Preparations for the Ksheerasagara Manthan or Churning of the Ocean

Having won over the Asuras, it was time to plan the Samudra Manthan's execution to get the sacred Amrita. Indra asked the king of Asuras if he can plan and get materials ready for the humongous task. Bali thought for a while and felt they could not trust the devas. So he said while Indra can plan everything, he must share all details with them. Indra was more than happy to oblige and started the preparation. 

To get Amrit, Devas and Asuras had to churn the huge Ksheera Sagara. For this, they needed to arrange a rod and a rope so huge that the ocean could be churned accordingly. Arranging such an enormous staff and rope was indeed an arduous task. Indra and devas approached Vishnu again for help. 

Indra – " Oh, all-knowing and protector of all realms, we are at a loss. As you said, we approached the Asuras, and they have decided to lend us their help in the ocean's churning. Now, we do not know the process. Also, kindly let us know what to use for the churning staff, and what can we use as a rope to churn such a mighty ocean? "

Lord Vishnu smiled. To obtain Amrit, you have to churn the Ksheera Sagara, and as you said, this is no small feat. The first step is to add various herbs into the ocean to form the Amrit. Use Mandara parvatha as your churning staff. To make the staff churn, go to Lord Mahadeva and ask him to lend Vasuki residing in his neck, who is also king of serpents. Vasuki is the only one who can grow as long as he wants and can accommodate Devas on one side and asuras on the other. "

Indra was mesmerised by this idea. He thanked the Lord and was about to leave when Lord Vishnu stopped him and said in a cryptic tone" I would suggest, after wrapping Lord Vasuki around the Mandara Mountain, Devas stand near the Head and Asuras near the tail unless, of course, Asuras want it the other way round."

Indra was mystified, and before he could question the meaning of this statement, Lord Vishnu slipped into his yoga Nidra. With the question dwelling in his mind, Indra bowed to Lord and left Lord Vishnu's abode – Vaikunta.

Indra approached Lord Shiva and sought his help to make the serpent Vasuki king as the churning rope. Vasuki, with Lord Shiva's consent, happily agreed to assist the Devas in this quest. Then Indra went to Bali to seek his help in getting the Mandara paravata to Ksheera Samudra. With Devas and Asuras' combined efforts, they could displace the mountain from its original place and bring it to Ksheera Samudra. As soon as they placed the Mountain in the milky ocean, the Mountain started sinking into the ocean.

The devas started praying to Lord Vishnu frantically again. Vishnu took the form of Kurma or the tortoise and held the mountain on his back, acting as a pivot to the mountain. Thus, he achieved the dual purpose of stopping the mountain from sinking into the ocean floor and making it easy to churn the ocean.

Then, the devas poured in the list of herbs into the milky oceans, as Lord Vishnu said after praying to him. They sought the blessings of the trimurthi's – Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara, to make this task successful, and positioned themselves near the head of Vasuki, remembering Lord Vishnu's advice. The asuras then aligned themselves near the tail. Thus began the churning. But just a few minutes into the churning; the asuras felt the devate's were in a more comfortable position than them since they had more grip near the head. Accusing the Devas of cheating, they threatened Lord Indra to leave the task unless deva's holding positions were interchanged. 

Seeing things were happening as Lord had predicted, Indra gladly agreed to the change in positions. The asuras were happy to see all of their demand being met. They teased the position of the devathe's and laughed at their powerless plight. Though enraged by the taunts, since the deva gana was not in a position to use their lost powers, they went and held the tail of Vasuki while the asuras took their place near the head. After the interchange, the churning of the milk ocean or the Ksheerasagara Manthan, thus, began.

PART 1:    Samudra Manthanam Story From Vishnu Purana & Shiv Purana 
PART 3:    The Story of Shiva Drinking Poison/Halahala
PART 4:   Samudra Manthan 14 Ratnas List Items
PART 5:    Lord Vishnu’s Mohini Avatar

6 thoughts on “Preparations for the Ksheerasagara Manthan or Churning of the Ocean

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *