Showing posts with label Avatar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Avatar. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is Varaha, The Boar Avatar Of Vishnu?









Varaha, Vishnu's Avatar as the Boar. 



The deity Vishnu's third avatar, or "incarnation." 




  • When the process of creation is halted by the disappearance of the Earth, Vishnu assumes this avatar at the beginning of one of the cosmic eras. 
  • The demon-king Hiranyaksha is to blame for this issue, since he has abducted the Earth and buried her in the depths of the cosmic ocean. 






Vishnu, disguised as a colossal boar, descends to the ocean's depths, where he slays Hiranyaksha, puts the Earth on the tip of his tusk, and raises her from the depths. 


  • The process of creation continues with the return of the Earth. 
  • The avatar theory is widely recognized as a means of assimilating minor regional deities into the greater pantheon by identifying them as manifestations of Vishnu. 





The Boar avatar, which seems to have absorbed an old religion in central India by making the boar an incarnation of Vishnu, supports this conclusion. 


  • The Boar avatar is not widely worshipped in contemporary times, despite having a large following in the past, especially in central India. 
  • This is corroborated in part by the sculptural record, with especially excellent sculpted representations of this avatar found in the caves of Ellora and Udayagiri. 



More information may be found in Arthur Llewellyn Basham's 1968 book, The Wonder That Was India.



You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.




Hinduism - What Is An Avatar?



Avatar has the literal meaning “descent” in the Sanskrit language.  Avatar is the descent (of a god), or more popularly, the embodiment, of a deity on Earth in Hindu mythology. 


The followers (bhakta) of the deity Vishnu, who believe that he takes a particular shape to assist the world, are the ones who have best developed the idea of avatars. 


  • Other divinities have their own avatars, which may be discovered on the internet. 
  • Hindus distinguish between full avatars, who possess all of the deity's power, and partial incarnations, or anshavatars. 


Each of Vishnu's 10 complete incarnations has emerged to restore cosmic balance when the world has been out of balance. 


  • A demon (asura) who has become too powerful and exploits that power to subjugate others is typically the source of such discord. 
  • This discord leads Vishnu to come in the shape of an avatar, kill the evildoers, and finally restore cosmic harmony. 


Although the list of Vishnu's avatars varies, the following is the most widely recognized list: 


  1. Fish, 
  2. Tortoise, 
  3. Boar, 
  4. Man-Lion, 
  5. Vamana (dwarf), 
  6. Parashuram, 
  7. Rama, 
  8. Krishna, 
  9. Buddha, 
  10. and Kalki are some of the Maha(Major) Avatarsof Lord Vishnu. 


The first three avatars are animals, the fourth is a hybrid mananimal, and the ones after that are legendary heroes and sages, with the exception of the Buddha, who is a genuine person who has been integrated into the Hindu pantheon. 


  • The tenth form, Kalki avatar, is still on the way, and his arrival will signal the end of the age. 
  • Vishnu's partial avatars—as sages, saints, and gods—are many and possibly infinite, allowing new Hindu groups to attribute divine power to their founders. 


Although Vishnu is most frequently linked with the avatar idea, it has also been attributed to other Hindu gods. 


  • The Mahabharata, the second of the two major Hindu epics, has an example of partial avatars in which all five Pandava brothers are partial incarnations of different gods. 
  • In addition, Shiva worshippers have compiled a list of the god's twenty-one avatars, which include saints, sages, and lesser deities. 
  • This list was most likely created in reaction to the Vaishnava concept of avatars, although Shiva's forms are much less prominent than Vishnu's; Vishnu's avatars include Rama and Krishna, both of whom are great objects of devotion in their own right. 


The avatar theory is usually seen by Vaishnavas as a means to include existing religions into the pantheon by asserting that diverse deities are just different incarnations of Vishnu. 

The Shaiva avatars were created considerably later, primarily to allow Shiva to have these forms as well. 


Jagannath and Balarama are also mentioned as Alpa (Minor) Avatars of Vishnu.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.