Several of our puranas, in my view, are actually cosmic events that have been put in the form of an ‘understandable’ story to a target audience. Truly speaking, if we can make analogies or stories for several of scientific concepts then that could be understood much more easily.
The story of Samudhra Manthan in which devas and asuras join together and churn the milky ocean to get the ‘nectar of life’ that provides immortality is one such story. I map that to a cosmic event that might explain how the different force fields originated just after the Big Bang.
The word ‘Devas’ is often used in our Vedas and Puranas as a ‘relativistic’ term. Those forces that are explicitly expressed are Devas. For eg. all matter particles are Devas in that respect. Those forces that are hidden are Asuras. For eg. all anti-matter particles are Asuras in this respect.
I propose here that story of Samudhra Manthan is the story of matter getting predominance over anti-matter at the times of origin of universe, as the primordial universe was churned. By acquiring the nectar of immortality/stability, which I interpret as the electro-weak force the Devas (matter) gained over the asuras (antimatter) and formed the Universe.
The story of Samudhra Manthan
The story is said in Vishnu Purana, Mahabharata, Ramayana and Bhagavatam. Though the reason why ‘churning of ocean’ was triggered is different across several puranas, the ‘core’ event is more or less uniform.
Indra, the King of Devas, incurs the wrath of ‘Dur-Vaca’ (a Rishi) and Devas loose all their strength. Asuras take over the Universe. With the help of Lord Vishnu, Devas and Asuras jointly the Churn the cosmic ocean (as Devas alone can never do it) to get the nectar of immortality.
In another version, Shukracharya, the Guru of Asuras, gets the Sanjivini Mantra with which he is able to resurrect the dead/vanquished asuras in their battle with Devas. On the advice of Lord Brahma, Devas try to get the nectar of immortality by churning the cosmic ocean. Since they can never do it alone, they get into a partnership with asuras and churn the cosmic ocean to get the nectar of immortality.
With Mount Mandarachala as the churning rod, Vasuki the Serpent as the Churning rope and Vishnu as the base on which the rod is placed (for stability), devas and asuras churned the cosmic ocean.
The list of items that emerged from churning of the ocean, though vary between different Puranas are broadly Lakshmi, Apsaras, Varuni/Sura, Kamadhenu, Airavata, Uchaishravas, Kaustubha, Parijat, Chandra, Tulasi, Nidra, Conch of Vishnu, Jyestha, Varuna’s Umbrella, Ear-rings of Aditi (Karna) apart from Halahala and Amrit.
The Halahala (or Hala Kala or Kala-Kuta) which was so poisonous that it could kill everything in the Universe. Shiva consumed the poison and accumulated it in his throat and hence called Neela-ganda.
Finally Danavantri appeared with a pot of Nectar/Amrit. Vishnu became a ‘mohini’ who charmed the asuras so that the nectar was drunk by Devas and asuras are left out. An asura named RahuKetu drank the nectar only to be cut by Sudarshan Chakra of Vishnu, due to which Rahuketu got split into Rahu and Ketu.
Since the churning occurred for twelve days and night (equivalent to twelve human years) a Kumbh mela is celebrated every twelve years in which all people bathe in river (akin to churning the ocean).
Churning of Cosmic Ocean – Processes of Post Big Bang
Everything submerged into a shining vyom at the ‘night’ of the Universe (according to Nasadiya Suktam). The Universe that was primarily made up of explicitly expressed matter (Devas) and less hidden matter (anti-matter) had been consumed into this shining Vyom.
From this a Big Bang occurred and a combination of explicity expressed matter (Devas) and hidden anti-matter (Asuras) emerged. Probably they were equal in strength at that time. In other words the explicitly expressed matter (Devas) became ‘badly expressed’, as they lost their power and became equal to anti-matter (Asuras) in strength.
‘Dur-VAca’ means one who expresses badly. Thus what emerged was Matter that was afflicted by Durvasa. Thus Devas got afflicted by Durvasa.
In the race to establish the Universe again, post Big-Bang, a ‘churning of cosmic ocean’, which is the churning of primordial matter (matter + anti-matter) started.
The anti-matter or the Asuras were at the Head of the churning, in the sense they were on the outer side. The matter or the Devas were at the tail of the churning, in the sense they were inside.
The emergence of Hala-Kala, the strong force
As it churned and churned, a huge force appeared from the inside. It was what the modern science calls as ‘Strong Force’. It was called ‘Hala-Kala’. ‘Hala’ is something that stops/paralyzes. ‘Kala’ means death or the process of dis-integration and decay. Hence ‘Hala-Kala’ was a poison that could stop/paralayze and dis-integrate.
The strong force arrested the Quarks by bounding them together strongly forming different forms of matter like protons, neutrons etc. If allowed to go through, it could have bound all the matter and anti-matter and brought a ‘stop’ to the Universe as everything gets bound by the Strong force. Left alone, strong force would have ensured all the matter and anti-matter are bound and annihilated.
Quarks indeed got bound by Strong Force and started forming the protons, neutrons and various other particles.
