Monday, July 18, 2011

The Churning of The Milk Ocean

If you happen to be or in-transit in Suvarnahbumhi International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand chances are you will not miss the full-size diorama of a typical Hindu mythology right after clearing the Immigration.

The statue depicts one of the famous scenes from Hindu literature - The Churning of the Milk Ocean.

The Churning of the Milk Ocean tells of the story where Asuras and Devas (Celestial Beings) cooperated to churn the sea for thousands of years in order to extract the elixir of immortality, coveted by both groups.

The Devas are engaged in a tug of war with the Asuras. Each team is holding onto one end of the king of serpent - Vasuki (a.k.a. Naga). The center of the serpent is coiled around Mt. Mandara, which is a pivot and at the base of this pivot would be Vishnu, incarnated as a huge turtle.

As the ocean churned, a deadly poison known as halahala emerged. Shiva drank this poison and his wife stopped it in his throat with her hands, causing the throat to turn blue.

Mahavishnu dancing on top of the serpent Adisesha

The cooperation between the Devas and Asuras was shattered with Vishnu taking the form of Mohini — a beautiful and enchanting damsel who served to distract the Asuras while distributing the nectar to the Devas. The Devas having fulfilled their plan of acquring all the Amrita banished the Asuras out of Heaven and into the underworld.

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