Enepalese Published on: May 23, 2024

Samundra Manthan, the Ocean Churning, is one of the most narrated stories in Vedic Purans and it had occurred at Mandharachal Parbat (Mt. Everest), Dudhpokhari. In Sanskrit, ‘Kshir’ means milk and ‘sagar’ means the great river which is today’s dudhkoshi.

Once, King Indra was losing his power due to the curse of sage Durbhasa because Indra had neglected the garland given by Durbhasa. Since then, Indira was losing power. With feeble hope, so he prayed to Lord Vishnu for the great help. Narayan (Vishnu) gave an idea for churning ocean and to receive fortunes for regaining immense power. Devraj Indra accepted the conditions and started to churn at Dudhpokhari beneathe Mt. Everest.

The Mandharachal Mountain which is today’s Mount Everest adopted as a curing pole and Vasuki the King of serpents became the churning rope. But when the pole slipped-off and fell into the ocean, Vishnu instantly transferred himself as a tortoise and placed the mountain on his back. This was the second incarnation of Narayan (Vishnu dev). The first item which came out from the ocean churning was the poison of water. All the Devas and demons were worried to see poison and pleaded Narayan for the great help. There appeared Shiva jee and drank the halahal poison and HIS throat became blue. Therefore, Shiva is also known as Neelkantha- the blue throated. Few poisons dropped from the palm and into earth which was drank by snakes, scorpions. Since then, snakes and scorpions became poisonous. Shiva jee, then made a hole using Trident in the high mountain to get water for cooling his burning throat. From that point Trishuli River started to flow through valleys and eventually meets Kalighadaki at Devghat. Trishuli River is pretty famous for white water rafting these days, on the way to Kathmandu and meets at Devghat (Harihar Kshetra).

After consuming the poison by Lord Shiva, again the ocean churning started. Then gradually, 14 gems emerged- Chandrama (moon), Kamadhenu (holy cow), Uchchaihshravas (horse), Airawat (elephant), Kaustubha-mani (precious gem), Kalpa-briskha (immortal tree), Apsara (angel Rambha), goddess Laxmi, Varuni (goddess of wine) Parijaat (flower), Panchajanya Sankha (Conch), Saranga Dhanus (bow), Dev Dhanwantari and Amrit ghada (nectar pot).

Now, violent fighting gets started between Devas and demons after seeing Dev Dhanwantari with nectar pot. Immediately the demons snatched the nectar pot and ran away because they were very strong. Few drops fell down in 12 places; Haridwar (Barahakshettra), Kusheshwordham (the 1st Shiva-Linga), Ujjain (Kathmandu), Inareshwor (Dman), Devghat (Harihar Kshetra), Uttar-gaya (Trishuli), Prayag (confluence of Yamuna and Sarasworti river at Damauli) etc. Since then, 12 years Vedic festival named ‘Kumbhamela’ started in these places. Later Indian Hindus imitated the Vedic culture giving the same name in India side too. Now, those replica sites became popular and the original places remained into shadow.

Anyway, seeing big fight, lord Vishnu disguised himself as a beautiful lady ‘Mohini’ in order to fascinate and control them. Now, Mohini asked all of them to be in a queue. However, she would first feed to the Devas. While Mohini was giving nectar one by one to devas, one of the demons named Swarbhanu hided himself in a queue of Devas and took a bit of elixir. Sun and moon saw this cheating and told to mohini. Mohini hastily chopped-off swarbhanu’s head forming into two body parts- Rahu and Ketu. Swarbhanu became furious and since that time solar and lunar eclipse started to occur as a revenge of demon Swarbhanu. Rahu and Ketu established into the space as north node of the moon and south node of the moon. Indeed, they are the one who make eclipse.

In this way, Lord Vishnu disappeared after making drinking the nectar to the Devas (gods). Now the demons became weak and had to lose the fight. Hence, Devraj Indra defeated demon King Bali’s attack and withdraw his Indra-lok. By the way, Devaraj Indra’s lok (regime) is today’s Kathmandu and Demon King Bali’s lok is todays Bali of Indonesia. This is the reason why ocean churning story is pretty famous in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. One can see great demonstration of Samundra manthan at Subarna-bhumi airport in Thailand.

One can pay homage to Neealkantha (Shiva Jee) lying down beneath Daman’s Panchawati forest nearby Hetauda. May you understand, Shiva is always in divine light form but if the same divine energy of Shiva emerges in water, it becomes Narayan (Nar means water and Yana means to emerge in Sanskrit). Therefore, Shiva and Narayan are the two forms of the same divine energy. One can see at Budhaneelkantha Kathmandu Shiva and Narayan in one statue. Buddha Poornima (Gorakh Poornima), which usually falls on Baishakh, was the day of churning ocean, the second incarnation of Vishnu as a tortoise. This was the sacred day that Siddhartha Gautam had received enlightenment and became Buddha. Kiratis celebrate ‘Ubhauli Parva’ remembering the auspicious occasion of the Ocean Churning.

TUSHITA-NEPAL (The School of Life)