02 Dec 2011 16:12
that made me laugh hehe
02 Dec 2011 16:23
Another short story... Good vs Bad
Reply to Good vs Bad by shashank
This story is another example of how the inner turmoil between good and bad goes about in human life.
Many hindus are familiar with the story of sagar manthan or the churning of the ocean. The story goes like this. Once Indra lost his kingdom due to the disrespect he showed to sage Durvasa.
He approached lord Vishnu who advised him to seek help of the demons to churn the ocean of milk (ksheer sagar) so that he and the devas can partake the amrita (ambrosia) which would make them immortal and help them regain their lost kingdom.
As per his advise, the devas approached the demons and they all agreed in the end to churn the ocean of milk. They sought the help of mount mandhara and the great snake Vasuki for this purpose.
Vasuki, the snake god, was used as the rope and Mandhara, the mountain, as the churning stick to churn the ocean. While they were churning this great ocean Lord Vishnu assumed the form of a tortoise and held the Mandhara from sinking. While the churning was going on several wonderful objects came out of the ocean.
The first to come out was halahal, the deadly poison, which threatened to engulf the worlds and destroy them. While no one was willing to accept the poison, Lord Shiva came forward to accept it.
He swallowed it and Parvathi who was standing besides him pressed his necck as he swallowed it and prevented it from going into his stomach. Thus the poison remained there stuck forever in his neck, neither going up into his mind nor going down into his stomach.
Then came Kamadhenu (the wish fulfilling cow), the Ucchaisrava (the white horse), Airavata (the white elephant), Kaustubhamani (a rare diamond), Kalpavriksha (the wish fulfilling tree), Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth), Sura or Varuni (the goddess of wine) and finally Dhanavantari (the divine physician) with the vessel of Amrita in his skillful hands. These objects except the last one were divided between the devas and the demons.
The nectar of immortality was of course finally denied to the demons and was distributed among the gods only, through a fine act of trickey enacted by Lord Vishnu, who assumed the form of mohini to delude the demons and make them forget temporarily all about the amrit, while he went on distributing it among the gods who took it. Because of the effects of amrit, they not only became immortal but also defeated the demons summarily.
This is the story of churning of the ocean in brief.
02 Dec 2011 16:24
Now the symbolism hidden in this story is this.
The story represents the spiritual endeavour of man for gaining immortality through concentration of mind, withdrawal of senses, control of desires, and practice of austerities and asceticism.
The gods represent the pleasure principle in ourselves.The demons represent the pain principle. The gods also represent the senses, while the demons the evil and negative thoughts and impulses. The participation of both the devas and the demons signify the fact that when one is seeking immortality through the spiritual practice one has to integrate and harmonize both the positive and negative aspects of ones personality and put both the energies for the common goal.
The ocean of milk is the mind or human consciousness. The mind is always compared to an ocean (mano sagaram) while the thoughts and emotions to the waves. The mind as an ocean is in fact a universal symbol, known to the other religions and cultures also.
Mandhara, the mountain stands for concentration. The word "mandhara" contains two words "man" (mind) and "dhara" (a single line or flow) which means holding the mind in one line. This is possible only during mental concentration.
The mountain mandhara was upheld by Lord Vishnu as a tortoise. The tortoise here stands for the withdrawl of the senses into one self as one practices mental concentration and meditation or contemplation. It also suggests that the mind should rest itself upon or freely surrender itself to the divine will.
The great serpent Vasuki stands for desire. The desire is always compared to a thousand hooded serpent. The Vasuki used in the churning of the ocean denotes that the devas and the demons held desire (so seek immortality) as a rope and churned the mind with the help of concentration and withdrawl of the senses. You can hold desire in your hands and manipulate it only when you have control over your desires. So control of desire is suggested through this symbolism.
The halahal represents suffering and pain we undergo at the beginning of spiritual sadhana. When the mind is subjected to intense churning by opposing forces, the first thing that comes out of the process is intense suffering and great inner turmoil. We are told by many that when an initiate starts his spiritual sadhana he faces a number of difficulties. The problems become intensified because of inner conflicts, where one part yearns to pursue the spiritual path while the other opposes it.
In the initial stages of sadhana a seeker's mind throws out all kinds of reactions, negative thoughts, desires and impulses out into open so that he can deal with them appropriately. These problems are basically physical suffering and mental suffering without resolving which further progress is not possible. In short we can say that halahal is the instability of the body and the mind that arise as a counter reaction against ones spiritual practice.
Lord Shiva represents the ascetic principle. He is the destroyer of illusion, one who is innerly detached, pure and austere. His role in this story as the consumer of poison suggests that one can deal with the early problems of spiritual life, such as the instability of the mind and its restlessness, by cultivating the qualities of Lord Shiva, namely, courage, initiative, willingness, discipline, simplicity, austerity, detachment compassion, pure love and asceticism.
Alternatively it also means gaining control over the mind through breath control. Lord Shiva is controller of breath. He is prananath, or praneshwar, Lord of the life force or breath. In spiritual sadhana, it is essential that one gains complete mastery over ones breathing pattern. Many spiritually advanced souls have the capacity to hold their breath in their throat, near the palate, as they meditate.
The various objects that came out of the ocean during the churning stand for the psychic or spiritual powers (siddhis) which one gains as the progresses powers which come to a seeker as he progresses on a spiritual path. We are told that a seeker is to be careful about these powers as they can hamper his progress unless he uses them judiciously, not for his selfish gains but for others' welfare. This is the reason why the gods and demons distributed these powers among others without keeping anything for themselves as they did not want to lose sight of their original aim which was to gain immortality.
Dhanvantari stands for health. The vessel containing the amrit was brought before the gods and the demons by Dhanvantari, the divine physician. This signifies that immortality can be achieved only when the body and the mind are in a perfect state of health. Spiritual success is not possible in case of a person who is mentally or physically sick or whose gross body is not fit for receiving divine illumination.
Lord vishnu in the form of Mohini stands for delusion of mind in the form of pride. It is the pride of achievement to which the asuras or the demons succumbed and thus lost their right to enter into the world of immortality. Pride and egoism are the last hurdles one has to overcome in spiritual life before experiencing self-realization.
This is in brief the symbolism hidden in the story of Sagar manthan
03 Dec 2011 03:00
Reply to re by shashank
03 Dec 2011 03:15
> who seriously believe that their pathetic schoolboy arguments,
you get your mum to write this for you? you forget, I've destroyed you several times
Get over yourself man, you're nothing more than a chump with more time on his hands
03 Dec 2011 09:23
Reply to a repost for the new-age baboon by Decoy
> You have the intellectual prowess of a baboon in the last
> I suggest you write out your new-age crap in the
And every time people tell me this is a haven for people who tend to bring other people down while they argue, I tend to overlook it, still thinking that there might be at least some portion of dignity remaining in all users who use this board for discussion. Maybe I need to think it all over again.
Being creative with insults is not my forté. But what I can do is reiterate that this is a philosophical thread.
Nobody here wants to stop looking for answers. But in the meanwhile, lapping up anything and everything which comes across without questioning it, isn't something which is ideally suited for a rational thinker. Unless it is supported by facts and observations.
Asking questions makes us human. Its our nature, its how who we are. Finding answers is a matter of both luck and hard work.
> You are a newcomer to this board and are in no
Finally this board is a place for discussion and everyone is free to showcase their views and anyone being "new" is not, was not and will never be a factor.