Samudra Manthan-churning of the ocean and its gifts- milky way

The Story of the Samudra Manthan is legendary in the Hindu Vedic Scriptures. It not only determines the power struggle between the Devas(demigods and the Asuras(the Demon gods), but alos the procurement of the jewels of this earth. The Samudra Manthan or the Churning of hte Milky Way- the very existence of of Universe and its life form is pivotal in our scriptures.

The Mandranchal Parvat(mountain) was used as a pestle to churn, Vasuki, the Snake god was used to wrap round the mountain to be pulled in opposite directions, A giant tortoise held the base of the mountain under water to support the churning and as the process continued, several jewels or ratnas emerged out of the Manthan.

Ratnas emerging out of the Samudra Manthan/Churning of the Milky Way.

Samudra Manthan

Samudra Manthan

Fourteen different ratnas (gems) were also recovered during this pastime of churning or the samudra manthan , and these were mostly kept by the demigods, although the asuras tried to cheat them out of the treasures. All kinds of herbs were cast into the ocean to produce these fourteen ratnas, which were divided between the asuras and demigods, as follows: (Thankyou Wikipedia)

1.Halahala, the poison swallowed by Shiva

2. Varuni or Sura, goddess and creator of alcohol. As she was accepted by the gods, they are called as Suras, while the demons – Asuras.

3. Uchhaishravas, the divine 7-headed horse

4. Kaustubha, the most valuable jewel in the world, worn by Vishnu

5. Chandra, the moon

6. Lakshmi, the Goddess of Fortune and Wealth -Vishnu’s consort

7. Chandra, the moon which adorned Shiva’s head

8. Apsaras, various divine nymphs like Rambha, Menaka, Punjikasthala, etc.

9. Kamadhenu or Surabhi, the wish-granting divine cow

10. Parijat, the divine flowering tree with blossoms that never fade or wilt, identified with Kalpavriksha, the wish-granting tree

11. Airavata, the elephant of Indra

12. Dhanvantari, the doctor of the gods with Amrita the nectar of immortality. (At times, considered as two different Ratnas)

This list varies from Purana to Purana and is also slightly different in the epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Sharanga, the bow of Vishnu

Shankha Vishnu’s conch

Jyestha – the goddess of misfortune

the umbrella taken by Varuna

the earrings given to Aditi, by her son Indra

Tulasi plant

Nidra or sloth