Churning of the Ocean
Manthan literally means: The Churning of the Ocean. The story
of the Samudra Manthan narrated in the Shrimad Bhaagvad is
us first understand the terms : Devas and Daityas. Devas
Represent 'Good', and Daityas represent 'Evil'. But Hindus
believe that the good people have a little of evil in them.
Also the evil have some good tendencies in them. It is
interesting to note that, it is mentioned in the Bhaagvad that
both, Good and Evil or Devas and Daityas are born of the same
King of the Devas is called Indra. Once the Sage Durvaasa
presented Indra with a garland of flowers. Indra, having
become egoistic and insensitive, disrespectfully placed the
garland on the tusk of an elephant who trampled it with his
feet. If someone treated a gift you gave, like that, you would
also be hurt and angry. Durvaasa feeling humiliated cursed
Indra that he would lose his power and position. So, Paradise,
the Land of the Devas fell into the hands of the Daityas.
Devas prayed to the Lord for help. The Lord realized that
though the Devas had committed an offence, it was more
favorable, in the long run that the Universe should belong to
the Devas. But for that victory to come to pass, a Samudra
Manthan ('The Churning of the Ocean') had to be performed.
Samudra Manthan was not going to be easy, so the Devas had to
take the assistance of the Daityas. The nectar that would come
out of the Ocean, after all the poison that would emerge
first, would make the Devas immortal. For the churning to take
place, a big pole was inserted in the Ocean. But no matter
what they did, the pole would continue to sink into the Ocean
bed. So the Lord took the form of a tortoise. The pole was
placed on His back. The latter symbolizes the fact that
whatever you undertake to do, its support must be God.
rope that was used for the churning is symbolic of the string
of co-operation. One end of the rope was manipulated by the
Devas and the other end by the Daityas. When the churning
commenced, at first an extremely potent poison emerged which
threatened to destroy Creation. That venomous potion had to be
discarded. But where? No place was powerful enough to contain
it. The Devas and the Daityas finally decided to implore God
Shiva to help them. Shivji did help them, by gulping the
poison, yet retaining it in his throat. This is the reason why
Shivji is called 'Neel-Kanth' the 'Blue Throated One'.
Symbolically, when one is faced with troubles, take them to
the Lord. He will help you out by swallowing your
churning of the Ocean continued. A lot of Divine gifts emerged
from the Ocean. These were shared by the Devas and the Daityas.
Finally, the much coveted Amrit (Nectar) appeared. The Daityas
grabbed it and ran. The Lord incarnated as a beautiful damsel
named 'Mohini'. With His/Her help the potion was attained by
the Devas, who got back their Paradise. But two of the Daityas
managed to partake of the Amrit. And they both became
immortal. Therefore the fight between good and evil continues
to this day.
Dadi Ma Nani Ma