Bhagawatam 119: Lord Brahma instructs Svāyambhuva Manu to begin creation; Lord Varāha emerges from Brahma’s nostril

Third Canto Chapter Thirteen

In this chapter the abridged story of Yagna-varāha swamy who manifested from Lord Brahma’s nostril is explained. The sacred hymn known as Yagna-varāha stuti which was composed by the Maharishis is also contained in this chapter.

Maharishi Śuka said, “O Parikshit, when Maitreya Maharishi was thus explaining about the expansion of creation, Vidura had a doubt. Vidura, who is the foremost amongst the Kaurava lineage, was deeply attached to the stories connected to Lord Vāsudeva. With a desire to hear more about His divine glories, he asked Maitreya Maharishi,

“O Maharishi! Swāyambhuva Manu is the dearest son of Lord Brahma. He is the emperor of the universe. What were the deeds of this first emperor after his marriage to Shatarupa? He is the supreme personality who has surrendered totally to Lord Srihari. I am longing to hear the story of Swāyambhuva Manu.

Śrutasya puṁsāṁ sucira-śramasya nanv añjasā sūribhir īḍito ’rtha

Yad-tad-guṇānuśravaa mukunda-pādāravindaṁ hdayeu yeām

 Meaning: People listen to the scriptures being narrated by their teacher and with strenuous effort try to understand them. However scholars state that listening to stories, characteristics and actions of that devotee in whose heart Lord Srihari’s lotus feet reside is the ultimate result that is sought after!”

Śuka Maharishi continued, “Parikshit, Vidura was a supreme Mahatma. He was that noble soul who had sought shelter in the feet of the Supreme Lord. He was very modest. Hearing these words spoken by Vidura, Maitreya Maharishi was enormously pleased. He was ecstatic and experienced horripilation throughout the body. These words inspired Maharishi to narrate the stories of that infinite Lord.

He said to Vidura, “Immediately after his birth, Swāyambhuva Manu together with his wife Shatarupa offered obeisance to Lord Brahma. Manu then prayed,

‘Tvam ekaḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ janma-kṛd vttida pitā

Tathāpi naḥ prajānā te śuśrūṣā kena vā bhavet 

Meaning: You are the supreme father who creates and sustains all living beings. O father! What is the manner in which we, your children, can serve you? O venerable one! Please order us that duty which we should complete. By completing that deed we should obtain fame in this world and advancement in the next worlds. Please decisively order us. We offer obeisance to You.’

Lord Brahma then said to Manu, “My dear son! I am deeply pleased with you! This is because with a clean and pure heart devoid of deceit you are prayerfully asking for my command. You have Self- surrendered to me. May you both be blessed with auspiciousness!

This is the least service that a son should offer to his father. ‘Why should I offer to complete that service which others have refused?’- a son should never allow such thoughts to come near him. With great dedication and to the best of his capacity a son should prayerfully and in all humility accept his father’s command.

You have prayed that I should order you. Hence listen. Please beget children who are equal to you and Shatarupa in every aspect.

Paraṁ śuśrūṣaṇaṁ mahyaṁ syāt prajā-rakṣayā npa

Bhagavāṁs te prajā-bhartur hṛṣīkeśo ’nutuyati

O Emperor! Offering protection to all living beings is the best service you can offer me. The Supreme Lord Hrishikesha will be deeply pleased with you when you offer protection to all living beings.

Yeṣāṁ na tuṣṭo bhagavān yajña-liṅgo janārdana

Teṣā śramo hy apārthāya yad ātmā nādṛta svayam 

Srihari is the embodiment of Yagna. He punishes the evil. All the efforts of that person with whom the Lord is displeased are nothing but a sheer waste. This is because Srihari is the form of the Self. Therefore the person who does not please Him, will not get the results for all his efforts.

Manu then said to Brahma, “O Lord! O destroyer of all sins! I will certainly obey your commands. Nevertheless, O Lord, please let me know where I, together with all other living entities, should reside in this universe.

Earth, which is the place where living entities reside, is currently submerged in the waters of dissolution. Therefore, please restore the earth back to its original position”.

Hearing this, Brahma looked for a long time at the earth which was submerged totally in the waters of the ocean. He thought of ways in which it could be brought back to its original position.

Brahma thought, ‘While I was busy creating, this earth has got submerged and is now lying in the deep oceans near Rasatala loka (one of the nether regions, a type of hell). What should be done now? Since I was born out of the Lord’s will, He is my sole refuge. May He complete this task for me”.

Varāha-toko niragād aṅguṣṭha-parimāṇakaḥ – When Brahma was thus lost in deep contemplation, a small wild boar which was the size of the thumb rushed out from the Brahma’s nostril.

Brahma began to observe this wild boar.  As he was watching, within seconds this boar, which was the size of the upper portion of the thumb, grew into a form that was as massive as an elephant. Brahma was wonder-struck seeing this boar.

Lord Brahma began to discuss about the appearance of this boar with Swāyambhuva Manu, Marichi and other Maharishis as well as with Sanaka and other Kumaras who were witnessing this event. He said, “Aha! What a wonder! This divine living being is in the form of a boar (varaha).”


Om Varāha roopāya namah.

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