By offering salutations at the lotus feet of Lord Shri Krishna who is the very breath of the moving world’s each living being, let us look at today’s topic- Varaahaavatara.
Breath is God. Yes, this is not just in our case, but also in Brahmadeva’s case too. Once a thumb-sized peculiar form (small,young pig/varaha) came out from Brahmadeva’s nostrils. It remained small only for the next few moments, after which it began growing in size to touch beyond the skies. Looking at it, a doubt arose in Brahmadeva- is this a being or a Deva?
At that time the form of pig seemed nothing, but began revealing who it is through the sages. They began to glorify it. It introduced itself at that time through its loud voice. That was Lord Shri Vishnu. This Avatar’s intention was to lift the earth which had been submerged somewhere in the underworld.
In this creation, there are a total of 14 worlds. Among those, 6 are Tejo Lokas, 7 are Tamo Lokas. Earth is like the threshold world and lies between them. Hence knowledge-ignorance, happiness-sadness, life-death, auspicious-inauspicious are all present here. Imagine this dual world. What would happen if the earth which is at a great height goes to that depth?
Brahmadeva made the resolution of saving earth. When he was in this thought, that form had emerged. The odour that the nose smells is Praana/ life. From smell is emergence. That is why breath is God. The sign that God is alert in all of us is the breath.
If Sat (Brahman/ ultimate reality) goes from the body, the breathing stops. Until Sat is present, the breathing is there; those two have a close relationship. Praana/life is very important and has a closer relationship with these two. Because of Praana there is everything, moving world, etc, that too from the creator’s Praana. The difference between this Avatar and the previous ones is that in the remaining Avatars, the standard of living of the world’s people had gone down and God had taken avatar for their upliftment. Here bhoomi/earth itself had sunken, it required upliftment.
Brahmadeva orders the self-manifested Manu- join with your wife Shatharoopa and get involved in the work of creation. That time Manu asks where to do it. Brahmadeva replies-the earth. Manu again asks where is the earth. Brahmadeva says it is lying somewhere in the underworld.
Then Brahmadeva’s worry started. Who would lift earth from there? At that time the varaha form emerged from him. This is thus the foreword for the Avatar. It was not just for uplifting the earth but was also for the upliftment of the living beings too. We all know that Jaya and Vijaya are the bodyguards of Vishnu, residents of Vaikuntha. Vaikuntha means “no hindrance”.
Kuntha means to obstruct or not able to walk. When some sages including Sanaka had come there for darshan, Jaya, Vijaya showed their ego because of their position at work and stopped them. They were thus cursed by sages – “You are not fit to stay here any longer; you have become a wall between God and devotees instead of a door. Hence go down to earth”.
Vishnu pacified them and said, “you are my Sevakas, I shall not let go of you. You will have to definitely face the Mahatmas curse. But I shall make some arrangements to fulfill the curse and come back. I will give you two opportunities- either be born 7 times as my devotees or 3 times as enemies and join me back.
There is a lot of subtlety here. The option of 3 births would get over faster but they would have to be His enemies. Even if 7 births were more, He would be with them. Jaya and Vijaya chose 3 births so that they could return faster. The authority there was more important than God’s companionship to them. Hence, they choose to be His enemies.
As said by Kulashekhara Alwar ‘Put me in the milk or in the water, keep me in the hell or in the heaven. Just see to it that you are not forgotten. If that is there, then it is like in the Vaikunta’. This was not felt by Jaya Vijaya which was felt by just a human being. Here title was important. That is why they became Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha in the first life itself. It is not possible to redeem both together. So, he came in two incarnations for each of them. To uplift Hiranyaksha first, he took this incarnation.
