Thursday, 7 July 2011

Churning of the Milk Ocean and Visvamohini pursued by Siva

Churning of the Milk Ocean and  Visvamohini pursued by Siva
The   and  Asuras  (gods and demons) cast herbs and churned the milk ocean to obtain Amrta (nectar of immortality). Danvantri with a vessel of  Amrta emerged from the ocean.  Madhava assumed several forms, one form on the side of Suras and another form on the side of Asuras and helped churn the ocean. He assumed the form of tortoise and supported the churning pin (Mount Mandara); in another form (Narayana) he was boosting the morale of the Suras; in the form of Janardhana, he revived the serpent used as the churning rope. To the joy of all, Surabhi , the divine cow appeared in the churning milk ocean. Next to appear was <span>Varuni , the wine goddess with timorous eyes from inebriation. The Asuras, (demons) did not accept her and so she joined the Suras, the gods; the demons are teetotalers and gods are imbibers of wine.

Since the Asuras shun alcoholic beverages, they were very disciplined and were a cause for fear. Sura is wine and those who don't drink wine is an Asura. Next to appear was Parijata , the great tree, exuding a sweet smell all around. Then came the most luscious beautiful celestia l damsels , the cynosure of all people. The cool rays of the moon came up and Mahesvara snatched it up in a trice and wore it on his locks. Many kinds of <span> poison appeared in the frothing milk ocean and the Nagas (snakes) accepted them. Now you know why the snakes are poisonous. A glitter appeared on the ocean surface accompanied by the emerging Kaustibaha gem, which Janardhana wore over his heart in a chain.  Hemp  appeared floating on the ocean surface, whose smoke was capable of altering the moods of the mind; soon it was taken by Bhairava. 

Danvantari rose up with a pot of  nectar of immortality  in his hand; Daityas, Aditayas (demons and gods) and sages rejoiced at seeing it. From the great ocean of Milk there rose the  goddess Sri of fortune and bestower of boons holding a lotus and sitting on a full blown lotus. The sages and Gandharvas recited Sri Sukta (hymns of praise to Sri or Lakshmi). Visvaci leading a group of celestial damsels danced and the sacred rivers like Ganges came to Sri offering her a bath. The eight elephants of the quarters emerged from the ocean and took the water from the sacred vessel and showered the lotus-seated Sri-Lakshmi. The  embodied form of ocean of milk  donned Lakshmi with a garland of lotus flowers.  Tulasi  plant appeared next and went to the side of Hari.   Visvakarma , the divine architect presented Lakshmi with various divine ornaments. Ramah (Sri Lakshmi) went towards Vishnu and took residence on his chest; ever since she has resided on his chest. The Great Goddess looked at the Devas with compassionate eyes; she did not shower her graceful glances on Daityas (demons, Asuras).  A powerful demon, the arch enemy of Devas and the Daityas showed displeasure with Vishnu and at the slight of not receiving the gracious glance from Lakshmi, which meant loss of wealth and prosperity.

The Daityas took the pot of Amrta (nectar) by force from Danvantari. The Asuras and Suras started fighting. Brahma and Siva went to their respective abodes; Vishnu went to a secluded place and meditated on Lalita, whose form came into union with his own. (Whenever Vishnu is mentioned in any kind of union, Sri Lakshmi is always his consort, who may go by any name, power and potency. Here the assumption is that Sri took the form of Lalita.)  Vrsa (Indra, the chief of gods) and the Devas fought with Malaka demon and the Daityas. Vishnu meditated again on Mahesvari and became one with her. This form of Mahesvari and Vishnu appeared as Mohini, the most voluptuous damsel of all times. She was the epitome of love, seduction, and charm; her very appearance stopped the war between the Suras and Asuras. She smiled profusely at the Daityas, who didn't know who she was. She admonished them for the futility of fight and harsh words. She went on with her offer of conciliation. You and the Suras worked very hard at getting the nectar. I shall serve the role of impartial mediator. I will distribute the nectar equally among all of you; please hand me the pot of nectar.

