Thursday, December 18, 2014

Varaha Avatar is a myth - Probably No!!

I have heard the story of all the 10 avatars of Vishnu including Varaha Avatar since my childhood. Lucky me, my mom used to tell me lots and lots of stories including stories from Puranas, One among them is Varaha Avatar, The third avatar of Vishnu.

For those who do not know about this avatar and story, let me tell a brief version of it. For reading it in full and with details, you can go to this link :

Now the brief version according to mythology. A Demon called Hiranyaksha, took Earth in his hand and dumped it in the ocean. Vishnu, taking the avatar of Varaha (Boar - a tusked Eurasian wild pig from which domestic pigs are descended) brought back the Earth from the ocean and placed it in its proper place and finally killed Hiranyaksha.

After reading this story, what idea comes to mind first. Ha Ha! what a great imagination! How can earth be dumped in an ocean, when all the oceans are inside earth. How is that ever possible? Of course, I had the same idea till some time back. After starting to write this blog, I keep reading every day about the various mythological concepts and doing a lot of research in the internet. Luckily, many resources are now available in the internet and you can get them in seconds if you search for it.

Now when they describe ocean here, what ocean it actually is? Is it an ocean which is in earth? No. Then may be an ocean in any other planets (Is there any ocean in other planets?  Huh????) The answer is no even for this. Then what is meant by ocean here? This is a point where we can link this myth to science.

Before proceeding, please take a look into these images which says the composition of universe according to science and composition of universe according to our mythology (image sources - Wiki)

Composition of Universe according to Science - Wiki

Composition of universe according to Mythology - source - Wiki

For info about dark matter in the Universe :

Lets discuss the ocean concept again now. It is this ocean, called Garbhodaka ocean which takes more than half of the universe (might be the dark matter according to science). The other part of the Universe is a spherical dome where innumerable galaxies, planets and stars exist. Lets see it more logically with a scientific view.

1. Only under certain conditions, planets float as weightless balls in the air. Once those conditions are disturbed, it will cause destruction.

2. Hiranyaksha, as a demon, disturbed the Earth in such a way that it detached from its orbit and fell into the Garbhodaka Ocean (Dark matter).

3. Please note that, when we pollute the air, water, and drill earth a lot for various reasons and such things in modern days, what do we say? "Save the Planet" We say that because, we know in our inner hearts, if we continue doing these things, soon our planet will be destroyed. Isn't it?

4. In this post, we can relate "Hiranyaksha took earth in his hands" mean "because of his acts and not exactly taking in his hands".

This Mythological story somewhat seems to be logical now right? We cannot connect everything directly and ask why Boar? How Hiranyaksha can ever carry Earth in his hand? and such questions. There could be many reasons behind them and if only we believe them first and then try to reason, we will get convincing answers at least for some of them. I am saying this because our scriptures are the oldest of all and there is no date behind them. Yes, they have somewhat dated the documentation date of them (when Vyasa divided the Vedas into four parts), but remember, it is only the documentation date. Even before that date, they existed in the oral form which apparently makes them ancient of the ancient.

We can simply say, that our scriptures are advanced mathematical concepts but we are still in addition subtraction level (modern science). Since we have not learnt anything about those advanced concepts, we can never argue if they are right or wrong. Only when you learn or know something, you will be eligible to express your views upon them. But this quest for learning should never stop. That is the key concept here.

I collected these explanations from various sources in the internet and applying my thoughts of connection here and there and sharing information with you. One such resource is this website which gives a clear translation of various concepts of "Garbhodhaka Ocean" according to various puranas. Please don't miss reading this link, the explanations are beautiful here.

When writing this post, a strange thought striking my mind about the term "Garbhodaka". When we take birth, it is said that we come out of Mother's "Garbha". Similarly Earth is coming out of "Garbhodaka". And in temples, we say God (deity) is in "Garbhagriha". Will there be any relativity here? Hmmm! Need to search for more information!!

Thank you for reading. I welcome contradictory views. I am very curious about these mythological stuff and I am in the very very early reading stage. Any contradictions and extra details will help me analyze more and get more clarity in this subject, and correct myself, if these concepts (according to my research and searches) are wrong.


  1. I'm glad someone wrote this blog, I myself am very interested in similar things. All the best with your research, keep writing more...

  2. Wow such a scientific approach towards Hindu mythology.

  3. I loved it , Please continue your work on our mythology!

  4. Explanation was going nice. It would be great if it could be concluded.

  5. hi.. brother ... thanks a lot ... i wrote a story book... include all about gods and their leelas. in tht cmng to avathars of lord vishnu ... varaha story i wrote .. but fm tht time ds concept .. question strikes my mind. today i planned to go in deep search f t .. got ur topic on the same... thanks ...

  6. another question about vamana avatar... vamana pushed mahabali chakravarthi to pathal when he showed his head to vamana to set his feet... lot f confusion abt ds.. where did really bali went den ... which pathal lok ....

    1. Bali didn't went straight to a patalloka or was not pushed but rather when he offered his own head, Vamana was pleased and Bali was awarded with Kingship and rule of a certain Patal loka (out of 7).
      Bali is considered to be one of the 7 immortals.
      It is said that he still rules that planet or loka.

  7. I read somewhere that there was a time when Earth was covered in Ice and an sudden Iceage was engulfing life on Earth and that time Wild boar like animal was the cause of its reversal( not magically but scientifically causing changes in atmosphere due to its certain activities over a long period of time)
    I am not vouching for my information but it stuck to my mind moment I heard or read it somewhere , for the very reason that we Hindus revere wild boar as Vishnu's Avatar.

    1. Ice age or Shifting of Poles, one of the two or maybe both.

  8. Very interesting. Thank you very much for giving such insights. I am very curious to learn more about the description of creation of universe as explained in Bhagavatha and other Hindu granthas.