From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Yajñavarāha literally means ‘Vedic sacrifice as the Boar incarnation’.

Significance of Yajñavarāha[edit]

The Varāha or Boar-incarnation is the third in the series of ten incarnations. Sometimes, this form is associated with the origin of yajñas or Vedic sacrifices in all their details. The Pāñcarātra texts like the Sātvata Samhitā[1] include Yajñavarāha among the 38 vibhāvatāras[2] of Viṣṇu.

Symbolical Representation of Yajñavarāha[edit]

This representation is highly symbolical. It can be denoted as follows:

  • The legs of Yajñavarāha represent the four Vedas.
  • The tusk represents the sacrificial altar.
  • The face stands for all sacrifices.
  • The tongue stands for fire.
  • The hair for the sacred darbha grass.
  • The two eyes symbolize day and night.
  • The snout denotes all the offerings and oblations whereas the grunt stands for the sāman.[3]

Such descriptions are found in other texts like the Īśvarasamhitā[4] also.


  1. Sātvata Samhitā 12.44.49
  2. Vibhāvatāras is the glorious manifestation.
  3. Visnupurāna 1.4.32-34
  4. Īśvarasamhitā 24.238-243
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore