Do Hindus Worship Pig? The Truth of Varaha Avatar

Vipin Das from Dubai has sent me a message: “Uday sir, your explanation of the reality of Krishna was mind-boggling and after reading it, even my non-believing friends adore Krishna. Would you please elaborate on each avatar, especially the third one, Varaha Avatar?”

“What’s so special about Varaha Avatar?”

“Because my son, who is doing his 12th here, says he is ashamed to say that our Supreme God is worshiped in the form of a pig. My son said it is insulting to worship a pig. He is asking so many questions and I am unable to explain. He chases a superficial life-style”

“Vipin, to start with, the authentic book on Avatars is Bhagavatham, which I had read long ago. I don’t remember it mentions about Varaha Avatar…”

“No sir, Vishnu has taken form of boar or pig, that’s Varaha avatar…”he interfered.

“Let me complete Vipin. Bhagavatham, to best of my knowledge doesn’t talk about any Varaha avatar. But it does say about Sukara avatar. Sukara may be taken as Varaha.”

“Ok sir, it must be the same…It is the third incarnation of Vishnu…”

“You are absolutely wrong. According to Bhagavatam, the third Avatar of Vishnu is Narada. Sukara Avatar is the second one. The first one is Sanakadi brothers. Clearly, you are quoting from some misinterpreted texts or belief system. It lacks authenticity. This is why our children are revolting. Until and unless you learn from the original script, how will you understand the science and logic behind it? And how will you explain to your children?”

“Oh, the popular belief is that Varaha (Sukara) is third avatar…”

“Hmm…the problem is that people take everything as stand-alone or out-of-context. Vedas, Upanishads, Epics, Dharma Sastras, Puranas all are related. They are all cross-connected…”I continued: “You said your son is fascinated by superficial life style…Can you explain that?”

“He is more on to dance, clubs, mobile, games – kind of flashy life…I doubt that his group is also on to drugs, but he is not. He gets fascinated by external world…”

“Who else is at home?”

“My wife. She is a full-time TV addict. She never misses any serial and movie. And my daughter – she is two years elder to the son. She didn’t complete her degree, now at home- always on mobile- chatting and Facebook…”

“Hmmm.”

“Sir, I know what’s in your mind – it is my fault too…I didn’t provide them enough exposure to our traditions and culture. So, I have been blindly opposing our dharma in my young age. Now only I understood the value and depth of it, especially after reading your articles. Please tell me about Varaha avatar…”

Yes – I understood what’s in his mind. He is trying to flatter me as he urgently needs a reply.
“So the mindset of all the family is towards external pleasures and enjoyments and not in the internal happiness…right?”

“Yes sir…”

“Vipin, the first thing I understood in my life is that nobody can change anybody. The thirst of change should come from within. If one has grace, some incidents in life will make him/her to seek truth. Till then people follow blind belief. If you, your family or your son son want to uplift the spirits, the person has to decide. Nobody can help….That’s why Bhagavad Gita (Verse 5, Chapter 6) says: Uplift yourself by yourself, do not deprecate yourself. For only you are your friend, and only you are your enemy.”

“But sir, what’s that with Varaha avatar?”

“That’s exactly what Vyasa explains in Varaha Avatar too. Can you find out the sloka about second avatar in Bhagavatam and send it to me?”

In half an hour Vipin sent me the verse with meaning: “dvitiyam tu bhavayasya rasatala-gatam mahim uddharisyann updatta yajñeshah saukaram vapuh”. Meaning: The Lord of sacrifices took the second incarnation as a boar, and for the welfare of the earth He lifted the earth from the nether regions of the universe.”

“Verse is correct. But I don’t know about such meanings. have not learnt it this way. Let’s take word by word first. Dvitiyam = second one. That is second avatar. The verbal meaning of Saukaram is Hoggish – that’s like a hog. It doesn’t say Varaha or Boar. It means “of Sukara”. Sukara has nearly 25 meanings. Each context has different meaning depending upon the situation, time and location – and that’s the beauty of Sanskrit. Here, the meaning could be different. Sukara is expanded as su+kara. Su = good, kara = doing. Hence the real meaning of Sukara is not Varaha or Boar or Pig, but good karma…Is that clear?”

“Yes sir…”

“The words rasatala is misunderstood as nether region. Rasa+tala. Rasa = charm pleasure. Tala = plane of existence. Rasatala = the plane of pleasure. Hence rasatala gatam = has gone to the (earthly) charm of pleasure. Just like your son and family, ‘it’ has gone chasing enjoyment and seeking pleasure. That’s what everybody does now. Who is it that went? Mahi = earth.”

