gods had offended a great sage. As punishment, the sage made the
Devtas weak and powerless. In the on going battle between the
gods and the demons, this would have proved to be a great disadvantage
to the Devtas. The thought about how to solve the problem for
a long time, but did not know how to remove their aliment. Finally,
they decided to approach Vishnu, the Preserver.
them to enlist the help of their archenemies, the demons, to uproot
Mount Mandara. With this mountain, they would need to use the
divine serpent, Vasuki, to hold the mountain up as gods and demons
together held the serpent and used the mountain to stir the ocean.
From this, would be produced the remedy for the Devtas ailment,
in the form of the nectar of immortality. The Devtas originally
did not wish to approach the demons for help, but seeing that
they had no other choice, they agreed reluctantly.
When the demons
heard of the plan, they were elated for they knew from this they
would be able to attain the nectar of immortality which would
make them very much stronger than they were. They therefore joined
with the Devtas to uproot the mountain. Eventually, when the stirring
was about to commence, the leader of the Devtas, Indra, insisted
on having the head end of the serpent. The demons figured that
the Devtas wished to obtain some advantage from having the head
end, therefore they denied Indra and took the head end for themselves.
In fact, this
was a ploy on the part of the Devtas, as instructed by Vishnu.
The head of the serpent produced venom that would weaken the demons
when they held it. However, the demons were oblivious to this,
and they started stirring the ocean without knowing they were
So the churning
went on for one hundred years, and in the process, many things
came out of the ocean. One of this was the beautiful goddess,
Lakshmi, who emerged from the ocean on a lotus flower. The divine
bovine, Surabhi, also was produced from the stirring. Surabhi
later had a son, Nandi, whom became the mount of Shiva, the Destroyer.
A crescent moon also arose from the waves, and Shiva snatched
it up and placed the crescent upon his forehead.
In the middle
of the stirring, the venom suddenly ejected venom from all his
one hundred heads that was so poisonous that it almost destroyed
everything on earth. Shiva, under Vishnu's persuasion, heroically
swallowed all the poison which the serpent produced. The poison
was harmless to Shiva, for he was the supreme God and the Destroyer.
However, the venomous poison left a blue colour on his throat
that would not go away.
Death of Sati >>