In the previous episode, we had witnessed Garuda in full pursuit of the divine “Amrita”. Upon receiving blessings from his mother, Vinata, Garuda sets off immediately. However, as the journey is extremely long and treacherous in nature, Garuda becomes tired and hungry on the way. His hunger was so intense that he could literally hog on to anything that he sees in front of his two eyes. Upon reaching a stage of extreme hunger, Garuda consumes a few “Nishaadas” upon the advice of his mother, however, that didn’t work out! As he turned towards his father for help, Kashyapa points out a banyan tree, an elephant and a tortoise and asks Garuda to feast on all of them. However as Garuda comes closer to this tree, he finds the ‘Vaala-Killiyas” who are known for their intense “Tapas”. They were hanging upside down from the branches of this tree and were in deep penance. Garuda was in a fix upon seeing them. On one hand, his hunger was torturing him and on the other hand, these great Sages shouldn’t be disturbed from their penance. What would poor Garuda do? He made up a plan, and carried the entire set of items with him in between his claws and beak.
As Garuda was carrying the entire setup thus, the “Vaala-Killiyas” were extremely impressed with the fact that Garuda was executing this task without disturbing them. They thus woke up from their penance and blessed Garuda thus, “Oh Garuda! You’ve done a great thing today. Although you are extremely hungry, you’ve ensured that we’re not disturbed from our penance. Let all the good things be bestowed upon you in the future!” Receiving the blessings thus, the Vaala-Killiyas move to the “Gandha-Maadhana Parva” near to the Bhadrinatha Kshetra for continuing their penance further.
This is a small sub-story within the bigger main story of Garuda going in search of the “Amrita”. As this gets over, Garuda continues to sail past with all his strength and finally reaches the “Svarga Lokha” where the “Amrita” was kept safely. As this was being narrated at the Naimishaaranya Kshetra, Sage Shounaka and others were having another set of questions in mind – What is the divine “Amrita”? How was it churned out? Why was the ocean drilled? There was this white horse called “Ucchashravas” that came from beneath the ocean floor, isn’t it? Why did this horse come up? Why was the “Amrita” given to the “Devas” and denied to the “Raakshasas”? As these questions arose, the entire story of drilling the ‘Ocean of Milk” had to be narrated in detail, and how the Devas’ strength was decreasing, and to this, Bhagawan Vishnu’s solution was to make the Devas consume this divine “Amrita” so that they would become immortal.
Although we’ve witnessed this story in detail during our Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana project earlier, I shall briefly describe it here for the convenience of the readers and to ensure continuity of the next set of events that connect with this. Once, Indra got into a fix with the Raakshasas as their strength increased manifold. Indra had once lost all his wealth and position due to Goddess Mahalakshmi’s anger towards him. Indra had once insulted her garland that was mistakenly destroyed by his elephant called “Airavata”. With extreme anger, Goddess Mahalakshmi cursed Indra that since he had not respected her garland, it is a direct insult to her, and as a result he would lose all his power, wealth and position in the Deva Lokha. As a result, Indra became a popper overnight, and was being chased here and there by the Raakshasas. Finally, Indra ran to Bhagawan Vishnu, unable to bare the torture of these Raakshasas. Indra wanted Bhagawan Vishnu to give him a solution from this mess that he was into. As Bhagawan Vishnu hears Indra out, He advises Indra thus, “Oh Indra! Every time you cannot go hammer and tongs on your enemy! At times, you need to make friends with them too! You need to work with them together as well if you’ve to win!”
Hearing this from Bhagawan Vishnu, Indra couldn’t understand head or tail of what He was saying! He was totally puzzled! Already he was being chased by the Raakshasas, and now this! So why is Bhagawan Vishnu advising Indra to be friends with the Raakshasas? What is the inner agenda behind this? Let us wait till the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