Emergence of Neela-Khanta
A pair of Quark (Male) and Anti-Quark (Female) formed a ‘Meson’ and ‘collared’ the Quarks bounded by the Strong force. They surrounded the protons and neutrons, filtering the strong force around them. They came to be called the ‘Neela Khanta’ or the ‘Dark Blue-neck’. The strong force could not pass through them and got filtered at them. Thus the mesons or the ‘Dark blue-necks’ stopped the flow of strong force.
They not only stopped the flow of strong force, but strongly bound the protons and neutrons that were formed due to strong force. Thus they were called ‘necks’ or ‘Khanta’ because they bound the smaller proton with a larger neutron.
They were called ‘Dark-Blue’ necks, because they were having higher energy. High Energy is indicated by blue and the higher energy that is observable is dark-blue. (Beyond that is UV which is invisible). Thus the Mesons are ‘Dark-Blue necks’ or the Ardha-Nareeswara form of Shiva that have higher energy.
Modern science uses this residual strong force energy as Nuclear force in nuclear fission.
But the story is not yet over.
As the Neela-Khanta formed and isolated the Hala-Kala, the strong force, churning continued.
Emergence of Nectar – The weak force
In this early Universe, primitive matter particles and primitive anti-matter particles kept getting combined annihilating each other. Both matter and anti-matter were evolving further to gain the control of the Universe.
Thus there was a race in that Universe was on who would reach the ‘stability’ or ‘immortality’ to survive and form the Universe. The race was if forms of anti-matter would dominate the Universe or forms of matter would dominate the Universe.
Something was needed to break this and ensure Devas (or Matter) gained over the anti-matter.
That is where the Weak Boson(s) appeared. (Say W Boson) He is called Dhanv-antari. Dhanv means one which is running or flowing around. Antari means one in the ‘in-between’.
The Weak-Boson in itself was a running/flowing force. It did not have any mass to stay in a place. Something acts on the Weak-Boson makes it have a inertial mass. Weak-Boson acquires its mass from ‘Higgs field’ caused by the ‘Higgs Boson’ which appears momentarily at the Big Bang. Through this Higgs mechanism Weak-Boson(s) is able to acquire mass and mediate the Weak-force.
Thus Dhanvantari has a ‘Khalasa’ in the hand. The Khalsa is the Higgs mechanism by which Dhanv-antari is able to hold ‘nectar’. The ‘nectar’ of immortality or stability is the weak-force. Without the Khalasa (Higgs mechanism), Dhanvantari (Weak Boson) cannot hold the ‘nectar’(Weak force).
Decays due to Weak interaction helps matter (Devas) buildup
According to science, in the moments after birth of Universe, as the churning happened and weak decays happened, Charge Parity violation occurred in the weak decays, throwing up more matter than anti-matter. The Charge symmetry and Parity symmetry expects to throw up equal amount of matter and anti-matter in decays. But CP violation exists and creates more matter than anti-matter.
Strong force, EM force conserve CP. It is only the weak force that does not conserve CP and allow matter to turn to anti-matter.
Thus weak force becomes the nectar of immortality that gives matter (Devas) the edge over anti-matter (Asuras).
As more matter is produced than anti-matter, the Weak force enables the basic stable structure of matter, which we call an atom. Weak force binds the unstable nucleons with an electron and forms the first immortal/stable structure in the matter domain
In other words while matter makes use of the Weak-force to build a stable atomic structure (as electrons are held in their place due to Weak-force), Weak force (nectar) plays a role in prevalence of matter (devas) over anti-matter (asuras) by not preserving the symmetry in weak decays and enabling more matter build up over anti-matter.
Where did the anti-matter go..?
If we believe this interpretation of our puranas, asuras (anti-matter) did not get eliminated. While Devas (matter) could achieve stable/immortal forms of matter and evolve, asuras (anti-matter) could not. Thus they get banished to underground. In other words anti-matter combines with matter and forms different fundamental particles of matter. Thus they go underground or overcome by Devas.
Are asuras totally eliminated..? No. The Guru of Asuras (anti-matter) Shukracharya (zukra means semen) knows how to bring them back to life and is doing that.
Yes, that does happen. Fundamental particles split and giving birth to anti-particles (asuras) for a brief moment before they are overcome by other particles (devas) again.
Why is weak-force partial to matter..?
The Puranas say Dhanavantri who appeared is a form of Vishnu. The Vishnu acquired a feminine form and attracted the asuras (anti-matter), while devas (matter) utilized the nectar (weak force).
It is possible that an anti-particle of Z Boson plays a role in not preserving the Charge Parity Conversion that converts anti-matter to matter during weak decays and giving matter the edge.
Just a possibility, based on pseudo science, for now.
More posts by this author:
- Eleven names of Rudra – Tripurantaka
- Aditya Hrdayam Again – Part 2
- Rsis of Vedas – Part 4
- Rsis of the Vedas – Part 10 (Catur Sana and Catur Yuga)
- A lookback at the understanding till now..