Having accomplished his main objective of obtaining Goddess Lakshmi’s hands in marriage, Lord Vishnu did not deviate from his duty of helping devas.
Finally came out the young and beautiful Dhanvantari with the jar of amrita in his hands. On seeing this, the Asuras started shouting “ours, ours” and even started fighting within themselves. Seeing this, Indra sought the help of Vishnu. Vishnu immediately took the form of the beautiful and enchanting Mohini. Asuras fell for her beauty and handed over the Jar to her for equal distribution.
Mohini made the cousins stand in separate lines and started the distribution with the gentle devas. The asuras were so transfixed by her beauty that they did not mind this. But one asura was indeed mindful. How could the gentle devas taste the amrita first when all the hard work was actually done by the stronger asuras? He also knew that something was amiss with the sudden appearance of such a beautiful lady. So, he switched lines and sat in the middle of the deva lines in between the sun and moon gods. When his turn came, he was served the elixir. But before he could gulp it down, he was caught in the act by the sun and the moon gods and his head was cut off by Lord Hari. But since his head had tasted amrita, it alone became immortal and started floating in the cosmos as Rahu eclipsing the sun and moon in revenge during eclipses.
Mohini made sure that the jar of amrita was empty by the time it reached the last deva. The asuras who were transfixed with her, realized very late that they had been fooled, by which time, their gentle cousins had become stronger. The asuras rushed to their king, Bali. Soon a big war erupted. But the devas were stronger and had the support of Lord Vishnu. So Bali and his asuras had to retreat out of the war. Bali knew his time would come soon. They all reached out to their guru sukacharya who soon started his potent spells and administered medicines to rejuvenate the asura clan.
Now, what is the importance of Kurma Avatar? Why did Lord Vishnu take that form? He himself, talks about it in Bhagavath Gita. When a tortoise faces its enemy, it retracts its entire body into its shell. Similarly we-the jeevatmas-should retract our senses when we see our eternal enemy – all the worldly pleasures and bring them out of the shell only when we see our eternal friend – the paramatma.
Are we doing it and is it possible for mere mortals like us, is a million dollar question that faces us. Anyways, we will see about what Bali did when he came out of his biding in the next few posts.