Vishnu as Varaha

Continuing from last week, Yudhisthira told Rishi Lomesh, “How did the lord Vishnu lift the earth which drowned a hundred fathoms deep in the ocea? How did the earth, the supporter of food and life, drown? Please tell us everything.

The rishi replied, “Ages ago there was the great Satyuga. At that time, the lord of lords was doing the work of Yama and so nobody died. Everything just increased in numbers, from animals to humans. There was such a multitude and crowd of living creatures on the earth that she could not bear their weight and so she drowned a hundred fathoms in the ocean.

He continued, “The earth then went to the lord Vishnu and spoke to him. ‘O lord it is with your grace that I have been able to stand steady through the ages. Only you can help me now, please release me from this weight.’

The lord was pleased with the earth’s humbleness and he told her that very soon she would be free of her predicament. He then took the form of a wild boar with one horn called Varaha. His eyes were fiery red spreading fear in everyone around and his body gave off fumes of smoke. He started growing in size and soon was gigantic. With his horn he lifted the earth a hundred fathoms up so she rose above the water. When he started moving the earth there was tremendous upheaval everywhere. All the gods and the rishis practicing tapas were filled with fear, and everyone, on earth and in the heavens, were screaming.

All the rishis got together and went to Lord Brahma and asked him the cause of this upheaval. Brahma explained to them that Lord Vishnu taking the earth out of the waters was causing the disturbance. The rishis asked Lord Brahma that once Lord Vishnu took the earth out of the water where, and in which astrological sign, was he going to put it. Brahma then transported all the rishis to the Nandanvana to have darshan of Lord Vishnu in his form as the boar or Varaha. They saw the Sri Chakra on his chest and were satisfied and went away. They knew he would do good.

Hearing this story all the Pandavas were very happy, their tiredness vanished, and they made their way to Gandhamadana.

Water is emotional energy. Our emotions drown us and when we are sad or unhappy, we are lost in depression. The boar is a symbol of transformation. It eats the lowest form of food but they say its meat has the most attractive patterns. This signifies the transformation of negative emotions. It is a symbol of courage and one-pointedness. Here, the boar is depicted on two legs with its snout and horn pointed up meaning freedom from the lower emotions that pull us down in life.

The boar only runs in a straight line which symbolizes our passion to achieve our goal of freedom.

Thus the story of Varaha is that of transformation of emotions which is necessary to go to the peak of spirituality called Gandhamadana.