This is the beautiful story of the churning of the ocean of milk and the emergence of Lakshmi into the world, when the beauty and love had been discarded…
Lakshmi comes where she is invited – are you ready to INVITE HER IN?
for this story i wish you to know a few things ::
your Body is the temple = Mount Mandara ~ honour, respect, clean out the clutter (muddy waters) so your lotus heart blossoms
Sushumna is the ray of light = Shri – light beauty auspiciousness
Shakti = serpent
Deva/Devi/Gods/goddesses = parts of our self that are light, aware, conscious, that illuminate our life
Asuras/demons = the darker sides of our nature ruled by ego, anger, frustration, greed
Lakshmi loves light, loves the tidiness, so you need to cleanse, clear out all around you, your mat, your home, even your body to be a pure vessel to receive…
in Tantra your sadhana takes time, all the challenges that arise, all parts of self that we have discarded come forth so you bring them to light. Then you can let go of those parts of yourself that are not serving you
- When You encounter your self in a raw radical honest way = transformation
- When willing to see whole of YOU, even the poisons turn to nectar
before I begin Id love You to remember you are every character in the story…. this beautiful story of coming to truly taste the nectar of shri…
watch the video of shortened story here …. or my updated blog here
Samudra Manthan ~ The Churning of the Ocean of Milk
Once upon a time a long long time ago…or maybe not so long ago as this story is happening right right now in your body, mind and life…see who you connect to and who you dont 😉 the latter is an area you can reflect upon
There was a wise sage Durvasa who was more often than not rather grumpy and stand offish, however this particular day he was in really good spirits, gregarious, happy, approachable and dancing about for all to see. This was being viewed by the celestial nymphs and they were so happy to see this that one descended from heaven and says
Durvasa takes the gift and is even more joyous and becomes intoxicated by the ever fragrant smell. It makes him even happier than before and says, “ well I’m feeling so generous right now I want to bestow a gift to the first person that comes my way”
and who is that?… Indra – the King of Gods, while riding on his white elephant with a long long entourage. So Durvasa calls out to Indra and says “I have a gift for you Indra” Indra didn’t really paying attention to Durvasa as Indra was was inflated by his own ego, powers, and fame. so in that moment Indra accepted the garland but didn’t take much care of the gift given to him (do you treasure the gift of yoga that is the eternal lotus?) and flings it in the air and the ever fragrant never fading lotus garland is released and it lands in on the trunk of the elephant. The elephant was irritated by the smell and it threw the garland on the floor and proceeds to stand all over the ever-fragrant never fading lotus garland.
This enraged the sage Durvasa, as he watched this, his mood switched from delight to anger every so quickly as he is watching and he becomes outraged as the garland was the dwelling of Shri (fortune) and was to be treated with respect like a Prasad. Durvasa cursed Indra and all Deva’s saying “ from this point forth you and all your kingdom of the gods and goddesses shall lose all your powers and to become poverty-stricken and bereft of all influence and strength, their lives loose all auspiciousness.”
and so in time they did lose their powers and were defeated by the asura’s (the demons), as the result of the curse. one by one all the gods and goddess marched to Indra saying we are I n a state of unease we are all losing our powers…
Agni the god of fire was shivering, Surya the sun had no more light, the god of wine was running dry, even Yama the lord of death was rendered helpless so they thought what shall we do? Indra was also unsure for he the great wielder of the thunderbolt, the one who has all this powerful strength was losing his power too. So they go to Brahma the creator and say “ you created this, so you can change this”
”Brahma says ’yes indeed its true I gave creation buy all my creation is free to do what it will do so I’m not the one to talk to – go to Vishnu, the great preserver and ask him…”
The deva’s then appealed to Lord Vishnu for help. Lord Vishnu says “here’s what you must do, all the gods and goddesses and all the demons too…. Gather all parts of your self, all that is beautiful and all the parts that you deny or that you see as ugly, gather them all and go to the four corners of the realms and gather the sacred herbs of the four directions and then together bring the sacred herbs and caste them into the ocean of milk and there you will begin to churn the great ocean of milk until one day the amrita will rise up, the great elixir of immortality will rise up from the depths of the ocean and you will take a sip from that, one drop of the amrita will restore your powers and strength”
The Churning of the Ocean begins
So the gods and goddesses are in complete agreement and will do this, they gather the demons and say, “ how will we churn this great ocean?”
Vishnu says “ we will uproot Mount Mandara and place it in the ocean and this is going to become our great apparatus” Mount Mandara represents the physical body “then we’ll use Vasuki, the King of Serpents, began the churning rope, that will pull back and forth on the churning stick and dredge forth the elixir and then I myself will incarnate as the great tortoise, Kurma and become the bait of the great Mount Madura churning stick and the churning rope Vasuki.”
