Hindus believe that Vishnu has descended to earth on at least ten occasions, in smaller bodies known as avatars. Varaha the boar avatar saved the earth from being submerged in the primordial ocean. This painting of the Varaha story shows the boar balancing the earth on his head. The earth is here represented as a landmass, whereas in many other depictions the earth is a goddess. Varaha stands on the demon Hayagriva, signifying victory over the evil forces that wished the earth to drown.