From the Devi Mahatmaya |
The slaying of Raktabija
Shakti of Hari, who assumed the incomparable form in a sacrificial boar, she also advanced there in a boar-like form"
Slaying of Nishumbha "... Shattered by the boar formed goddess ( Varahi ) with blows of her snout, wounded in their chests by the
point of her task and torn by her discuss, (the asuras ) fell down " "... some were powdered on the ground by the blows from the snout of varahi"
The bestowing of boons "Salutation to
you, O Narayani, O you who have a face terrible with tusks .."
Goddess Varahi is one of the Saptamatrkas. Created from the boar avatara of Vishnu. Varahi is often associated with
Goddess Kamala ( one of the Mahavidyas ). In her association with Tripura-sundari, She is the animal sacrifice devata, one of Lalitha
receivers of offerings.
The worshipping of the female counterparts is widespread among the tribes especially those of fierce
disposition. Scholars have now established the strong tribal links especially in Vishnu in his Varaha and Narasimha avatars form and that
the special nature of the sacrifice offered to these goddess are more of an ancient aboriginal practice.
These Goddess which have tribal
origins eventually developed into major figures in Hindusism. Goddess Varahi is one of them. [tribute to hinduism online]
How does the myth of the boar comes into
1 Hiranyaksha ( the golden_eyed
demon) received a boon from brahma after practiced sever austerities in his devotion to him. He asked to become king of the
whole world, and that no human or animal which he mentioned by name should ever have the power to harm him. He enumerate all the
animals but he forgot to mention the boar. Hiranyaksa wreaked havoc, plundering everything of value from the creatures of the
world, including the Hindu scriptures. He even took the earth down into the ocean as a hostage.
Vishnu assumed the boar form
and plunged into the depths of the primeval ocean to rescue Earth. It took him one thousand years to kill Hiranyaksha and to lift the
earth up with his great white tusks. He calmed it, and made it ready for human use by molding its mountains and continents.
In relation to Buddhist, especially Tibetan Buddhist, Varahi is one of the Daksini ( an enlightened compassionate spirit
embodied in a female form). She is the protector , the concealer and the one who recovers spiritual communication, texts and other
She is often sought for interpretation of prophesies and signs. Also in the Buddhist tradition, the boar is
equated with desire in all its forms that range from attachment to one's body through the general attachment to material possessions
as well as greet and lust.
The hindu Varaha-Purana relates Varahi representing the inauspicious emotion of envy.
Thank You Adi for your interest in Sri Varahi. You have asked two questions [see group forum message ]
of Varahi with Vishnu and Yama.
2) About the role of Sree Varahi as the warrior goddess
Weather she is the Shakti
Energy of Yama or Vishnu, I don't want to go into it. Different Text will give you a different interpretation. Most associate her
with Vishnu. I believe Devi manifest as Varahi as part of her divine manifestation and in her role to maintain the cosmic
In Devi Mahatmaya and Devi-bhagavata purana, Varahi ( as with all the other Saptamatrkas) are not primarily as
the divine consort or shakti's of the male deities but rather an extension or forms of Devi herself. Sometimes Varahi is being
associated with Goddess Kamala ( one of the Maha-Vidyas ) and Vaisnavi.
What I would like to do is to approach Sree Varahi in symbolic nature. What does Varahi represents? what are
we suppose to learn from her ?
Symbolism of Sree Varahi
A) The mythology of Boar
The myth of boar does not only confine to the Hindu Mythology. It is in the Celtic, Japanese, Chinese, Greek, American
Indians, Egypt etc. Goddess Ceridwin, A Celtic Mother Goddess was also called the "old White Sow". The Boar too is a sacred animal
of Goddess Isis ( the Egyptian equivalent of Durga ) and her brother is a black boar ( called Seth ).
associations with animals have gone far back. Hindus in particular see divinity in all things around us including animals. They
therefore plays an important role in the hindu dharma for they not only become vehicle, the goddess and god assume or take the form
of these animals
If you look at the concept of Avatar which is associated with Vishnu, the organic evolution theory
which indicates the origin of the human from an aquatic background does make sense even though there is still debate about the
reliability of the Theory. The boar being the third manifestation represents the complete picture of a terresterial animal.
These five elements that manifest in the
functioning of the five senses in human as well as in certain functions of human's physiology. Thus, the five elements are
directly related to human's ability to perceive the external environment in which the human live.
in genetics field have discovered the close association of human genetics with that of a boar. There are instances of boar to human
tissue transplant. So if you look in this aspect, the boar is a close relation to human. Some suggest the idea that to eat a boar
is like eating a human flesh.
B) Emotional and Physchological Symbolism
1. The Varaha-Purana relates Varahi
as a representation of the inauspicious emotions of Envy.
2. In the Celtic and Welsh version, the boar represent courage and
3. In China, the boar represents the wealth of the forest.
4. In Japan, the boar depicts courage.
To the Buddhist, the boar represents attachment ( general and material ), greed and lust.
