Lord Vishnu’s eleventh avatar
The dashavatara’s for Lord Vishnu are widely written and discussed, but there is one more aspect of Lord Vishnu, which has helped the gods. Perhaps, this is the reason, this aspect is not treated as an incarnation, because the dashavatars have helped human beings and this particular aspect has helped gods (or Devtaas).
You must be wondering what is being talked about. Time to do away with suspense. The name is Mohini. Yes, Indeed, the female form which Lord Vishnu have resorted a few times to save gods.
Churning of Ocean / Samudra Manthan
The first incident is during the churning of ocean. Many a things have been received from the ocean as a result of churning. Finally, Dhanvantari appeared with a pot of amrit, the heavenly nectar of immortality. This caused a great fight between Devas and Asuras. To protect the nectar from Asuras, the divine Garuda took the pot, and flew away from the battle-scene.
While Garuda was in his flight over planet Earth, it is believed that four drops of nectar fell at four places – Prayag (Allahabad),Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. This legend is the basis for the belief that these places acquired a certain mystical power and spirituality. A Kumbh Mela is celebrated at the four places every twelve years for this reason. People believe that after bathing there during the Kumbh mela, one can get the primeval heaven and moksha(sanskrit:mokṣha).
churning of ocean – Mohini
Lord Vishnu appeared as a beautiful woman mohini and enchanted the asuras. She got hold of the nectar and started to distribute to Devas while keeping the asuras emchanted. This was noticed by Rahu and he also got hold of the nectar. This was duly notified to Lord Vishnu by Sun and Moon, and Lord ensured that Rahu’s head was cut by his discus. Read the full story of Rahu and Ketu here.
Bhasmasura, Lord Shiva and Mohini
Bhasmasura was an asura, who was driven by ambition to be the most powerful Asura ever. He saw the other Asuras and decided that he would perform severe penance to win the favour of Lord Shiva and become powerful.
So Bhasmasura prayed for a long time. Shiva became pleased and asked him to ask for a boon. Bhasmasur asked for immortality, but Shiva said that he did not have the power to grant him immortality. He then asked – [quote]My Lord if I touch anybody’s head, they should be reduced to ashes[/quote]
Lord Shiva granted this wish and realized the mistake immediately, when Bhasmasura wanted to test the powers on lord itself. This resulted in Lord Shiva fleeing from the spot while Bhasmasura on his heels.
Bhasmasura and Mohini
Eventually, Mohini came to rescue. She appeared as a beautiful woman and the demon could not take his eyes off her. Mohini invited him for a dance competition and surely enough, she put a hand on her head as a dance move. Bhasmasura follows, and turned to ashes immediately.
Mohini is also known to have helped in killing of Virochana. The wise asura king Virochana is rewarded a magical crown by the sun-god Surya. The crown shields him against all harm. Mohini enchants Virochana and steals his crown. The demon, thus unprotected, is killed by Vishnu.
Another legend about the demon Araka associates Mohini with Krishna rather than the god himself. The demon Araka had become virtually invincible because of extreme chastity. Krishna takes the form of the beautiful Mohini and marries him. After three days of marriage, Araka’s bonds of chastity are broken, and Krishna kills him in battle.
in Thai version of the Ramayana, the demon Nontok is charmed and killed by Mohini. Nontok misuses a divine weapon given to him by Shiva. Mohini mesmerized Nontok and then attacks him. In his dying moments, the demon Nontok accused Vishnu of foul play saying that Vishnu first seduced him and then attacked him. Vishnu decrees that in his next birth, Nontok will be born as the ten-armed demon Ravana and Vishnu will be a mortal man called Rama. He will then fight him and defeat him.