“What! There were living Gods in your country?”
“Yes, we have had God incarnates living among people.”
“But you already have millions of Gods that are worshipped as deities in various forms and shapes to concentrate and focus during devotion since praying God without a name, shape or figure is too generic and hard to focus, as you say.”
“True, but there are millions of believers not satisfied with deities; they want to worship a living God they can talk and touch.”
“How a regular person can turn into a living God?”
“Not everybody is cut out to become a living God, very few, just a handful over a period of several centuries were to become living Gods; these few were born with spirituality to understand, interpret and challenge the current religious doctrines at a very young age and start as boy prophets to spread their own interpretation of religion. As the size of the believers increase, the momentum gathers more and more believers. Initially, the followers would consider the prophet as a representative of God or messiah just interpreting the Holy Scriptures; then as the popularity of the messiah grows, the deities of various Gods are re removed from the altar, replaced by the idol of the prophet. Then the believers would start believing that the messiah is an incarnation of real God himself.
In some cases, the messiah’s belief could become a new religion altogether for his followers, then the people at large tend to believe him as living God. After his death, people would continue to worship his idol in a shrine specially built to worship him as God. Buddha is a good example; his philosophy became Buddhism and he became God incarnate. To sustain faith and belief in him, once in a while a miracle would happen to benefit a well deserved believer. Over the last several centuries very few have reached the status of God incarnates from a prophet status. These incarnates were never considered by the public at large as Gods from the ancient belief or Hindu mythology (like Krishna or Vishnu), instead they simply reached the status of God incarnates (on an ad hoc basis) through their efforts in facilitating the common men and women to get in touch with real God through devotion. In other words, as time progress, as the belief among people dwindle towards religion and God, these God incarnates bring back faith into people.
Adi Sankara, Sai Baba of Shirdi, Guru Gobind Singh, Sahajanand Swami, Swami Vivekananda, Ramana Maharshi, Aurobindo, Satya Sai Baba and few others could fall into the category of God incarnates; spent their lives preaching to move the masses towards spirituality. Perhaps in the distant future, centuries from now, these God incarnates could join the list of millions of Gods of Hindu mythology through the various stages of incarnation or becoming ‘Avataras’ of Brahma the creator, the one and only God.