that its roots go much much further back than that. Its definition, as far as I am aware is,'The manisfestation of a Hindu deity in a visible form.' Hence my question.

    BW. Bob F.
     
  4. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    From Dictionary.com:

    av·a·tar
    1. The incarnation of a Hindu deity, especially Vishnu, in human or animal form.
    2. An embodiment, as of a quality or concept; an archetype: the very avatar of cunning.
    3. A temporary manifestation or aspect of a continuing entity: occultism in its present avatar.

    We're using definition 3.
     
  5. JeffKohn

    JeffKohn

    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Sorry, wasn't trying to suggest that the roots of the word go to RPG's, but rather that the use of the term in forum software might have something to do with the fact that a lot of the guys who originally wrote this type of software also played RPG's and MUD's.

    In fact if you look up the word at dictionary.com one of the alternate defitions is
    1. <chat, virtual reality> An image representing a user in a
    multi-user virtual reality (or VR-like, in the case of
    Palace) space.
     
  6. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    Personally though, I prefer being Vishnu in the flesh. My avatar is appropriately named 'The Indefatigable Spinning Head of Chris Heilman'

    :)
     
  7. To be honest I have not got a clue what either of you are talking about, but I can certainly accept Jeff's alternative definition as to why we use the word in 'The signature concept.'

    Best wishes. Bob F.
     
  8. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    Vishnu is the Hindu deity that has a couple extra arms, and either a human or animal head. He works in unison with two other Hindu gods, Shiva and Brahman. Vishnu reincarnates from god to god, ultimately (in the ninth incarnation) becoming Buddha, and thus achieving enlightenment. Also the brunt of the stock Indian joke:

    "Let us pray to our god, Vishnu."

    "I don't know, vish new with you?"

    Ba - dah - bump, only played on a tabla.

    (No offense is intended, these comments are greatly influenced by my Western, agnostic, popular based culture. The Hindu religeon is an ancient and deeply held belief for millions of people who not only understand the relationships but can use the teachings to better their lives.)
     
  9. Haha...I was thinking the same thing! Does that mean we're geeks? :p:p:p

    Hey check out my new avatar, it's my animated self-portrait!
     
  10. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Jonathan,

    Geeks -- Yes.

    Nice avatar. 8)

    Frank
     
  11. gho

    gho

    Feb 7, 2005
    California
    I suppose the name stems from a religious origin since they were originally coined by hackers and the name just sticks.

    We all know what an icon is, but when it first started appearing, it was more of a religious term.

    I think maybe the hackers, always afraid of big brutha tend to be religous and pray a lot that they don't get caught by the Feds or Interpol.

    Well, at least I did when I was a hacker long ago.
     
  12. obelix

    obelix

    714
    Mar 17, 2005
    Fremont, CA, USA
    Ahem.

    Time for a hindu to check in here, I guess ;)

    Anyhoo, the "trinity" of hindu mythology are these 3 gods:

    1) Brahma - the creator
    2) Vishnu - the preserver
    3) Shiva - the destroyer

    Vishnu himself had 10 "avatars" :), each one taking a different form teaching something new to the world, the most popular being Krishna and Rama. His 10th avatar is "kalki" where he is re-born just about this time to save the world - again :).

    There are at least a dozen nut-cases in India right now who claim they are Kalki. I am pretty goddamn sure that the real Kalki won't have to claim that.

    More here:

    http://www.balagokulam.org/kids/stories/dashavatara.php

    And then there are the children, consorts, cousins, uncles, disciples of all these gods and their devout followers - most of them who are gods.

    It is pretty amazing to understand the subtle / big differences between the way some one in one state / region perceives the symbolism of any of these gods versus the way some one else only a few dozen miles away symbolizes them - often speaking different languages and praying in different languages.

    :)
     
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