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This was the second incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is in the form of a tortoise. When the demons and the gods churn the cosmic ocean to produce the nectar of immortality with the help of Vasuki called a serpent. To give support to the churning stick on his back Lord Vishnu took the form of a tortoise. But in the process of producing nectar of immortality from the milk of ocean both nectar and poison had been produced. The demon steal the nectar and then to take nectar from the demon lord Vishnu again took the avatar of Mohini and get that nectar back.
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Story of Kurma Avatar of Lord Vishnu
In KURMA Avatar, Lord Vishnu incarnates as a turtle. It is an interesting story involving both gods (devtas) and asuras (demons). In the incessant saga of the battle between the devtas and the asuras, once the devtas suddenly lost all their strength due to a curse of the temperate sage Durvasa. The sage had formerly presented a garland of flowers to Indra, king of the gods, who yielded it carelessly to his elephant who trampled him.
The Deva were harassed by Asuras (demons). They could not stand before the force of the Asuras. The Asuras made up two-thirds of the population, while the Suras (Devas) made up only one third. Of course, the Asuras still have the upper hand. The Devas went to Brahma and told him about their fate. Brahma led them all to the adobe of Sri Maha Vishnu.
Maha Vishnu was in his meditative sleep (Yoganidra) and really thought about the fate of the Devas and actually wanted to find a permanent solution to this sad state of affairs. At that time, Brahma was introduced to the audience of Sriman Narayana who was lying on his cosmic Anantha bed.
Brahma after obedience told Maha Vishnu what all the Devas had told her. Maha Vishnu said, 'I see your terrible situation. I will give you a solution. Act in consequence. Be friendly with the Asuras first. With their cooperation, splash the ocean and you will get many precious things from the ocean, you will also get Amirtha nectar. If you take a dose of Amirtha, you become immortal. Then the question will be solved because you would have conquered death. Brahma says, 'Lord, only the Devas cannot do the work. They must get the cooperation of the Asuras as you indicated. If the Asuras get to know Amirtha, I fear very much, Lord, that things are not formed.
Maha Vishnu replied, 'My children do not worry about that. Leave me that and I'll manage. Note that the demons will ring and you will reap the fruit '.
With Mandara Mountain as churning rod and large Vaasuki serpent as rope; the churning of the ocean has begun.
As they turned, the mountain began to flow slowly and at one point the spinning stopped. The lord of the universe saw this and took the form of a wonderful huge tortoise (Koorma) plunged into the waters and gave his strong shell on his back as support to the mountain. Now the mountain has stabilized and the turnaround has begun.
The first who came out of the ocean was Kamadhenu, the divine cow. Maha Vishnu gave this divine animal to the sage Vasishta. Then came the Paarijatha tree. Devendra took it and decorated it with its park (Nandavana). This was followed by the moon and then the precious Kaustubha diamond. Kaustubha was appropriated by Maha Vishnu himself.
While the Moon adorned the head of Lord Shiva, the latter was known as Sasidhara. Then came Iravatha (white elephant). Indra took it for his use.
After a while, the deadly poison Haalahala (terribly destructive poison) came and burned the whole universe. All ran helter-skelter. They fell at the feet of Lord Shiva who saved the universe by drinking poison. While Lord Shiva was swallowing the poison by saying Sriman Narayana Preethyartham (to the pleasure and satisfaction of Sriman Narayana), the poison remained stuck in his throat and could not pass into the digestive tract, making his neck dark blue. So, he was known as Neelakanta.
Sri Mahalakshmi, Amirtha and several other precious objects then appeared in the Milky Ocean. Lord Vishnu accepts the goddess Lakshmi as his wife.
The Devas and the Asuras continued churning. Finally, Dhanvantari came out of the sea. Dhanvantari is the divine physician. He had a Kalasha (sacred pot) containing Amirtha. The demons are the first to notice the Kalasha and snatch it from Dhanvantari. Immediately, the Devas ran to Lord Vishnu and asked him to develop a plan to recover the Kalash for them.
Lord Vishnu turns into a beautiful woman, Mohini's. As she was so graceful and beautiful, the demons could not stop looking at her.
Mohini successfully obtained Amrutha Kalash's demons, assuring them that she would distribute it evenly between the Deva and the demons
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