The Appearance of Lord Varāha

Varaha Deva Vishnu's boar Avatar

Varaha Deva Krishna’s Boar Avatar

The Appearance of Lord Varāha

[A lecture by Śrī Śrīmad Gour Govinda Swami could not be found for this most auspicious day. Therefore we have posted the verses 3.13.15 – 51 from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam on the appearance of Lord Varāha, with the translations and some of the purports by His Divine Grace Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. If anyone is aware of Śrī Śrīmad Gour Govinda Swami speaking on this topic please contact us at info@tvpbooks.com]

vasati daśana-śikhare dharaī tava lagnā
śaśini kalaka-kaleva nimagnā
keśava dhta-śūkara-rūpa jaya jagadīśa hare

“O Keśava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of a boar! All glories to You! The earth, which had become immersed in the Garbhodaka Ocean at the bottom of the universe, sits fixed upon the tip of Your tusk like a spot upon the moon.” (Śrī Daśāvatāra-stotra [from Gītā-govinda] by Jayadeva Gosvāmī verse 3)

 manur uvāca
ādeśe ‘ha bhagavato
varteyāmīva-sūdana
sthāna tv ihānujānīhi
prajānā mama ca prabho

“Śrī Manu said: O all-powerful lord, O killer of all sins, I shall abide by your order. Now please let me know my place and that of the living entities born of me.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.15)

To Lift The Earth

yad oka sarva-bhūtānā
mahī magnā mahāmbhasi
asyā uddharae yatno
deva devyā vidhīyatām

“O master of the demigods, please attempt to lift the earth, which is merged in the great water, because it is the dwelling place for all the living entities. It can be done by your endeavour and by the mercy of the Lord.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.16)

The great water mentioned in this connection is the Garbhodaka Ocean, which fills half of the universe. (purport Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.16)

maitreya uvāca
parameṣṭhī tv apā madhye
tathā sannām avekya gām
katham enā samunneya
iti dadhyau dhiyā ciram

“Śrī Maitreya said: Thus, seeing the earth merged in the water, Brahmā gave his attention for a long time to how it could be lifted.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.17)

According to Jīva Gosvāmī, the topics delineated here are of different millenniums. The present topics are of the Śveta-varāha millennium, and topics regarding the Cākṣuṣa millennium will also be discussed in this chapter. (purport Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.17)

sjato me kitir vārbhi
plāvyamānā rasā gatā
athātra kim anuṣṭheyam
asmābhi sarga-yojitai
yasyāha hdayād āsa
sa īśo vidadhātu me

“Brahmā thought: While I have been engaged in the process of creation, the earth has been inundated by a deluge and has gone down into the depths of the ocean. What can we do who are engaged in this matter of creation? It is best to let the Almighty Lord direct us.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.18)

A Small Form of a Boar

ity abhidhyāyato nāsā-
vivarāt sahasānagha
varāha-toko niragād
aguṣṭha-parimāaka

“O sinless Vidura, all of a sudden, while Brahmā was engaged in thinking, a small form of a boar came out of his nostril. The measurement of the creature was not more than the upper portion of a thumb.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.19)

tasyābhipaśyata kha-stha
kaena kila bhārata
gaja-mātra pravavdhe
tad adbhutam abhūn mahat

“O descendant of Bharata, while Brahmā was observing Him, that boar became situated in the sky in a wonderful manifestation as gigantic as a great elephant.”(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.20)

marīci-pramukhair viprai
kumārair manunā saha
dṛṣṭvā tat saukara rūpa
tarkayām āsa citradhā

“Struck with wonder at observing the wonderful boarlike form in the sky, Brahmā, with great brāhmaṇas like Marīci, as well as the Kumāras and Manu, began to argue in various ways.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.21)

kim etat sūkara-vyāja
sattva divyam avasthitam
aho batāścaryam ida
nāsāyā me vinistam

“Is this some extraordinary entity come in the pretense of a boar? It is very wonderful that He has come from my nose.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.22)

Is He the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

dṛṣṭo ‘guṣṭha-śiro-mātra
kaād gaṇḍa-śilā-sama
api svid bhagavān ea
yajño me khedayan mana

“First of all this boar was seen no bigger than the tip of a thumb, and within a moment He was as large as a stone. My mind is perturbed. Is He the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu?” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.23)

Since Brahmā is the supermost person in the universe and he had never before experienced such a form, he could guess that the wonderful appearance of the boar was an incarnation of Viṣṇu. The uncommon features symptomatic of the incarnation of Godhead can bewilder even the mind of Brahmā. (purport Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.23)

iti mīmāsatas tasya
brahmaa saha sūnubhi
bhagavān yajña-puruo
jagarjāgendra-sannibha

“While Brahmā was deliberating with his sons, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, roared tumultuously like a great mountain.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.24)

