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Varaha Avatar Story and its Symbolism and Meaning

Varaha Avatar is the third avatar of Bhagvan Srihari Vishnu. The story has an important symbolism and meaning. Legend has it that Demon Hiranyaksha had pushed the Mother Earth down into oceans and Lord Vishnu appeared as Varaha, the boar avatar, to rescue it. Hiranyaksha means the golden-eyed and he was the son of Sage Kashyapa and Diti.

Demon Hiranyaksha was the king of Asusras. He attained immense strength and vanquished devas or demi gods from heaven. As per the stories in the Puranas, Hiranyaksha then started troubling saints, humans and Devas.


Finally, he decided to drag and throw the earth into the ocean. When he did it Mother Earth gave a huge cry and Vishnu appeared in the form of Varaha and fought and killed Hiranyaksha and restored Mother Earth.

The above story is found in the Srimad Bhagavad Purana. Another story associated with Varaha Avatar is found in Vishnu Purana. It is associated with creation.

Symbolically, the dragging of earth by demon Hiranyaksha is Tamas (Evil) overcoming human beings. Bloated with ego, man falls deep into misery. The only saving grace is that of self realization. When it happens we slowly move out of deep dark pit – that is symbolically represented by Varaha uplifting the earth with his tusks.