Sunday, October 30, 2011

Samundra Manthan

After Lord Vishnu married Goddess Lakshmi who came out of the churning of the ocean, the Devas and the Asuras continued their churning.
Many precious stones and treasures emerged from the ocean, but the amrita was nowhere in sight.
The Devas and the Asuras were almost ready to give up, when they decided to give it one last try. Finally from the ocean emerged – Dhanvantri, with the pot of Amrita.
When it was out, the Asuras ran after Dhanvantri and grabbed the pot from him.
Indra fought forwards and shouted at Bali – the Asura King. "You said we would share the Amrita. All of us have worked for..."
"THUMP" Indra fell down dazed as Bali punch him in the jaw. Indra’s eyes were swimming, as he fell down hard. "FOOL! Did you really think, we would share such a precious gift with you – our arch enemies?" He taunted Indra, who was lying down. Abruptly he turned to his men, "All of you go to the side, we will share all the proceeds of the nectar. The Devas," he said turning contemptuously looking at Indra, "cannot stop us now."
Varuna helped Indra on his feet. Indra closed his eyes, his worst nightmares coming true. This was not to be this way. Lord Vishnu had promised...Oh Lord Vishnu!...Please Lord help us now...If the Asuras take the Amrita, we are doomed...
Indra opened his eyes, when he saw a lovely lady standing before him. He had seen plenty of beautiful women, but he could not compare this woman with any one of them. He had just seen Goddess Lakshmi emerge from the ocean. While Goddess Lakshmi had been elegant and beautiful, this woman on the other hand, was enchantingly beautiful.
He saw the Asuras being captivated by the beautiful woman.
He saw Bali approach the woman. "Who are you, beautiful?"
The woman opened her mouth and spoke in a melodious voice, which even captivated Indra. "I am Mohini."
Bali licked his lips, "Well Mohini," he said pointing at him and his men, totally ignoring the Devas, "we have just won a precious gift. We are all going to share it. We would be grateful if you would be the one who gave us all the share."
Mohini smiled sweetly and arched her eyebrows, "Me? You want me to divide this among you?"
Bali seemed incapable of talking to the woman and simply nodded.
Mohini nodded, "Very well!" She took the pot of Amrita in her delicate hands, and turned to look at the Devas, "By the way, who are they?"
Bali spoke contemptuously, "Nothing worth your attention, my dear lady."
Mohini shook her head, "Well that does not seem right. If you are in it together, at least have them with you, while you have the fruits of your labour."
Bali was about to shake his head, when his minister intervened, "Oh yes! If you say so. We will have them with us and let them watch while we take the nectar."
Bali was about to get angry at his minister, when he saw Mohini’s face. It looked radiant and happy at this decision. He also nodded mutely utterly captivated by her.
Mohini made the Devas and the Asuras sit on two sides. She served the Amrita to the Devas first, smiling sweetly at the Asuras. The Asuras contended with her smile forgot to notice, that they had not been served any Amrita. Even Bali was bewitched by Mohini.
However one of the Asuras - Rahu saw something amiss. He saw that the beautiful woman had almost served all the Amrita to the Devas and served nothing to the Asuras.
He sneaked over to the other side and sat beside Surya and Chandra. Mohini did not notice any difference and served Rahu some Amrita.
The Devas were about to gulp the Amrita, when Surya and Chandra noticed something amiss. There was an extra Deva on their side. One whom they had never met before.
Surya looked closely and he gulped his Amrita and yelled, "He is no Deva," pointing at Rahu.
Chandra who was close by also yelled, "I have never seen him before in my life..."
Rahu had taken the Amrita and as it was in his throat, the bewitching Mohini threw the Sudarshana Chakra at Rahu’s throat preventing Rahu from swallowing the nectar.
The Devas quickly swallowed the Amrita as they saw Mohini change form and assume the form that they had always loved - that of Lord Vishnu. Mohini was Lord Vishnu!
As the Devas took the amrita, they felt energy fill them countering all the effects of Sage Durvasa’s curse. They felt powerful, in control and strong. They had become immortal.
The Asuras realized too late that they were duped, fell upon the Devas angrily. However now as the Devas had taken the nectar, they Devas routed the Asuras.
The battle was fierce and short, but the Asuras were destroyed completely and escaped to netherworld from fear of the Devas.
However as Rahu had taken the amrita and Rahu’s head had become immortal. Even now, it is believed that Rahu attacks the sun and the moon occasionally for ratting him out, which causes the solar and lunar eclipses in our planet.

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