Churning of par kadal (Samudra Manthana) is one of the most important episodes in Hindu philosophy. Whenever I read this legend I cannot stop finding parallels to meditation and what happens during it.
Whenever we do meditation / sit alone and contemplate, the first thing that happens to us is we become aware of our thoughts, Initially, thoughts that arise will be recent happening and harmless thoughts, we drop those thoughts and move on. then work that needs our attention rises, we drop it and move on, then our desires, fear so on and so forth. Initially, it could be fascinating, but as time goes by it is very taxing. Many will stop sitting alone themselves. Not able to withstand the negativity. We turn to instant gratification like social media and others. This is where the legend of Churning the ParKadal can teach us a few things.
The Samudra Manthana (Sanskrit: समुद्रमन्थन, lit. churning of the ocean of milk) is one of the best-known episodes in the Hindu philosophy narrated in the Bhagavata Purana, in the Mahabharata and in the Vishnu Purana. The Samudra Manthana explains the origin of Amrita. You can read more about it here.
Rakshasas and Devas are Gunas – Churning of thoughts
Rakshasas and Devas can be equated with Gunas that forms our character. These Gunas are reason for various thoughts that arise in our mind. One are the other Gunas dominates us for some time and then it gives way to another Guna. The constant oscillation between the Gunas can be equated with the churning of the ocean of milk.
Halahala poison and Lord Shiva– This constant fight between Gunas can someone produce unbearable negativity which is like the halahala poison emitted by Vasuki the snake. In the legend, Lord Shiva swallows the poison and his consort Devi holds his throat to stop the poison from going further. His throat becomes blue and thus the name Neelakantan. Most of us tide through such tough times by ourselves or with help of well-wishers, but there could be times when things become unbearable. That is when we need to hold the legs of lord Shiva (or any other personal god).
Wisdom of Lord Vishnu – The biggest gift any person can receive from the almighty is wisdom. I have always believed free will is an illusion. I am not shying away from my responsibility to act reasonably but what we do many times is not in our hands. This why we need to feel extremely lucky when we get the right wisdom. Lord Vishnu’s Wisdom in guiding Devas to hold the head of Vasuki first and then ultimately making them to hold the tail and taking the form of Mohini to distract asuras and distribution of Amrita to Devas resembles this. Withstanding the negativity is first and when you do it, then flows the wisdom follows.
Ratnas– The legend continues with the production of 9-14 ratnas from the ocean ranging from weapons, jewels, animals, herbs and goddess. Sitting alone is the most productive thing one can do. Once you start controlling the negativity and wisdom flows, then comes all the riches. All kinds of energies can increase in our body. If these energies are channelled to Devas our success and peace in our life is imminent
Seeing my blogs some of my friends jokingly asked me if I am going to become a renunciate? I always tell them what I need is more and that is why I have chosen spirituality. Wisdom, wealth and energies that are produced in the Churning of the milk ocean denote this.
To put this in a nutshell.
1- Increasing Awareness is – churning of the ocean.
2-Controlling Negativity is – Drinking the poison
3-Being more alive and having abundant energy is – kamadhenu
4-Being successful in Career and getting all wealth is – Lakshmi and Karpaga Vriksham
5-Being consistently and naturally Happy – is getting Amirtham.
Our mind is there to serve us. Allow it to function. Don’t worry about any negativity. Have faith in God, keep churning. Success and happiness are all yours.