This fragment about charning of the ocean for the purpose of obtainings of a drink of Immortality - amrita is interpreted in my books ("Disappeared inhabitants of the Earth", "Battles of ancient gods" and "Earth before the Flood - the world of sorcerers and werewolfves") as the figurative description of separation of the Moon from the Earth, executed by Adityas, Daityas, Danavas , Rakshasas and dragon-people for the purpose of rotation (spinning, run-ups) of our planet, and also of disastrous consequences of it (destructive war between gods and demons). According to my interpretation of geologic and folklore data, this event occured at the boundary of the Early and Middle Miocene (16 million years ago). In the Early Miocene (23-16 million years ago) Earth, by all appearances, rotated around the axis with velocity, equal the velocity of its rotation around the Sun (ot Earth's axis was horizontal - A.K., 2012) and there were two different halves on it - light, coinciding with a larger part of Europe, Asia and Africa, and dark, coinciding with a major portion of South and North America. For some reasons, related to slow rotation of Earth around the axis - especially important role played increasing of gravitation and slackening of the magnetic shield, which defended it from radiation - normal life on the Earth was impossible not only on its dark, but also on its light halves. Therefore "gods" and "demons" decided to rotate (spin, run-up) Earth together .
The rotation (spinning, run-ups) principle was simple enough. Torn off from Earth and leaving it with huge velocity the Moon should rotate (spin, run-up) our planet.
This event reflected in legends of Aztecs (run-up of the vault of heaven by Mishcoatl, Tlalok, etc., round the axis, as a drill), Japaneses, and of Hopi indians, according the legends of which it was marked by chaotic oscillations and repeated "overturns" of Earth. Its echoes are present in many legends of Maya, Naua, Aztecs (about appearence of two suns and their chaotic movement in the sky at first). Appearence of the Moon in the sky - rather widespread scene of myths and legends practically all people living on the Earth.
(the fragment of the First book of the "Mahabharata', called by "Adi Parva" or "Beginning"
"Sauti said, 'O ascetic, about this time the two sisters saw approaching near, that steed of complacent appearance named Uchchaihsravas who was worshipped by the gods, that gem of steeds, who arose at the churning of the Ocean for nectar. Divine, graceful, perpetually young, creation's master-piece, and of irresistible vigour, it was blest with every auspicious mark.'
"Saunaka asked, 'Why did the gods churn the Ocean for nectar, and under what circumstances and when as you say, did that best of steeds so powerful and resplendent spring?'
"Sauti said, 'There is a mountain named Meru, of blazing appearance, and looking like a heap of effulgence. The rays of the Sun falling on its peaks of golden lustre are dispersed by them. Decked with gold and exceedingly beautiful, that mountain is the haunt of the gods and the Gandharvas. It is immeasurable and unapproachable by men of manifold sins. Dreadful beasts of prey wander over its breasts, and it is illuminated by many divine life-giving herbs. It stands kissing the heavens by its height and is the first of mountains. Ordinary people cannot even think of ascending it. It is graced with trees and streams, and resounds with the charming melody of winged choirs. Once the celestials sat on its begemmed peak--in conclave. They who had practised penances and observed excellent vows for amrita now seemed to be eager seekers alter amrita (celestial ambrosia). Seeing the celestial assembly in anxious mood Nara-yana said to Brahman, 'Do thou churn the Ocean with the gods and the Asuras. By doing so, amrita will be obtained as also all drugs and gems. O ye gods, chum the Ocean, ye will discover amrita.'"
"Sauti said, 'There is a mountain called Mandara adorned with cloud-like peaks. It is the best of mountains, and is covered all over with intertwining herbs. There countless birds pour forth their melodies, and beasts of prey roam about. The gods, the Apsaras and the Kinnaras visit the place. Upwards it rises eleven thousand yojanas, and descends downwards as much. The gods wanted to tear it up and use it as a churning rod but failing to do so same to Vishnu and Brahman who were sitting together, and said unto them, 'Devise some efficient scheme, consider, ye gods, how Mandara may be dislodged for our good.'