The demons, being parts of yourself that are greedy rush forth for the best of something and insisted that they should hold the front part of the snake during the churning, while the devas, on the encouragement of Lord Vishnu held its tail. And so this is how it goes and they start top churn the great ocean…
As they began pulling the “rope” to produce nectar, smoke and blazing fire emanated from Vasuki’s many mouths, causing great suffering for the demons. As the demons and gods continued churning, the huge Mandara Mountain began sinking into the ocean of milk because it was without support. Vishnu then took the form of a Kurma, – a tortoise, entered the ocean, and held the mountain on His back to allow the churning to continue. Lord Vishnu himself had to intercede in so many ways to aid the Devas. All kinds of herbs were cast into the ocean and many great beings and objects were produced from the ocean – the wish fulfilling cow, the divine flowering tree, crescent moon (Shiva plucks it and puts in his dreadlocks) most precious jewels I n all the world, a deep blue sapphire and that gem is worn on Vishnu breast plate, the most precious jewel worn at the centre of the heart so that everything is sustained, Vishnu preserves heart energy to sustain us all.
Then as all the gifts were rising in the churning the ocean became wild and stormy, the waves were wild and huge and over-powering. it began to give off a poison called halahala that spread in all directions. The snake starts coughing and choking; the demons too start choking, as they were the first to take the rope. This terrified the Gods and demons as the poison was so toxic that it effects would have wiped out the entire creation.
so what are the shakti keys here? there are so many, firstly Mount Mandara, is your body and is used to churn the ocean, this means the practices of yoga are churning your body, awakening to who you are…. and from this many jewels, as well as poison may arise. Vishnu is the preserver, he is the committed aspect of your self, like the loyal lover, he is in it for the long haul. Vishnu comes as a tortoise, representative of the steadfast faith and abiltity to stay present when all around you is turbulent, he is there to support your body as you churn through your practice and sadhana, Vishnu is saying stay committed ladies!
we need to remember this part of the teaching- that sadhana, practices of yoga will bring forth every single parts of ourselves that need to be purified and need to be seen so that we can deal with it. You will have to encounter your self in a radical, raw, honest way and then the transformation happens when you are willing to see all the parts of yourself even the poisons, the parts you deny or ignore or discard, everything needs to unite, like the gods and the asuras come together to churn the ocean, the poisons are indeed the nectar!
even when the challenges are immense and over-powering (the halahala) the key is to remain committed and trust your aMAzing body. Feminine emBODIment is different to masculine witnessing from the outside. this churning is asking you to go deep into churning, into your body, stay present and feel what is going on. do not separate yourself fro your body.
so back to the story they ask Vishnu
“ What shall we do what is this? You didn’t tell us that there were all these poisons would emerge, where is the elixir of immortality.”
Vishnu said “ in the churning of the ocean, is the churning of the heart…. Everything arises…”
this deep intoxicating poison emerges named halahala. On the advice of Lord Vishnu, Gods approached Lord Shiva, known as the transform nd the destroyer for he was the only one who could help and protect as only he could swallow it without being affected. On the request of the gods and out of compassion for living beings, Lord Shiva gathered the poison in his palms and drank it….
now there are Different variations of the story, however i love this one ::
Shiva, known as the transformer drinks the poison as he’s chanting silently and as he does so, Parvati his beloved– comes rushing forth seeing him drinking it and starts yelling “wait what are you doing?” she’s having a complete break down (sound familiar ladies?) and begins to strangle him saying “you crazy yogi husband what are you doing, I need you!” and in all the strangling of her husband the poison is stopped, it stayed in his throat neither going up nor going down and Shiva remained unharmed and through Shiva mantra it is transformed. The poison which was so potent that it changed the color of Lord Shiva, Mahadeva’s neck to blue. For this reason, Lord Shiva is also called Neelakantha (the blue-necked one) where ‘Neela’ means blue and ‘Kantha’ means neck or throat.
This shows the power of the practice of mantra; mantra comes from ‘manus’ = mind & heart ‘tra’ = tool… therefore mantra is a tool to unlock the mind and heart. Mantras position themselves in Vissudhi chakra, which colour is iridescent blue and it is the space between the heart and the mind, the place then transforms and purifies so the poison is turned to nectar through mantra..
Shiva is known as the transformer and he witnesses. Here he represents this infinite capacity to absorb, to receive all the poisons and the stormy water which arise when you begin a spiritual practice. and throughout life things arise, the storms are the tests. Your Shiva nature is the masculine side of you that is strong, steady and ready to absorb and support you and he is present within you, he always enters her , he is always within Her the feminine, shakti, to hold her. Another shakti key is Shiva breathes in the poison and then he pauses… teaching us to breath and pause when the challenges arise (- gosh I know i need to do that more!)
