Sweta-Varaha as the name refers White-Boar. But the Varaha avatar of Lord Vishnu which lifted the earth from waters was of dark-blue complexion. Varaha avatar which killed Hiranyaksha was also dark blue.

Here are some statements from scriptures:

Harivamsa Parva of Mahabharata:

“Having a colour, similar to that of a dark blue rain cloud, with a sound similar to the thunder of a rain cloud, with a body similar to that of a huge mountain, with his fang shining like the white island”. [Harivamsa Parva 3.34.31]

Vishnu Purana:

“The mighty boar, whose eyes were like the lotus, and whose body, vast as the Níla mountain, was of the dark colour of the lotus leaves, uplifted upon his ample tusks the earth from the lowest regions”. [Vishnu Purana 1.04.26]

Srimad Bhagvata Purana:

Then the Lord, playing like an elephant, suspended the earth on the edge of His curved white tusks. He assumed a bluish complexion like that of a tamala tree, and thus the sages, headed by Brahma, could understand Him to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead and offered respectful obeisances unto the Lord. [Srimad Bhagavatam 3.13.33]

Varaha which killed Hiranyakshya was also of dark blue colour as stated here:

“The slayer of asuras, sparkled with the conch and chakra (wheel) like a dark blue rain bearing cloud sparkles between the sun and the moon”. [Harivamsa Parva 3.39.14]

Then why is the Present Kalpa named Sweta-Varaha Kalpa? Why was it named so? It denotes which event ?

[Note: the name kalpa before 5 Kalpas from present Kalpa was Varaha Kalpa]

  • There are 2 avatras of varaha happened in this kalpa, first one to appear in this kalpa out of brahma nose is swehta varaha (white boar)
    – Prasanna R
    Jan 22, 2019 at 7:09

2 Answers 2


Present Kalpa is named Sweta-Varaha because Lingodbhava incident took place just before beginning of this Kalpa. Lingodahbhava refers to that incident when Lord Shiva manifested as Agni Stambha. In the beginning of the current Kalpa, the fight between Vishnu and Brahma had occurred to prove that the Supreme Being was one of them. Lord Shiva intervened and appeared as the agni-stambha in between them. Brahma assuming the form of a swan (Hamsa) flew upwards and Vishnu assuming the form of a boar (Varaha) moved downwards.

नारायणोपि विश्वात्मा सुश्वेतोह्याभवत्तदा
दशयोजन विस्तीर्णे सतयोजन मायेतम् ।।
मेरुपर्वतवर्षसमानम् गौरतीक्ष्णनोग्रदमस्थीनम् ।
कालादित्यसमाभाषं दिर्घघ्नोमम् अहास्वनम् ।।
ह्रस्वापादम् विचित्राड़्गम्जैत्रम् धृधमनौपामम् ।
वाराहकारमास्थाय गतवामस्तद्धौ जवात् ।।
एवं वर्ष सहस्रं च चरणविष्णुर्द्योगत ।
तथाप्रभृति लोकेसु श्वेतवाराहसज्ञांकः ।।

And the soul of the universe, viz. Narayana assumed the form of a white complexioned boar spreading hundred yojanas in height and ten yojana in girth. Having his chin as like as the meru mountain shining with white hue and having sharp-pointed teeth, resembling the radiance of the form of the sun which is seen at the time of destruction of the universe, having a long nose, creating huge noise, having medium feet, and strange looking parts, stern, victorious; assuming such an incomparable form of the boar, he with an excellent speed, moved downwards. This way for thousands of years, Vishnu travelled down and down. In remembrance of that incident from that day, that Kalpa was famed as ṣvētavārāha kalpa. [Shiva Purana: 2.7.56-59]

So, the very name of Kalpa is in rememberance of that everlasting Agni-Linga of Lord Shiva. In Mahabharat Vyasa states it as:

And since he is great and ancient and is the source of life and of its continuance, and since his Phallic emblem is everlasting, he is for that reason called Sthanu. [Drona Parva Chapter 102]

  • 4
    Hmm, I'm pretty sure the Shiva Purana describes the Jyotirlinga story involving Brahma and Shiva as taking place right after the birth of Brahma, i.e. the beginning of the Mahakalpa, not the beginning of the present Kalpa. The present Kalpa is the first Kalpa of the 51st year of Brahma's life. Jun 11, 2016 at 15:50
  • @KeshavSrinivasan Several events are repeated during Kalpas...I think at that time body of Vishnu was white... as Samundra manthan hadn't took place...as there is a story Halahala poison converted body of Vishnu to blue...
    – Tezz
    Jun 11, 2016 at 15:52
  • 1
    Yeah, that's true. By the way, did you know that Brahma and Vishnu's contest happened in South India? See my answer here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/6512/36 I've never been to Thiruvannamalai, but I want to go some time. Jun 11, 2016 at 15:54
  • Oh thanks! I got chance to see that Shiva Linga...(be it in image)....
    – Tezz
    Jun 11, 2016 at 15:58
  • @Tezz Shiva Purana is not actually clear on this. Brahma and Vishnu traveled for one kalpa along the length of Lingam. May this happened during first Kalpa just after birth of Brahma.
    – The Destroyer
    Jun 11, 2016 at 16:17

what i know is that shvet-these r munis living on himalayas & another reason name shvet of kalpa is that in this kalpa shiva & brahma's clothes r white..like as vayu purana says in description of previous kalpas the red colored kalpa has red colored clothes & all red red gods & tridev also as i m saying this in very short..varaha is as u said its that this kalpa started with varaha incarnation & there r 3 types of kalpa 1)varaha 2)brahma 3)padma...& i ain't promoting self but i wrote about them here-http://www.slideshare.net/Shivamner/shivam2 hope it is allowed here...in comments of that i wrote!:)

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