The churning continued even as the Ratna was produced and distributed among those present. At the end of nearly 1000 years of churning, as soon as Dhanwantari came out holding the pot of Amrit, joy erupted on both sides. The joy, though, was short-lived.
Deva's and asuras started fighting over the elixir. Since Devas were tired and did not possess their power, Asuras easily overpowered the devas in the fighting that ensued. Sensing the unease and panic among the devas, ord Vishnu remembered his promise and called his vehicle Garuda to guard the Amrita Kalash till he can think of a way to keep it away from asuras.
Before asuras could open the pot completely, Garuda swooped in and held the Kalash in his claws and started flying away. While he flew over the Bharatha Khanda in bhooloka, few drops of the precious elixir from the pot spilt over 4 places - Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nasik, converting them into holy places.
[These places are said to possess divine healing powers. Pandits say that once in 12 years, all the planets align in the same position as the day on which the amrita was spilt in these places. Hence, on that auspicious day, devotees throng to these places and take a dip in the holy rivers as part of the Kumbh Mela.]
As Garuda flew, asuras using their powers, kept following him to obtain the Amrit Kalash by hook or crook. By this time, Vishnu knew what needs to be done. He took the form of the most beautiful apsara - Mohini, who could enchant the entire creation with hr beauty and maya. Sensing the new avatar, Garuda returned to his Lord and dropped the elixir in her hands.
As the gaze of devas and asuras follows the Kalash into Mohini's hands, they are captivated by the beauty of the hands. For a moment, everyone's attention is on Mohini than obtaining the Amrita. She then seductively said to devas and asuras - " I am sorry. It was I who sent Garuda to obtain the Amrita Kalash. I heard how hard both of you were trying to obtain Amrita, and I wanted to be the one to distribute the elixir to everyone equally. Is it alright if I distribute the Amrit? "
The devas and asuras were smitten by her beauty and just nodded their consent. She then asked both the armies to divide themselves into asuras and devas and sit on either side. No sooner than she uttered those words, they segregated themselves. While Asuras sat to her left, the sura's sat to her right. Mohini then gave the asuras a bewitching smile and asked if it was alright if she started from her right and distributed the Amrit to deva's first. The asuras blindly nodded yes again while cherishing her beauty.
Thus, Vishnu, in the form of Mohini, started distributing the Amritam starting from Indra. As he was in the midst of distributing, an asura named Svarbhanu felt something was amiss and concealed himself as a deva and sat among them to drink the elixir with them. As Vishnu continued distributing, he made sure that there was enough to distribute among the deva's and not even and extra drop was available to the danavas.
As Lord Vishnu gives the final morsel to Svarabhanu disguised as deva, Surya and Chandra immediately recognize he is not a deva and inform Vishnu. Vishnu immediately sheds his Mohini avatar throws his Sudarshana chakra towards him, which severs his neck from the body before the amrita could reach the lower body. Thus severed, the head became Rahu, and the body became Ketu.
Realizing the trickery, the asuras go blind with fury and attack the devas. With their power restored and having gained immortality, the devas now easily defeat the asuras and reclaim their lost territory of devaloka. After defeating the asuras, all the devas pray to Lord Vishnu and thank him for all the help he has provided to gain their power and land back.
They then head back to devaloka with their power, health, and wealth restored, along with the precious Ratna's they had obtained during the Samudra Manthana.
Mythological Reason for Surya and Chandra Grahan.
Rahu, the immortal due to consuming elixir, vowed to avenge his humiliation. As a result, he swallows Sun and Moon, causing Surya Grahan and Chandra Grahan, even if it is for a short time. Since he is protected by consuming Amritam, even Lord Vishnu could not protect Surya and Chandra from being victims to grahana.
This ends the story of Samudra Manthana and during this was for the first time that Lord Vishnu incarnated as Mohini. The avatar in itself is unique as the scriptures, and mythology shows Lord Vishnu repeating this avatar more than once, unlike his other avatars. Those are stories for another day.
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