The foolish Daityas, mesmerized by her seductive words and beauty, gave the pot of nectar to her. She stood in the aisle between Adityas (Devas) and Daityas and began to distribute the nectar. Her left hand resembling the lotus held the pot while right hand held the golden ladle. Her bangles jingled, jangled and tinkled, driving the Daityas tizzy. She served the nectar first to the Devas. Rahu pretended to be a Deva and sat in the midst of Devas and drank the served nectar. The sun and the moon sitting by his side pointed this to Mohini, who immediately severed his head before he gulped it down into the stomach; this resulted in the sanctification of the head and not the body. The head went to heaven, leaving the body. All the Devas received their share and she placed the pot in front of the Daityas and disappeared.  The demons finding the empty pot, fought with the Devas, who being stronger from drinking the nectar of immortality overwhelmed and conquered the demons.

The prominent Danavas went to the ends of the quarters and the rest to Patala, the netherworld. Indra, the Lord of the Devas, glanced benignly by Sri, defeated Malaka and regained his glorious past. The Devas enjoyed their freedom from oppression and roamed about gleefully. Sage Narada who was a world traveler at the speed of thought before Mohini's exploits went to Kailasa to settle down. Nandin (theriomorphic form of Siva, the Sacred Bull, the gatekeeper) let him pass by and enter the presence of Siva, who graciously received and seated him in his abode.

  The consort of Parvati, of the complexion of a crystal (Siva) asked the omniscient News Bearer  and instigator of quarrels in the universe (Narada) what news he has for him.  He continued, What is happening to the heaven dwellers? Who won and who lost? What can you tell me about the nectar? What is Vishnu doing with it?
<span>    Narada at once knew that Siva, the omniscient, the omnipotent and the omnipresent was playing a game of innocence with him. Narada replied, O Lord, you are omniscient and yet you asked; I will reply to you. A big fight ensued between the devas and Asuras; Adhinarayana assumed the form of Mohini whose appearance with ornaments induced love in the Daityas and Devas, who stopped their fight on that account. He finished the story with all other details. </span>

Having heard the story, Siva and Parvati, unknown to his attendants (pramathas = tormentors), Nandin, Skanda and Vinayaka,  left the premises to see Vishnu, who received him with effusive greetings and embraced him on the shores of the milk ocean. Siva came to the point of his visit immediately and asked him to show him the form of Mohini that bewitched every one and was indescribable beyond imagination and speech. I must see that form because it is personified love. You are the divine cow that fulfils all desires. Hari the master of Yogic practice meditated on the form and disappeared after saying to Siva, "so be it."

Sarva (Siva) was looking around in all ten direction expectantly and saw a beautiful garden 'the like of which he had never seen before.'  Campaca flowers (Michelia Campaka) were exuding sweet smell; the bees were drinking honey from the full-blown blossoms. Cuckoos were drinking the nectar from mango blossoms.  Peacocks were strutting, prancing and dancing among Asoka trees.  The hum of the bees excelled the note of the lutes. The garden was full of colors; the trumpet flowers were brilliant and carried extravagant fragrance.

There she was at the foot of the Parijata tree, red in complexion like the rising sun with ruby-colored feet, nails and lips. Her lotus feet made tinkling sounds from bells. Her thighs rivaled the trunk of an elephant and stem of the plantain tree. What Siva saw were Her callipygian hemispheres covered with soft diaphanous silk, her big hips, loins, golden girdle inlaid with rubies, eddy-like swirl of her navel, her Trivali (ravishing folds of skin, a mark of beauty), pearl necklace gracing her neck and breasts, florescent breasts moving in gracious swings and jiggles, her delicate waist bending from the weight of the breasts, her flower-like hands in bangles and bracelets, ringed fingers, her conch-like smooth and shiny neck, her curved moon-like chin, her beautiful teeth set in perfect rows looking like jasmine buds, her moon-light face, her pearl nose-rings, braid of hair decorated with Ketaka flowers, her long eyes, forehead like the half-moon, neatly coiffured forelocks, her ears brilliant with ruby earrings, her sweet-smelling mouth, forehead mark with Kasthuri, her thick bluish-black hair, the parting line on the head marked with saffron, her moon-like head ornament, Uttamsa, her rapturous tremulous eyes and her divinely amorous glance and stance. She was playing with a ball, the jewels jingling and jangling with her breasts moving in perfect unison.  Isvara-Siva left Uma his consort and ran after the bewitching lady. Upon this sudden abandonment by her consort, Uma felt very insecure about her beauty, became envious and shamed, and stood there motionless with fallen crest.

