Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 23 (1990)
Topic - Excerpt from Divine Discourse
What the Avatars mean

Siva is known as Subhankara - the one who is ever good (Subham). In the world, whoever takes a bodily form - whether it be humans, deities or avatars sometime or other the body becomes Asubham (tainted). The prefix "Sri" is affixed to the names of such persons to indicate that without the prefix they are tainted by their bodies. That is why "Sri" is added to the names of Krishna, Rama, Venkateswara and so on to confer beatitude on them. With regard to Easwara, however, the epithet "Sri" is not applied because Easwara is ever in a state of beatitude. "Sankara" remains "Sankara" without a "Sri." Siva is not called "Sri Siva." Easwara is not referred to as "Sri Easwara." He is the embodiment of all auspiciousness and holiness. Hence he needs no other appellation. He is the source of Sakala Aiswarya (all prosperity and well-being). Man is the product of interaction of Purusha (the Supreme) and Prakriti (Nature). Consequently man should have the perennial bliss of the Divine and remain perpetually blessed. Man is made in the image of Nature. Man can divinise himself only by contemplating on the attributes of the Easwara (Divine). The three eyes of Siva represent the three lokas (worlds). Siva's trident is symbolic of the Past, the Present and the Future the three aspects of Time. The three gunas(Satwa, Rajas and Tamas) are images of the Trinity - Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. The three worlds, the triune aspect of Time, the three gunas (qualities) are thus manifestations of the Easwara Principle. When the Divine is installed in the heart in this manner, man can raise himself to the level of the Divine.