It appears that great hills and mountains also have their roaring power because they are also living entities. The volume of the sound vibrated is in proportion to the size of the material body. While Brahmā was guessing about the appearance of the Lord’s incarnation as a boar, the Lord confirmed Brahmā’s contemplation by roaring with His gorgeous voice. (purport Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.24)

brahmāa harayām āsa
haris tāś ca dvijottamān
sva-garjitena kakubha
pratisvanayatā vibhu

“The omnipotent Supreme Personality of Godhead enlivened Brahmā and the other highly elevated brāhmaṇas by again roaring with His uncommon voice, which echoed in all directions.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.25)

Brahmā and other enlightened brāhmaṇas who know the Supreme Personality of Godhead are enlivened by the appearance of the Lord in any of His multi-incarnations. The appearance of the wonderful and gigantic incarnation of Viṣṇu as the mountain like boar did not fill them with any kind of fear, although the Lord’s resounding voice was tumultuous and echoed horribly in all directions as an open threat to all demons who might challenge His omnipotency. (purport Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.25)

niśamya te ghargharita sva-kheda-
kayiṣṇu māyāmaya-sūkarasya
janas-tapa-satya-nivāsinas te
tribhi pavitrair munayo ‘gṛṇan sma

“When the great sages and thinkers who are residents of Janaloka, Tapoloka and Satyaloka heard the tumultuous voice of Lord Boar, which was the all-auspicious sound of the all-merciful Lord, they chanted auspicious chants from the three Vedas.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.26)

teā satā veda-vitāna-mūrtir
brahmāvadhāryātma-guānuvādam
vinadya bhūyo vibudhodayāya
gajendra-līlo jalam āviveśa

“Playing like an elephant, He entered into the water after roaring again in reply to the Vedic prayers by the great devotees. The Lord is the object of the Vedic prayers, and thus He understood that the devotees’ prayers were meant for Him.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.27)

utkipta-vāla kha-cara kahora
saā vidhunvan khara-romaśa-tvak
khurāhatābhra sita-daṁṣṭra īkā-
jyotir babhāse bhagavān mahīdhra

“Before entering the water to rescue the earth, Lord Boar flew in the sky, slashing His tail, His hard hairs quivering. His very glance was luminous, and He scattered the clouds in the sky with His hooves and His glittering white tusks.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.28)

Searching for the Earth

ghrāṇena pṛthvyāḥ padavīṁ vijighran
kroḍāpadeśaḥ svayam adhvarāṅgaḥ
karāla-daṁṣṭro ‘py akarāla-dṛgbhyām
udvīkṣya viprān gṛṇato ‘viśat kam

“He was personally the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu and was therefore transcendental, yet because He had the body of a hog, He searched after the earth by smell. His tusks were fearful, and He glanced over the devotee-brāhmaṇas engaged in offering prayers. Thus He entered the water.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.29)

sa vajra-kūāga-nipāta-vega-
viśīra-kuki stanayann udanvān
utsṛṣṭa-dīrghormi-bhujair ivārtaś
cukrośa yajñeśvara pāhi meti

“Diving into the water like a giant mountain, Lord Boar divided the middle of the ocean, and two high waves appeared as the arms of the ocean, which cried loudly as if praying to the Lord, ‘O Lord of all sacrifices, please do not cut me in two! Kindly give me protection!’” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.30)

Even the great ocean was perturbed by the falling of the mountainlike body of the transcendental boar, and it appeared to be frightened, as if death were imminent. (purport Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.30)

khurai kuraprair darayas tad āpa
utpāra-pāra tri-parū rasāyām
dadarśa gā tatra suupsur agre
jīva-dhānī svayam abhyadhatta

“Lord Boar penetrated the water with His hooves, which were like sharp arrows, and found the limits of the ocean, although it was unlimited. He saw the earth, the resting place for all living beings, lying as it was in the beginning of creation, and He personally lifted it.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.31)

The End of Hiraṇyākṣa

sva-daṁṣṭrayoddhtya mahī nimagnā
sa utthita saruruce rasāyā
tatrāpi daitya gadayāpatanta
sunābha-sandīpita-tīvra-manyu

“Lord Boar very easily took the earth on His tusks and got it out of the water. Thus He appeared very splendid. Then, His anger glowing like the Sudarśana wheel, He immediately killed the demon [Hiraṇyākṣa], although he tried to fight with the Lord.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.32)

