Once, the demon Hiranyaksa, younger
brother of Hiranyakasipu (see the story of Lord Nrsinghadeva, pictures
14,15,and 16 above) somehow caused the earth to fall into the waters
of devastation at the bottom of the universe.
Seeing this, Lord Vishnu decided to come and save the earth. He chose
an unlikely form: He decided to come as a great Boar. In this form He
is known as Lord Varaha.
Actually the choice of the boar form is logical, since the pig is designed
to root about in muddy waters and dirty places to find things.
He also chose an unusual way of appearing: He appeared as a tiny boar
from Lord Brahma’s nostril. Then He grew and grew, until He filled
the sky of the universe with His glorious powerful form, and roared
till all the demigods and sages were terrified and filled with wonder.
Lord Brahma said, “I wonder who this is. I suspect it is the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, because He appeared in such a wonderful way.”
Lord Varaha went straight to the ocean at the bottom of the universe,
and plunged into the water, where He located the earth planet and lifted
it on His tusks. He set the earth planet on the surface of the water,
where it floated.
Meanwhile, Hiranyaksa had been searching for a worthy opponent, thinking
himself a great fighter, and when he learned that Lord Varaha had come,
he enthusiastically came to attack Him. There was a great fight with
clubs and other weapons, and Lord Varaha killed the demon.