Could possibly recommend commentary of Hindu texts that explains the symbolism of Samudra Manthan ?

What is the figurative meaning of it ?

Is it meditation in the brain brings up :

  1. bad stuff, represented by poison
  2. then good stuff, represented by jewels, riches, nectar ?

Does the figurative meaning of MahaDev swallow the poison to keep in his neck as NeelKanth :

To accept bad gross horrid things to exist in the world, cause that’s niyati and karmphal, can’t change that or remove it as we all know.

So be like Bholenath & hold it in the neck symbolize to accept it and keep your knowledge of it inside yourself without letting it damage other people or yourself ?

That’s best I can come up with for the halahal vish stuffs.

So both good/Dev & bad/asur have to “churn” ocean together. Figurative meaning of good and evil in us both come together to make meditation work ?

As you can see this part doesn’t make sense hence posting the question, not sure about the other parts either haha:D

There is symbolism of Shyam & Kaliya Daman that is apparently also sort of the same. Madhav doesn’t kill or even hurt Kaliya in any way but dances on his head, which is something about mercy in dealing with evil or something like that. Not sure. Any thoughts greatly appreciated thx :D

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    yes you got it whole samudra mathan story is ones meditation and understanding of scripture meaning process if you read 18 puranas and vedas, and understand the meaning from outside, one would get to be atheistic.. because it leads to unresolved questions then answer then you apply them same to your medidative process and spritual you will get the real meaning, and also understand the meaning of vedas one need complete knowledge of all vedangas.
    – Prasanna R
    Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 6:58
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    The below is shared by bannaje govindacharya.. meru mountain is spine when you mediate the kundalini should raise in the process all negative emotions comes first should ignore kept in the neck and not allowing to be passed to head by grace of Lord shiva who is mano abhimani devatha. then you still mediate amurtha would flow in your body purifying the soul. and further mediatate reach the state of samadhi..
    – Prasanna R
    Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 7:22
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    @PrasannaR Source for the lecture/book of Bannaje Govindacharya? Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 7:34
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    srimad bhagavatam lectures.
    – Prasanna R
    Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 8:02
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    @devibhakt if you can reinforce your understanding a bit from my comments and acknowledging the same is act of gratitude is great, sri hari and myself best wishes to your spritual journey. Hari Om or om tat sat
    – Prasanna R
    Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 12:28

2 Answers 2


(Samudra manthan -Srimad Bhagavadam 8th skanda chapters 5 to 11)

Durvasa went to Indra and presented the divine garland to him. Indra, who was then seated on his elephant, received it without caring to make obeisance to the sage, nonchalantly placed it on the head of the elephant. The elephant shook its head and, when the garland fell down, trampled on it. , Durvasa at this blatant display of disrespect left immediately after pronouncing a curse that Indra,that he would soon lose all their splendour. Taking advantage of the situation the Asuras attacked the Devas and killed many of them

Sri SN Saastri(Scholar -Advaita Vedanta)

Indra here represents such a human mind. When sage Durvasa came, the demoniac tendencies were dominant in Indra and so he behaved arrogantly. The curse of Durvasa shows that no one, however high the position he occupies, can escape the consequences of actions performed under the influence of demoniac tendencies.
(The divine tendencies are fearlessness, purity of mind, control of the senses, straightforwardness, non-covetousness, humility, and the like. The demoniac tendencies are arrogance, anger, harshness, ignorance . Both these are present in every normal human being. The proportion varies from person to person. Even in the same person sometimes the divine tendencies may be dominant and sometimes the demoniac, making the person behave differently at different times.)

Sri SN Saastri

Indra realised the consequences and sought the grace of the Lord which alone can help man. The Lord asked him to make peace with the Asuras temporarily because they were at that time very strong and could not be defeated. This is another way of saying that it is not possible to get rid of the demoniac tendencies by fighting against them and trying to suppress them when they are strong. The divine tendencies must first be made stronger and then only can the demoniac tendencies be countered. The Devas were therefore asked to strengthen themselves by getting the nectar from the ocean. (by Lord Vishnu, by making peace with the Asuras) and seek their co-operation for churning the Ocean of Milk to get the nectar which would make them immortal..

