Ksheera Sagara Madhanam is a popular Hindu mythology story that describes the churning of the Ocean of Milk, also known as Ksheera Sagara. The story is mentioned in several ancient Hindu texts, including the Vishnu Purana, the Bhagavata Purana, and the Mahabharata.
According to the mythology, the Devas (gods) and the Asuras (demons) were at war with each other. The Devas were losing, and they sought the help of Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the universe. Lord Vishnu advised them to make peace with the Asuras and work together to obtain the nectar of immortality, or Amrita, from the Ocean of Milk. The Devas and the Asuras agreed to work together, and they used Mount Mandara as the churning rod and the serpent Vasuki as the rope.
As they began to churn the ocean, a number of valuable treasures and beings emerged, including the moon, the celestial cow Kamadhenu, and the goddess of wealth and prosperity, Lakshmi. However, they also encountered several obstacles, such as poison that emerged from the churning and threatened to destroy the universe. Lord Shiva, the destroyer of the universe, drank the poison to save the world, and he became known as Neelakantha, or the blue-throated one.
Finally, after much effort and hardship, the Amrita emerged from the ocean. However, a fight broke out between the Devas and the Asuras over who would get to drink the Amrita. To prevent the Asuras from obtaining the nectar, Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of the beautiful Mohini, a female enchantress, and tricked the Asuras into letting the Devas drink the Amrita. The Devas gained immortality, and the Asuras were left empty-handed.
The story of Ksheera Sagara Madhanam is often interpreted as an allegory for the spiritual journey, with the churning of the ocean representing the process of self-discovery and the search for enlightenment. The obstacles and challenges that emerge during the churning symbolize the trials and tribulations of life, and the emergence of the Amrita represents the attainment of spiritual knowledge and liberation.
During this event, 14 Ratnas or treasures emerged from the ocean. These 14 Ratnas are:
- Kamadhenu: The divine cow that fulfills all desires.
- Ucchaisravas: The divine horse with seven heads.
- Airavata: The divine elephant with four tusks.
- Parijat: The divine tree that grants wishes.
- Kaustubha: The divine jewel worn by Lord Vishnu.
- Shankha: The divine conch shell.
- Chakra: The divine discus.
- Halahala: The poison that Lord Shiva consumed during the churning of the ocean.
- Amrita: The nectar of immortality.
- Varuni: The divine wine.
- Dhanvantari: The divine physician who brought Ayurveda to the world.
- Lakshmi: The goddess of wealth and prosperity.
- Apsaras: The divine nymphs who are heavenly dancers and singers.
- Rambha: The divine apsara who was the most beautiful among all apsaras.
These Ratnas were distributed among the gods and demons as per their respective roles and merits. The Ratnas are considered to be symbols of great power, wealth, and knowledge. They are often depicted in Hindu mythology and are believed to have supernatural abilities that can benefit humanity.