Shiva’s first avatar, Piplad, was easy to describe. Lord Shiva incarnated into a human womb and appeared human. Lord Vishnu’s first avatar, in contrast was a TINY talking fish which very quickly grew into a gigantic talking fish which then helped save Manu. I am not sure if the series of “trailers” by U are Beyond are just concepts or if they will ever appear in theaters, but the CGI in this gives you an idea of the magical properties of Matsyu and a bit of the story.
U and Beyond do not tell us the source of the CGI . All they say is it is a derivative work. Another video that tells the story as a devotional is
Kurma, on the other hand, has been gloriously “brought to virtual life” by the team at Vighnaharta Ganesh. The story of the Churning of the Ocean appears in three different texts. The one depicted in this series is from the Vishnu Purana.
A more famous version is found in Skanda VIII,, Chapters 5-8 of the Bhagavata Purana and Section XVIII in the Mahabharata.
Thanks to CGI and fabulous sets, acting, costumes, and directing, the story of how Lord Vishnu sent his avatar in the form of a gigantic tortoise to lift Mount Mandara (a spur of Mt. Meru also called Mt. Kailash) off the ocean floor saves several paragraphs of verbage.
In the film clip the gods are all wearing pearl necklaces. The one closest to Mt. Mandara is Lord Indra, King of the Gods. His story in Hindu literature is not unlike the Greek tales of gods with questionable characters. Indra will be discussed in a separate post. The actor, Meer Ali, seen here is incredible. His range of emotions portraying Indra in the series is amazing.
Behind him is Surya-dev, the Sun god portrayed by Viren Singh Rathore. You can also see Varuna-dev (WATER) and Vayu-dev (WIND) along with all of the gods in the Hindu pantheon. On the opposing side are the asuras – a race that is often translated as demonic because most, not all, are evil and hold ill intent towards gods and humans alike. This is a famous tug of war for amrita (Sanskrit: अमृत) the elixir of immortality.
Praveen Mohan is my FAVORITE researcher! I think he’s even more incredible than Robert Sepehr because Praveen actually travels to each location and does the in-depth experiments on site. Praveen’s film about Bayon temple is a must watch and is listed below. The entrance way to the temple has the best preserved sculptures of the churning of the ocean I’ve been able to find. This photo is from a site about temple architecture.
For Further Reading and Viewing:
Please note that the YouTube algorithm violates Fair Use Copyright Law. This is an instructional blog about many topics. Each clip I use is less than 30 seconds and yet some uploads get flagged and others do not. I chose, therefore, to switch to Rumble until I can reduce clips to less than 15 seconds and see if that satisfies YouTube’s AI.