Siva caught the slippery lady and embraced her many times. Engulfed by passion and afflicted by the god Love, his semen  fell on the ground; Mahasasta was born from that emission; the earth developed deep in its womb veins of silver and gold instantly wherever it fell. (Now you know the origin of silver and gold.) Suddenly <span>Visvamohini</span>, the enchantress disappeared and Siva-Girisa left for Kailas with Uma-Gauri.

 Demon Bhanda

Daityas had a fierce leader Bhanda, who was the terror of gods, the celestials, Indra and even Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesa. Here is an account of  how Bhanda came into existence.

 Lord Siva was seated in yogic meditation.Kama came along to disturb his meditation, but was destroyed by Siva. Siva, the destroyer, was in meditation for sometime, which resulted in the increase in the population of earth and a heavy burden on Mother Earth.The gods sent Kama (god of love, cupid, Amos, Eros) to shoot flowery Harshana (one of the five erotic arrows) on Siva and disturb his penance at the precise moment he woke up to receive his Divine Consort Parvati. He (Kama)  by his magical power created an ambience of spring in the air, earth, and trees, conducive to love. Siva woke up from meditation, took one look at Parvati, and could not stop enjoying and articulating his appreciation of beautiful features of Parvati, who, in the privacy of Siva’s presence, lay bare gracefully, sporting sidelong glances. Siva felt like two persons, one imbibing the beauty of Parvati and another, Yogi of all yogis bent on control of the senses. He felt that if seeing is great pleasure, embracing must give even greater pleasure. Suddenly it dawned on him that he was stung by  Kama’s arrows and bitten by love. How could that happen to a Yogi of yogis, who has complete control over senses?  Paramayogi Siva addressed Parvati in a loving manner and wondered aloud to her, how he became a victim to Kama and how that downfall is harmful to his excellent reputation as the Lord of Vairagya (detachment, desirelessness). He advised Parvati, in a spirit of platonic detachment, not to sit by his side on the couch, and looked around for he felt uncomfortable in being aroused. He felt that the Vairagin and Yogi (in him) were associating with a wife of someone else; such was the depth of his Vairagya. Kama continued to shoot arrows at Siva with no effects. Sivas anger was bubbling to surface. A fire rising from the third eye of Siva incinerated Kama  into ashes. That incident happened in Korukkai. One of Siva's Ganas (attendant of Siva) gathered the ashes of Kama and shaped it in the form of man. The Gana begged Siva to teach him a mantra and confer half the power of Kama to the  ash-made man. Since the Ash-man was dead Kama and the result of Siva's fury, the Ash-man became a demon (Bhanda), who with his newfound strength and power defeated the gods who sought the help of Tripurasundari, who defeated the demon and restored the gods to their former status. (Bhasman or Sacred Ash is euphemious for Semen Virile of Siva. Incineration brings all substances to their pristine primal state.) Rati, Kama's wife, came to Siva and begged him to give her husband back to her. Siva restored Kama not to the physical state but to a mental image, a representation of true love and affection; since then, he is also known by the epithet, Ananga (one without body parts).

 (The Ash-man asked and obtained Mantra from Siva who congratulates him with epithet Bhand, Bhand (good, good); so the name <span>Bhanda</span> stuck with the Ash-man. Since Bhanda is the product of Siva's anger and later ash and much later with the power of mantra he built a city rivaling the City of gods ruled by Indra, Siva's Gana becomes a demon. It appears that Bhanda is the fusion product of Siva's Gana and the ash of Kama.  Bhanda rules his kingdom for sixty thousand years. Bhanda attacks the city of gods, Indra and his army; immediately on the advice of Narada Muni Indra goes to TPS for help. The gods offer their own flesh and blood as sacrificial present to TPS. The gods also perform a marriage of Siva with TPS, as an act of propitiation. <span>TPS = Tri-Pura-Sundari = Three-City-Beauty Lalita

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