Episode # 230 – Why is Bhagawan Shiva referred as “NEELAKANTA”? An interesting accord!!!

Little Krishna

In the previous episode, we had set the context and the stage rolling for a very interesting event that took place, which witnessed the next divine incarnation of Bhagawan in the form of “Mohini”. We’ve witnessed in due course of yesterday’s episode that it all started with a beautiful garland that Goddess Mahalakshmi had with her. She had gifted that beautiful garland to one of her close friends, and she had in turn offered the same garland as a “Guru-Dakshina” to Sage Durvaasa. In turn, Sage Durvaasa offered this garland to Indra, who is the leader of all the Devas. Unaware of the significance of this precious garland, Indra refuses to wear it and subsequently puts it around the neck of his elephant Airaavata. Animal as he was, elephant Airaavata did not know why a garland is put around his neck, and hence, he swirled his trunk, smashed the garland and destroyed it totally! Upon knowing that the garland was totally destroyed by Indra and his elephant, Goddess Mahalakshmi got angry and cursed Indra that all his wealth and strength go into the dustbin! Accordingly, Indra becomes a popper overnight and so did all the Devas! Upon seeing this, the enemy camp, that is, the “Raakshasas” started celebrating and strategizing ways through which they can humiliate Indra even more.

Unable to bear with all these, Indra and the Devas rush to Bhagawan Vishnu and explain what had conspired. Upon hearing from Indra, Bhagawan Vishnu replies back thus, “Oh Indra! Don’t worry. I shall tell you a solution for it. Rather than fighting with the Raakshasas, why don’t you guys team up and drill the ocean of milk? You’ll get a huge pot of “Amrut” (Divine nectar), and if you consume it, you’ll become immortal and thus, regain all your lost wealth and power!”

This idea seemed workable and Indra immediately sets off. As Indra is setting off immediately, Bhagawan stops him again and calls him closer. Bhagawan tells Indra thus, “Oh Indra! Now don’t become too enthusiastic and proud of yourself! Let me tell you a secret! Accordingly, Bhagawan tells Indra something in his ears and lets him go. As Indra comes to the Raakshasa camp, all the Raakshasas were surprised as to why is this fellow coming to meet them, and that too without any artillery, weapons, etc. Indra thus explains the purpose of his visit thus, “Oh Raakshasas! I know that we’re always on war with each other. But, there is something that I need to tell all of you, which might be an opportunity for both our camps to patch up and be united from here on!” As Indra explains thus, the Raakshasas are puzzled and confused with his words. They let him speak further thus.

Indra now continues further, “Oh Raakshasas! I just met Bhagawan Vishnu. He was talking to me about a huge pot of “Amrut” that is hidden inside the ocean of milk where His abode is. He wants both of us to team together to excavate and bring out the “Amrut”. If both of us consume it, we would gain immortality and from then onwards, no enemy would be able to stop us. Let us both share the “Amrut” into two halves and consume it! Upon hearing this from Indra, the Raakshasas too felt that this is a fair deal and that, they can also sense an opportunity to gain immortality. So far, the Raakshasas have been suffering defeat after defeat in the form of Hiranyaaksha, Hiranya-Kashibu, etc. and if this “Amrut” is consumed, all this would come to a grinding halt! Thus, the Raakshasas accept the deal on paper!

Now the strategizing part comes – How do we drill the ocean of milk? Is it going to be an easy job? Not at all! A huge strategizing is required! Both the camps teamed up together and brought a huge mountain called “Manthara” and placed it as a fulcrum in the middle. To operate the fulcrum, we need a rope or something that can roll it, isn’t it? Only then the fulcrum can drill the ocean. For this, the huge snake called “Vaasuki” was called in for help. Vaasuki was tied to the fulcrum. One end of the snake was being pulled by the Devas and the other end was being pulled by the Raakshasas. Thus, the ocean of milk started being drilled by a combined effort of both the camps.

As the drilling process starts, Bhagawan supervises it, and is seeing how long are these people going to continue drilling! Initially, all of us will start a job with lot of motivation, but as days, months, years progress, our enthusiasm and motivation would start coming down slowly, isn’t it? We’re seeing this in our daily lives itself, even for small tasks. We’ve to imagine how huge is this task to drill the ocean of milk. Of course, in those days there were no massive drillers and other machinery that we use today for drilling! 😊 Everything had to be done with lot of physical labor.

At a point of time, owing to the huge intensity of labor involved, both the Devas and Asuras become physically tired and worn out and thus go to Bhagawan Vishnu for help! They tell Bhagawan thus, “Oh Bhagawan Vishnu! We’ve tried our best, but we’re unable to do it any further, owing to our physical limitations. You should help us in finishing this task that we’ve undertaken!” Accordingly, Bhagawan Vishnu takes over the drilling task singlehandedly and the process continues further. As the drilling gets deeper and deeper, many items start emerging from beneath the ocean floor. These are not items like shells or fish or corals, etc. that we see in the ocean of water. These are strange items – For instance, the first one to emerge was “Haala-haala”, which was nothing but a pot of intense poison. As this poison emerges, someone had to consume and neutralize it, before the drilling proceeds further.

It is at this time, when Bhagawan Shiva comes to the rescue. He takes the whole pot of the poison and starts consuming it. As Bhagawan Shiva consumes it, owing to its intensity, his face starts to get blue! At this moment, Bhagawan Shiva’s divine consortium, Goddess Paarvati comes and holds His neck, thus preventing the poison from entering His body. Thus, Bhagawan Shiva’s neck becomes totally blue in color and this is the reason, Bhagawan Shiva obtains the divine name, “Neelakanta”!

As the poison is neutralized thus by Bhagawan Shiva, the drilling process continues further. Many other items are emerging from the ocean floor after the poison. What are those items? When is the “Amrut” going to come out? Let’s wait eagerly till the next episode to witness the events unfolding! Stay tuned! 😊

 

 

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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