Unique Position Of Lord Shiva

Srimad Bhagavatam 08.07.13-19 - Unique Position Of Lord Shiva (download mp3)
by Radha Vallabha Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 8.7.13
upary adhas catmani gotra-netrayoh
parena te pravisata samedhitah
mamanthur abdhim tarasa madotkata
mahadrina ksobhita-nakra-cakram

The demigods and demons worked almost madly for the nectar, encouraged by the Lord, who was above and below the mountain and who had entered the demigods, the demons, Vasuki and the mountain itself. Because of the strength of the demigods and demons, the ocean of milk was so powerfully agitated that all the alligators in the water were very much perturbed. Nonetheless the churning of the ocean continued in this way.

SB 8.7.14
svasagni-dhumahata-varcaso 'surah
davagni-dagdhah sarala ivabhavan

Vasuki had thousands of eyes and mouths. From his mouths he breathed smoke and blazing fire, which affected the demons, headed by Pauloma, Kaleya, Bali and Ilvala. Thus the demons, who appeared like sarala trees burned by a forest fire, gradually became powerless.

SB 8.7.15
devams ca tac-chvasa-sikha-hata-prabhan
samabhyavarsan bhagavad-vasa ghana
vavuh samudrormy-upagudha-vayavah

Because the demigods were also affected by the blazing breath of Vasuki, their bodily lusters diminished, and their garments, garlands, weapons and faces were blackened by smoke. However, by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, clouds appeared on the sea, pouring torrents of rain, and breezes blew, carrying particles of water from the sea waves, to give the demigods relief.

SB 8.7.16
mathyamanat tatha sindhor
yada sudha na jayeta
nirmamanthajitah svayam

When nectar did not come from the ocean of milk, despite so much endeavor by the best of the demigods and demons, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Ajita, personally began to churn the ocean.

SB 8.7.17
megha-syamah kanaka-paridhih karna-vidyota-vidyun
murdhni bhrajad-vilulita-kacah srag-dharo rakta-netrah
jaitrair dorbhir jagad-abhaya-dair dandasukam grhitva
mathnan mathna pratigirir ivasobhatatho dhrtadrih

The Lord appeared like a blackish cloud. He was dressed with yellow garments, His earrings shone on His ears like lightning, and His hair spread over His shoulders. He wore a garland of flowers, and His eyes were pinkish. With His strong, glorious arms, which award fearlessness throughout the universe, He took hold of Vasuki and began churning the ocean, using Mandara Mountain as a churning rod. When engaged in this way, the Lord appeared like a beautifully situated mountain named Indranila.

SB 8.7.18
nirmathyamanad udadher abhud visam
maholbanam halahalahvam agratah

The fish, sharks, tortoises and snakes were most agitated and perturbed. The entire ocean became turbulent, and even the large aquatic animals like whales, water elephants, crocodiles and timingila fish [large whales that can swallow small whales] came to the surface. While the ocean was being churned in this way, it first produced a fiercely dangerous poison called halahala.

SB 8.7.19
tad ugra-vegam disi disy upary adho
visarpad utsarpad asahyam aprati
bhitah praja dudruvur anga sesvara
araksyamanah saranam sadasivam

O King, when that uncontrollable poison was forcefully spreading up and down in all directions, all the demigods, along with the Lord Himself, approached Lord Siva [Sadasiva]. Feeling unsheltered and very much afraid, they sought shelter of him.

One may question that since the Supreme Personality of Godhead was personally present, why did He accompany all the demigods and people in general to take shelter of Lord Sadasiva, instead of intervening Himself. In this connection Srila Madhvacarya warns:

rudrasya yasaso 'rthaya
svayam visnur visam vibhuh
na saƱjahre samartho 'pi
vayum coce prasantaye

Lord Visnu was competent to rectify the situation, but in order to give credit to Lord Siva, who later drank all the poison and kept it in his neck, Lord Visnu did not take action.