And in Adi Shakti questions :
"lalithambikal created from her ego". In what ever ways we interprete them, we cannot deny the fact that many a times these
are actual representation of our emotional attributes.
Ramprasad in many of his hymns often referred to the
sacrifices as internal in nature. He associated :
The goat =
kama ( lust ),
The Buffalo = krodha ( anger ),
The cat =
lobha ( greed ),
The sheep = moha ( stupidity of illusion),
The camel = matsaryya ( envy).
In Tara symbolism (
especially Green Tara ) the eight calamities represents :
wild elephants = delulsions,
forest fire =
snakes = envy,
robbers = fanatical views,
prisons = avarice,
floods = lust
Ramprasad in many
of his hymns often referred to the sacrifices as internal in
nature. He associated :
The goat = kama ( lust ),
Buffalo = krodha ( anger ),
The cat = lobha ( greed ),
sheep = moha ( stupidity of illusion),
The camel = matsaryya (
In Tara symbolism ( especially Green Tara ) the eight calamities represents :
lion = pride,
forest fire = hatred,
snakes = envy,
robbers = fanatical views,
prisons = avarice,
demons = doubts.
In association with the Saptamatrkas, Varahi can be said to be the representation of the
controlled energy of courage and fearless that have gone out of control, to such an extent that it have cause envy, greed and
leads to attachment ( material and general )
We need courage in order to fight against enemy, but sometimes success
have make us blind that it lead to arrogance and greed. Meditating and worshipping . Sree Varahi is like a reminder to us of the
basic nature that is inherent in us that we must constantly be aware of. This is how I interprete Sree Varahi.
varahi devi was the commander in chief of sree laiitaanbikai's army in her fight against bhandasura? … can anybody throw light on
this? it is said that varahi devi was one of the sapta matrkas of durga devi. How can these two images be reconciled...."
I see the Saptamatrkas as this : the Devi as the Queen/King, and the Saptamatrkas as the various commander in chief ( the navy, the
army, the police etc ) and then followed by various other little armies ( the matrkas ).
This is how Devi maintain the cosmic
The stories of Saptamatrkas and Matrkas does not only being mention in the Devi Mahatmaya, but also in various other
texts. In Matsya-Purana they fought with Siva to defeat Andhaka. They are also said to fight side by side with Karttikeya and also
C) Liminal or duality qualities.
This ambiguous combination of the best of the two worlds ; human and
animal realms enhanced Devi's supreme Power rather than diminished it. This characteristics of Devi also being portrayed in
Chinnamasta in which she is able to stay alive and being a vital cosmic force despite decapitated herself.
Baba remarked "…
bears the relation of "father" to Lalita, although pictured as a Devi. The mother form is Kurukulla Tara". This is a prime example
of Devi liminal quality. In the Shakta Theology, Devi is the Brahman. She can be what she chooses herself to be: a male or
female or neuter. Krishnan have several instances manifest himself in a form of a woman, and if Krishnan = Kali ( in some popular
believe ) and Kali = Devi, isn't it logical to say that Varahi with the "male" or "fatherly" attributes such as " strong courage
and fearless" is infact Devi herself ( the inauspicious aspect of Devi ).
Perhaps in this way, as commander and chief Varahi
preserves and is Vishnu Shakti when showing the courage to protect life, but when that courage and fearlessness becomes fool hardy
and insolent perhaps through victory too often then it becomes the force of Yama Shakti or death itself. Too much force without mercy
is considered in Kabballah the dissipation of life.
Varahi and the Sri Vidya tradition
She is also called the
Danda-natha ( Lady commander of the forces of the mother-goddess, symbolizing the might of SriVidya). As Varahi ( "hog-faced' or
'the great consumer')she destroys evil forces that obstructs the devotees' progress, paralyses the enemies, and lead the devotees
ultimately to Sri-Vidyas. She is classed as the fifth among the seven "mother-like" divinities ( Saptmatrkas) and hence also
With Kurukulla, she is accorded the parental status to Sri-Chakra( Lalitha Tripura-Sundari ). While
Kurululla represents the full moon, Varahi ( the devouere) represents the new-moon.
And while Varahi represents the
illumination ( prakasa) aspects of the mother-goddess, Kurukulla is the "deliberation" ( vimarsa) aspect.
aspect, Varahi is also said to be one of the Yoginis, taking the form of a boar. She is said to lift up the earth with her tusks to
confer benefits on all creatures. She is imagined as an eight-armed and three-eyed lady with a face of a hog, seated under
a palmyra tree, and functioning as a trusted attendent of the Goddess as as her chief counsellor
In this form she is
known as Chaitanya-bhairavi ( the devotee's association of strength) She is being described as a fierce ( Maha-Ghora ) and as
Commander of the forces, she moves about in a chariot frawn by boars. She is said to reside in the ocean of sugar-cane juice (
ikshu ), one of the four oceans that surrounds the mother goddess., holding her court in the island of nine-jewels, and
facing the mother-goddess.
Ramachandra Rao, Sri-Chakra, Sri Satguru Publications, Centre, Delhi, India