Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Turtle supporting Mount Meru in Asian and Mesoamerican Art

Note: This article has been published on Esamskriti.

In the Hindu legend of the Churning of the Milky Ocean, the gods and the demons churned the Milky Ocean in order to acquire the Nectar of Immortality. In this grand spectacle, Vishnu, the preserver of the cosmic order, had taken the form of a massive tortoise (Kurma Avatar) in the middle of the Milky Ocean. His humped shell acted as a pivot for Mount Mandara or Mount Meru, which served as the churning stick, while the serpent Vasuki was the cord for the churn.