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Churning of ocean

Churning of ocean
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.

Churning of the ocean
Lakshmi emerges from the ocean
Lakshmi and vishnu
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.

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.

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