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See also Bhaagvat Puraan, 8/3 for its full story; Read Kumbh for its aftermath,
Sea. Saagar means sea, and Manthan means churning; so Saagar Manthan means churning of the sea. This event is especially referred to Saagar Manthan done by Devtaa and Daitya. Saagar's synonyms are Jaladhi, Paathodhi, Ratnaakar, Samudra, Sindhu, Udadhi.
Once a war broke between Devtaa and Daitya. Daitya defeated Devtaa and took control over Swarg Lok. Indra had lost his wealth also because of Durvaasaa Muni's Shaap. So he went to Vishnu for His help. Vishnu said - "This time is not good for you. Keep patience and extend friendship with Daitya. Instigate them to churn the sea (Kshee Saagar). Both Lakshmee and Amrit will come out of it. I will help you to get both of them. Use Mandaraachal Parvat as the churning rod and Vaasuki Naag as the churning rope." Indra went back and went to Daitya Raaj Bali to extend his friendship and propose the churning of the sea. Bali agreed and both Devtaa and Daitya started churning the sea.
Devtaa were at the tail side of Vaasuki and Daitya were at the mouth side of Vaasuki. In the absence of any base, Mandar was shaking violently and sinking in the sea. So Vishnu assumed the form of a Koorm (tortoise) and lifted Mandaraachal on His back. During the churning 14 Ratn (Jewels) came out of the sea -
(1) Halaahal Vish (poison) - Shiv drank it and kept it in his throat
There is a Shlok about
the 14 Ratn coming out of the sea, I don't know how far this Shlok is
correct, but I can say it for sure that Garud (Baaz) did not come out of
the sea, he was the son of Kashyap and Vinataa [I got this Shlok from Manas Pant] --
As the Amrit came out both Devtaa and Daitya ran to take it. Daitya could take the lead and ran away with it. Now, Vishnu assumed the form of a beautiful woman, Mohinee, and appeared among Daitya. All Daitya got attracted to see her and asked her to be their wife and distribute Amrit to them. Mohinee agreed and took the pitcher of Amrit, but She did not give Amrit to Daitya, rather She gave it to Devtaa.
A Daitya named Raahu was noticing all this, he assumed the form of Chandramaa and got mixed with Devtaa. Mohinee gave some Amrit to him too, but at the same time Soorya and Chandramaa recognized him and complained about him to Mohinee. Vishnu took out His Chakra immediately and cut his neck. But by that time he had already gulped down some Amrit, so he did not die, rather got divided in two - his head was Raahu and his trunk became Ketu (tail). Since then he has developed an enmity with Soorya and Chandramaa, he swallows them on Amaavasyaa (No Moon day) and Poornimaa (Full Moon day) respectively. That is why we have solar and lunar eclipses.
Padm Puraan, 2/15 (p 324), says that four women came out from the sea at the time of Saagar Manthan - Lakshmee, Vaarunee, Kaamodaa, and Jyeshthaa. Kaamodaa appeared from the wave of Amrit. She will assume the form of a tree to please Vishnu Bhagavaan and will always give pleasure to Vishnu. In this form she will be known as Tulasee. Jagannaath will always enjoy with her. Whoever will offer Him even one leaf of Tulasee, He will think about giving him "What can I give him?" and He will be very pleased with him.
Padm Puraan, 5/37 says that Saagar Manthan started on a pure Ekaadashee Tithi.
[Mahaabhaarat, 0/6] After a while a mild Moon came out; then came out Lakshmee dressed in white; then Som; then the white horse; then Kaustubh Mani which adorned Naaraayan's chest. Then Lakshmee, Som and the horse came to Naaraayan. Then came out Dhanvantari himself with white vessel of nectar. Seeing it Asur cried, "It is ours, it is ours." After it came out the huge elephant Airaavat with two pairs of tusks. Indra took him. Then appeared Kaalkoot poison. At the request of Brahmaa Jee, Shiv swallowed that poison. He kept it in his throat. It is said that he was called Neelkanth from the same time.
Bhavishya Puraan, 1/21 says that five cows came out of the Saagar Manthan - Nandaa, Subhadraa, Surabhi, Sumanaa and Shobhanaavatee.
Where Its Reference is Found
Mahaabhaarat (Mbh). [The critical edition published by the Bhnmlarkar
Oriental Research Institute, Poonaa].
It has also
been discovered that the legend, as it is told from work to work,
differs in many respects in its several parts. For instance, there
It will be noticed that in the following sections giving the development of the legend from one work to another, the Padm Puraan (P) has been referred to twice. It is because the Padm Puraan gives two different accounts of the legend in two different places viz, in its Srishti Khand and Uttar Khand respectively. These two passages from Padm Puraan are therefore given a separate place in the following sections. P (Srishti Khand) and P (Uttar Khand) are abbreviated to P (S) and P (U) respectively and are referred to as such in the sequel.
1-44.8-13 ; 1-45. 1-6 ; 1-46.10]
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 12/08/12