Vishnu’s Dashavatar: Kurma Avatar

Hi people! Today, it’s all about Vishnu’s second Avatar, Kurma. You might know that the meaning of ‘Kurma’ is Tortoise. What did the Kurma Avatar of Lord Vishnu do? Read on, read on.

Lord Kurma

Kshitir iha vipulatare tishthati tavav prishthe

Dharani dharana kina Chakra garishthe

Keshava dhrita Kurma sharira

Jaya Jagadisha Hare!

On the wide expanse of your back as a pivot for churning,
rests the mountain, creating round marks

O Keshava in the form of Tortoise, Hail Vishnu, the Lord of the Universe!

Once, the Sage Durvasa visited Indra, the leader of the Devas (Gods). He gifted him a garland, but Indra gave it to his elephant, Airavata. Airavata was irritated because of the flower’s fragrance and trampled it. Sage Durvasa got enraged by this act and cursed Indra, “Indra! The Devas’ powers shall decrease, and your position shall fall like this garland.”

Indra begged for Durvasa’s forgiveness, Durvasa calmed down and instructed Indra to go to Lord Vishnu for a solution. Indra hurried to Vaikuntha, the abode of Lord Vishnu. He said, “Oh Lord Vishnu, please give me a solution to this problem.”. Vishnu replied, “Indra, the Amrit (elixir of immortality) is the only way out of this problem. Churn the Ocean of Milk with Mt. Mandara as the churning rod and King Vasuki as the churning rope. You and the other Devas can’t churn the Ocean of Milk by yourselves, make a truce with the Asuras (less good people) and entrust their help.”

I know what you’re thinking, why is King Vasuki always a rope? 😂 Even I can’t answer that. Who are the Devas and Asuras? The Devas are fairly good beings, closer to the term Gods. Asuras are mostly evil beings, widely called demons. Believe it or not, they are cousins!

Indra did as instructed and made a peace treaty with the Asuras and entrusted their help in churning the Ocean of Milk. After some days, the time had come for the churning of the Ocean. All the Devas and Asuras had reached the shores of the Ocean of Milk. They had to lift Mt. Mandara and place it on the ocean, but the mountain was too heavy for the Devas and Asuras to lift. Lord Vishnu came to their rescue! He came flying on his mount, Garuda, the eagle. Garuda lifted the mountain and placed it on the ocean. The Devas and Asuras used King Vasuki as the churning rope and started churning the ocean.

Where is Kurma in this story! I’m getting bored!
He will come, read on.

There was another problem, the mountain was sinking into the ocean! How would the Devas and Asuras churn the ocean now? Lord Vishnu came to their rescue again! He took Avatar as Kurma and held the mountain up. The Devas and Asuras continued churning the ocean.

To be continued…

Click here for the next part

By DhyanKatha

Hi, I’m a 12-year-old homeschooler. I’m interested in Carnatic classical music. I’m fascinated by Indian epics and other untold stories.

2 replies on “Vishnu’s Dashavatar: Kurma Avatar”

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