"Sauti continued, 'O son of Bhrigu! Vishnu with Brahman assented to it. And the lotus-eyed one (Vishnu) laid the hard task on the mighty Ananta, the prince of snakes. The powerful Ananta, directed thereto both by Brahman and Narayana, O Brahmana, tore up the mountain with the woods thereon and with the denizens of those woods. And the gods came to the shore of the Ocean with Ananta and addressed the Ocean, saying, 'O Ocean; we have come to churn thy waters for obtaining nectar.' And the Ocean replied, 'Be it so, as I shall not go without a share of it. I am able to bear the prodigious agitation of my waters set up by the mountain.' The gods then went to the king of tortoises and said to him, 'O Tortoise-king, thou wilt have to hold the mountain on thy back!' The Tortoise-king agreed, and Indra contrived to place the mountain on the former's back.
"And the gods and the Asuras made of Mandara a churning staff and Vasuki the cord, and set about churning the deep for amrita. The Asuras held Vasuki by the hood and the gods held him by the tail. And Ananta, who was on the side of the gods, at intervals raised the snake's hood and suddenly lowered it. And in consequence of the stretch Vasuki received at the hands of the gods and the Asuras, black vapours with flames issued from his mouth. These, turned into clouds charged with lightning, poured showers that refreshed the tired gods. And flowers that also fell on all sides of the celestials from the trees on the whirling Mandara, refreshed them.
"Then, O Brahmana, out of the deep came a tremendous roar like unto the roar of the clouds at the Universal Dissolution. Diverse aquatic animals being crushed by the great mountain gave up the ghost in the salt waters. And many denizens of the lower regions and the world of Varuna were killed. Large trees with birds on the whirling Mandara were torn up by the roots and fell into the water. The mutual friction of those trees also produced fires that blazed up frequently. The mountain thus looked like a mass of dark clouds charged with lightning. O Brahmana, the fire spread, and consumed the lions, elephants and other creatures that were on the mountain. Then Indra extinguished that fire by pouring down heavy showers.
"After the churning, O Brahmana, had gone on for some time, gummy exudations of various trees and herbs vested with the properties of amrita mingled with the waters of the Ocean. And the celestials attained to immortality by drinking of the water mixed with those gums and with the liquid extract of gold. By degrees, the milky water of the agitated deep turned into clarified butter by virtue of those gums and juices. But nectar did not appear even then. The gods came before the boon-granting Brahman seated on his seat and said, 'Sire, we are spent up, we have no strength left to churn further. Nectar hath not yet arisen so that now we have no resource save Narayana.'
"On hearing them, Brahman said to Narayana, 'O Lord, condescend to grant the gods strength to churn the deep afresh.'
"Then Narayana agreeing to grant their various prayers, said, 'Ye wise ones, I grant you sufficient strength. Go, put the mountain in position again and churn the water.'
'Re-established thus in strength, the gods recommenced churning. After a while, the mild Moon of a thousand rays emerged from the Ocean. Thereafter sprung forth Lakshmi dressed in white, then Soma, then the White Steed, and then the celestial gem Kaustubha which graces the breast of Narayana. Then Lakshmi, Soma and the Steed, fleet as the mind, all came before the gods on high. Then arose the divine Dhanwantari himself with the white vessel of nectar in his hand. And seeing him, the Asuras set up a loud cry, saying, 'It be ours.'
"Sauti said, 'Then the Daityas and the Danauas equipped with first-class armours and various weapons attacked the gods. In the meantime the valiant Lord Vishnu in the form of an enchantress accompanied by Nara deceived the mighty Danavas and took away the Amrita from their hands.
And at length rose the great elephant, Airavata, of huge body and with two pair of white tusks. And him took Indra the wielder of the thunderbolt.
[paragraph continues] But with the churning still going on, the poison Kalakuta appeared at last. Engulfing the Earth it suddenly blazed up like a fire attended with fumes. And by the scent of the fearful Kalakuta, the three worlds were stupefied. And then Siva, being solicited by Brahman, swallowed that poison for the safety of the creation. The divine Maheswara held it in his throat, and it is said that from that time he is called Nilakantha (blue-throated). Seeing all these wondrous things, the Asuras were filled with despair, and got themselves prepared for entering into hostilities with the gods for the possession of Lakshmi and Amrita. Thereupon Narayana called his bewitching Maya (illusive power) to his aid, and assuming the form of an enticing female, coquetted with the Danavas. The Danavas and the Daityas charmed with her exquisite beauty and grace lost their reason and unanimously placed the Amrita in the hands of that fair damsel.'"
