Preaching of Bruhaspati
After narrating the story, Bruhaspati said, “Indra! Now you think of your sins”. Indra once again prostrated to the sage and requested. “Sir! I am unable to realise my sins. Kindly give me details”.
Bruhaspati replied “In the distant past, sage Kashyapa was married to two sisters Aditi and Diti. Aditi became the mother of all “devas” (celestials) and Diti, the mother of all “danavas” (demons).
In the distant past, ‘Diti’, the second wife of Kashyapa gave birth to a son by name Danu and a daughter named Rupavati. Danu is the predecessor of the race of Danavas (demons). Rupavati was married to Brahma (the Creator). Her son was Vishwarupa. He did severe penance. He had many divine aspects. However he was a nephew of the demons. He was affectionate towards both the races – the celestials and the demons. After a while, Indra chose Vishwarupa as his Guru (at that time, Bruhaspati was not the Guru of the celestials). Indra expected that Vishwarupa would be partial towards the celestials and that he would destroy the demons. However Vishwarupa was friendly towards all. Observing this, Indra suspected that being a friend of the demons, Vishwarupa was harming the celestials. One day, Indra suddenly went to Vishwarupa and cut off all his three heads. By doing so, Indra was afflicted by the sin of Brahmahatya (killing Brahmana). Not only that. Aggrieved by the death of His son, Brahma (the Creator) cursed Indra.
Terrified by these two (Brahmahatya and curse of Brahma), Indra accompanied by all the celestials, sought refuge at the feet of Vishnu, who contemplated deeply and allocated the effect of Indra’s sins to the earth, the trees and the women. As compensation, Vishnu gave the power that the pits of earth could be filled up, the power that even the trees once cut off could revive and the power of women to beget children. Thus Indra was relieved of the effect of the sin of Brahmahatya (killing a Brahmin).
However, the curse of Brahma (the Creator) still persisted. Vishnu called for Brahma and requested Him on behalf of Indra for relief from the curse. Brahma thought over the same and said, “Fine. For the present my curse won’t take effect”. Vishnu said nothing. Again Indra became prosperous. However, very soon his pride increased. This time, Indra was affected by the anger of Shiva and so he was cursed by the sage Durvasa”. Listening to all this, Indra recollected the past events and sadly asked Bruhaspati “Master! What have I to do now”?
When the guru was about to reply, a demon named Malaka invaded the Heaven with a huge army and seized the kingdom. Indra had to escape in a great hurry. He went straight to Brahma and prayed to Him for mercy, who also pitied Indra. However even the Creator could not decide what to do and approached Vishnu along with Indra and the celestials.
Vishnu thought of the problem deeply and advised them, “You churn the ocean to get the Goddess of prosperity”.
For this purpose, Indra made reconciliation with the demons and taking their help, he and the celestials churned the ocean.
The mountain of Mandara (Mandara Parvata) was used as the churning rod; the king of serpents, Vasuki which adorns Lord Shiva’s neck was used as the churning rope. The danavas held the head of the serpent while the devas held the tail of the serpent as per Lord Vishnu’s advice. Thus began the churning by pulling the serpent Backand forth causing the mountain to rotate which in turn churned the ocean. As the demons held the head of the snake, poisonous fumes started emitting from its mouth affecting the demons but they continued with the churning not paying any heed to it. However, as the mountain was placed on the ocean, it began to sink. In order to support the mountain, Lord Vishnu took his avatar as “Kurma” (Turtle; second avatar in His “Dashavatara”-ten forms of Lord Vishnu) and supported the mountain on His back.
The churning continued during the process of which came out many invaluable assets. Of them, one was “Haalahala”, the deadliest poison which could destroy the whole of creation. It was then that benevolent Lord Shiva stepped up and drank this poison in order to save the creation and the universe. The goddess who resided with Lord Shiva as Parvati, pressed her hand on his throat thereby stopping the poison from getting into his body in turn saving the universe. This resulted in Lord Shiva’s neck turning into blue, giving him the name “Neelakantha” (the one with the blue throat).
It was during this churning that goddess Lakshmi emanated out of the ocean of milk and Lord Vishnu took her as His eternal consort. There also came out many treasures like Kamadhenu (the sacred cow), Kalpavriksha (the holy tree), Apsaras (Rambha, Urvashi, Menaka etc), Chandra (moon), Shankha (the conch in Lord Vishnu’s hand), Kausthubha (the most precious jewel in the world adorning Lord Vishnu), Haalahala (the deadliest poison – as explained earlier) etc to name a few.
At last, Dhanvantari (the God of Healing) came out holding the pot of Amruta (nectar). Looking at him, the demons grabbed the pot and started running away with it. A bitter battle started between the celestials and the demons. There was utter confusion. Even Brahma and Shiva escaped and reached their abodes. Observing all this, Vishnu went to a secluded spot and started meditation of Sri Lalita Devi, who dwells within Him as the aspect of power. Due to this meditation he manifested as a form of Lalita Devi. Taking this incarnation as an embodiment of eroticism, Vishnu approached the celestials and demons. The celestials could realise the form as divine and auspicious. They instantly realized that this was “Vishnu Maya”.
However, due to their predominating trait of Tamas (ignorance), the demons were enchanted by the beauty of the form and stopped fighting. She mesmerised them and took the pot of Amruta (nectar) from them, taking their consent to her to serve the nectar to all. She asked the celestials and the demons to sit in separate rows. She started to give the nectar to the celestials only first. Allured by her, the demons sat still stupefied. By the time the nectar was given to the celestials, the stock exhausted. She disappeared suddenly. The demons again started to fight with the celestials. However as the celestials have already drunk the nectar by then, the demons were defeated and peace was once again instilled in the heavens.
Thus, the Divine Mother who manifested and enchanted the demons was called MOHINI (the divine enchantress). Shiva, staying in Kailasa came to know of these events and wanted to note the speciality of the new form of Vishnu. Along with his consort Parvati, Shiva went to Vaikuntha, the abode of Vishnu and pressed Him to see the form of Mohini. Vishnu suddenly disappeared without saying yes or no. While Shiva was searching for Vishnu, he happened to reach a new place where he continued to search. There he heard the music of Veena. He saw a beautiful young lady. Unable to resist this infatuation, Shiva embraced her. At once a son was born. He was named SASTA (one who rules). He became a commander in Shiva’s army. At once the lady disappeared. Shiva realised that she was none else than Mohini, a form of Vishnu. He applauded her beauty and returned to Kailasa along with Parvati. Thus the Divine Mother incarnated as Mohini and granted success of the activities of the celestials.