“I understand sir. So how come the earth has gone to such plane?”

“Elementary Vipin. Earth cannot dress up in party wear and go to dance bar, drink beer or play poker. So who is going here? That’s where the cross-references come to rescue. We have to take cues from Upanishads. Chhandogya Upanishad says: ‘Annamayam hi saumya manah’, that is, Mind comes from food which in turn is a transformation of earth. In short, mind is manifestation of earth or vice versa. That’s why mind always stay earthly (Bouthika). And we always seek earthly pleasures and enjoyment rather than pure happiness. So, the meaning here is, your mind has gone to the plane of earthly enjoyment. That will end up in a hell of misery. So what should you do?”

“Come out of that..”

“Yes. uddharisyann = uplift yourself”

“How to uplift?”

“Upadatta = accepting or by doing sukara (good karma). The lord of sacrifice (yajñeshah) is cosmic consciousness and for believers like me it is Vishnu. Vapuḥ means physical presence. So, the real meaning of the verse is that, by doing good karma, you should uplift the mind from the nether regions of enjoyment and pleasure. The awareness will help you to do good karma which will take you away from miseries that comes in disguise as worldly enjoyment….”

“That’s a great explanation Uday sir, wish everyone can explain like this…”

“Now, even if you take ‘sukara’ for wild boar, the meaning won’t change. A boar can steadily go down deep below. So, your awareness should take shape of sukara, go deep into your mind, and take the consciousness in the bottom out, for your welfare.”

“Wow…It has multiple dimensions?”

“You can go on. Why Vyasa did use the word sukara which also represents pig? He could have used some other words to represent good karma and used some other animals too. Right? He knows Pig has a unique power to identify and locate the objects merely by smelling it. It is apt for the situation too.”
“Sukara kills a demon to regain earth, right?”

“Who is that demon? Hiranyaksha! What’s the meaning of Hiranyaksha? ‘Hiranya + aksha’, means ‘eyes made of gold’. Eye is the sensory organ that turns blind-folded with glittering gold. Gold is a representation of desire and ego, isn’t it?”

“Oh, further, deeper meaning…”

“You can go on and on…However, to understand the fullest meaning one has to be connecting with other 23 avatars. The 24 avatars are step by step advice and invitation to become like Vishnu…When you complete the study of 24 avatars you will realize that you are in Vaikuntam, the place of eternal happiness…”

“Oh, God, so many inner meanings pertaining to just one verse. There are thousands of verses in Bhagavatam itself…And how come Varaha came in place of Sukara? What’s the significance of worshiping Varaham…?”

“Good day” I said.

“Uday sir, why do you suddenly stop talking saying Good day. Did I ask anything wrong? Have you turned busy?”

“Vipin, I told you the meaning of Varaha. Have you heard of Saptaha?”

“Yes, seven days”

“Similarly Varaha can be expnaded as Varam+Aha. Varam = sreshtam (great or good) Aha = dinam (day). When you worship Varaha, you are praying for a Good day. If the day is not good, let’s make it good by earnest prayer. That’s all about Varaha worship…”

“Pranam sir…The way you explain things…”

“Vipin, you don’t have to flatter me. If I can do this, any person can…”

“Sir, can God look like a Pig?”

“Why can’t God look like a Pig? Did anyone see the God to confirm that God can have a Human face not a Pig face? Why must we discriminate a poor Pig? If you see God’s presence is everywhere, then everything is Divine. If God is Almighty, why can’t it be a pig? There is no shape that God does not exist as, that includes you, me, the pig, the swine, the vermin, the earthworm, Ebola virus and anything you or anyone can perceive or conceive of.”

“So, it is okay for Hindus to worship pig?”

“I am a Hindu and I am free to worship Sukara/Varaha avatar or anything. But I don’t know about other Hindus as I am neither a representative nor an authority to talk on Hindus. Unlike your son and all other intellectuals, I don’t have any problem in seeing God in pig too. All species are manifestations of the same God.Therefore, I proudly worship my Hari as Sukara, for which I don’t need any scientific explanation or certificate from anybody.”

By
Udaylal Pai
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2 Responses

  1. Mudita says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this article. It really helped me!

  2. P.Leelavathy says:

    “Only you are your friend”Geetha says.But you are everybody’s friend, Uday.Great explanation.I love it.Reading your articles make me energised..

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