[paragraph continues]"And all the gods at that time of great fright drank the Amrita with delight, receiving it from Vishnu. And while the gods were partaking of it, after which they had so much hankered, a Danava named Rahu was also drinking it among them in the guise of a god. And when the Amrita had reached Rahu's throat only, Surya and Soma (recognised him and) intimated the fact to the gods. And Narayana instantly cut off with his discus the well-adorned head of the Danava who was drinking the Amrita without permission. And the huge head of the Danava, cut off by the discus and resembling a mountain peak, then rose up to the sky and began to utter dreadful cries. And the Danava's headless trunk, falling upon the ground and rolling thereon, made the Earth tremble with her mountains, forests and islands. And from that time there is a long-standing quarrel between Rahu's head and Surya and Soma. And to this day it swalloweth Surya and Soma (during solar and lunar eclipses).
"Then Narayana quitting his enchanting female form and hurling many terrible weapons at the Danavas, made them tremble. And thus on the shores of the salt-water sea, commenced the dreadful battle of the gods and the Asuras. And sharp-pointed javelins and lances and various weapons by thousands began to be discharged on all sides. And mangled with the discus and wounded with swords, darts and maces, the Asuras in large numbers vomited blood and lay prostrate on the earth. Cut off from the trunks with sharp double-edged swords, heads adorned with bright gold, fell continually on the field of battle. Their bodies drenched in gore, the great Asuras lay dead everywhere. It seemed as if red-dyed mountain peaks lay scattered all around. And when the Sun rose in his splendour, thousands of warriors struck one another with weapons. And cries of distress were heard everywhere. The warriors fighting at a distance from one another brought one another down by sharp iron missiles, and those fighting at close quarters slew one another with blows of their fists. And the air was filled with shrieks of distress. Everywhere were heard the alarming sounds,--'cut', 'pierce', 'at them', 'hurl down', 'advance'.
'And when the battle was raging fiercely, Nara and Narayana entered the field. And Narayana seeing the celestial bow in the hand of Nara, called to mind his own weapon, the Danava-destroying discus. And lo! the discus, Sudarsana, destroyer of enemies, like to Agni in effulgence and dreadful in battle, came from the sky as soon as thought of. And when it came, Narayana of fierce energy, possessing arms like the trunk of an elephant, hurled with great force that weapon of extraordinary lustre, effulgent as blazing fire, dreadful and capable of destroying hostile towns. And that discus blazing like the fire that consumeth all things at the end of Yuga, hurled with force from the hands of Narayana, and falling constantly everywhere, destroyed the Daityas and the Danavas by thousands. Sometimes it blazed like fire and consumed them all; sometimes it struck them down as it coursed through the sky; and sometimes, falling on the earth, it drank their life-blood like a goblin.
"On the other hand, the Danavas, white as the clouds from which the rain hath dropped, possessing great strength and bold hearts, ascended the sky, and by hurling down thousands of mountains, continually harassed the gods. And those dreadful mountains, like masses of clouds, with their trees and flat tops, falling from the sky, collided with one another and produced a tremendous roar. And when thousands of warriors shouted without intermission in the field of battle and mountains with the woods thereon began to fall around, the earth with her forests trembled. Then the divine Nara appeared at the scene of the dreadful conflict between the Asuras and the Ganas (the followers of Rudra), and reducing to dust those rocks by means of his gold-headed arrows, he covered the heavens with dust. Thus discomfited by the gods, and seeing the furious discus scouring the fields of heaven like a blazing flame, the mighty Danavas entered the bowels of the earth, while others plunged into the sea of salt-waters.
"And having gained the victory, the gods offered due respect to Mandara and placed him again on his own base. And the nectar-bearing gods made the heavens resound with their shouts, and went to their own abodes. And the gods, on returning to the heavens, rejoiced greatly, and Indra and the other deities made over to Narayana the vessel of Amrita for careful keeping.'"
The section "Myths and legends"
Read my works "Legends and hypotheses about a lunar rabbit, churning of the ocean, spinning up of the firmament (vault of heaven), origin of the Moon and connection of the Moon with death and immortality - the description of catastrophes at the boundaries between the Third and Fourth and the Fourth and Fifth world epochs, acquisition of modern appearance by Earth and emergence of the modern person - Homo Sapiens", "Separation of the Moon from Earth at the Early and Middle Miocene boundary", "Separation of the Moon from Earth at the Early and Middle Miocene boundary, and Aztec legend about two suns", "The most important catastrophe in the history of Earth during which mankind appeared. When it happened?" and the work of P.Oleksenko "Ancient Indian legends about creation of the world and churning of the ocean"