Brihaspati was very clever. He met the demons, managed cleverly to bring about
friendship between them and the gods and arranged to make them churn the milky
sea. The demons agreed in the hope of getting ambrosia and wealth. They all gathered,
carried the Mandara Mountain and dipped it in the sea of milk. They tied Vasuki,
the king of snakes, as a rope.
|SHIVA CONSUMING THE POISON
The demons at one end and gods at the other end
held Vasuki and commenced churning the sea. At that time the Mandara Mountain
sank into the sea. Then Narayana took the body of a tortoise and brought to the
surface the Mountain, which was at the bottom of the sea. Mandara was hoisted
on the back of the tortoise and was floating. While churning thus, first 'KALAKUTA,'
a dreadful poison, was produced. Everybody was frightened by its fierceness.
Then, as requested by the gods, Shiva was pleased to drink that poison. The blue
color of the poison left a mark on Shiva's neck. Therefore Shiva was named 'god
with a blue spot on the neck'. In other words Lord Shiva got another name NEELAKANTA.
|CHURNING OF THE OCEAN
|LAKSHMI EMERGES FROM THE CHURNING
|SHREE AND VISHNU
After that, due to Vishnu's encouragement, gods and demons continued churning
the sea. Then a horse by name UCHAISHRAVAS, KALPAVRIKSHA having the power to
grant what is wished, and KAMADHENU and other celestial articles took shape.
When the sea continued to be churned the Apsara damsels were born.
After that a surprising spectacle appeared. In the midst
of the waves of the sea of milk, a goddess with heavenly looks came into view.
She was standing on a fully blossomed lotus. Wearing a lotus garland in the neck, she was holding
a lotus in her hand. Her appearance was most attractive. She, who was radiantly
smiling, was Lakshmi herself.
The sages began reciting hymns in praise of her. Gandharvas sang. Apsaras danced.
The elephants on either side sprinkled sacred holy Ganga water on the goddess
and bathed her. Because the elephants sprinkled holy water
on her, she acquired the name of GAJALAKSHMI. Because she was born in the sea
of milk, she was called SAMUDRATANAYA. The king of the sea appeared in his natural form and comforted
Lakshmi as a daughter. He presented her with attractive clothes and jewels. He
handed to her a garland of lotus flowers. While everybody
was looking in surprise, Lakshmi put the garland around the neck of Vishnu and
occupied his chest. When
she looked at Indra kindly, he acquired an extraordinary radiance.