[Advaita-l] Shiva consuming hAlAhala - an interpolation in samudra manthana
vmurthy36 at gmail.com
Thu Aug 11 06:21:17 CDT 2016
In some Madhva descriptions I heard Vaayu and Rudra Devaru both drink the
poison and they are giving a Vedic reference for this.
On Thursday 11 August 2016, V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> Is not the Ramayana an important work, as important as the Mahabhartha? If
> there are different readings of the Ramayana maybe a search there could be
> made, like the MB.
> On Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 4:06 PM, D Gayatri via Advaita-l <
> > The samudra manthana (churning of the ocean by devas and asuras) episode
> > famous and is told in many ancient works like the Mahabharata (Adi
> > the Vishnu Purana, the Ramayana and the Bhagavata Purana and some other
> > Puranas. One of the incidents that is allegedly a part of this episode is
> > the drinking of hAlAhala poison by Shiva. It is now a days almost taken
> > granted that in the samudra manthana story, Shiva drinks the hAlAhala
> > poison to save the worlds. However, this incident of Shiva drinking the
> > poison is not present in the critical edition of the Mahabharata and nor
> > it present in the Vishnu Purana. In this post, I will briefly touch upon
> > the absence of the hAlAhala incident in two important works, the
> > Mahabharata and the Vishnu purana.
> > 1. Mahabharata (Adi parvan)
> > First let us look at a non-critical edition of the Mahabharata, the one
> > translated by K M Ganguly.
> > http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m01/m01019.htm
> > [But with the churning still going on, the poison Kalakuta appeared at
> > last. Engulfing the Earth it suddenly blazed up like a fire attended with
> > fumes. And by the scent of the fearful Kalakuta, the three worlds were
> > stupefied. And then Siva, being solicited by Brahman, swallowed that
> > for the safety of the creation. The divine Maheswara held it in his
> > and it is said that from that time he is called Nilakantha
> > (blue-throated).]
> > In the above non-critical edition, Shiva drinks the poison that comes out
> > of the churning of the ocean. However, this is clearly an interpolation
> > because the critical edition of the Mahabharata does not contain these
> > verses.
> > In his preface to the Adi parvan of the Mahabharata, Vishnu Sukthankar
> > states that the hAlAhala incident is mentioned exclusively in most
> > manuscripts, but is completely absent from the Northern (that includes
> > Eastern, Western and Northern) manuscripts. Hence this is treated as an
> > interpolation and removed from the critical edition of the Mahabharata,
> > prepared by Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI).
> > Here is a brief summary of the episode in the critical edition of the
> > Mahabharata -
> > 1. Mount Mandara is uprooted by the snake Ananta (Adi Sesha).
> > 2. The snake Vaasuki is used for churning the ocean and the mountain
> > on King of tortoises akUpAra during churning.
> > 3. Puffs of smoke and fire come out from Vasuki's mouth during churning
> > 4. The devas and asuras and snakes become weak during the churning
> > 5. Narayana grants them strength to continue churning at Brahma's
> > 6. Sun, Moon, Sri, Liquor, White Horse, Kaustubha come out of the ocean
> > during churning.
> > 7. Finally Dhanvantari comes with the Amruta.
> > 8. Vishnu bewitches the asuras by taking female form and gives the
> > to the gods for drinking. The asura Rahu manages to drink it by taking
> > form of a deva.
> > 9. A fight occurs between the devas andd asuras and Narayana and Nara
> > the devas defeat the asuras.
> > In this entire incident Shiva is completely absent and so is hAlAhala.
> > 2. Vishnu Purana
> > In the Vishnu Purana, the poison comes out of the ocean during the
> > churning, but it is not consumed by Shiva. Instead it is taken by the
> > snakes. Shiva is present but he just seizes the moon that comes out
> > the churning. Here is the VP translation by Wilson -
> > http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/vp/vp044.htm
> > [From the ocean, thus churned by the gods and Dánavas, first uprose the
> > Surabhi, the fountain of milk and curds, worshipped by the divinities,
> > beheld by them and their associates with minds disturbed, and eyes
> > glistening with delight. Then, as the holy Siddhas in the sky wondered
> > this could be, appeared the goddess Váruní (the deity of wine), her eyes
> > rolling with intoxication. Next, from the whirlpool of the deep, sprang
> > celestial Párijáta tree, the delight of the nymphs of heaven, perfuming
> > world with its blossoms. The troop of Ápsarasas, the nymphs of heaven,
> > then produced, of surprising loveliness, endowed with beauty and with
> > taste. The cool-rayed moon next rose, and was seized by Mahádeva: and
> > poison was engendered from the sea, of which the snake gods (Nágas) took
> > possession. Dhanwantari, robed in white, and bearing in his hand the cup
> > Amrita, next came forth: beholding which, the sons of Diti and of Danu,
> > well as the Munis, were filled with satisfaction and delight. Then,
> > on a full-blown lotus, and holding a water-lily in her hand, the goddess
> > Śrí, radiant with beauty, rose from the waves. ]
> > In the Ramayana and Bhagavata Purana and some other Puranas however,
> > hAlAhala comes out of the ocean during churning and is consumed by Shiva.
> > But since this incident is markedly absent from both the Mahabharata and
> > the Vishnu Purana, it can be deemed a later interpolation.
> > Regards
> > Gayatri
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