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Varaha: The third Avatar of Lord Vishnu

Varaha is a boar like avatar of Lord Vishnu

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Avatars of Lord Vishnu (Source: Wikimedia commons)
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  • ‘Varaha’ is his third avatar of Lord Vishnu followed by Kurma avatar and succeeded by Narasimha avatar.
  • Vishnu Puran treats Varah as a symbol of sacrifice.
  • Varaha is a boar like avatar of Lord Vishnu

Among Dashavatars of Lord Vishnu, ‘Varaha’ is his third avatar followed by Kurma avatar and succeeded by Narasimha avatar. Varaha is a boar like avatar of Lord Vishnu. Some people also believe that Lord Vishnu was born oh his tusks in this avatar and was capable to lift up the Earth on his tusks after killing the demon.

Lord Vishnu Temple (Lower Padmanabham Temple) at Padmanabham Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Lord Vishnu Temple (Lower Padmanabham Temple) at Padmanabham Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Here are ten facts about Varaha avatar of Lord Vishnu

  • Varaha avatar is first avatar of Lord Vishnu with a head of an animal and rest as human body. While the Matasya and Kurma avatar, depicts frame of a human body while the bottom part depicts animal body.
  • Chalukya was the first dynasty to use Varaha avatar engravings on the coins. Varaha was worshipped highly till Muslims came in India. Muslims treat pigs as impure and unclean, from then Varaha worship declined.
  • The generation of first millennia treated Varaha as the symbol of manhood. On the other hand, Vishnu Puran treats Varah as a symbol of sacrifice.
  • Varaha avatar had been evolved when a devil named Hiranyakshya took earth to the bottom of the ocean. Mother earth, then, asked Lord Vishnu to help her. Lord Vishnu came in Varaha (boar) avatar and defeated Hiranyakshya and carried Earth on his tusks and came out of the ocean.

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  • Varaha Avatar helped Earth to come out of the ocean after pralay and in this way started a new cycle of the world.
  • According to Vishnu Purana, every part of Varaha has some significance like feet of Varah symbolize Vedas, tusk symbolizes suffering, hair represents grass, joints symbolizes different ceremonies, ears denotes rituals, coarse hairs denotes sexual improves, eyes as day and night and nostrils symbolizes gifts.
  • Lord Varaha is worshipped in many parts of Southern India. There are many temples having Varah avatar of Lord Vishnu. Some of the famous temples to Lord Varaha are Tirumala temple, Shri Mooshnam temple, Varah Swamy temple in Secunderabad district of Andhra Pradesh.
  • There is a special connection between Varaha and Tirupati temple. If one goes to Tirupati temple, first worship Varah temple in Adi Varah Kshetra of Tirupati then go and take blessings from Tirupati Balaji.

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  • To mark the evolution of Varaha Avatar many people celebrate Varaha Avatar Jayanti. On this occasion one would do jagran all the night recalling the stories of Lord Vishnu and his dashavatars. Some people also fast on this day. All those who fast on this day will be worshipping a small statue of Lord Vishnu in Kalash followed by Visarjan.
  • One can fiund the engravings of Lord Varaha in Badami (Karnataka), in Ellora caves in Maharashtra, in Varah Cave temple in Mahabalipuram and in Udaygiri Caves in Madhya Pradesh.

-by Aparna Gupta, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter @writetoaparna

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  • devika todi

    it is always fascinating to know more about Hindu mythology.

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Temple, Mosque, Gurudwara Join Hands In This UP Town

In another incidents, last year in September, when dates of Durgapuja and Muharram clashed, Mishra and Muhammad Rizwan, Haneef's son, took charge

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All religions joined hands together to clean the polluted river. IANS

With inter-community violence reported from many parts of India in a society increasingly polarised on religious and caste lines, a small town in Uttar Pradesh is setting an extraordinary example where a temple, a mosque, and even a gurdwara, have joined hands to clean a polluted river while bringing their communities together.

About 100 km from the state capital Lucknow is the town named Maholi in district Sitapur. Here lies an old Shiva and a Radha-Krishna temple along with Pragyana Satsang Ashram and a mosque, all at a stone’s throw of each other.

Tirthan River is beautifully calm and you'll find many different kinds of fishes in it. Wikimedia Commons
The river in Sitapur is really polluted. Wikimedia Commons

Along the periphery of this amalgamated religious campus, passes a polluted river called Kathina, that merges into the highly polluted Gomti River, a tributary of the mighty but polluted Ganga. Often used as dumping site by dozens of villages and devotees, the stink from Kathina was increasing daily. The solution — Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb (a term used for a fusion of Hindu and Muslim elements) – of Awadh.

