Shaanta kaaram Bhujagashyanam Padma Naabham Suresham
Vishwaa dhaaram Gaganasadrasham Meghvararnam Shubhaangam
Lakshmi kantam Kamal nayanam Yogibhirdhayaanagamyam
Vande Vishnum Bhavbhayharam Sarvalokaika naatham
Such is the beauty of great Lord Vishnu. He holds the dharma and universe in his hands; and envisions beyond the time and space; he is filled with goodness; the ultimate saviour, he is master of universe, the entire creation. The mesmerizing roop of Lord Vishnu is simply beyond words.
Lord Vishnu is known to be one of the Trimurtis (Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh) of the Hindu religion. He is the preserver of mankind and nature as we know. Also known as Hari or Narayana, the supreme deity is one of the prime forms of the Smarta tradition. Kurma, the second incarnation of Lord Vishnu, was in the form of tortoise belonging from the Satya Yuga.
The legendary tale goes somewhat like this –
Lord Indra, the king of Devas, was offered a garland by Durvasa (a sage) which was a gift to him from Lord Shiva. Lord Indra placed the garland around Airawat; his elephant, which was sooner thrown away by the elephant causing an insult to the Lord Shiva and the sage. Durvasa cursed Indra and the other Lords that they would be deprived of their immortality, divine powers and strength. The power slowly drifted away to King Bali; the king of Demons.
Lord Indra rushed to Lord Vishnu in utter dilemma to seek help. Lord Vishnu guided him to the nectar of immortality that would present itself after churning the Ocean of Milk which was an elaborate process and required Mount Mandara. Vasuki, the king of serpents that embraces Lord Shiva’s neck was used as a rope to churn.
While churning the sea with the huge mountain in order to retrieve the nectar of immortality, Mount Mandara started to sink.. Hence, Lord Vishnu decided to take form of a “Tortoise” and hold the mountain on his back to support it from sinking. Lord Vishnu’s act helped the Devas in retrieving the nectar of immortality and regain their lost powers.
And this is how Lord Vishnu’s incarnation as Kurma saved the human race from what he could foresee as a terrible end.