The Appearance of Lord Varaha, the Boar Incarnation

In the vast universe, gigantic planets float in space by the power of Lord Sankarshana. It is His energy that modern science designates ‘Gravity’. Sometimes, however, the arrangement is disturbed by the workings of powerful demons. When the demons disturb universal conditions, planets may sink down into the Garbhodaka ocean.

In the Satya Yuga, Lord Brahma was busy in the work of creation when he was informed by Manu that the earth had sunk to the bottom of the unfathomable Garbhodaka ocean that fills half the Brahmanda or Egg-shaped Universe. Lord Brahma was bewildered and could not comprehend how to solve the problem. In his perplexity, he took shelter of Lord Vishnu for resolution of the crisis.

Srila Prabhupada write in the Srimad-Bhagavatam,

“The floating of the planets in the weightless air is due to the inner constitution of the globes, and the modernized drilling of the earth to exploit oil from within is a sort of disturbance by the modern demons and can result in a greatly harmful reaction to the floating condition of the earth. A similar disturbance was created formerly by the demons headed by Hiraṇyākṣa (the great exploiter of the gold rush), and the earth was detached from its weightless condition and fell down into the Garbhodaka Ocean. ”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.7.1 Purport

While Lord Brahma prayed in the association of his sons, the sages and demigods, a tiny Boar, the size of a thumb tip suddenly emerged from his nostril. It instantly began to grow and quickly assumed the massive size of a great elephant. The great personalities present were amazed to see the creature and argued whether it was a powerful creature or the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.

The Boar suddenly let out a loud roar. Lord Brahma and his sons felt enlivened to hear the powerful sound. Understanding that the unique vibration was from the Supreme Lord Himself, the highly learned personalities of the upper planetary systems like jano, mahar and tapo lokas began chanting auspicious mantras from the three vedas. They knew the Lord had come to save the earth.

Lord Varaha then jumped into the Garbhodaka Ocean and being in the form of a boar, sought out the earth by smelling with His snout. He found the earth lying at the bottom of the infinitely deep ocean as it was at the dawn of creation.

He held the earth on the tip of His tusks and brought it out of the water. It was a splendid sight to behold. He replaced the earth in its designated location and then turned to the demon Hiranyaiksha who was challenging the Lord while He rescued the earth.

While the demigods watched in trepidation, the Lord enjoyed a prolonged fight with Hiranyaksha to satisfy His fighting spirit and eventually killed the powerful demon. The demigods were relieved and jubilant.

The Lord placed the earth on the tip of His curved tusk and assumed a bluish hue. Then all the sages headed by Lord Brahma knew for certain that the Boar was none other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They offered Him respectful obeisances and chanted prayers of glorification.

A great Vaishnava poet Śrīla Jayadeva Gosvāmī in his Daśāvatāra-stotra has sung the glories of the ten principal incarnations of the Lord. The following verse specifically praises Lord Varaha:

vasati daśana-śikhare dharaṇī tava lagnā

śaśini kalaṅka-kaleva nimagnā

keśava dhṛta-śūkara-rūpa

jaya jagadīśa hare

“O Keśava! O Supreme Lord who have assumed the form of a boar! O Lord! The planet earth rested on Your tusks, and it appeared like the moon engraved with spots.”