In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of Garuda’s journey towards the Svarga Lokha where the “Amrita” was kept safely. As Garuda’s story was being narrated thus, and when the word “Amrita” crossed by, the Sages at Naimisharanya wanted to know more about it. They immediately asked Sage Shounaka as to what was this “Amrita” all about, and what was its background. Immediately, there is a deviation in the storyline again. Sage Shounaka details how the “Amrita” was born and who was responsible for it. It was basically Indra who had somehow disrespected Goddess Mahalakshmi by letting his elephant, “Airavata” to stamp and destroy one of her precious garlands. This irritated Goddess Mahalakshmi and with her stern curse, Indra lost his wealth and position in the Deva-Lokha. As Indra became a popper overnight, the Raakshasas saw this as a chance and humiliated Indra to such an extent that he had to run for shelter and help. As Indra was searching for help, he directly landed at Vaikunta, where Bhagawan Vishnu was present. He immediately bowed down to Bhagawan Vishnu, explains all whatever had happened and seeked a solution to this mess.
Bhagawan Vishnu, upon hearing Indra, explained to him that at times he needs to be calm and composed. He shouldn’t get tensed and angry everytime! As Bhagawan Vishnu includes a clause saying that, at times Indra needs to make friends with the Raakshasas, Indra burst out in anger! He replies to Bhagawan Vishnu thus, “Oh Bhagawan! I came to you for a solution – Not for your advice! Rather than finding a way to defeat the Raakshasas, you’re telling me that I should make friends with them? How unfair this can be!” As Indra fumes thus, Bhagawan Vishnu laughs and calms him down. Bhagawan replies thus, “Oh Indra! This is where you need to be calm. I told you to make friends with the Raakshasas for a reason, which you would not understand now. Do what I say if you really need a solution to your mess. Sometimes you need to step back a bit and then continue fighting. You cannot win over someone everytime by mere domination. Oh Indra! There is something called “Amrita” that is present beneath the ocean floor. If you consume that divine “Amrita” (Nectar), you would become immortal. If you become immortal, the Raakshasas wouldn’t be able to defeat you ever! However, this “Amrita” is not easy to be obtained. You would not be able to dredge the ocean floor by yourself and obtain it. You would require a “team effort” and for this, the help of the Raakshasas is required! Oh Indra! At some points in time, you need to be smart. You shouldn’t be just one-pointed in life!”
As Bhagawan Vishnu explains thus, Indra understood the trick! As per the instructions, Indra sets out to meet the Raakshasas. He explains to them that there is a big pursuit of something called “Amrita”, and if this is consumed, all of them would become immortal. Hearing this from Indra, the Raakshasas were more than interested in this project. They readily agreed and immediately made friends with Indra and Co. The plan was conceived! Thus, all of them got ready to dredge the ocean. Snake Vaasuki was employed as the “fulcrum” for the entire dredging process. As the dredging was happening thick and fast, there were many things that propped out from the ocean bed. One of the many items was the “Haala-haala” poision (The most intense poison ever). This poison had to be destroyed for the dredging to happen further. This is where Bhagawan Shiva stepped in. As Bhagawan Shiva started to consume the poison, Goddess Paarvati Devi took hold of His neck, so that the poison doesn’t enter into Bhagawan Shiva’s body. This is why Bhagawan Shiva is often referred to as Bhagawan “Neela-Kanta”. This means that Bhagawan Shiva’s neck turned blue in color because of this poison.
After this, the dredging continues and so many other things came up. This included Goddess Mahalakshmi herself. As Goddess Mahalakshmi rises up from the ocean floor, she was impressed with Indra’s work and in turn, she withdrew her curse on him. This made Indra powerful again. However, the Raakshasas were not aware of this development! They were busy dredging with Snake Vaasuki, who was trying to get some good sleep with all the “massages” given by both the Deva and Raakshasa camps. As Snake Vaasuki was sleeping thus, he started emitting plumes of poison that made the Raakshasas tired. Indra and Co. never got tired, courtesy, Goddess Mahalakshmi’s divine grace! Finally, as the “Amrita” came out of the ocean floor, the treacherous dredging process came to a halt.
Again, there was now a conflict between the Devas and the Raakshasas as to who would consume the “Amrita” first. Bhagawan Vishnu again intervened and took the form of a beautiful woman called “Mohini”. Upon seeing the attractive Mohini in front of them, the Raakshasas were carried away! Indra knew that this was the ploy created by Bhagawan Vishnu to serve the “Amrita” to the Devas and cheat the Raakshasas! As Mohini started distributing the “Amrita” to the Devas, the Raakshasas were carried away by Her beauty, and literally forgot their agenda of the “Amrita”. However, one out of the Raakshasa camp was smart enough to understand this ploy. He disguised his original form and sneaked into the Devas’ camp somehow! As Mohini was alerted, she gives him one huge blow with the spoon with which she sas serving the “Amrita” to the Devas. This blow broke him into two, which is what we refer today as “Raahu” and “Kethu”. Finally, after this process, Bhagawan Vishnu ensured that the Devas obtained the “Amrita” and the Raakshasas obtained nothing! As Indra consumes the “Amrita”, he along with his Deva camp becomes immortal!
It is this “Amrita” that was kept now at the “Svarga Lokha” under the supervision of Indra. Indra was very careful in protecting it as the Raakshasas were on the constant lookout for it. Garuda thus reaches the “Svarga Lokha” in pursuit of this “Amrita”. So for today, let us understand up to this point and we shall continue with this discussion in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