A few days ago I was beach-combing on the banks of the Thames at low tide. I’ve noticed before that there is a large quantity of bones washed up on the shore; light brown and smooth, goodness knows how old, so many that it’s almost a bit creepy.
As I surveyed the ground I spotted a jaw-bone with two molars and a large, curved tusk embedded in it. What a find! General agreement is that it is from a boar and I’ve been told it could be from Tudor times. In the absence of getting it carbon-dated I shall enjoy the romance of imagining someone in a bodkin and ruff chucking it over the embankment into Old Father Thames before disappearing with a burp into the streets of 16th century London.
It reminded me of a Hindu deity I’d come across in my never-ending research. When I looked it up I found it be a wonderful story; the third avatar of Vishnu, a boar-headed entity called Varaha, dived to the bottom of the primordial ocean to rescue the Earth, who’d been trapped down there by a demon. Varaha fought the demon unaided for a thousand years, finally overcoming it and restoring the Earth to her rightful place, bearing her up out of the depths between his tusks.
As I understand it, the structure of the jaw, teeth and tusks of a boar are such that once its head is down and stuck into something it cannot go backwards, only forwards. If that is the case, Varaha could be the spirit of “just keep going”. Just keep going. Sometimes it is the only thing to do. Head down and keep going.
Here is a mantra for Varaha:
Om Bhoo Rakshakaya Vidmahe
Sri Kaaraya Dheemahi
Tanno Varaha Prachodayat
If you feel like you’ve been held captive at the bottom of the ocean and are unable to access your creativity, your fecundity and your gifts you could give it a go. It’s lovely!
We all have the qualities inherent in every mantra and every deity already within us. When you chant a mantra, you don’t so much bring the deity into your life from another realm – but you stimulate and awaken within yourself the qualities embodied in that particular mantra. These groups of sounds, thousands of years old, are syllabic vibrations strung together like beads on the thread of your breath, acting on your body, brain, mind and heart in a most mysterious and effective way. Daily practice will show you that, if you take it on.
btw, I’ve just found out that wild pigs travel in groups of between eight and fifteen animals, and that the groups are called ‘sounders’. Neat 🙂
Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha