Symbolism of Samudra Manthan

The story represents the spiritual endeavor of a person to achieve self-realisation through concentration of mind, withdrawal of senses, control of desires and practice of austerities and asceticism.

  • The Devas and Asuras represent the positives and negatives respectively of one’s personality. The participation of both the Devas and the Asuras signifies that when one is seeking bliss through spiritual practice, one has to integrate and harmonise both the positive and negative aspects and put both the energies to work for the common goal.
  • The ocean of milk is the mind or the human consciousness. The mind is like an ocean while the thoughts and emotions are the waves in the ocean.
  • Mandhara, the mountain symbolises concentration. The word Mandhara is made up of two words Mana (mind) and Dhara (a single line) which means holding the mind in one line. This is possible only by concentration.
  • Mount Mandhara was upheld by Lord Vishnu as a Kurma (tortoise). The tortoise here symbolises the withdrawal of the senses into oneself (just as a tortoise withdraws its head into its shell) as one practices mental concentration and meditation or contemplation.
  • Vasuki (snake) symbolises desire. Vasuki used in the churning of the ocean denotes that the Devas and the demons held desire (to seek immortality) as a rope and churned the mind with the help of concentration and withdrawal of the senses. Desire, if not controlled will overpower and destroy an individual.
  • The Halahala poison symbolises suffering and pain (counter-reaction of the mind and body) that one undergoes at the beginning of spiritual sadhana (practice). When the mind is subjected to intense concentration, the first thing that comes out of the process is intense suffering and great inner turmoil. These must be resolved otherwise further progress is not possible.
  • Lord Shiva symbolises the ascetic principle. His role in this story as the consumer of poison suggests that one can deal with the early problems of spiritual life by cultivating the qualities of Lord Shiva, namely, courage, initiative, willingness, discipline, simplicity, austerity, detachment, compassion, pure love and asceticism.
  • The various precious objects that come out of the ocean during the churning stand for the psychic or spiritual powers (Siddhis) which one gains as s/he progresses spiritually from stage to stage. The seeker should be careful about these powers as they can hamper her/his progress unless s/he uses them judiciously, not for selfish gains but for others’ welfare. This is the reason why the Gods and demons distributed these objects as they did not want to lose sight of their original aim which was to gain immortality.
  • Dhanvantari (heavenly doctor) symbolises health and signifies that immortality (longevity, to be correct) or spiritual success can be achieved only when the body and the mind are in a perfect state of health.
  • Mohini symbolises delusion of the mind in the form of (or originating from) pride. It is the pride of achievement to which the asuras or the demons succumbed and thus lost sight of their goal. Pride and egoism are the last hurdles one has to overcome in spiritual life before experiencing self-realisation.
  • The Amrit symbolises the ultimate achievement of the goal of self-realization.
  • Lakshmi represents universal enrichment which comes as an automatic by-product of the internal self-realization or Amrita


108 Names of Maa Lakshmi

~ Name Meaning
1 Prakruti Nature
2 Vikruti Multi Faced Nature jai mata di
3 Vidya Wisdom
4 Sarvabhootahitaprada One Who Grants Universal Pleasures
5 Shraddha One Who Is Worshipped
6 Vibhuti Goddess Of Wealth
7 Surabhi The Celestial Goddess
8 Paramatmika The Omnipresent Goddess
9 Vachi One Who Has Nectar Like Speech
10 Padmalaya One Who Resides On The Lotus
11 Padma Lotus
12 Shuchi Goddess Of Purity
13 Swaha Auspicious
14 Swadha One Who Dispels Inauspiciousness
15 Sudha Goddess Of Nectar
16 Dhanya Personification Of Gratitude
17 Hiranmayi One Who Has Golden Appearance
18 Lakshmi Goddess Of Wealth And Prosperity
19 Nityapushta One Who Gains Strenght Day After Day
20 Vibha One Who Is Radiant Faced
21 Aditi One Who Has Radiance Like The Sun22 Deetya One Who Answers Prayers
23 Deepta Flame Like
24 Vasudha Goddess Of Earth
25 Vasudharini Protector Of Earth
26 Kamala Lotus
27 Kantha Consort Of Lord Vishnu
28 Kamakshi Attractive Eyed Goddess
29 Kamalasambhava One Who Emerges From The Lotus
30 Anugrahaprada One Who Grants Good Wishes
31 Buddhi Goddess Of Wisdom
32 Anagha Sinless Or Pure Goddess
33 Harivallabhi Consort Of Lord Vishnu
34 Ashoka One Who Dispels Sorrows
35 Amrutha Goddess Of Nectar
36 Deepa Radiant Faced
37 Lokashokavinashini One Who Removes Worldly Troubles
38 Dharmanilaya One Who Establishes Eternal Law
39 Karuna Compassionate Goddess
40 Lokamatri Universal Mother
41 Padmapriya Lover Of Lotus
42 Padmahasta One Who Has Lotus Like Hands
43 Padmakshya One Who Has Lotus Like Eyes
44 Padmasundari Beautiful Like The Lotus
45 Padmodbhava One Who Emerges From The Lotus
46 Padmamukhi Lotus Faced Goddess
47 Padmanabhapriya Beloved Of Padmanabha – Lord Vishnu
48 Ramaa Pleaser Of Lord Vishnu
49 Padmamaladhara One Who Wears The Lotus Garland
50 Devi Goddess
51 Padmini Like The Lotus
52 Padmagandhini One Who Has Fragnance Like The Lotus
53 Punyagandha The Divine Perfumed Goddess
54 Suprasanna Compassionate Goddess
55 Prasadabhimukhi One Who Grants Boons And Wishes
56 Prabha Goddess With The Radiance Like The Sun
57 Chandravadana Moon Faced Goddess
58 Chanda Calm Like The Moon
59 Chandrasahodari Sister Of The Moon
60 Chaturbhuja Four Armed Goddess
61 Chandrarupa Beautiful Like The Moon
62 Indira Radiant Like The Sun
63 Indusheetala Pure Like The Moon
64 Ahladajanani Goddess Who Bestows Happiness
65 Pushti Goddess Of Health
66 Shiva Auspicious Goddess
67 Shivakari Embodiment Of Auspiciousness
68 Satya Truth
69 Vimala Pure
70 Vishwajanani Universal Mother
71 Pushti Possessor Of Wealth
72 Daridriyanashini Remover Of Poverty
73 Preeta Pushkarini Goddess Who Has Pleasing Eyes
74 Shanta Peaceful Goddess
75 Shuklamalambara One Who Wears White Clothing
76 Bhaskari Dazzling Like The Sun
77 Bilvanilaya One Who Lives Under The Bilva Tree
78 Vararoha Goddess Who Bestows Wishes And Boons
79 Yashaswini Goddess Of Fame And Fortune
80 Vasundhara Daughter Of Mother Earth
81 Udaranga One Who Has A Beautiful Body
82 Harini One Who Is Deer Like
83 Hemamalini One Who Possesses Golden Garlands
84 Dhanadhanyaki One Who Bestows Wealth
85 Siddhi Protector
86 Straina Soumya Showering Goodness On Women
87 Shubhaprada One Who Grants Auspicious Things
88 Nrupaveshvagathananda One Who Lives In Palaces
89 Varalakshmi Granter Of Prosperity
90 Vasuprada Bestower Of Wealth
91 Shubha Auspicious Goddess
92 Hiranyapraka Admist Gold
93 Samudratanaya Daughter Of The Ocean
94 Jaya Goddess Of Victory
95 Mangala Most Auspicious
96 Devi Diety Or Goddess
97 Vishnuvakshah One Who Resides In Lord Vishnu’s Chest
98 Vishnupatni Consort Of Lord Vishnu
99 Prasannakshi Lively Eyed
100 Narayana Samashrita One Who Seeks Refuge In Lord Narayana
101 Daridriya Dhwamsini One Who Eliminates Poverty
102 Devlakshmi Goddess
103 Sarvapadravanivarini One Who Dispels Unhappiness
104 Navadurga All Nine Forms Of Durga
105 Mahakali A Form Of Goddess Kali
106 Brahma-Vishnu-Shivatmika Goddess In The Form Of Brahma Vishnu Shiva
107 Trikalagyanasampanna One Is Aware Of Past, Present And Future
108 Bhuvaneshwarya Supreme Goddess Or Diety