Of all the battles of Lord Varaha, the one that lasted a hundred divine years is the most talked about. The third of Vishnu’s dashavataras (ten incarnations) is widely revered for rescuing Bhoodevi from the clutches of the asuras (demons). The painting that you see on this page depicts the Vishnuavatara in the midst of His battle with Hiranyaksha (king of asuras).
Against clear blue skies, Lord Varaha flies by on the back of Garuda, His vahana, the eagle-deity. From the Vaishnava implements in His four hands to the way His angavastram and Garuda’s plumage are motioning in the wind, it is obvious that the artist has paid considerable attention to movement and detail in this composition.
To the left of the onlooker is the beginning of the asura army. With bloodthirsty composure of countenance, they are aiming their bows and arrows at Varaha flying by. Facing them in battle is the army of dharma, led by a gaja. At the command of the one who leads them, they are aiming their bows and arrows straight at Hiranyaksha’s army.
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