Kurma: The Tortoise
Fallen to the curse of Durvasa,
Weak and helpless against the asuras.
On the sixth manvantara of the present kalpa,
Indra turned to the creator, the lord Brahma.
Turn to Vishnu, he said, for it is he who preserves the order.
The nectar of immortality, said Vishnu, is the only answer.
Make peace with your enemies to achieve your ends,
The ocean of milk you must churn.
Mount Mandara, your churn dasher,
And lord Vasuki will be the rope.
Covet not things that the ocean will throw,
Give not vent to anger when the Asuras take them by force.
I promise you that their efforts will not reap them their rewards.
Indra did face Bali for a feud he wished to forget,
To join hands and work together for immortality in the end.
Uprooting the mountain, working together,
Not even halfway there they did fall.
Before Indra could appeal, Lord Vishnu showed his form.
Reviving the Devas, summoning the Garuda, the mountain was airborne.
Play your role well Vasuki and a share of the nectar will be yours.
Come my brothers, all our strength we will unite,
For the common good of all, let us churn with all our might.
As they did churn, their joy turned to despair,
The mountain did sink,
Into a tortoise lord Vishnu did transform,
Plunging into the ocean deep,
He held the mountain on his back,
So they could begin to churn.
The ocean did spit out,
The deadliest of poison,
Consuming both Deva and Asura.
Frightened they ran to Kailasa.
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Om Namah Shiva
Swallowing the poison,
Shiva did save them all.
The poison was now removed,
They churned the ocean again.
Throwing up many precious things,
Finally the nectar in the end.
Dhanwantari holds the nectar,
The key to immortality.
Forgetting their truce the Asuras did usurp,
Giving in to their greed.
The Devas watched in dismay but obeyed Vishnu's words:
'Be not dejected, they are divided by greed, I shall charm them with my powers'
'I take the form of Mohini,
The epitome of beauty
Infatuated with my charms,
Entrusted, with the nectar
To divide it my task,
Asuras promise me no questions you will ask
We have been fooled by Vishnu,
Cheated of our share of the nectar.
The lord smiled and vanished to the skies,
Enraged they charged at the Devas.
A terrible war ensued on the shores,
The losses to both were great.
But Indra did vanquish in the end,
His might and splendor restored.
Brahma sent word with Narada,
To cease the hostilities.
Indra did agree,
The devas returned to their realms.