“The river belongs to everyone. Hindus use it for ‘aachman’ (a Hindu ritual for spiritual purification), Muslims use it for ‘wazu’ or ablution. Due to lack of awareness, people had been dumping solid and bio waste here, and also doing open defecation. The situation was worsening. Only solution was to start cleaning it ourselves,” said Swami Vigyananad Saraswati, head of the Pragyana Satsang Ashram, as he inspects the river stretch along with Muhammad Haneef, head of the mosque’s managing committee.

Swami said that once the ashram and temple administration began rallying volunteers for the cleaning drive, the mosque also came around to help. Even Maholi’s Sikh gurudwara committee came forward and brought along many volunteers from the Sikh community.

“Once the communities came together, number of volunteers multiplied. The initiative has now become a kind of an environment-movement which is being driven by religious fervor and bonding. Watching our efforts, the local administration also offered help, and other unions like traders and Sikh gurudwara committee also joined hand for cleaning the river,” Swami told IANS pointing out the potential of possibilities when different communities join hands for good.

Ujagar Singh, a member of the Sikh gurdwara committee, equated the effort in cleaning the river with ‘sewa’, an important aspect of Sikhism to provide a service to the community. “Keeping our rivers clean is our duty and we will continue sewa whenever required,” he said.

The temple and mosque, near the town’s police station, were both built in 1962 by then Inspector Jaikaran Singh. The communal fervor is shared since years. During ‘namaaz’, the ashram switches off its loudspeakers and on Hindu festivals and special occasions, the mosque committee helps the temple with arrangements. Still underway, the joint Hindu-Muslim team began cleaning the river from March 14. According to the volunteers, it took three days alone to get the river front cleaned of defecation.

Also Read: All Religions Flourished In India: Modi

“Many villages do not have toilets and volunteers had to stay here round the clock to stop people from defecating or throwing waste. The work was divided. Muslims volunteers would take over the Muslim majority areas and Hindus would tackle other areas, convincing people to stop pollution further while we clean,” Muhammad Haneef told IANS.

The actual cleaning of the river began from March 17, when about 400 volunteers got into the waters, while about 700 of them cleaned the shores. “Several trolleys of garbage — that included plastic, polythene, shoes, rubber, animal carcasses, human waste, glass and ceramic waste, and even some old boat wreck — were taken out of the river.

“Apart from that, several trolleys of water hyacinth, an invasive species of water plant, was removed. It obstructs the flow of the river,” Sarvesh Shukla, executive officer of Maholi town told IANS. Stating that such drive is not possible unless people come together, Shukla said that since ‘mandir-masjid’ joined hand, it was very easy to convince people to cooperate. However, with poor garbage management system of small town, Swami and Haneef looked up to the administration for help.

“Few days back, some butchers were taking waste towards the river. We stopped them and there was a heated debate. Soon other elders of the community joined and we did not let them dump the waste into the river,” said Haneef, pointing out that stopping people without proper management could be daunting in future.

Swami said that they would need disilting machines to clean the river towards the second phase. According to Abdul Rauf from the mosque committee, the work is only half done. “The challenge is to maintain the cleanliness. We could clean only a small stretch of the river. We will rally again and take movement to second phase once we get directions from our elder brother Swami ji,” says Rauf. Nearly one kilometer of the stretch has been cleaned. The volunteers are aiming to clean another kilometer of it. However, be it river or communal fervor, the challenge, as residents of Maholi find, is consistency of the good.

Rohingya refugee
All came together to clean the river.

“There are bad elements everywhere. Few weeks back, a fringe group named Vishwa Hindu Jagran Parishad entered a Muslim-majority area and started hurling abuses. Before they would do more damage, the Hindus of that area came forward and retaliated. The group never returned since,” said Shailendra Mishra, a local resident and member of temple committee. In another incidents, last year in September, when dates of Durgapuja and Muharram clashed, Mishra and Muhammad Rizwan, Haneef’s son, took charge.

“All we had to do was keep a few notorious people from both communities at bay. About 5,000 strong Hindu’s Devi Shakti procession and about 2,000 strong Muslim Tazia procession of Muharram used the same road at the same time. Not a single untoward incident happened,” Haneef said. IANS