Srivaishnavam Practices Essence
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Essence of Srivaishnavam Practices

Churning of the Sea - The Milky Ocean - ThiruppArkadal



Greetings. The sea is a very important, famous and cheap resource. In Indian mythology, it plays a vital role in the fight against the gods and the demons; who wished to rule by dethroning them. Here I give you a brief account of the process by which the Fourteen Ratnas or jewels as their English translation were obtained. And below the story, I give you the Fourteen Ratnas. They are not in the order that they came out. Might I add that I have gotten this information from my Sanskrit books and tutors and by a little of my own efforts.


The demons were a constant trouble to the Gods who were worried that the demons might win the struggle and get control of the heavens. For fear of this, they went to Lord Shri Vishnu and pleaded to him for a cure for this problem. He suggested that they churn the seas for nectar, which would make the Gods more powerful than they were. More or less like the Ambrosia in Greek mythology. Even though Lord Shri Vishnu had told the Gods to churn the seas, the Gods still didn't know what to use to churn the vast sea with. Vishnu again said that they could churn with the help of a mountain and a giant snake. Even with these many questions and answers, the Gods asked one last question. The Gods were not strong enough to churn the sea all by themselves. For this Vishnu told them to take the help of the demons themselves. The Gods were against this at first but later agreed.


They spoke to the head of the demons and told them that they could share the nectar. To this the demons agreed and helped them with the churning. The first thing that came out was poison. To continue the churning, someone had to drink the poison or the seas would get filled with the poison and every man and woman would die. The Gods pointed at the demons and vice versa. At last Lord Shiva came forward to drink the poison. When he drank this poison, his neck became blue by its effect and thus he is called Neelakhanta. The Kaustuba, the Dhanvantari, and the Moon etc. the fourteen jewels came out one by one. And at last came Laxmi carrying the pot of nectar in her hands.

The FOURTEEN JEWELS are:

01) Kamadenu or Wish fulfilling Cow

02) The Moon

03) The Kaustuba diamond

04) The Conch

05) Dhanvantari. (Doctor of the Gods)

06) The Parijhatha

07) Goddess Laxmi  (Lakshmi) 

08) Nectar

09) Ucchai Shravas

10) Poison

11) Airavat (Indras elephant)

12) Rambha

13) Sura

14) Haridhanush.


Submitted by:

Srilata S. Iyengar

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