According to Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, the Vedic literatures describe the incarnation of Lord Varāha (Boar) in two different devastations, namely the Cākṣuṣa devastation and the Svāyambhuva devastation. This particular appearance of the boar incarnation actually took place in the Svāyambhuva devastation, when all planets other than the higher ones—Jana, Mahar and Satya—merged in the water of devastation. This particular incarnation of the boar was seen by the inhabitants of the planets mentioned above. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī suggests that the sage Maitreya amalgamated both the boar incarnations in different devastations and summarized them in his description to Vidura. (purport Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.32)

jaghāna rundhānam asahya-vikrama
sa līlayebha mgarā ivāmbhasi
tad-rakta-pakita-gaṇḍa-tuṇḍo
yathā gajendro jagatī vibhindan

“Thereupon Lord Boar killed the demon within the water, just as a lion kills an elephant. The cheeks and tongue of the Lord became smeared with the blood of the demon, just as an elephant becomes reddish from digging in the purple earth.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.33)

He Assumed a Bluish Complexion

tamāla-nīla sita-danta-ko
kmām utkipanta gaja-līlayāga
prajñāya baddhāñjalayo ‘nuvākair
viriñci-mukhyā upatasthur īśam

“Then the Lord, playing like an elephant, suspended the earth on the edge of His curved white tusks. He assumed a bluish complexion like that of a tamāla tree, and thus the sages, headed by Brahmā, could understand Him to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead and offered respectful obeisances unto the Lord.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.34)

ṛṣaya ūcu
jita jita te ‘jita yajña-bhāvana
trayī tanu svā paridhunvate nama
yad-roma-garteu nililyur addhayas
tasmai nama kāraa-sūkarāya te

“All the sages uttered with great respect: O unconquerable enjoyer of all sacrifices, all glories and all victories unto You! You are moving in Your form of the personified Vedas, and in the hair holes of Your body the oceans are submerged. For certain reasons [to uplift the earth] You have now assumed the form of a boar.”  (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.35)

The Glories of the Lord

rūpa tavaitan nanu duktātmanā
durdarśana deva yad adhvarātmakam
chandāsi yasya tvaci barhi-romasv
ājya dśi tv aghriu cātur-hotram

“O Lord, Your form is worshipable by performances of sacrifice, but souls who are simply miscreants are unable to see it. All the Vedic hymns, Gāyatrī and others, are in the touch of Your skin. In Your bodily hairs is the kuśa grass, in Your eyes is the clarified butter, and in Your four legs are the four kinds of fruitive activities.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.36)

srak tuṇḍa āsīt sruva īśa nāsayor
iodare camasā kara-randhre
prāśitram āsye grasane grahās tu te
yac carvaa te bhagavann agni-hotram

“O Lord, Your tongue is a plate of sacrifice, Your nostril is another plate of sacrifice, in Your belly is the eating plate of sacrifice, and another plate of sacrifice is the holes of Your ears. In Your mouth is the Brahmā plate of sacrifice, Your throat is the plate of sacrifice known as soma, and whatever You chew is known as agni-hotra.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.37)

dīkānujanmopasada śirodhara
tva prāyaīyodayanīya-daṁṣṭra
jihvā pravargyas tava śīraka krato
satyāvasathya citayo ‘savo hi te

“Moreover, O Lord, the repetition of Your appearance is the desire for all kinds of initiation. Your neck is the place for three desires, and Your tusks are the result of initiation and the end of all desires. Your tongue is the prior activities of initiation, Your head is the fire without sacrifice as well as the fire of worship, and Your living forces are the aggregate of all desires.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.38)

somas tu reta savanāny avasthiti
sasthā-vibhedās tava deva dhātava
satrāi sarvāi śarīra-sandhis
tva sarva-yajña-kratur iṣṭi-bandhana

“O Lord, Your semen is the sacrifice called soma-yajña. Your growth is the ritualistic performances of the morning. Your skin and touch sensations are the seven elements of the agniṣṭoma sacrifice. Your bodily joints are symbols of various other sacrifices performed in twelve days. Therefore You are the object of all sacrifices called soma and asoma, and You are bound by yajñas only.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.39)

namo namas te ‘khila-mantra-devatā-
dravyāya sarva-kratave kriyātmane
vairāgya-bhaktyātmajayānubhāvita-
jñānāya vidyā-gurave namo nama

“O Lord, You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead and are worshippable by universal prayers, Vedic hymns and sacrificial ingredients. We offer our obeisances unto You. You can be realised by the pure mind freed from all visible and invisible material contamination. We offer our respectful obeisances to You as the supreme spiritual master of knowledge in devotional service.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.40)

daṁṣṭrāgra-koyā bhagavas tvayā dh
virājate bhūdhara bhū sa-bhūdharā
yathā vanān nisarato datā dh
mata-gajendrasya sa-patra-padminī

“O lifter of the earth, the earth with its mountains, which You have lifted with Your tusks, is situated as beautifully as a lotus flower with leaves sustained by an infuriated elephant just coming out of the water.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.41)

trayīmaya rūpam ida ca saukara
bhū-maṇḍalenātha datā dhtena te
cakāsti śṛṅgoha-ghanena bhūyasā
kulācalendrasya yathaiva vibhrama

