In Hindu mythology there is a famous episode called Sagara Manthan or Churning of the Milky Ocean. This tale appears in the Srimad Bhagavatam, the Mahabharata, and the Vishnu Purana. It is not just a fairy tale for a spiritual seeker if he can understand the subtle meaning in them by contemplating not on the characters but on the essence of the theme on which the story has been knitted on. Our mythological stories have so many such subtle nectars which when relished get us the profound insight.
Sagara Manthan story represents the spiritual endeavor of a person to achieve Self-Realisation through concentration of mind, withdrawal of senses, control of desires and practice of austerities and asceticism. Deva and Danava represent the positives and negatives aspects in us. The participation of Deva and Danava in the churning indicate that when we seek Bliss we have to integrate and harmonise both the positive and negative aspects and put the combined energies to achieve the goal.
Why is it the Ocean of Milk??? Why use of Snake And Mountain as rope and churning rod???
This Ksheera Sagara is our Mind and the thoughts are the waves in it. Mandhara is the mountain used to churn. The word Mandhara is Mana + Dhara (meaning Mind and single line) concentration. To achieve concentration is must.
Mandhara Parvatha was upheld by Lord Maha Vishnu in the form of Kurma (Tortoise). The tortoise indicates the need of withdrawal of the senses into oneself (Tortoise withdraws its head and limbs into its shell) to practices mental concentration.
Vasuki was used as rope for the churning which is our desires. Desires have to be wound around the mind which is on the path of concentration. Desire, if left stray will overpower and destroy us.
Poison called Halahala emerged out first as the churning began; this poison is the anguish and pain (adverse effect from the mind and body) at the beginning of Sadhana (spiritual practice). When the mind is advice to concentrate, the counter reaction would be intense suffering and great inner turmoil. This emotion has to be resolved otherwise further progress is not possible. To resolve this Lord Shiva, the ascetic principle has to take care, since Lord Shiva is Yoga Murthy not Bhoga Murthy. Lord Shiva’s role in this Sagara Manthana is great it suggests that if we deal with the problems in initial stages it is better.
There are various auspicious objects that come out of the ocean during the churning stand for the psychic or spiritual powers which we gain as we progress spiritually from stage to stage. Seekers should be careful about these powers as they can be a hindrance for the progress. Hence such powers should not be used for personal use at all it should be diverted to the wellness of the society. This is the reason why the Devas and Danavas distributed all the objects so got to the welfare of the society as their main aim was to gain immortality.
One of the articles obtained while churning was Dhanvantari representing health and signifies that for the spiritual success the body and the mind are to be in perfect state of health.
Maha Vishnu disguised Himself as Mohini signifying the delusion of the mind due to pride. It is the pride of achievement to which the Danavas succumbed. Mada the egoistic pride is the last hurdle we have to overcome in spiritual life before experiencing self-realisation.
The Thoughts that are contemplated upon will yield the Ambrosia of Creativity is the significance of the arrival of Amritha from the churning. Yet that creativity is the one which could lead us to the ultimate achievement of the goal of Self-Realistion.
Look at the Tattva Jnana (essence) in the mythological stories of any religion or sect they have many many profound insights to reveal. Just ignoring them to be myths will not serve the purpose. They are not Cock and Bull stories to the one who is a serious seeker.
What have you got to say my fellow seekers????????