With the rescued Bhudevi on one arm and weapons in his other three, Bhagwan Varah stands triumphant as the savior of the earth in this bronze icon. He’s wearing a dhoti with small flowers dented in it and his anthropomorphic body is bedecked with string-like jewelry that resembles the serpents often associated with Lord Vishnu, the sustainer of the universe. His right foot rests atop the upturned lotus that serves as his pedestal while his left rests atop the flared hood of the Sheshanag—the one who is the residence of Lord Vishnu himself—marking him as one of the Dashavatara.
He was brought into existence to save Bhudevi (Mother Earth). Once, the guileless planet had been stolen from its rightful place and hidden in the cosmic ocean by the demon Hiranyaksha, the younger brother of Hiranyakashipu. The gods had panicked and prayed to Lord Vishnu to save the balance of the universe. So, he had taken the form of a man whose head was that of a boar’s, thus lending him the name Varah. Bhagwan Varah had slain the demon and pulled Bhudevi out of the cosmic waters with his tusks. This is why, when paintings or icons of him are built, Bhudevi often accompanies him.
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