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The Vedic tradition recognizes that the Divine appears, from time to time, in human form. The term used for this is "avatar" which means "one who descends". It can also mean "align" or "re-align" or "ignite." Thus avatars generally appear when humanity is at it lowest and needs inspiration to aspire higher. There are 24 recognized avatars with the three most well known being Buddha, Krishna and Rama. Into the twentieth century, avatars could include such inspiring humans as Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Dalai Lama, all of whom can be viewed as presenting Divinity and a Higher Self in human form.