“O Lord, as the peaks of great mountains become beautiful when decorated with clouds, Your transcendental body has become beautiful because of Your lifting the earth on the edge of Your tusks.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.42)

sasthāpayainā jagatā sa-tasthuā
lokāya patnīm asi mātara pitā
vidhema cāsyai namasā saha tvayā
yasyā sva-tejo ‘gnim ivāraāv adhā

“O Lord, for the residential purposes of all inhabitants, both moving and nonmoving, this earth is Your wife, and You are the supreme father. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You, along with mother earth, in whom You have invested Your own potency, just as an expert sacrificer puts fire in the araṇi wood.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.43)

ka śraddadhītānyatamas tava prabho
rasā gatāyā bhuva udvibarhaam
na vismayo ‘sau tvayi viśva-vismaye
yo māyayeda sasje ‘tivismayam

“Who else but You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, could deliver the earth from within the water? It is not very wonderful for You, however, because You acted most wonderfully in the creation of the universe. By Your energy You have created this wonderful cosmic manifestation.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.44)

vidhunvatā vedamaya nija vapur
janas-tapa-satya-nivāsino vayam
saā-śikhoddhūta-śivāmbu-bindubhir
vimjyamānā bhśam īśa pāvitā

“O Supreme Lord, undoubtedly we are inhabitants of the most pious planets—the Jana, Tapas and Satya lokas—but still we have been purified by the drops of water sprinkled from Your shoulder hairs by the shaking of Your body.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.45)

sa vai bata bhraṣṭa-matis tavaiate
ya karmaā pāram apāra-karmaa
yad-yogamāyā-gua-yoga-mohita
viśva samasta bhagavan vidhehi śam

“O Lord, there is no limit to Your wonderful activities. Anyone who desires to know the limit of Your activities is certainly nonsensical. Everyone in this world is conditioned by the powerful mystic potencies. Please bestow Your causeless mercy upon these conditioned souls.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.46)

The Raising of the Earth Planet

maitreya uvāca
ity upasthīyamāno ‘sau
munibhir brahma-vādibhi
salile sva-khurākrānta
upādhattāvitāvanim

“The sage Maitreya said: The Lord, being thus worshipped by all the great sages and transcendentalists, touched the earth with His hooves and placed it on the water.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.47)

sa ittha bhagavān urvī
vivaksena prajāpati
rasāyā līlayonnītām
apsu nyasya yayau hari

“In this manner the Personality of Godhead, Lord Viṣṇu, the maintainer of all living entities, raised the earth from within the water, and having placed it afloat on the water, He returned to His own abode.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.48)

Narrations About the Personality of Godhead

ya evam etā hari-medhaso hare
kathā subhadrā kathanīya-māyina
śṛṇvīta bhaktyā śravayeta vośatī
janārdano ‘syāśu hdi prasīdati

“If one hears and describes in a devotional service attitude this auspicious narration of Lord Boar, which is worthy of description, the Lord, who is within the heart of everyone, is very pleased.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.49)

tasmin prasanne sakalāśiā prabhau
ki durlabha tābhir ala lavātmabhi
ananya-dṛṣṭyā bhajatā guhāśaya
svaya vidhatte sva-gati para parām

“Nothing remains unachieved when the Supreme Personality of Godhead is pleased with someone. By transcendental achievement one understands everything else to be insignificant. One who engages in transcendental loving service is elevated to the highest perfectional stage by the Lord Himself, who is seated in everyone’s heart.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.50)

ko nāma loke puruārtha-sāravit
purā-kathānā bhagavat-kathā-sudhām
āpīya karāñjalibhir bhavāpahām
aho virajyeta vinā naretaram

“Who, other than one who is not a human being, can exist in this world and not be interested in the ultimate goal of life? Who can refuse the nectar of narrations about the Personality of Godhead’s activities, which by itself can deliver one from all material pangs?” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.51)

The narration of the activities of the Personality of Godhead is like a constant flow of nectar. No one can refuse to drink such nectar except one who is not a human being. Devotional service to the Lord is the highest goal of life for every human being, and such devotional service begins by hearing about the transcendental activities of the Personality of Godhead. Only an animal, or a man who is almost an animal in behavior, can refuse to take an interest in hearing the transcendental message of the Lord. There are many books of stories and histories in the world, but except for the histories or narrations on the topics of the Personality of Godhead, none are capable of diminishing the burden of material pangs. Therefore one who is serious about eliminating material existence must chant and hear of the transcendental activities of the Personality of Godhead. Otherwise one must be compared to the nonhumans. (purport Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.51)

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Dedicated to the Life and Teachings of Srila Gour Govinda Swami