You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : July 1998

Varaha Puranam : Part 1

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Mon Jul 27 1998 - 19:00:41 PDT

Dear BhakthAs :

On this Adi Puram day , it is important to think
about ANDAL as an avathAram of BhUmi Devi and in this
context remember Her appeal to Her Lord on His duties 
to come to the help of the suffering Chethanams as 
referred by Parasara Bhattar in his taniyan for Thiruppaavai .
ANDAL asked the Lord to wake up from His most enjoyable 
slumber on HIs soft bed and proceed with His " Sworn duties ".

Earlier , Bhumi Devi had a similar concern for Her suffering 
children and asked Her Lord , Aadhi VarAhan to reveal 
a laghu upAyam for helping them from the terrors of samsAram 
and to make them eligible for Her Lord's anugaham . 

Our DayAsvarUpi , BhU Varaahan responded positively
to His dear Consort's request and blessed us with
the Revered SlOkams known as VarAha Charama SlOkams 
and revealed His depth of affection for His children .
He established however some ground rules through 
these Charama SlOkams ,which have a very special significance .
Swami Sri Desikan was so moved by these Charama slOkAs
that he created an entire Rahasyam called Rahasya 
SikhAmaNi . I will cover that rahasyam in depth in
SaraNAgathi Journal after completing the current 
series on PradhAna Sathakam . 

Through three related postings , I will cover the particulars
about VarAha PurANam , VarAha Charama SlOkam , the many
references to VarahAvathAram in PurANams , Vedam and 
in Divya prabhandha passurams , His Divya Desams , 
His manthram and slOkam and a lot of details on
this blessed avathAram . 

These postings were written quickly as memory jogs 
and therefore  will be more like summary points. 
Please do not mind this format.I will post all 
the three of them today. Please print them and read them 
at leisure , since they may be too long for reading in one 
sitting . I will follow this up with a posting on 
KurmAvathAram and VishNu purAnam in a subsequent posting 
tomorrow . 


Highlights of Varaaha PurANam and VaraahAvahtAram

** Varaha PuraNam has the pancha lakshanam of a standard PuraNam,
(Viz)., Cantos (Sargam ), their subdivisions ( Prathisargam ),
dynasties (vamsam ) and the periods of time known as
manvanthrAs  and the charithram associated with that period .

** Sage VyAsA is the traditional author , since it is 
one of the 18 purANams associated with him .

** This PurANam is in the form of a dialog between 
VishNu in the form of the Varahap pirAn and His
consort , BhUmi dEvi .This PurANam has 24,000 stanzas .
ThAyAr is a Sarvaj~nai , but yet She asks for the benefit 
of Her children the questions that result in the Varaha 
sarama Slokam . 

** Bhumi Devi's prayer to her Lord on behalf of 
us for showing the way via Charama Slokam :

" Aham sishyA cha daasi cha bhakthA cha tvayi Maadhava --
( VarAha PpuRANam : 114.64)  

Here Bhumi dEvi says :

" My lord ! I am Your disciple , servant and have great
bhakthi for You . Please accept my appeal and bless me 
with instructions on the easy means that would help 
all jeevans to reach sathgathi (mOksham ) ".The Lord
then revealed the two slOkams that constitute the 
pUrva and Uttara BhAgams of Varaaha Charama Slokam . 

** The two slOkAs that came out of Sri Varaaha Moorthy's
sacred lips embed the essence of Vedic thoughts as discussed in 
detail by Swami Desikan in his Rahasya Grantham , Rahasya
SikhAmaNi . This rahasya grantham  has huge references to 
the significance of VarahAvathaaram , Charama SlOkam  
and has quotations from the Divya Prabhandhams . 
Swami Desikan analysed word by word the VarAha Charama 
Slokam with pramANams in this rahasya grantham . 

** Sathapatha BraahmaNam , Linga , Matsya PurANams and 
RaamAyaNam refer to this avathAram and the Lord lifting 
His consort on His tusk and bringing Her out of 
the terrifying waters of Pralayam. 

** The best sustained tribute to Varaha avathAram 
is in Srimadh Bhaagavatham ( Canto 3.13 )
and its derivative work of NaarayaNa Bhattadhiri ,
Srimadh NaarayaNeeyam ( Dasakam 11, 12 and 13 ) .Bhattadhiri's 
descriptions of the Lord as Yaj~na VarAha moorthy are 
inspiring and are based on the Srimadh Bhaagavatham's
descriptions of all the Yajna paathrams and saamagriyAs 
being seen as the limbs of the Lord ( Bhaagavatham : 3.13-44 ).

