churning of the milky ocean

churning of the milky ocean

▪ Hindu mythology
      in Hindu mythology, one of the central events in the ever-continuing struggle between the devas (gods) and the asuras (demons, or titans). The gods, who had become weakened as a result of a curse by the irascible sage, Durvāsas, invited the asuras to help them recover the elixir of immortality, the amṛta, from the depths of the cosmic ocean.

      Mt. Mandara, a spur of the world axis, Mt. Meru, was torn out to use as a churning stick and was steadied at the bottom of the ocean by Vishnu in his aspect as the tortoise Kūrma. The asuras held the head of the nāga (serpent) Vāsuki, who was procured for a churning rope, and the gods held his tail. When Vāsuki's head hit the rocks and he vomited forth poison that threatened to fall into the ocean and contaminate the amṛta, the god Śiva took it and held it in his throat, a feat that turned his throat blue.

      In the churning of the ocean many wonderful treasures that became the prototypes for their earthly and heavenly counterparts were brought up from the depths: (1) Candra, the moon; (2) pārijāta, a beautiful and fragrant tree now planted in Indra's heaven; (3) the four-tusked elephant Airāvata, Indra's mount; (4) Kāmadhenu, the cow of plenty; (5) Madirā, the goddess of wine, who became Vāruṇī, the wife of Varuṇa; (6) Kalpavṛkṣa, the wish-fulfilling tree; (7) the apsaras (nymph) Rambhā; (8) the celestial horse Uccaiḥśravas; (9) the goddess Lakṣmī, who became the wife of Vishnu; (10) Pāñcajanya, Vishnu's conch; (11) Gadā, Vishnu's mace, and Dhanus, his magic bow; (12) Ratna (various gems); (13-14) Dhanvantari, the physician of the gods, who rose up out of the waters carrying in his hands the supreme treasure, the amṛta.

      When the amṛta appeared, the gods and the asuras fought over its possession, though they had originally agreed to share it equally. After many adventures, it was finally consumed by the gods, who were thus restored in strength.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ocean of milk — Kurma Avatar of Vishnu, below Mount Mandara, with Vasuki wrapped around it, during Samudra manthan, the churning of the ocean of milk. ca 1870 …   Wikipedia

  • Asura — /us oo reuh/, n. 1. (in Indian mythology) a god or demon. 2. Zoroastrianism. Ahura. [ < Skt: mighty Lord; later (by reanalysis as a + sura) taken to mean demon, as opposed to sura (by back formation) god ] * * * ▪ Hindu mythology Sanskrit“divine” …   Universalium

  • Lakṣmī — ▪ Hindu deity also spelled  Lakshmi,  also called  Śrī,    Hindu goddess of wealth and good fortune. The wife of Vishnu, she is said to have taken different forms in order to be with him in each of his incarnations. Thus when he was the dwarf… …   Universalium

  • Nyctanthes arbor-tristis — This article is about the tree known as Night flowering Jasmine. For other plants known as Jasmine, see Jasmine (disambiguation). Parijat redirects here. For other uses, see Parijat (disambiguation). Nyctanthes arbor tristis …   Wikipedia

  • Kumbh Mela — ▪ Hindu festival also called  Kumbha Mela        in Hinduism, religious festival that is celebrated four times every 12 years, the site of the observance rotating between four pilgrimage places on four sacred rivers: at Hardwar on the Ganges… …   Universalium

  • Samudra manthan — Angkor Wat Suvarnabhumi Airport Churning of the ocean depicted in …   Wikipedia

  • Lakshmi — For other uses, see Lakshmi (disambiguation). Lakshmi Lakshmi by Raja Ravi Varma Devanagari लक्ष्म …   Wikipedia

  • Durvasa — curses Shakuntala In Hindu mythology, Durvasa (दुर्वास in Devanagari or durvāsa in IAST, pronounced [d̪urʋɑːsɐ] in classical Sanskrit), or Durvasas, was an ancient sage, the son of Atri and Anasuya. He is supposed to be an inca …   Wikipedia

  • Thiruthani Murugan Temple — Infobox Mandir creator = A King from Nagiri, Andrapradesh (don t know the name) proper name = Thiruthani murugan Koil date built = unknown primary deity = Murugan architecture = Dravidian architecture location = TiruthaniPhone = 91 44… …   Wikipedia

  • Shiva — Shivaism, n. Shivaist, n. Shivaistic, adj. /shee veuh/, n. Hinduism. the Destroyer, the third member of the Trimurti, along with Brahma the Creator and Vishnu the Preserver. Also, Siva. [ < Skt: lit., the auspicious] * * * or Siva Major deity of …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”