Churning of the ocean

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Churning of the ocean (samudramathana). A Hindu myth, which tells how a great flood covered the earth, as a result of which many precious objects were lost, especially amṛta. In order to recover them, Viṣṇu, in his incarnation (avatāra) as a tortoise (Kūrma) dived to the ocean floor so that Mount Mandara could be set up on his back. The gods and demons then coiled the serpent Vāsuki round the mountain, and, by pulling on each end, churned up the ocean until the missing objects were recovered. However, a poison, Halāhala, was also churned up, which Śiva drank, in order to protect humanity, with the consequence that his throat is dyed blue.