Brahma said, “Aha! What a wonder! This divine being emerged from my nostril in a thumb-sized form of a boar (varāha). How surprising! Right in front of my eyes in a fraction of a second it has grown into a form that is as huge as a mountain. It is my belief that the Supreme Lord Vishnu has come in this form of a boar (varāha) to cause infatuation in me”.
As he was saying this to his sons, Varaha swamy who was as huge as a mountain roared so deafeningly that it echoed in all directions. Brahma, Marichi and other saints who had assembled there were filled with divine ecstasy on hearing this thunderous roar which symbolized auspiciousness. When this roar fell into their ears, their grief was totally dispelled. They began to sing hymns in His praise. Along with them, supreme saints who reside in Jana, Tapa and Satya lokas simultaneously praised Lord Yagna-varāha with hymns from Rig, Yajur and Sama Vedas.
To this Supreme Lord Yagna-varāha, the Vedas are his breath. These Vedas profusely extol his divine qualities. The Lord listened to the Vedic chants that were being sung in His praise. In order to cause auspiciousness to the Devatas, He roared once again.
Just as an elephant playfully enters into the waters, the Supreme Lord in the form of Vāraha, playfully entered into the waters of the ocean. He had exceptionally powerful limbs.
Before entering the waters, He flew in the air, lifted his tail and slashed it. The hair on his body was sharp and gleaming. With His hoofs He scattered the clouds in the sky. With two sharp and powerful tusks, which like shovels scatter the mud in all directions, and with his gleaming eyes, this Lord was shining resplendently.
He appeared like unimaginably huge mountain. The Supreme Lord, who had incarnated in the form of this boar, began to thoroughly scrutinize, smelling through his nose, the possible location of earth which was submerged in the oceans. Although his tusks created unprecedented fear in the hearts, his eyes were filled with compassion. He cast a glance at the Maharishis who were singing his praises and then entered into the waters.
When He, who was as strong as a diamond mountain, dived into the waters and moved at unbelievable speeds, the Ocean-Lord felt as if his heart had been shred into bits. The Ocean-Lord, with his huge waves which appeared like his long shoulders, screamed like one who was in deep distress, saying, “O Yagneshwara! Kindly protect me”.
Then Lord Varāha who was the embodiment of Yagna which is composed of its three divisions, viz., Prātah savānam, Mādhyāna savanam and Sāyam savanam, using his long strong sharp hooves pushed all the waters of the ocean to one side.
He then cast a glance at earth which was lying at the bottom of the ocean near Pātāla (nether) region. At the time of total dissolution, the Supreme Lord had personally pulled back into himself this earth. Now this Lord held the earth, which was lying near Pātala region, on His tusks and began carrying it out of the waters. He shone radiantly at this hour.
All of a sudden, a mighty demon by name Hiranyāksha, holding a mace in his hand, pounced upon Varāha swamy and blocked His path. Just the sight of demon Hiranyāksha filled the Lord with uncontrollable fury. In anger He glowed like the Sudarshana chakra (discus) and as effortlessly as a lion kills an elephant He playfully killed the demon.
In this fight, His mouth and cheeks were smeared with blood. With reddish cheeks He resembled the gigantic elephant which after rubbing its cheeks against the earth shines in reddish complexion. Varāha Swamy had a bluish black complexion like the tamāla plant. With earth positioned on his white lustrously gleaming tusks He resembled an elephant that was lifting the lotus with its trunk. Seeing this divine form of the Lord, Brahma along with other Maharishis folded their palms and praised Him profusely with Vedic chants. They prayed,
‘O undefeatable Lord! You are the ruler of all Yagnas (sacrificial rituals). May You be ever-victorious! You move with Your body which is an embodiment of Rig, Yajur and Sama Vedas. Yagnas have merged into Your body hair. For the purpose of uplifting this earth, You have assumed the form of a boar. Please accept our prayerful obeisance.
O Lord! People with demonic tendencies will never ever be able to have a vision of this divine form of Yours, which is nothing but Yagna (sacrificial rituals). It is impossible for them to ever have your darshan.
Vedic meters known as Chandas exist in Your skin, darbha (sacred grass) is there in Your body hair and ghee (offered in the yagna) is in Your eyes. Within Your four legs the four priests of the Yagna viz., Hota, udhgāta, adhvaryu and Brahma exist. The entire collection of actions also exists within Your four legs.
(The different terminology in the below para refer to the different paraphernalia used in a yagna and also to the different yagna procedures).
O Supreme Lord! O Varāha Swamy! On Your tongue is the srak. On your nostrils is the sruvam. In Your belly is the Ida-pātra. Your ear holes are Camasa-pātra. In Your mouth is the Brahma-bhaga pātra. In Your neck are situated all the planets. Agni-hotra is Your food.
You are an embodiment of Yagna. Your frequent re-incarnation is the desire for initiation (deeksha). The three ishti of the Yagna form Your neck portion. The Prāyanīyesti and Udayanīyesthi are your tusks. The karma that is performed prior to Upasad is your tongue. Sabhyāgni, which is without a homa, and Aupāsagni are your head. Iśtakācayana is your life-force.
Soma-rasa is your retas. The Yagnas performed during morning, afternoon and evening are Your childhood and other stages. It can also be said that they comprise Your waking, dream and deep-sleep states.
The seven divisions of Yagna known as Agniṣṭoma, Atyagniṣṭoma, Ukta, ṣoḍasi, Vājapeya, atrirātra and āptoryāma are Your seven bodily tissues (dhātu) of skin, muscles etc. Satra-yāga are the joints within Your body”.