Birth of Narakasura!

Birth of Narakasura

Why is Diwali celebrated with pomp and joy?

Narakasura, who sprang from the union of Vishnu in his boar form with the goddess Mahi or chaya (earth goddess) and was made as the lord of the city of Pragiyotisa by his divine father, i.e., Vishnu is said to have born in the Kokamukhirth in the Himalayas. This story is well attested in the copper plate grants and inscriptions of Assam. Varaha incarnation of Vishnu appears to be the most popular avatara worshipped and extolled in the inscriptions of Assam. The three ruling dynasties of early Assam claim their ancestry from Varaha. The inscriptions mention that Naraka, the chief of the kings of earth, was the son (sunuh) of cakra bhritah (Vishnu) who adopted a Kapatakolarupa (i.e. Boar) to rescue Bhatri (Earth) from the ocean.



The inscription of Bhaskaravarman traces the origin of the Varman family from Naraka born from the union of Prithi and Mahavaraha. This tale of Naraka and Varaha not only reached the mainland of the country i.e., India but also China. In the seventh century this story had been mentioned in the writings of Bana Mahavaraha samparka sambhritagarbhaya bhagavatya bhuva Narako nama sunuh. Even Hiuen Tsang, who visited Kamarupa during the reign of Bhaskaravarman, refers to the origin of Kamarupa kings from Vishnu in his boar incarnation. Most of the inscriptions mention this story; god Varaha and the goddess of earth were mentioned as Upendra and Vasumathi, Adivaraha and Bhu, they also narrate the killing of Naraka by Murari i.e., Vishnu with his cakra. Later the Pala dynasty of Kamarupa (modern Assam and part of Bengal) also continued to claim the ancestral lineage from Naraka, son of Mahavaraha.

There are many inscriptions available in Assam, which throw valuable light on the religious history of this region. They belong from 5th to 12th century CE. The rulers of the Varman, Salastambha and Pala dynasties issue these inscriptions and most of them are about land grants made to the temples.

The Pala kings are known to have used Srivaraha as their epithet. The kings of Assam viewed and projected themselves as incarnations or partial incarnations and descendants of Adivaraha to confirm and popularize their belief in the divine origin and nature of their kingship among their subjects.

Varaha - Hoysala

Varaha – Hoysala

Puranas like Agnipurana, Vayupurana and Brahmapurana mention the places where Varaha was worshipped and the sacred bathing Ghats connected with them. Mahabharata, Brahmapurana and Varahapurana mention a place called Kokamukha or Varahakesetra and a river Kokamukha tritha associated with it. Some scholars locate Kokamukhatirtha in Assam. But there is a river known as Sun-Kosi and a place Barah-Chhatra (Varaha-Ksetra) situated in Nepal. D.C. Sircar the eminent Epigraphist says that “the Barah-Chatra in Nepal has to be identified with the Kokamukha tirtha mentioned in Mahabharata and the Puranas and that the temples of the gods Kokamukha and Svetavaraha, associated in the Damodarpur copper plate inscription with Himavac-Chikhara, were situated at this place”.

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