On our pilgrimage to the next svayam vyakta kshetra, we stop at Srimushnam – the abode of Lord Varaha. Srimushnam is located about 40kms from another famous temple town- Chidambaram.
Main entrance to the Srimushnam temple
The Supreme Lord appeared to vanquish Hiranyaksha, the first demon. Described in detail in the Srimad Bhagavatham’s 3rd canto, this incarnation is also mentioned briefly in the 2nd canto as follows:
“When the unlimitedly powerful Lord assumed the form of a boar as a pastime, just to lift the planet earth, which was drowned in the great ocean of the universe called the Garbhodaka, the first demon [Hiranyaksha] appeared, and the Lord pierced him with His tusk.”
Sri Jayadeva Goswami praises the Lord’s appearance as Sri Varaha in his Dasavatara stotra as follows:
vasati dasana-sikhare dharani tava lagna
sasini kalanka-kaleva nimagna
jaya jagadisa hare
“O Kesava! O Supreme Lord who have assumed the form of a boar! O Lord! The planet earth rested on Your tusks, and it appeared like the moon engraved with spots.”
The Main Deity – Sri Bhu Varaha Swamy
The main deity of Srimushnam is Sri Bhu Varaha. Here the Lord, gives darshan as He appeared, prior to rescuing Bhu devi from the murky depths of the Garbodhaka ocean. The deity of the Lord is said to be a salagrama, and is in the standing posture, with His face turned to the south (rare, since most deities of the Lord have His body and face facing the same direction). The processional deity of the Lord is named Asvatha Narayana or Yajna Varaha (The Lord’s form of Varaha has intimate connections with the earth, and is invoked at fire sacrifices, and bhumi pujas where the forces of the earth are placated). The temple pond is believed to have been formed from the Lord’s sweat after He emerged with the earth on His snout from the ocean. All the demigods are believed to dwell here, and render devotional service to the Lord.
All glories to Lord Varaha! All glories to Srimushnam kshetra!