Sri SN Saastri

The Svetasvataropanishad (1.14):--

"Making one's own body the lower piece of wood and the pranava the upper piece of wood, and practising churning in the form of meditation, one should realise God as one would find out something hidden". (For lighting the fire for yajnas one piece of wood is placed vertically on another piece of wood placed horizontally and churning is done to produce fire. The two pieces of wood are known as Aranis). The same upanishad also says that the supreme Self can be perceived in the intellect, just as butter can be obtained from curd (Svet up. 1.16)

Sri SN Saastri

No one can succeed in any action without the grace and help of the Lord. When the Devas and the Asuras were carrying the Mandara mountain it fell down.Lord had to take the form of a huge tortoise and  lift it up. It was only after the Lord Himself took up the churning that things began to emerge from the ocean..
Sri SN Saastri

The first thing to emerge from the ocean was the deadly poison, which was removed by Lord Siva so that it may not do any harm to living beings. The idea brought out here is that when a person progresses sufficiently in meditation, all the impurities in his mind such as desire, anger, greed, and the like, which harm his spiritual progress, are removed by the grace of God. The poison may be taken as standing for such impurities..
Sri SN Saastri

While asking the Devas to churn the ocean for nectar, Lord Vishnu warned them not to covet any of the things that might come up during the churning and target at nectar alone (Srimad Bhagavadam 8.6.25). This is similar to the warning given to the spiritual aspirant not to be tempted by the siddhis which may come to him, but to keep his mind fixed on the ultimate goal, liberation. The Kamadhenu, kalpaka tree, etc, represent the siddhis. .
Sri SN Saastri

(This point is emphasized by Rishi Pantajali in yoga sutras)

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    Thx this is great, between the comments and replies of you and Prasanna R, I think I get it now, cheers, I’ll go ahead and accept this answer 🕉 Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 5:11

As far as the philosophical aspect of Samudra Manthan I have got 2 examples.

Birth of Lord Vishnu.:

33-38. Śiva thought within Himself like this—“Another being shall be created by me. Let him create everything, protect it and in the end let him dissolve it with my blessing. Having entrusted everything to him we two, remaining in Kāśī shall roam as we please keeping only the prerogative of conferring salvation. We can stay happily in this blissful forest being free from worries (of creation). With the consent of Śiva the supreme lord spread the liquorine essence of nectar on His left side, on the tenth limb, nectar which was the outcome of churning the ocean of His mind wherein Thoughts were the waves, the Sattva Guṇa was the precious gem, Rajas being coral and Tamas—crocodile. Thereupon a person (Vishnu) came into being who was the most charming one in the three worlds, who was calm with Sattva Guṇa being prominent, and who appeared to be the ocean of immeasurable majesty. (Sri Shiva Purana 2.1:6:33-38).

Birth of Nishada.:

43: After making a decision, the saintly persons and sages churned the thighs of the dead body of King Vena with great force and according to a specific method. As a result of this churning, a dwarflike person was born from King Vena’s body.

46: After his [Niṣāda’s] birth, he immediately took charge of all the resultant actions of King Vena’s sinful activities. As such, this Naiṣāda class are always engaged in sinful activities like stealing, plundering and hunting. Consequently they are only allowed to live in the hills and forests. (Srimad Krishna Bhagwatam 4:14:43&46).

So, here Nishada took the Visha (Sins).

Birth of Prithu.:

1: The great sage Maitreya continued: My dear Vidura, thus the brāhmaṇas and the great sages again churned the two arms of King Vena’s dead body. As a result a male (Prithu) and female (Arci) couple came out of his arms. (Srimad Krishna Bhagwatam 4:15:1).

