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Chapter 7: Churning the Ocean of Milk and Mohini

Posted by Arun Mohan ~ on ~ 1 comments

The below story says about how the gods and demons churned the ocean of milk to obtain the nectar of immortality.

One day, Lord Vishnu revealed the fact about nectar of immortality and how it can be obtained from the ocean of milk to both gods (devas) and demons (asuras).  Upon the suggestion of Vishnu, both of them decided to use Mount Mandara to churn the ocean of milk and to obtain it from depths of sea. However, the task turned out to be an impossible one since it is 55,000 miles high and 55,000 miles deep inside the earth.

The Gods prayed Lord Vishnu for a solution to dig. Lord Vishnu then influenced the king of serpents, Vasuki to dig the mountain and then to place it in the ocean. The Lord also said him to become the churning rope of mountain. The mighty Vasuki obeyed and did what the Lord said. The Vishnu then took the Kurma (Tortoise) Avatar to place the Mount Mandara on her back.


The gods and the demons started to churn the ocean of milk with Vasuki as churning rope of Mount Mandara and also supported by Kurma inside the ocean. A millennium passed and everyone getting tired. When Lord Brahma noticed it, he informed it to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu replied that he is giving strength to both devas and asuras. As soon as lord said these words, the strength of the both devas and asuras increased to ten-fold. They then started to churn by giving even more strength. Suddenly waves of ocean raised and Chandra, the moon come out of it. After moon, Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Varuni, Uchchaihshravas, Kaustubha, Kalpavriksha and Kamdhenu came out consecutively. Lakshmi became Vishnu’s consort whereas Varuni, Moon and Uchchaihshravas went to the heaven of gods.

Then a wonderful four-tooth elephant called Airavata came and it is immediately acquired by Indra. Soon after the Airavata came, a terrible poison called Halahala issued out of its depths which enveloped the universe. With its fumes, gods and the demons started to lose their consciousness. The gods approached Lord Shiva for rescue. Lord Shiva consumed the poison, while goddess Parvati pressed her hand on Shiva's throat and kept it in his throat itself. Suddenly the colour of Shiva's neck changed to blue. Thus Lord Shiva got the name, “Neelakanta”.

After a while, Dhanavantri came out with a pot containing the nectar. As soon as he emerged, both devas and asuras started to fight for it and finally the demons seized the pot of nectar. The gods became worried and prayed Lord Vishnu for help. Lord Vishnu then took the form of Mohini and went to demons for trapping them with her beauty. The unwise demons fell in love with her beauty.  Mohini thus managed to take the pot of nectar by claiming that she will distribute it among gods and demons. Mohini then started to distribute the nectar among gods. A demon called Rahu disguised himelf as a deva and tried to drink some nectar. The Sun and the Moon noticed it and they informed Mohini. As soon as the nectar reached his throat, Mohini in the form of Vishnu cut off the rahu's head with her divine discus, Sudarshana Chakra. Rahu’s head was torn off his body. His body became lifeless. But the head, remained immortal due to nectar’s effect. After this incident, Rahu became the enemy of both sun and moon.

Mohini returned to her original form after feeding the nectar to gods. The angry demons, who not only received any treasures but also was fooled by gods declared a war against gods. A terrible battle erupted resulted in bloodshed. Lord Vishnu also joined the battlefield to help gods by taking two forms – One as Nara and other as Narayan. Nara attacked the demons with divine bow whereas Narayan beheaded numerous demons with Sudarshana Chakra. At last, Gods defeated Demons.


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