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At the end of the last kalpa, there was a destruction and the universe was flooded with water. Vishnu slept on the water as long as Brahma‘s night lasted. Since nara means water and anyana means resting-place. Vishnu is accordingly known as Narayana.

When Brahma‘s day dawned, he wished to embark on the process of creration. But where would the created beings live? There was no earth for them to live on. The earth had been submerged under the water. Vishnu therefore adopted the form of a huge boar (varaha). The boar‘s body was as large as a mountain and it had gigantic tusks that were exceedingly sharp. The eyes of the boar blazed like lightning and its roar thundered like the clouds. As a boar, Vishnu entered the water and began to search for the earth. He found the submerged earth and raised it up to its proper place on the tusks of the boar. The earth began to float on the water like a huge boat.

Vishnu also levelled out parts of the earth. The mountains that had existed on earth in the earlier kalpa had been burnt down by the fire that raged at the time of the destruction. Vishnu created new mountains. Because they did not move (chala), the mountains came to be known as achala. And since they had layers (parva) or ranges, they came to be known as parvata. The land masses were also created. The creation of living beings could now begin. And since the creation of this kalpa took place after Vishnu‘s boar incarnation, the cycle came to be called varaha kalpa.

Brahma created water, fire, air, the sky, directions, heaven, oceans, rivers, mountains and trees. He also created time, night and days. Through his mental powers, he created three sons named Sanandana, Sanaka, and Sanatana. In each kalpa, there are fourteen manvantaras (eras). Each manvantara is ruled over by a Manu. The gods and the seven great sages (saptarshi) change from one manvantara to another. The title of Indra, king of the gods, also changes hands. In any one particular manvantara, there are twenty-eight crores of gods. Therefore, in fourteen manvantaras, there are three hundred and ninety-two crores of gods.