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This discourse tells you about- 1. Churning of the ocean 2. How Amrita got the power to give immortality.

Knowledge Base

Who captured Drupada?
Dronacharya asked the Pandavas and Kauravas to capture King Drupada in the form of his guru-dakshina. This was their first real battle. They set out to Panchala. In the battle that ensued, initially, the Pandavas did not enter the city; they waited outside. The Kauravas went in alone and were badly defeated. Then the Pandavas went in. After causing great damage to Drupada's army, the Pandavas captured Drupada.

Who guards amrita in Swarga Loka?
As soon as amrita was obtained, Devas gave it to Lord Nara for safe custody. In Swarga Loka. Devas take turns to guard amrita. When Garuda attacked, it was Vishwakarma who was protecting amrita. The pot of amrita is kept in the middle of a rotating wheel with sharp teeth and is protected by two fierce serpents.

Quiz

Who killed Sweta in Mahabharata?

We saw how serpents were born from their mother Kadru and how Aruna and Garuda were born from their mother Vinata. The father of all of them was Kashyapa Prajapati. Also bear in mind that Kadru and Vinata were sisters. From here, Mahabharata takes us towards churning of the ocean to obtain amrita. This is a very very important event in our history. You must be aware of the churning in a broad way. Mahabharata gives us a lot of minute details about this event. Devas wanted to obtain immortal....

We saw how serpents were born from their mother Kadru and how Aruna and Garuda were born from their mother Vinata.

The father of all of them was Kashyapa Prajapati.

Also bear in mind that Kadru and Vinata were sisters.

From here, Mahabharata takes us towards churning of the ocean to obtain amrita.

This is a very very important event in our history.

You must be aware of the churning in a broad way.

Mahabharata gives us a lot of minute details about this event.

Devas wanted to obtain immortality.

Devas means the Vasus, Rudras, Adityas, and Visvedevas; the inhabitants of Swarga Loka.

They were quite virtuous.

They had the power obtained through performance of yajnas and tapas.

Devas wanted to attain immortality.

They deliberated sitting on top of Meru Parvata in the presence of Brahma and Sriman Narayana.

Where is Meru Parvata?

The Pamir Mountain in Tajikistan.

In the Vedic age, Pamir used to be as brilliant as gold.

It used to shine with gemstones.

It was huge touching the sky.

That's where Devas sat and deliberated.

The glory of Meru was lost due to heavy snowfall.

The whole area turned into desert.

Lord Sri Hari told: immortality can be obtained if you drink amrita.

Amrita can be obtained if you churn the ocean.

Which ocean?

Milky ocean?

Mahabharata just says कलशोदधिः.

The ocean turned milk-like because of the juice that came out of umpteen medicinal herbs, plants, and trees that were on the Mandara mountain which was used as the churn-stick.

As Suras and Asuras kept on pulling back and forth Vasuki the rope tied around Mandara, the medicinal trees on top of the mountain fell, crushed against each other, crushed plants and herbs beneath them.

Juice with medicinal properties flowed out and dissolved in the ocean.

The ocean turned milk-like because of this.

The secret of immortality is the medicinal properties of this herbal juice.

There is another allegory here.

What is the raw material for milk?

Plants and grass.

Again with medicinal properties.

Their essence is what becomes milk.

So either way it connects to milk.

Making the term milky ocean meaningful.

A lot many of the gems on top of Mandara also fell into the ocean adding to it their own power.

Their own power as minerals.

Minerals with medicinal properties.

This was exactly the instruction Lord Sri Hari gave them-

सर्वौषधीः समावाप्य सर्वरत्नानि चैव ह मन्दध्वमुदधिं देवा वेत्स्यध्वममृतं ततः

So the power to give immortality in amrita is from the herbs, plants, trees, and the gems.

तॆषाममृतवीर्याणां रसानां पयसैव च अमरत्वं सुरा जग्मुः काञ्चनस्य च निःस्रवात्

The process here is the same as how milk is produced in the cow's body.

Water is the base for milk.

Here also the ocean is the base.

Milk has the essence of the medicinal herbs that the cow eats.

Here, juice of a lot of trees and herbs from a mountain.

The gems are minerals.

In Ayurveda also uses both herbs and minerals.

The mountain Mandara which was the churn-stick was also huge.

11,000 yojanas in height above the ground and 11,000 yojanas below.

Devas couldn’t lift it up on their own.

Bhagavan asked Adishesha to help them.

He single-handedly uprooted it and placed it in the ocean.

Some Puranas say that when Mandara started sinking, then Bhagavan took avatara as Kurma and lifted it up.

According to Mahabharata, from starting itself Mandara was resting on the Kurma's back.

From the top, Indra held Mandara in its place with his Vajrayudha.

Before the churning, they told the ocean we are going to do this.

Samudra devata said: no problem, I will bear all the trouble, but I should also get a share of amrita.

Nagaraja Vasuki was the rope.

The Asuras were made to hold the head side of Vasuki and Devas held the tail side while churning.

Vasuki kept on spitting poison.

Adishesha kept on lifting and dropping the head of Vasuki again and again, beating down so that the position turned into small particles and rose up in the air.

This caused the formation of clouds through precipitation and it rained on the Deva side giving them some relief from the fatigue of hard work.

It was not a very peaceful venue.

Poisonous fumes, flames, dark sky, thunder, lightning.

Devas and Asuras sweating it out.

Millions of aquatic animals and fish were crushed under the impact of the churning.

It didn’t seem to work.

Nothing was coming out.

Brahma told Sri Hari: give them more strength.

Bhagavan blessed them all with more strength.

Devas and Asuras started pulling harder.

Then, first Moon came out.

Then, Lakshmi Devi.

Then, Sura Devi, the goddess of liquor.

Then, Kaustubha-mani.

Then, all wish-granting Parijata tree.

Then, Gaumatha.

Then, the horse called Ucchaishravas.

All of them rose up in the sky towards the Divya Lokas.

Then, Dhanvantari Bhagavan came out with a pot in his hand containing amrita.

Devas and Asuras started fighting for amrita.

The reason this legend finds mention in this part of Mahabharata is because of the role of Ucchaishravas in the enmity between Kadru and Vinata and also Kardru's curse on her own sons.

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