So, Samudra Manthan is nothing but Atma Manthan or self churning.

Where manas (moon) is the sea as moon (soma) is also the nectar and from manas only impurities are born. As mind is difficult to control. And then our thoughts are waves, Satva is gem, rajas is coral, tamas is crocodile.

So,from greed (rajas) to riches (sri) manthan started, then with hard work (manthan) satva is gems are found. But though its satva its still materialistic happiness. So tamas comes which is the fear of losing the weath. After tamas comes Kāla Kuta (poison) negative thoughts. Kāla means death and kuta means puzzle. Those who remains attached to the materialistic world remain trapped in the cycle of life-death-rebirth. Those who solve the puzzle and detatch themselves from materialistic world. They get the nectar of knowledge to immorality or moksha. Now, those who gets the knowledge of Brahman (Amrita) becomes immortal (suras) and those who don't, they remain under the influence of maya (mohini) and remains mortals (asuras). As, according to the vedas all are asuras only.

So, 1st Brahma (Rajas), 2nd Vishnu (Satva) and 3rd Rudra (Tamas), then destruction and after according to the karma its decided its moksha or rebirth. Its like in kundalini yoga where kundalini 1st pierces Brahma granthi, then Vishnu granthi and then Rudra granthi and finally reached to Sahasrara, the city of Brahman where the yogi gets immortal. As described by me in this and this answers of mine respectively. Here, the mount meru is our spine (meru-danda) and the serpent is our Kundalini Shakti.

Maitreya Upanishad.:

“deho devaalayaH proktaH sa jiivaH kevalaH shivaH . tyajedaj~naananirmaalya.n so.ahaMbhaavena puujayet.h |” (Maitreyi Upanishad II:1).

“The body is said to be the temple; the individual Self (Jivatman) is Shiva alone. One should discard the faded flowers in the form of spiritual ignorance and worship Lord Bhava (with the conviction that) ‘He and I are one’.”

Kaivalya Upanishad.:

“umaasahaayaM parameshvaraM prabhuM trilochanaM niilakaNThaM prashaantam.h | dhyaatvaa munirgachchhati bhuutayoniM samastasaakShiM tamasaH parastaat.h |” (Kaivalya Upanishad 7) sa eva sarvaM yadbhuutaM yachcha bhavyaM sanaatanam.h | j~naatvaa taM mR^ityumatyeti naanyaH panthaa vimuktaye | (Kaivalya Upanishad 9).

“Meditating on the highest Lord, allied to Uma, powerful, three-eyed, blue-necked, and tranquil, the holy man reaches Him (Shiva) who is the source of all, the witness of all and is beyond darkness (i.e. Avidya). He alone is all that was, and all that will be, the Eternal; knowing Him, one transcends death; there is no other way to freedom”.

I hope this clarifies all your queries. Prd..

  • This is so helpful too ! 🥶 Thx so much for taking the time to put this answer here. I had already accepted the first answer, wish I could accept this one also 😍 Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 15:44
  • This part you wrote here : “They get the nectar of knowledge to immorality or moksha. Now, those who gets the knowledge of Brahman (Amrita) becomes immortal (suras) and those who don't, they remain under the influence of maya (mohini) and remains mortals (asuras). As, according to the vedas all are asuras only.” <—- I hadn’t realize the symbolism of Vishnu as Mohini. Excellent 😍 Thx so much 🕉 Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 15:46
  • Those two linked answers of yours about the spine and the chakras corresponding to deities, also very good. Much appreciated 🕉 Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 15:52
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    As you said about maya and mohini, i have given an answer relating to how Lord Vishnu is the male form of Maa Uma. And How Maa Durga is the shakti of both sat and asat. As you are the bhakta of mata. I thought of sharing this answer with you. 😊👍🌞.. Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 16:05
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    Bdw, its ok about the tick mark. And u r welcome man. 😊.. Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 16:06

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