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Story of Hiranyaksha – Boon and Death

Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu were two powerful demons in ancient Hindu stories. They were the incarnation of Jaya and Vijaya, the doorkeepers of Vishnu. Sage Sanaka, who was denied entry into Vishnuloka by Jaya and Vijya, had cursed them to be born as demons on earth.

Hiranyaksha performed intense austerities and became hugely powerful.

He defeated the Devas (demigods) and threw them out of the heaven. He then jumped into the ocean and thrashed the waves with his club. Soon the earth was inundated.

He challenged Varuna, the Lord of the Oceans. But Varuna admitted his incapacity to fight with the demon and advised him to challenge Vishnu.



Brahma who realized that Hiranyaksha had become too powerful meditated on Vishnu to save Mother Earth.

Vishnu appeared through the nose of Brahma in the form of a tiny boar.

Soon, the boar grew in size, jumped into the ocean and lifted up the submerged earth with its tusks.
Hiranyaksha challenged the boar to fight him.

After restoring the earth to its original position, Vishnu as Varaha (boar) fought the demon and killed him.

This story is found in the Bhagavad Purana (Skanda III, 13.16 to 33)

Did you know?

There are two different Varaha’s mentioned in the Srimad Bhagavatam. One is called Sveta Varaha and then there is Rakta Varaha. Meaning one is white and one is red. And they appear at different times. It is the Rakta Varaha that defeated Hiranyaksha.

The earliest reference to Varaha is found in the Rigveda as Emusha Varaha.

Hiranyaksha means one with a golden eye.

Varaha Avatar is mostly shown with four hands carrying the Shankha, Chakra, Gada and Padma with  Bhudevi.