Episode # 40 – Bhagawan Shiva consumes the treacherous poison, & thus referred to as “NEELAKANTA”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important juncture of the mammoth ocean-drilling process that was undertaken by both the Devas and the Raakshasas’ camps, with the help of the Manthara mountain and Snake Vaasuki. As the drilling commences, the Devas take up the tail portion of Snake Vaasuki and the Raakshasas take up the head portion of the snake. As per the instruction and advice given by Bhagawan Vishnu, Indra played a “defensive” game here, by letting the Raakshasas take up the head portion of the snake, while drilling. The advice of Bhagawan Vishnu made lot of sense as Snake Vaasuki started to emit plumes of poison from its mouth as the drilling process was continuing. Since the Raakshasas were very close to the snake’s mouth, they were at the receiving end of all the poison plumes, which made them feel tired and fatigued over time. This fatigue resulted in the Raakshasas lose strength over time and also made them quite unaware of what was happening at the other end. 

As this was progressing, many items started emerging from beneath the ocean floor, including the divine horse by the name “Ucchaisravas”, a divine tree by name “Paarijaatham”, etc. As the drilling continued further, Goddess Mahalakshmi emerged out with all Her beauty and divinity. As She emerges out, Indra immediately falls on Her feet, seeking Her forgiveness for the mistake that he had committed. Goddess Mahalakshmi, being a Mother to all of us, forgives Indra for his mistake and blesses him with all prosperity in the future to come. As this happens, the next important item comes out of the ocean floor – A pot full of treacherous poison, called “Haalahaala”. Now, as this pot of poison emerges out, both the camps were perplexed as to what to do with this. Only if this pot of poison is sent to the place where it has to go, or only if it is consumed by someone, can the process of drilling continue any further. As everybody was wondering what can be done in this situation, Bhagawan Shiva comes to the rescue of both the camps. He volunteered to consume the poison and neutralize it, so that the drilling process continues unabated. 

Thus, Bhagawan Shiva comes forward, takes the pot of poison in His hands, and starts consuming it! Upon seeing this, His consortium, Goddess Parvati Devi was shell-shocked! Although Goddess Parvati Devi knows the divinity of Bhagawan Shiva, She was scared to bits that nothing should happen to Her husband – Given the intensity of the poison. Thus, Goddess Parvati Devi rushes towards Bhagawan Shiva and holds His neck tight in Her hands, so as to prevent the poison from running down His throat, and into His body. As Goddess Parvati Devi catches and strangles Bhagawan Shiva’s neck, the poison stays in the neck portion itself and doesn’t transcend further down. As a result, the neck portion of Bhagawan Shiva turned blue in color, due to the impact of the poison in His neck. This is why, Bhagawan Shiva is often referred to as Bhagawan Neelakanta. Here, “Neela” means blue and “Kanta” means neck. Thus, Bhagawan Shiva made sure that the poison was neutralized completely and with the timely intervention of Goddess Parvati Devi, the poison stayed put at Bhagawan Shiva’s neck, and not entering further into His body. 

As the poison is neutralized by Bhagawan Shiva thus, the Devas are all in praise of Bhagawan Shiva and he blesses them for the success of this great mission. Now, the drilling process continues again and Indra is now praying to Goddess Mahalakshmi again. He prays and seeks forgiveness to the Divine Mother yet again. Goddess Mahalakshmi was moved by Indra’s ardent prayer and surrender and She requests Indra to ask Her for a boon. Now we shall see how “smart” Indra is here – He asks Goddess Mahalakshmi thus, “Oh Divine Mother! I don’t have anything specific to ask you, but I only have one small request – You must always be omni-present wherever my “Rajya” (Empire) is present in all the three worlds!” We can see the smartness here – Indra didn’t ask for regaining his kingdom, etc. All he asks for is, Goddess Mahalakshmi to be present wherever his kingdom in this world exists. Isn’t this enough? 🙂 As Goddess Mahalakshmi is the Goddess of Wealth, if She’s there everywhere in Indra’s kingdom, what is the problem for him with regards to wealth and power? All of it is going to come to him automatically, isn’t it? This is where Indra was very smart! Accordingly, Goddess Mahalakshmi too understands Indra’s smart boon, and since he had asked for it, She grants it to him! 

Now as Goddess Mahalakshmi has emerged from the Ocean of Milk, She’s looking for Her divine consortium, who is none other than Bhagawan Vishnu. Now that She has emerged out fresh, She has to marry Bhagawan Vishnu. Thus, She comes with the garland in Her divine hands and goes searching for Bhagawan Vishnu here and there. Finally She finds Him amidst all the Devas and Raakshasas who are continuing with the drilling process unabated. Bhagawan Vishnu is at the pivotal point between both the camps, wherein the drilling is happening. As She spots Bhagawan Vishnu, and as the Devas are looking with awe, Goddess Mahalakshmi climbs over Bhagawan Vishnu’s tall and mammoth physical body, puts the garland around His neck and sits inside His heart, forever! 🙂 Thus, we would always see that Goddess Mahalakshmi is always present in Bhagawan Vishnu’s heart and She doesn’t get separated from Him anymore! 

So for today, let us enjoy this divine experience and we should remember that the all-important “Amrita” is not yet out! We’re still in the pursuit of the “Amrita”. So let us wait till the next episode eagerly for the arrival of the “Amrita’, as the drilling process continues further, unabated! 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 Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, 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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