Churning of the divine oceans for spiritual progression..

Samudra Manthan is an important divine event in hindu Philosophy where all devas/[Gods],asuras/[Demons] and primordial lords/[Trimurti] of sanatana dhrama participated for spiritual upliftment of Brahman. This event is narrated in 3 important texts which are Bhagavata Purana, Mahabharata and Vishnu Purana which is a testament of it's importance.

Two important questions comes in the mind of the seeker, What are the oceans which are being churned and why are they being churned?

The oceans which are being churned are the 7 oceans in concentric circles which surround the Bhu-loka, and the reason they are churned is to primarily obtain Amrita or "Nectar of Immortality" and other divine things.All hindu Trimurti ,devas and asuras participated in this holy event despite their conflicts and differences.

In the churning process, lord shiva and lord vishnu played a primary role, devas and asuras did the churning. Many things were obtained from the churning of oceans and each have their own distinct importance.

This divine event symbolizes the divinity which each and every seeker holds in his soul. But what is this divinity? And how can an event which took place ages ago help us in our spiritual progression?

The entirity of this event answers both these questions with conviction. The Devas and Asuras represent the positives and negatives halves of one's own self. The process of churning symbolizes a seeker raising his energy or churning his energy to achieve the divine nectar of Self-realization. The entire process and all participating entities represent events a seekers goes through on the path of Self-realization.

The Devas and the Asuras represents the positives and the negatives of one's own self, when churned the ocean of milk which represents the mind for the nectar of immortality [self realisation].Mount Mandhara represents firm concentration which rests on Vishnu's Kurma Avatar [withdrawing their senses as tortoise withdraws in themselves]. Vasuki which symbolizes desire is used as a churning rope, the first thing that came out was the Halahal poison which symbolizes pain and suffering which every seeker has to deal with for further evolution. After gaining victory over pain and traumas we achieve Self-realization.

The precious objects that came out of the ocean of milk represent the spiritual powers in the form of Siddhis and Nidhis that one is rewarded with, after he continues his penances by resolving pain and suffering.

Below is a list of all entities which took part in this holy event:

1. Lord Shiva & Maa Parvati : He consumed the Halala poison which was the first object churned out of Manthan. Lord Shiva alone had the strength and capacity to consume the most deadly posion on earth. The posion was so potent that its fumes made the devas and asuras faint. When Mahadeva consumed the poison, Maa Parvati with her powers stopped the poison from going to the stomach of Lord Shiva[It would have destroyed the universe which rests inside mahadeva]. As the posion was stopped in the throat of Lord Shiva, it was so potent that it turned Lord Shiva's throat Blue, this made lord vishnu blessing him with the name of 'NEELAKANTHA' which means "The One with a blue throat".

2. Lord Vishnu: He took the kurma avatar which is the third incarnation of Vishnu for the process of churning. Mount Mandhara rested on the hard shell of a tortoise on which churning took place. Kurma symbolizes withdrawal of one's senses similar to tortoise withdrawing it's limbs.

3. Mount Mandhara: : The sanskrit word Mandhara is made up of two words where Mana- Mind and Dhara- In one line or flows which symbolizes concentration and a seeker raising his or her energy in ine line through Susushma Nadi. Mount Mandara is one of the tallest peak in the owrld and rests in the himalayan ranges. Lord Vishnu lifted the mountain and took it to the center of the universe for the process of churning.

4. Vasuki: Vasuki is called the king of serpents and symbolizes desire.As Lord shiva is above his desires, vasuki beautifully adorns lord shiva necks. Vasuki was used as a churning rope, it symbolizes the desire to attain the nectar of immortality or can be interpreted as Devas and Asuras churning their mind with a rope of desire to obtain amrita..

5. Asuras and Devas: The Devas and the Asuras represent the positives and negatives of one's own inner self. In order to achieve self-realisation, one must control both sides of his inner self and balance them in order to reach the goal of self-realisation

These 5 were the main participator of the holy event and with this 13 gems or Ratnas emerge from the churning.

1. Maa Lakshmi: Maa laskhmi is often referred to as the daughter to one of the kings of the ocean. She emerges from the ocean and Lord vishnu accepts her as his consort. It is also symbolic as ocean bed contain various types of Gold, Silver, other precious metals and various petroleum products.

2. Deva Dhanvantri with Amrita: Dhanvantri is regarded as the physician of the gods and he energed as the final gem from the process of churning. He came holding a vessel ofetn called as "Matka" holding the divine amruta which was distributed among the gods.

3. Kamadhenu: Kamadhenu is a divine cow and grant any wishes a seeker desires.Kamadhenu is often symbolized as a form of Devi or "the all giving Mother". She is taken by Lord Vishnu and given to reverred sages so that the ghee which comes from the cow is used for offerings in Yagya of thr highest order.

4. Apsaras: Apsaras are called Divine nymphs and are taken by various demigods as consorts. In greek mythology, there are few mention of nymphs with one being Calypso who loved Odysseus.

5. Varuni: Varuni is a symbol of the violent nature of the oceans and was reluctantly taken up as consort by the demons. In some texts, Lord Varuna[King of the oceans] also took her as his consort.

6. Ucchaishravas: Ucchaishravas is considered as the king of horses and mankind has always seen horses as a symbol of power, strength and virility. It is taken by Indra, the King of Gods.

7. Kalpavriksha: Kalpavriksha is often termed as a wish fulfilling tree and is referrenced in many mythological stories. This tree is also called Kalpataru and often recorded to give boons to its worshipers, fulfilling their wishes. Symbolically, the tree represents Mother Nature and even Gods are not exempt from the benefits of this tree.

8. Chandra: Chandra or moon came from the churning of the oceans. The milky way represents the entire cosmic oceans and moon emerging from its churning is a subset of it. The moon also influences the menstural cycle of women and tidal current of the oceans.

9. Parijat: On first read, Parijat seems like a name of a man but in this case it's name of a tree. A magical tree whose blossoms gives out sweet perfumes like smell.

10. Sharanga: Sharanaga is a divine bow which emerged from the churning. It symbolizes divine weapons which can be created from the uncertainity of the oceans. Sharanga is one of the most powerful bow similar to Pinanka. Lord Vishnu once battled Lord shiva with his bow and he was able to defeat shiva.

11. Jyestha: Jyestha is the "Goddess of Misfortune" also called "A-lakshmi". She was taken up by the demons and represents the complete opposite of lakshmi.

12. Kaustubh: The most splenedid of all jewels. It was so exquisite that devas and asuras started quarelling among themselves as to who would keep it.Kaustubh represents the all-consuming greed that can emerge so easily from something so beautiful and precious. After the quarell subsided, kaustubh is worn as an adornment on his chest by Lord Vishnu, because only he is completely detached from the greed associated with riches.

13. Halahala: The most potent posion in the universe which was so strong that devas and asuras fainted just the fumes of it. Later, lord shiva consumed this posion to save the universe.

These were the 13 gems which churned out of the divine samudra manthan. The story also suggests that health, both physical and mental, is necessary for achieving self-realization and that pride and delusion can lead one astray on the journey. This is just one interpretation of the story, and there may be other meanings and symbolism associated with it as well.

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