boar-faced incarnation of Lord Vishnu- Sri Varaha is one of the 10 forms,
Dashavatara, of the preserver god. As per the legends in Hinduism, when the
demon Hiranyaksh stole the Earth and took her into the depths of the great
ocean, Vishnu as the divinity responsible for the protection of creation, took
the form of a magnificent boar, killed the demon, and salvaged earth.
Due to his association with the safeguarding of Earth or Bhudevi, Varaha came to be worshipped by royals who wanted to be seen as the protectors of their realm and people, becoming a representative or embodiment of the qualities of Vishnu on earth. This idea of
the king as Varaha or vice-a-versa can be seen here, on this beautifully
crafted wood panel, showing Varaha on a lotus-shaped throne along with the
goddess Earth, who is often considered Vishnu’s co-consort, with Lakshmi. Such
images are commonly known as Bhu-Varaha illustrations, where Vishnu as Varaha
is presented as Bhupati, the protector and husband of the earth goddess.
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