Mahaabhaarat | Notes
See also Bhaagvat Puraan, 8/3; Padm Puraan, 1/5; Padm Puraan, 5/37; Vishnu Puraan, 1/3;
It is said that 14 Ratn (Gems) came out from Saagar Manthan. But sources describing this event list different lists of those Ratn. A Collection of those lists is given here.
Once Indra lost His kingdom to Daitya because of showing disrespect to Muni Durvaasaa (see Durvaasaa and Indra; Vishnu Puraan, 1/2). He gave Shaap to Indra that "You will loose your all wealth, grace and kingdom." So He lost His kingdom and wealth. He went to Vishnu as what he should do now to get His kingdom back.
Vishnu said - "This time of yours is bad for you, so wait for your good times. In the meantime you extend friendship with Daitya and plan to extract Amrit (divine elixir, or Ambrosia, or nectar) from Ksheer Saagar then I will see. You put everything - straws, creepers, medicinal plants etc in the sea and then use Mandaraachal Parvat as churning rod and Vaasuki Naag as churning rope. Daitya will get only labor and sorrow and you will get Amrit. You should not be greedy to take everything coming out of Ksheer Saagar. Whatever Daitya want, give those things to them. First of all the poison will come out, but you don't be afraid."
Hearing this Devtaa went to Daitya Raaj Bali and extended friendship with them. When Daitya saw Devtaa coming to them, they wanted to arrest them but Raajaa Bali stopped them doing so. Indra was welcomed, He told Bali His plan and they talked about it. Daitya got ready to churn the sea after hearing about Amrit. They made plans to churn it for a long time. As instructed by Shree Hari Mandaraachal Parvat was chosen as the churning rod and Vaasuki Naag was taken as the churning rope.
When both Devtaa and Daitya were taking Mandaraachal to the sea, it was so heavy that they could not bear its weight and it fell down and many Devtaa and Daitya died under it. Then Bhagvaan appeared, He made Devtaa alive with His words only, kept the Parvat on the neck of Garud and put it on the sea shore.
Both Devtaa and Daitya started churning the Ksheer Saagar. Ajit (Bhagvaan's Avataar) came first to hold the Naag from his mouth side. Daitya thought that maybe the head is a good thing to hold that is why they are holding him from his head side. We are not less than Devtaa, so they came towards his mouth side to hold the Naag. Ajit immediately dropped the head and held him by tail, and Daitya took him by his mouth. That is how Bhagvaan saved Devtaa from the difficulties of holding Naag's mouth.
Churning of the Sea
Churning was started again. Vaasuki Naag was emitting poison from his thousand mouths that was burning Daitya's bodies from its heat. But everybody was putting his best efforts in the expectation to get a drop of Amrit.
What Came Out From the Sea?
(8) Lakshmee Jee: Everybody wanted to take her as she was very beautiful. Indra brought an Aasan for Her to sit on, rivers brought water in gold pitchers for Her Abhishek, Prithvi offered all medicines, cows gave milk, Vasant (spring) brought all kinds of flowers and fruits. Rishi performed Her Abhishek, Gandharv sang, Apsaraa danced and clouds played orchestra. Lakshmee sat on her Aasan with a lotus flower in Her hand. Samudra gave Her yellow silken clothes to wear, Varun presented Her Vaijayantee Maalaa. Prajaapati Vishwakarmaa brought various jewelry, Saraswatee brought Her pearl necklaces, Brahmaa gave Her a lotus flower and Naag gave Her a pair of ear-rings. After Braahman finished Her Abhishek etc, She took the lotus flower garland to put in the neck of the best man. She thought - some are Tapaswee but they have not won the anger, somebody is knowledgeable but he is not completely free of desire, some are very important but they have not won Kaam Dev. So it is only Vishnu who is the treasure of all qualities, but does He like me? Still She put the garland in Vishnu's neck.
(9) Vaarunee Devee (liquor): She was taken by Daitya.; (10) A strange man but handsome - Dhanvantari (13th Avataar), the Ansh Avataar of Vishnu: carrying the pitcher of Amrit. As Daitya saw the pitcher of Amrit they snatched that pitcher from him and ran away. Devtaa got very sad, but Bhagvaan consoled them.
Bhavishya Puraan, 1/21 says that five cows came out of the Saagar Manthan - Nandaa, Subhadraa, Surabhi, Sumanaa and Shobhanaavatee.
As Mohinee gave him the Amrit, Sun and Moon recognized him as a Daitya and told Mohinee about him. Mohinee immediately used Her Chakra (Divine disc) which cut the throat of Raahu. But till then he had already drank Amrit, so he didn't die, rather he stayed alive and was divided into two - head and tail. His head was Raahu and the tail was named Ketu and both stayed alive.
Since the Sun and the Moon complained about him, he comes to eat the Sun by his head (Raahu) which is called solar eclipse; and the Moon by his tail (Ketu) which is called lunar eclipse.
Since Daitya held the mouth of Vaasuki Naag, they can withstand the poison.
Spiritual Meaning of Saagar Manthan
Ksheer Saagar (The Milky Ocean) is he mind or human consciousness. The mind is always compared to an ocean while the thoughts and emotions are waves. Sometimes they are very high then they can shake a person, sometimes they are so low that the man cannot even feel them.
Mandaraachal (Man + Daraa + Achal) - This Parvat represents the concentration of
thoughts in one straight line.
Koorm Avataar (Tortoise Incarnation) - Tortoise represents in our Dharm for withdrawl of senses from the world, so that the mind (Man) can surrender itself to Divine will. Tortoise was Vishnu - God, so this symbolizes that whatever you undertake to do, must be supported by God
Vaasuki Naag - This serpent represents for worldly desires. Desires always have thousands of ways to fulfill them, so Devtaa and Asur held it as a rope and churned the mind with the help of concentration and withdrawal of the senses. One can manipulate your senses when you have control on your desires. The rope symbolizes for the string of cooperation.
Halaahal (Vish or poison) - It represents suffering and pain. When we do any kind of Saadhanaa, first we feel lots of pain. When the mind is subjected to intense churning by opposite forces we feel intense suffering and turmoil. [Shankar was the only person who could tolerate this suffering] Lord Shiv represents the ascetic principle, one who is innerly detached. By following Shiv's qualities - courage , initiative, discipline, detachment, pure love and general welfare (Shiv = Kalyaan), one can overcome early problems of spiritual life of such as instability of mind.
The various objects which came out of the Sea, and for the spiritual powers or Siddhi. One should be careful about these powers as they may disturb your progress, thatt is why they did not keep anything except one -
Mohinee Avataar (Mohhinee Incarnation) - Mohinee stands for delusion of the mind in the form of pride. Asur lost their right to get Amrit or to be immortal because they were proud of their achievement. pride and egoism are the last hurdles one has to overcome before experiencing self-realization.
Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 04/25/13