Kumbham puja
Kalasham, known as kumbham or poorna kumbham is a symbol of The Divne Supreme Being that is absolute. When Ksheera Saagara Manthanam (Churning of Milky Divine Ocean) happened to bring out Nectar to give immortality to Devatas, finally it came in a poorna Kumbham. That’s why in all the pujas, Kumbham is most important in which The Divine is invoked and invited to remain manifested as absolute Supreme Being. Kumbham puja is very powerful when it is done with Guru Mantras like OM SHIVAYA SHIVABALAYOGENDRAYA PARABRAHMANAYA AND OM SHIVAYA SHIVARUDRABALAYOGENDRAYA PARABRAHMANAYA. These mantras are our Guru Parampara mantram. Om Shivaya Shivabalayogendraya Parabrahmanaya mantram was given to Babaji by Shri Swamiji in a dream one day before Babaji actually met Shri Swamiji physically. These mantras will protect devotees from all calamities. Also, it will protect the Guru’s ashrams all over from evil minded demons. Guru has established ashrams for public utility where devotees can come and do sadhana of meditation, puja, homam, etc. After 21 days of kumbham puja, homam will be most powerful generating such great energy of Divinity. Below I am giving the story of legends of ancient Bharata bhoomi in which Ksheera Saagara Manthanam is given. May you all be blessed to overcome all difficulties in life, derive real happiness and receive blessings of Shri Swamiiji and Shri Babaji. May Shri Guru Maharaj’s ashram be protected from the evil eyes of demonic humans.

 

With love and blessings,
Babaji  16 May 2013
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Samudra manthan or Ksheera Sagara Mathanam, churning of the ocean of milk is one of the most famous episodes in the Puranas. The story appears in the Bhagavata Purana, the Mahabharata and the Vishnu Purana.

 

Durvasa’s curse

Indra, the King of Devatas, while riding on an elephant, came across a sage named Durvasa who offered him a special garland. Indra accepted the garland, placing it on the trunk of the elephant. The elephant, irritated by the smell of the garland, threw it to the ground. This enraged the sage as the garland was a dwelling of Sri (fortune) and was to be treated as prasada. Durvasa Muni cursed Indra and all devas to be bereft of all strength, energy, and fortune.

 

Sagar Manthan

In battles that followed this incident, Devas were defeated and Asuras (demons) led by king Bali gained control of the universe. Devas sought help from God Vishnu who advised them to treat the Asuras in a diplomatic manner. Devas formed an alliance with the Asuras to jointly churn the ocean for the nectar of immortality and to share it among them. However, Lord Vishnu told the Devas that he would arrange that they alone obtain the nectar.

 

Churning the Milky Ocean

The churning of the Ocean of Milk or the Milky Way was an elaborate process. Mount Mandarachala was used as the churning rod, and Vasuki, the king of serpents, became the churning rope. The demons (asuras) demanded to hold the head of the snake, while the demigods (devas), taking advice from Vishnu, agreed to hold its tail. As a result, the demons were poisoned by fumes emitted by Vasuki. Despite this, the demigods and demons pulled back and forth on the snake’s body alternately, causing the mountain to rotate, which in turn churned the ocean. However, once the mountain was placed on the ocean, it began to sink. Vishnu in his second incarnation, in the form of a turtle Kurma, came to their rescue and supported the mountain on his back.

 

Halahala (Also called ‘kalakuta’)

During the Samudra Manthan by the Gods and demons, one of the product emerged from the churning was a dangerous poison (Halahala). This terrified the Gods and demons because the poison was so toxic that it might  destroy all creation. On the advice of Vishnu, the Gods approached Shiva for help and protection. Out of compassion for living beings, Shiva swallowed the poison in an act of self-sacrifice. However, his consort Parvati who was looking on, terrified at the thought of his impending death, prevented the poison from descending into his body. Thus the poison was stuck in Shiva’s throat with nowhere to go, and it was so potent that it changed the color of Shiva’s neck to blue. For this reason, he is also called Neelkantha (the blue-throated one; “neela” = “blue”, “kantha” = “throat” in Sanskrit). When the heat from the poison had become unbearable Shiva is supposed to have used his trishul to dig for water forming the Gosaikunda lake.

 

Ratnas that emerged out of the churning

All kinds of herbs were cast into the ocean and 14 Ratnas (gems or treasures) were produced from the ocean and were divided between the Asuras and Gods. Though usually the Ratnas are enumerated as 14, the list in the scriptures ranges from 9 to 14 Ratnas. Most lists include: According to the quality of the treasures produced, they were accepted by Vishnu, the Devas and the Asuras. There were 3 categories of Goddesses that emerged from the ocean.
•     Lakshmi, the Goddess of Fortune and Wealth – accepted by Vishnu as His eternal consort.

•     Apsaras, various divine nymphs like Rambha, Menaka (wife of Indra), Punjikasthala, etc. given to the demigods.

•    Varuni or Sura, goddess and creator of alcohol – taken somewhat reluctantly (she appeared dishevelled and argumentative) – by the demons.

 

Likewise, 3 types of supernatural animals appeared

•    Kamadhenu or Surabhi (Sanskrit : k?madhuk), the wish-granting divine cow – taken by Vishnu, and given to sages so ghee from her milk could be used in sacrifices.

•     Airavata, and several other elephants, taken by Indra, leader of the devas.

•     Uchhaishravas, the divine 7-headed horse – given to the demons.

 

There were 3 valuables

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

•    Parijat, the divine flowering tree with blossoms that never fades or wilts – taken to Indraloka by the devas.

•    A powerful bow – symbolic of the demon’s belligerence.

 

Additionally produced were
•     Chandra, the moon which adorned Shiva’s head.

•     Dhanvantari, the doctor of the Gods with Amrita the nectar of immortality. (At times, considered as 2 different Ratnas).

•     Halahala, the poison swallowed by Shiva

 

This list varies from Purana to Purana and is also slightly different in the epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Lists are completed by adding the following Ratnas:
•    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

 

Mohini Avatar

Various scenes from the samudra manthan episode
Finally, Dhanvantari, the heavenly physician, emerged with a pot containing Amrita, the heavenly nectar of immortality. Fierce fighting ensued between Devas and Asuras for the nectar. To protect the nectar from the Asuras, the divine Garuda took the pot, and flew away from the battle-scene. While Garuda was in his flight over planet Earth, it is believed that four drops of nectar fell at 4 places – Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. This legend is the basis for the belief that these places acquired a certain mystical power and spirituality. A Kumbh Mela is celebrated at the 4 places every 12 years for this reason. People believe that after bathing there during the Kumbha mela, one can get the primeval heaven and moksha (Sanskrit : mok?ha). However, Rahu, one of the Asuras, eventually got hold of the nectar and started celebrating. Frightened, the devas (demigods) appealed to Vishnu, who then took the form of Mohini. As a beautiful and enchanting damsel, Mohini distracted the Asuras, took the amrita, and distributed it among the Devas, who drank it. Asura Rahu Ketu, disguised himself as a deva and drank some nectar. Due to their luminous nature, the sun God Surya and the moon God Chandra noticed the switching of sides. They informed Mohini. But before the nectar could pass his throat, Mohini cut off his head with her divine discus, the Sudarshana Chakra. But as the nectar had gone down his throat he did not die. From that day, his head was called Rahu and body was called Ketu who became planets later. The story ends with the rejuvenated Devas defeating the Asuras.