Varaha Upanishad

Definition - What does Varaha Upanishad mean?

Varaha Upanishad is the name of a minor Hindu text that is considered one of 20 yoga upanishads. The name comes from the Sanskrit varaha, meaning “boar,” “hog” or “pig,” and upanishad, which means “words of mystery” and refers to a particular class of philosophical writings.

The text is mainly a discussion between Vishnu in his incarnation as Varaha (in the form of a boar) and the sage Ribhu, while the last chapter of the Varaha Upanishad's five chapters focuses on yoga.

Yogapedia explains Varaha Upanishad

In this upanishad, Varaha and Ribhu discuss the following topics (among others):

  • The tattvas, or principles of reality
  • The stages of learning
  • The relationship between the Self and the Ultimate Reality
  • Jivanmukti, the state of eternal bliss

In the chapter on yoga, the Varaha Upanishad describes three types of yoga with Hatha named as the most prominent. The others are Laya (soft) and Mantra (mystic). This text further describes the goals of yoga:

  • Physical strength and flexibility
  • Knowledge of the body and energies
  • Self-knowledge
  • Meditation

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