Story: Why did Samudra Manthan happen?
Samudra Manthan or the churning of the ocean is one unique occasion when the devas and their enemies the asuras unite for an important reason. The churning of the ocean is a result of a curse by sage Durvasa. Once he offered a garland to Indra the king of devas, Indra accepted the garland and showed his happiness putting the garland on his elephant Airavat as an ornament. Airavat irritated by the scent of the garland picked it with his trunk and threw it on the ground.
Rishi Durvasa was furious and cursed Indra and the devas to lose their kingdom power and glory. As a result, Indra’s mighty Vahana instantly went into oblivion. Lakshmi the goddess of fortune could no longer stay in the same realm as the devas and parted ways with her consort Vishnu. She made depths of the sheer Sagar as her new home. Due to Lakshmi's absence in Devaluk, the devas lost all their riches. The luminous Chandra adorning shiva’s matted hair disappears too robbed of their power.
The devas were soon defeated by the asuras in battle. The defeated devas approached Lord Vishnu for a solution who advised them to churn sheer Sagar to obtain the Amrit. Amrit or the elixir of immortality that would help the devas regain their power. The asuras willingly offered to assist the devas since they too wanted immortality and invincible powers by consuming Amrit.
How did Samudra Manthan Happen?
Mount Mandar was used to churn the ocean, which was kept afloat in the ocean by kurma Vishnu’s turtle avatar. The naga king Vasuki, who shiva wears as a garland, became the churning rope several precious items or Ratnas emerged from the cosmic ocean which were distributed among the devas, the asuras, and the sages here are 14 things that emerged from Samundra Manthan
1- Halahala Poison: Story of Neelkanth
The Halahala was a deadly poison that had the potential to destroy all beings in the three realms. None amongst the armies of the asuras and the devas stepped in to stop the poison from spreading into the universe as they feared the poison would destroy them too. Lord shiva descended from mount Kerelash to consume the poison goddess. Parvati used her powers to stop the halacha in shiva’s throat and, as a result, his throat turned blue. Thus he came to be known as NeelKant.
2- Airavat Elephant: a multi-tusked elephant vahana of Indra
Airavat the king of the elephants, was a white-colored winged being with six trunks and six pairs of tusks. He is said to dig his trunk deep into the ground and reach water that is inaccessible to humans. He uses his trunk to spray the water in the form of monsoon showers. After appearing from the cosmic ocean, Arava chose to serve his master Indra, who was delighted to reunite with his loyal Vahana.
3- Uchhaisravas: Seven headed Snow white horse
Uchhaisravas is often considered the king of the horses. The seven-headed snow-white horse was one of the three animals that appeared during the Samudra Manthan. The magnificent steed was taken by Indra. Eventually, the Uchhaisravas came into the hands of King Mahabali, the asura king, who ruled over the three worlds.
One’s goddess Lakshmi was spellbound by the beauty of Uchhaisravas and forgot to pay attention to her consort Vishnu. This infuriated him and he cursed Lakshmi to be born as a mare, The color of Uchhaisravas’s tale once became a topic of debate for two sisters: Kadru and Vinata. The sister studied the horse from a distance and Vinata declared that the horse’s tail was white, while Kadru insisted that the tail was black, the sisters decided to come back and see the horse the next day.
Whoever of the two had guessed, the wrong color would have to become the slave of the other. Kadru won the bet by treachery as she commanded her sons, the nagas to cover the tale of the horse. Thus Vinata ended up being a Kaoru slave.
4- Kamadhenu: a cow that provides desired objects
Kamadhenu was one of the precious Ratnas obtained from the cosmic ocean and is considered to be the mother of all cattle. Kamadhinu is depicted with the face of a woman, the body of a cow with a pair of wings, and a tail of a peacock. She was given to the Saptarishis as she provided them with ample milk. The milk was used to prepare curd and ghee, which were regularly required for their sacred rituals.
According to Mahabharat, Kamadhenu was in the possession of one of the Sabtarushi’s Jamadagni. The sage invited king Kartavirya Arjuna to a feast. The greedy king learned about the resourcefulness of Kamadhenu and forcefully took Kamadhenu and her calf away from the sage. The sage’s son Parashuram, the sixth avatar or incarnation of Vishnu single-handedly defeated the king and his army successfully retrieving the sacred cow in her calf.