The same visualization of the Lord as Yajna Varahan is 
depicted by Hari Vamsam (3.34-41). That long salutation
begins with " The VedAs are His feet , the sacrificial post 
is His teeth , the offering His hand and ends with , 
" the pyre His mouth , fire is His tongue , the sacred grass
is His hair----the most secret teachings of the Upanishads 
are His seat ". Every limb of His sacred body is linked to 
the Yajnam . The famous passage in Sri VishNu Sahasra Naamam ,
" yaj~nO yaj~napathir yajvA yajngO  yaj~navAhana:
Yaj~na bruth Yaj~na kruth yaj~ni yaj~na bhug yaj~na saadhana:
yaj~ntha kruth yaj~na guhyam annam annadha yEva cha " refers
again to the Lord as Yaj~na Svarupi as visualized by Hari Vamsam 
and Srimadh BhAgavatham .Sri VishNu sahasra naamam is older
than the above two granthams .

** He is Aadhi Varaahan and as such was asked permission by
Sri VenkatEsA to share the Aadhi Varha KshEthram , when in
Kali Yugam , He took the ArchA form to reside on 
the top of Venkatam hills .On the banks of Swami PushkaraNI , 
Adhi Varaahan stands even today and we worship Him first 
before going inside Sri VenkatEsA's temple .

** His svayamvyaktha svarUpam is at Sri MushNam .
His divya desam is at Thiruvidaventhai .

** Taittiriya AarNyakam , TaittirIya SamhithA 
and the TaittirIya BrAhmaNam as well as the Sathapatha 
BrAhmaNam salute this avathAram . The fifth Vedam ,
MahA BhAratham ( 2.45, 3.144.1-29 ,12.208) ,
the VishNu DharmOtthara PurANam (1.3.1-12) ,
the Padma PurANam (6.264) , Vaayu PurAnam ( chapter 6),
Agni PurANam ( Chapter 4 ), Brahma PurANam ( Ch.213 ) ,
Linga PurANam ( Part 1, Ch. 94) , the Kurma PurAnam
(1.6) and VishNu purANam(1.4.26 , 45-50) salute 
VarAhAvathaaram as well.

** Swami Desikan's DasAvathAra Slokam saluting 
the Lord's Varaha avathAram is a moving portrayal 
of the Lord emerging out of the swirling ocean 
holding His consort firmly on His giant tusk .

** Divya Prabhandham references on this avathAram :

1)ANDAL (Bhumi DEvi Amsam ) saluting Her Lord 
for the gift of VarAha Charama SlOkam : 
NaacchiyAr Thirumozhi --11.8. Here , She 
equates Sri Ranganatha, who took that form
of VarAham and blessed us with the Charama slokam .
She says that she can not erase that message of
Her Lord , even if She wanted to .She implies that
the Varaha Sarama slokam has vakthru VailakshaNyam 
and SrOthru VailakshaNyam . The one who told it (vakthru)
was Jn~Anap pirAn and He is the most auspicious ; the One , 
who listened to it was none other than His divine consort 
giving it srOthru VailakshaNyam .ANDAL hints that
She will hold on to the words given as  assurance
by this VarahA Moorthy .  

2) Thriruvaimozhi: 2.8.7: KezhalAi --.
The description of the Lord entering the praLayA 
waters and bringing up His consort on His tusk as 
well as His embracing Her with His broad shoulders 
after reunion is covered here.

3) Thiruvaimozhi: 7.4.3 : NaanRil yEzh maNNUM--
The marvellous feet of the Lord lifting Bhumi 
dEvi on His tusk without dislocating the saptha 
parvathams and the saptha dhveepams are saluted here.

4) Thiruvaimozhi 10.10.7 : Neelavarai iraNdu piRai kavvi --
Here NammAhzwAr visualizes the Lord as a Blue Mountain
adorned by two crescent moons (tusks) and holding 
His consort on one Of them and emerging out of the Ocean .
This decription is based on the VishNu purANa vaakhyams :
samutthithO neela ivAchalO mahAn-- 

5) Thiruvaimozhi :7.5.5--Understanding of the VarAhAvathAram
as the redeeming one for one's salvation . 

