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Varāha dvādaśī

[February 21, 2024 is Varāha dvādaśī in Vṛndāvana, India. The following is an excerpt of a bhāva anuvāda of the kathā given by Śrīla Bhakti Vijñāna Bhāratī Gosvāmī Mahārāja on the same tithi, on February 8, 2017. Editors’ input: Additional text has been included in square brackets to facilitate the flow of content.]

Today is a very auspicious day, the appearance day of Varāha-deva.

Within the prayers of the elephant, Gajendra, in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (8.3.8) it is mentioned–

na nāma-rūpe guṇa-doṣa eva vā

[The Supreme Lord has no material birth, activities, name, form, qualities or faults.]

There are no material qualities or faults in the name and form of the Lord. Bhagavān is nirguṇa, meaning He is transcendental [to, or untouched by the three modes of material nature].

Does anyone ordinarily worship a boar of this world? Is a boar auspicious? Yet, when the Supreme Lord assumes the form of a boar, that form becomes worshipable. Because whatever the Supreme Lord does, is all auspicious and all beautiful. Hence, nāma-rūpe guṇa-doṣa eva vā.

When Hiraṇyākṣa assaulted the defenseless Mother Earth, submerging her deep into the waters of the Garbhodaka Ocean, Lord Varāha killed him and lifted her by His tusks. Can we imagine the strength of His tusks? The Lord is said to be sad-aiśvarya-pūrṇa, one who is full in the six opulences - one who possesses all majesty or wealth, all strength, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation.

How is He the possessor of all wealth? Bhagavān’s abode is composed of cintāmaṇīs (wish-fulfilling jewels). In fact, every particle of dust in His abode is a cintāmaṇī. Additionally, He possesses millions of Kāmadhenus (the sacred cow, which grants all wishes and desires).

What to speak of His strength? Despite possessing a gargantuan body 18 kilometers in length, Pūtanā could not escape the grip of Kṛṣṇa’s tiny hands as He sucked her breasts. What miraculous strength His lips and hands possessed, even as a six-day old infant!

Years ago in Purī, I recall how one stuntman pulled a bus full of pilgrims by his teeth. The Grand Road where the Ratha-yātrā takes place was jam-packed as throngs of people purchased tickets and gathered to watch this feat. Completely awestruck, they remarked, “How amazing! What an exhibition of strength!”

In this world, if a considerably insignificant act such as pulling a bus by the teeth is considered laudable and attractive, then what to speak of lifting the entire planet earth on tusks or lifting Govardhana hill on the tip of the pinky finger of the left hand? How much more powerful and glorious is the Lord!

[The Lord says in the Bhagavad-gītā (10.36) – I am the strength of the strong.] Therefore whenever, even a fraction of His power is manifested through someone in this world, everyone simply becomes spellbound.

Each and every limb of the Lord’s body is all-powerful and the Lord can accomplish any activity with any of His limbs. [He can eat with His eyes; impregnate by His mere glance and so on.] The Lord can assume any form according to time, place and circumstance. Whatever He does is eternally auspicious and for the eternal well-being of His devotees.

Likewise, today, the Supreme Lord Himself assumed the form of Varāha to liberate the earth planet. Thus whatever form the Lord may assume, be it a tortoise, a boar or a fish, His embodiment is all-auspicious; there is not a trace of inauspiciousness in Him.

Bhagavān is addressed as bhagavān-bhakta-bhaktimān - He who is devoted to His own devotees. And the devotee too is always engaged in the service of the Lord. Bhakti or devotional service means to engage all our senses in the service of the Lord, who is the master of all the senses (Hṛṣikeśa).

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