The emergence of Ma Lakshmi
And so back to the story. The churning continues for some 10,000 years or more and Vishnu urges the gods and goddesses to continue their practices (commitment) so while the ocean is being churned and refined in multiple ways it is said the ocean goes through 7 great churnings and refinements and this is what is happening through our own practices, the churning of our won sates of being towards purification.
So as they are churning and becoming impatient, (do you get impatient?) they are urged to be patient by Vishnu and so in time and with patience this rippling starts to occur in the churning of ocean of milk and there from its centre an enormous Lotus starts to arise and unfurling out of its centre is a goddess :: the most beautiful, radiant, luminous goddess anyone has ever seen! – Shri Devi Lakshmi, radiantly beautiful and the elephants with their great white trunks are showering her with the water from the Ganges and the ocean of milk. She is surrounded by humming bees (symbolic of mantras) and she is said to be holding a Kumbha a pot filled with seeds to be shaken like a rattle… the seeds are the bija mantras… so she rises up and is to become the beloved of Lord Vishnu, for he is the loyal, committed and always present.
Observe this is the most powerful Shakti key to remember and honour – Lakshmi represents the deepest soul, the beauty of the self is churned out of the depths of poisons and she doesn’t appear right away! that’s right… you have to work hard for her and over time with commitment bringing every part of yourself as One – this is yoga the union, the Oneness.
when we are stuck on outer forms of beauty, the mind and ego get stuck there, i.e. this beautiful, this is ugly, i’m ugly, i’m not beautiful, she looks more beautiful than me, she is slimmer etc. The lesson in the practices are to reveal to us in time the deep inner most beauty of the soul that is churned from the depths of our being, like the depths of the churning of ocean of milk…
So to really turn the darkness or the poisons to the light or the amrita, you need to embrace every aspect or face of yourself. Lakshmi is a mirror, she’s is radiating your beauty, your shri, your auspiciousness, pure LOVE back to you… can you now see Her in you? Pause, close your eyes and truly feel this question, feel into Lakshmi essence, can you truly see in the mirror and embrace your beauty, love, auspiciousness that She is infinite and reflects everything back to you….
and back to the story so they keep churning and the great heavenly physician finally Dhanvantari appeared with the Kumbha filled with the nectar. Seeing Dhanvantari holding the jug of nectar, what they need just one sip of, their most cherished object, they all lost self-control and patience. The demons being fast, greedy immediately snatched the pot away by force, and a fight ensued. Garuda Vishnu vahana, vehicle comes and takes the pot and lifts it up into the skies and as he does this 4 drops of the nectar spills in 4 places on earth in Maharashtra; Ujjain, in Madhya Pradesh; and Haridwar and Allahabad, in Uttar Pradesh. These become pilgrimages and Kumbhmela celebrated for its mystical powers and spirituality every 12 years.
Garuda brings the pot and the demons steal it again Soon after, the demons began quarrelling among themselves over who would get to drink the nectar first and so Vishnu plays a trick. While they were fighting, Lord Vishnu assumed the form of an extremely beautiful sexy woman, known as Mohini and enchants the demons with her beauty. The demons, completely overwhelmed by Her charm, (see how quick the demons of ego lose sight for superficial beauty?) and Mohini encapsulates and tempts them
“oh demons may I take a look at that shimmering beautiful pot you have?” and demons being demons overwhelmed by what is in front of them and forget the gift they already have and go for the next best thing (mmm grass is always greener…) allow the sexy beautiful woman to take the pot. Vishnu as Mohini then takes the pot to the gods and goddesses and they begin to take a sip of the amrita…
A deity named Rahu was watching all these leela (play/drama) and was intelligent to suspect some foul play in this distribution. He suddenly realized the trick that Mohini was playing with the demons. He immediately transformed himself into a figure of like-god and queued up in the line with gods before the gods could realize it. He sat in between two deities Surya Dev (Sun God) and Chandra Dev (Moon God) who was sitting at the end of the last row. Chandra deva immediately recognized him and signaled Mohini to avoid Rahu who was in disguise of god sitting next to him as Mohini was about to serve it to Rahu and coming for Chandra dev at the last. But it was too late before Mohini could realize. Rahu had already had his share and gulped it down his throat. Immediately Shri Vishnu reappeared in His original Form from emerging out of His Mohini incarnation. Serving the remaining portion of the ambrosia to Chandra Dev (Moon) he threw the pot on the Earth and sprang into action to catch up Rahu.
Vishnu took up his disc, which is razor-sharp, and severed his head before he could swallow the immortal beverage below his throat (like Shiva). Although his body from the neck down died, his head remained alive because of the nectar in his mouth. So Rahu has great avengence to the sun and every now and then this demon swallows the sun and because he has no body the sun comes out at his throat and this is called a solar eclipse.
With the gods and goddesses powers restored, the immortality of the self is praised and this is
so, if you are every character in the story, who stood out the most? Who was a mirror for you?
Are you ready to invite Lakshmi into the temple of your body?