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by Micha F. Lindemans
The boar incarnation or avatar of Vishnu, assumed in order to deliver the world from the power of the demon Hiranyaksha. The latter had seized the earth and carried it to the depths of the ocean. After a battle which lasted for a thousand years, Varaha killed Hiranyaksha and returned the earth to the surface.

According to a different version of the myth, the earth was pressed down because of over-population. Varaha the boar lifted the earth on one of its tusks and made the world fit for habitation again. Earthquakes are believed to be caused whenever Varuna shifts his burden from one tusk to the other.

In modern Hinduism Varaha is the third incarnation of Vishnu.

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