While twins are born, the one who is born first will be the younger one and one who is born second is the elder one. Like this, Hiranyaksha was born first. Hiranyaksha means the one who has golden eyes. There is nothing to be happy. This means that he is the one with yellow eyes. That is his look is only spoilt which in turn spoils the world for him. There is another meaning too that he always has eyes on the gold. If feelings, relationships are nothing and money is only important, then anybody would be the demon. No other reason is required for him to be a demon. Troubling others was the only thing Hiranyaksha did. Brother Hiranyakashipu was already a king and their relationship was good. So, his daily work was to roam around holding a club(gade) on his shoulder and call anybody to war to ill-treat them. One day lord Varuna confronted him. Hiranyaksha called him for a war. Water is cold. It will never get hot by its own. It becomes hot only when fire comes in contact with it. So, lord Varuna is not concerned with the war. He tells the same. He tells “you are the strongest and I am not eligible to fight against you. So, go to Vaikunta where you get the one who is deserved. There is the lord Hari. He is the right one. If you fight with him, then all your arrogance will be destroyed. If you really fight against him then only digs and foxes remain and you will be dead”. Hiranyaksha went in search of the lord. Narada told that, SriHari is not in Vaikunta, he flowed down to rasaatala. At this time, Shwethavaraharoopi, Yajnavaraha came in front of lord Brahma filling the world with the sound of Omkara. With his pointed teeth, he had already in the water. He went searching for the earth in the rasaatala cutting the water with his hooves like the sharp arrow. He found the earth but it had lost all its essence due to the harm Hiranyaksha had made. Its quality of retention had disappeared. Lord smelled the earth in his present form. He was born with that smell only. That is the way he expressed his love like the cows soothes the calves. It is the tradition of the old times which means to join life to life. Then he kept the earth beautifully on his single horn and went. Shankaracharya has compared this to the water droplet on the lotus leaf. May such Varaha bless us. Hiranyaksha met the Lord of Vaikunta in Rasatala. It may be only he who did so. Rasatala was the casual place of walk for him. So, Lord Hari only came there to uplift him. Looking at the lord Hari, he started to disgrace and laugh at him saying he was just the wild animal. He addressed lord as coward but Varaha did not react. Should the elephant answer if the mere dog barks at it? This is also like that. Hiranyaksha said that Varaha’s head would break if he uses his gade(the club). The earth was shaking with fear that he would beat it. But still Varaha did not react. He remained silent until he took the earth to the deserved place. Modern scientists have also told that the earth had moved away from its orbit before and has returned to its orbit. Varaha not only returned earth to its orbit but also gave the strength to sustain. Like said yesterday, almighty is everything. When we feel alone, helpless and there is nobody to save us, we should surrender to Him. It is good if that is felt sooner.
After this, the Lord turned towards Hiranyaksha and answered sarcastically to him in his language. Hiranyaksha became angry. Such men will be there, who get offended if anything is said about them but they can say anything to anybody. They can joke on anyone but they will not accept any joke on them. Hiranyaksha beat on Varaha’s chest. It was a play for Varaha; after all, what was that beating for him! Hiranyaksha played the game for some time and Varaha enjoyed it as a joke. Is a rat a count for a cat in their fight? Still it enjoys for some time. Meanwhile Lord Brahma came there. He told Varaha “It was me who gave boon to him. Now he has done so much mishaps. Enough of this! His time has come. Its Abhijin muhurta now. Destroy him”. See what happens when boon is misused. Even the creator thinks of destruction then. Brahma thought that if Hiranyaksha was not controlled, then he would destroy the whole creation. Might be there will be reminders from time to time. Even in case of Raavan, the demigods reminded Raama; charioteer Maatali reminded “Why are you acting like you don’t know that this is the right time? Kill him now”. Then Raama shot the arrow given by sage Agastya. Time has to come for even to put a garland or to shoot an arrow. Even though both adorn the chest, right time has to come. Here, Varaha remembered Sudarshana weapon. He used it and killed the demon. Finally, what happened was upliftment- upliftment of the earth, upliftment of the demon who troubled the earth. It was the upliftment of both the good and bad powers.
What is the prime duty of God? There are many- creation, preservation, destruction. There is much bigger duty, that is upliftment of the souls. The souls are his infants. His own parts would have lost their homes and must have been placed somewhere in the 14 worlds. Or to make it easier, the Lord uplifts the souls who are struck in one of the three worlds – heaven, earth or hell. It is like a mother searching for her child lost in the market and taking the child back to home. It is upliftment. Incarnation and upliftment are interrelated. Incarnation is for the upliftment. It is a result of compassion. Why would he come down if he wasn’t compassionate? So, upliftment is the prime job. In any incarnation, destruction of the evil powers is necessarily there. When there is full of sins on the earth, it will sink spiritually, even though not physically. When Raama had descended then, how many souls were uplifted! Even now, how many souls are being uplifted through his chants, remembrance!
So, the job of the Lord of the universe is to wipe our ego and uplift us. This is the main philosophy behind the Varaha incarnation. Let us contemplate on this and move forward to the next incarnation.
Picture courtesy: Internet
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