Essence Of Maha Bhagavatha Purana

Bhagvat Purana

Mammoth Churning of Ocean for Amrith ( Nectar)

Proceeding with the narration to King Parikshith, Suka Mahamuni highlighted the Gajendra Moksha incident during the Tamasa Manu’s regime, whereafter the fifth and sixth Manus viz. Raivata and Chakshusa ruled the Universe. It was in the sixth millennium of Chakshusa Manu that Lord Vishnu had incarnated as Ajita who was  begotten to Vairaja and Devasambhuti; Ajita in the form of a tortoise was wandering in the Ocean of Milk carrying the Mountain Mandhara on His back and produced ‘Amrit’by churning the Ocean.

Parikshith became highly inquisitive about the famous story and requested the Muni to give full details. As the enmity and intense hatred between the Demi- Gods and Demons took unprecedented  proportions, the Demi-Gods assembled on the top of the Sumeru Mountain to seek a solution. Lord Brahma instructed the Devas and Demons to resort to a temporary truce, till arrangements could be made to churn the Ocean of Milk to obtain Amrit, the Divine Drink to provide everlasting life.Garuda, the Vehicle of Lord Vishnu lifted the Mandhara Mountain and placed it into the Ocean as the churning rod. Vasuki the Giant Serpent coiled around the Mountain tightly; the head of the serpent was opted for by the Demons out of pride and the tail was taken by the Demi-Gods as the rope. As the Mountain was not stable and shaky, Ajita in the form of tortoise slid under the Mountain and provided the needed balance.Thus commenced the mammoth churning of the Ocean for ‘Amrit’. Many Demons perished from the poisonous flames from the mouth of Vasuki. As the churning progressed, the Ocean  was shaken up bringing out innumerable species underneath, black clouds emerged fast across the Sky and there was terrible turmoil alround. Suddenly, the Sky looked like breaking way, emitting unprecedented poisonous flames,‘Halahal’, swiftly engulfing the entire Universe. The initial churning was terminated and Demi-Gods headed by Lord Brahma as well as the Demons screamed for help to Lord Siva to save the situation. They all prayed to Him that He was the original life force, the Maha Tatva, the Eternal Truth and the Omni Potent  and He only could stop the annihilation of the Universe. In response to the desperate prayers by one and all, Lord Siva swallowed the ‘Halahal’ and retained it in His Throat to safeguard the Worlds within His other body parts. Thus known in the Sciptures; as ‘Neela Greeva’-the Blue Throated, He protected the entire Universe and saved the act of Creation itself. As the process of churning resumed further, a number of Divine Figures commenced emerging: ‘Surabhi’ the Cow required for unending milk and products required for Sacred Rituals as oblations to Fire God by Sages; a Divine Horse, Utthaisvarya, as desired by  King Bali of the Under World; the Divine Elephant ‘Airavata’ and eight She Elephants, which were desired by Indra to possess; Koustubha Mani and Padmaraga Mani-the jewels decorating Lord Vishnu’s chest; ‘Parijata Tree’ to decorate the Celestial Gardens; then emerged Apsaras, the Divine dansueses to entertain Demi-Gods and Indra; the Goddess of Fortune, Lakshmi whom the Demi- Gods and Demons craved alike to possess but She Herself opted for Lord Vishnu Who is the ultimate Preserver of the Universe; then appeared the dame,Varuni, with voluptuous eyes who could control drunkards, whom King Bali opted for on behalf of the Demon World. Finally, a strong, stout, blackish and young person, known as Dhanvantari, the Physician of the Universe, whom both Demons and Demi- Gods agreed to share. But, the most awaited jar of Nectar noticed by the Demons was forcibly snatched away, to the disappointment of Demi-Gods. But, Lord Vishnu created a cover of ‘Maya’ ( Illusion) and let the Demons fight among themselves for the sips of the Nectar. In the  confusion, there appeared an outstanding beauty with most sonorous voice and dazzling figure, who was Lord Himself in the form of Mohini Murthi. She had mesmerised the Demons who fell in a spell and made them request her to do justice in equitably distributing the Nectar to all by turns. She made formations as per seniority and made them wait for turns. She started with the formations of the Demons, but by means of illusion had actually commenced the distribution among the Demi-Gods. Rahu a Demon somehow got into the camp of Demi- Gods and this was noticed by Sun and Moon, who complained the fact to Mohini Murthi and immediately the Sudarsana Chakra severed Rahu’s head, but since he drank the drops of Nectar already, Lord Brahma gave him the status of a Planet; but since then, Rahu became the enemy of Sun and Moon and torment them periodically by way of eclipsing them till date. At this juncture, Lord Vishnu revealed his identity and exhorted the Demons to mend their diabolic actions and take refuge in the Superior Energy instead of becoming slaves of the Eight Materialistic Vices, Viz. Kama ( Desire), Krodha (Anger), Moha (Infatuation), Mada (Arrogance), Lobha ( Avarice) and Matsara ( Jealousy). He advised that in the ultimate analysis, only He would provide salvation which tantamounts to Eternity, which indeed the Nectar that they craved for.

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