5- Apsaras : heavenly spirits of devloka
Apsaras are female, heavenly spirits of the Devaloka or the home of the gods. They are associated with music and dance after appearing from the cosmic ocean. They chose Gandharvas as their companions. The Gandharvas served as musicians in Indra’s court. Indra who was constantly insecure about his throne often commanded the enchanting apsaras to distract sages or asuras from their Tapasya to achieve his own ends
6- Parijat : divine tree of devloka
Parijat from the depths of the ocean sprung a divine flowering tree called the Paramita. The flowers of the tree were white, with a tinge of orange at the stalk. Indra decided to keep the beautiful flowering tree with the enchanting fragrance for himself and planted the tree in his garden in Devaloka. Yugas later Krishna and Indra dwelled over the tree as Krishna Wanted to bring the tree bearing the scented flowers to Prithvi Lok for his wife, Satyabhama, and Rukmini. Eventually, Krishna defeated Indra and took the tree. The tree has a special significance in Hinduism and it is forbidden to pluck its flowers and only the fallen. Flowers can be used to worship deities.
7- Sharanga - Vishnu's Bow
The sharanga bow was one of the two divine bows crafted by Vishwakarma, the architect of the gods. Vishnu used the bow in his Parasurama avatar, Ramavatar, and Krishna avatar. Before returning to his holy abode, Vishnu in the form of Krishna left the bow in the possession of Varuna, the god of the oceans.
8- Panchajanya - The Conch of Vishnu
The Conch Panchajanya, In ancient times, the sound of the quench signified the beginning of a war Vishnu’s conch Panchajanya is a symbolic way of portraying his role as the preserver of the universe. God, steps into the battlefield again and again in different avatars to save humanity.
9- Kastubh Mani
Kastubh Mani is a sacred precious gemstone that is embedded in the necklace worn by Vishnu. The gemstone is said to be as beautiful as an exotic lotus and as radiant as the sun.
10 - Chandra - The moon god
The moon God Chandra appeared as one of the precious Ratnas and took refuge in the matted hair of shiva. His father-in-law Prajapati Daksha once cursed him for not being a good husband to his daughters due to the curse, Chandra lost his powers and his body started withering after extensive prayers. Shiva came to the deity’s rescue and wore him as an ornament in his hair to neutralize the curse. However, Chandra still waxes and wanes as a result of that curse.
11- Lakshmi - Goddess of Wealth
Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth, prosperity, and fortune. She is one of the three supreme goddesses with Saraswati and Parvati. She emerged from the cosmic ocean draped in her red and gold sari, while seated on a grand lotus with smaller lotuses in her hands. After a long time of separation, the goddess was finally reunited with her consort, Lord Vishnu. Her return brought back the riches of the devas giving Devaluk its earlier splendor.
The arrival of Lakshmi was followed by her counterpart and elder sister alakshmi, who had unkempt hair and was draped in a single white cloth. She is the goddess of misfortune, poverty, and misery and is said to visit houses filled with ego, pride, selfishness, and envy.
Unlike her sister Lakshmi, who likes sweet food, a Lakshmi has an appetite for hot and pungent food, so many Hindu households often hang lemon and chilies at their doorstep to satisfy the appetite of the goddess of misfortune.
13- Dhanvantri: the physician of the gods
Dhanavantri, the physician of the gods, appeared from the turbulent ocean carrying the pot of Amrit. Dhanavantri was responsible for teaching the ancient knowledge of medical science Ayurveda to the mortal. Brahma created Ayurveda before he created mankind. But the vast knowledge of medical science was difficult for mortals to understand. So dhanvantri split the original text into eight divisions and thought his disciples.
As soon as Dhanvantri appeared with the pot of Amrit, the asura snatched the pot and planned to consume the entire pot of elixir. Vishnu devised a plan and took the form of an enchanting woman Mohini. Mohini used her charm to lure the asuras out of hiding and use the opportunity to take the pot back to the devas, while the devas were consuming the elixir to regain their divine strength back. One of the asuras Rahu Ketu disguised himself as a deva to taste the Amrit. However, he was discovered just as he was pouring the liquid into his mouth. Vishnu instantly hurled the Sudarshan chakra and beheaded Rahu Ketu, but the Amrit had already reached the asura’s throat. Rahu Ketu's, head and body were flung on the opposite sides of the universe and became Rahu and Ketu.