Hiranyaksha was a powerful demon. At the time of his birth unlucky omens appeared everywhere. Violent winds uprooted trees, volcanoes erupted and inky clouds rained endlessly as lightening slashed the sky. Owls screeched fiercely, wolves howled at the moon and trembling cows gave blood instead of milk.
Hiranyaksha grew to be as large as a mountain. His golden crown appeared to kiss the sky. The earth quaked as he walked. Greater than his height was his pride, but even greater was his greed. He mined so much gold from the Earth that the planet lost its balance, fell out of orbit and plunged into the ocean at the bottom of the Universe.
The proud Hiranyaksha dived into the ocean, terrifying all the sea creatures as he whirled his golden club. He was eager to fight and looked for Varuna, the lord of the waters. Coming face-to-face with Varuna, he challenged him to combat.
“I have stopped fighting now due to old age,” said Varuna. “However, you are so expert in fighting that the only person equal to you is Lord Vishnu himself. When you meet him, he will destroy your pride and you will lie down to sleep on the battlefield.”
Not caring for the words of Varuna, Hiranyaksha left in search for his enemy. Meanwhile, Lord Vishnu, in His form as a huge red boar, entered the cosmic ocean. Sniffing through the mud at the bottom, He found the earth planet. Then, lifting it on His two white tusks, He rose out of the water.
Hiranyaksha was waiting, very angry. “Oh amphibious beast,” he cried, “this Earth is mine. Today I will please my demon friends by smashing your skull.”
Lord Varaha was concerned to protect Mother Earth and so raced through space with the planet on His tusks.
Hiranyaksha followed him shouting “Coward! Come back! Come back!”
Lord Varaha is in charge of the law of gravity. Making the Earth very light, he gently placed her on the surface of the sea where she floated like a turquoise ball.
With the earth now safe, Varaha turned to Hiranyaksha and laughed mockingly, “I am indeed the beast out to kill dogs like you. I am not afraid for you are a mortal, bound by the laws of death. Give up your foolish talk and fight.
Hiranyaksha, trembling with anger and hissing like a cobra, sprang at the Lord with his golden club. Varaha dodged the blow and struck out with His own mace. As the fight raged on, both were injured and the smell of blood increased their fury.
From up on high the residents of the heavens watched this terrible fight. They begged Lord Varaha “please, do not play any longer with this wicked demon. Finish him off quickly.”
Lord Varaha glanced lovingly at His devotees, then sprang at Hiranyaksha, aiming His mace at the demon’s chin. But Hiranyaksha knocked the mace from Varaha’s hand and sent it spinning deep into space.
The demigods cried in alarm, ‘Alas! Alas! What will happen know?”
Lord Varaha called for His famous disc weapon and it appeared in the sky, razor-sharp and whirling like a circular saw.
Seeing this, Hiranyaksha exploded with fury. Glaring at the Lord with burning eyes, he hurled his mace, screaming “Now you are slain!”
The Lord deftly knocked it away with His left foot. Then coolly and calmly He said, “Pick up your weapon and try again?”
Roaring like a lion, the demon again hurled his mace. But the divine boar easily caught it just like a hawk catches a mouse. He offered it to the demon. “Why don’t you try again?” He asked.
Hiranyaksha became ashamed and angry. Taking instead a flaming trident, he hurled it with all his might towards the Lord.
Varaha easily cut it into seven pieces with His razor-sharp disc.
Using his magical powers the demon became invisible. Fierce winds blew from all directions: stones dropped out of the sky; angry clouds poured down blood, urine, hair and bones; armies of fierce demons appeared as if from nowhere riding on phantom horses and elephants.
Using His own mystical powers, the Lord dispelled the demon’s magic. Still Hiranyaksha did not give up. He ran up to the lord, embraced Him and tried to crush Him with his powerful arms.
The demigods watched in horror. Seeing their forlorn faces, Lord Varaha decided; “I’ve played with this demon long enough.”
Casually, He slapped Hiranyaksha at the base of his ear. Hiranyaksha’s body quivered; his eyeballs bulged out of their sockets; and he fell down dead like a huge tree cut down by a hurricane.
Lord Varaha placed the earth back into its correct orbit. The demigods were overjoyed and praised the Lord, “You are not forced like us to take your birth but you do so by your own free will. You appear in a form just suitable to perform your mission of rescuing the Earth from a