6) Periya Thirumozhi :2.6.3 
( Thirukkadanmallai Paasuram ): yEnatthinuruvAhi--
AzhwAr sautes EmperumAn as : " Jn~Anatthin oLi uruvai "
as the embodiment of the guiding light of Jn~Anam . 

7) Periya Thriumozhi: 4.4.8( Thirut Therriyampalam )
Here Meru mountain is visualized as reaching upto
the Gigantic body of VarAha PerumAn as He rose out of 
the water.

9) Periya Thirumozhi: 7.8.4 ( TherazhundUr Paasuram )
Description of BhUVarAha SvarUpam is saluted here .

10) Periya Thirumozhi : 11.4.3( Celebration of DasAvathArams )
Here AzhwAr salutes VarAha PirAN as " nammai aaLum arasu " .

11) Poygai : Mudal ThiruvanthAdhi :paasuram 91
Salutation to Jn~Anac chudar , VarAha PirAn 

** There are many other referenmces found elsewhere 
in Divya Prabhandham .

** The central message for us is the rich meanings of 
the VarAha Charama SlOkam as explained by Swami Desikan .

** Mutthuswami Deekshithar"s Sri Lakshmi VarAHam krithi
set in AbhOgi raagam is a beautiful one saluting this
avathAram as that of Sriman NaarAyaNA . Lakshmi never 
leaves Him in any avathAram . Sri Deekshithar sang about
a LakshmI Varaha sthalam on the banks of TamprabharaNi river . 
He salutes the Lord as " Sritha jana subha Pratham ".
He recognizes Him as " Neela mEgha Jaya ShyAmaLa gAthram ,
NeeLA BhUdEvi sthuthi paathram ". 

** BhU devi's sthuthi and the manthram that She uses to 
worship Yaj~na VarAha mUrthy are found in Srimadh 
BhAgavatham ( 5.18.39 and 35 respectively ) . 
Her prayer takes on this form :

pramathya dhaithyam prathivAraNam mrughE 
yO maam rasayaa JagadhAdhisUkara: I
kruthvOgra dhamshtrE niragAdhudanvatha:
kreetan nivEpa: praNathAsmi tham vibhum II

(Meaning ) : I salute that Yaj~na VarAha Moorthy , 
who is the cause of this Universe , who took the form 
of a Boar and lifted me up from the waters
of pralayam and placed me on His tusk and 
came out of the waters like a powerful elephant 
and killed the offending enemy (HiraNyAkshan )
like destroying an opposing elephant as though 
it was an effortless  sport . To that Omnipotent 
Lord are my salutations .

The Manthram for Yajna VarAha mUrthy used by 
BhUmi dEvi is :

Om Namo BhagavathE manthralingAya 
yaj~na krathavE mahAdhvarAvayyavAya 
mahA purushAya nama:karma sukhlAya 
thriyugAya namasthE 

(Meaning ) ; To Thee My Lord , who is OmkAra
SvarUpi , One who is revealed by the Veda ManthrAs ,
One who is the form of Yaj~nam and Krathu , One 
who has all the Yaj~nAs as limbs of Your sareeram ,
One who is karma suddhar , One who is of the form of 
the three yugAs , to that ONE who is Bhagavaan , 
my profound salutations .     

I will conclude this first posting with the beautiful 
salutation of Sri NaarayaNa Bhattadhiri to Sri
GuruvAyurappan , who gave darsanam to him as 
Aadhi Varaahan :

kimchOttharEshu kurushu priyayA DharaNyA 
samsEvithO mahitha manthra nuthi prabhEdhai: I
dhamshtrAgra grushta ghana prushta garishta varshmA
thvam paahi vij~nyanutha Yaj~na VarAha mUrthE II

(Meaning ) : Oh GuruvAyUrappa taking the form of 
Yaj~na varAha mUrthy ! In the Uttarakuru dEsam (Varsham ) ,
the dear consort of Yours sitting on Your huge 
tusk of Your gigantic body is saluting You with the 
most sacred sthuthi and manthram . May Thou with the 
front part of Your huge tusk hiding the clouds behind it ,
protect me . 

Jn~Anap PirAn ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam 
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan