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Why Shiva Drank Poison? – Will He Drink the Poison Again – Symbolism and the Story to save the Universe

Shiva drank the poison Halahala to save the universe from destruction. The poison had appeared during the Churning of Ocean (Samudra Manthan) to get Amrita (elixir of life). There is a hidden symbolism behind the story of saving the world. Will Shiva drink the poison of human greed that is destroying the world?

Why Shiva Drank Poison?

While the ocean of milk was being churned by the Devas (demigods) and Asuras (demons) using Snake Vasuki as rope, the first thing to appear was dark sticky foam. It was the dreaded poison Halahala, which had the power to destroy the universe.

The poison started emitting fumes and soon started to spread in water and air. Lord Shiva soon realized that the poison had the power to destroy the cosmos and immediately gathered the poisonous foam in his hands and drank it to save the world.

Goddess Parvati, got alarmed about the safety of her husband Lord Shiva, caught hold of his neck to avoid poison from entering His body. The poison remained in the throat of Shiva making it blue colored.

From that day, Shiva came to be known as Neelkantha – he who has a blue neck.


The same poison Halahala is spreading today in the world. It is the environmental pollution created by the never-ending greed and desire of human beings.

Air is polluted, water is polluted, and all food items that we consume are polluted. There is nothing on earth that is not affected by human greed.

What was the churning of ocean? It was a sort of greed. Both demons and demigods wanted to attain immortality. They wanted to make the perishable body imperishable. They wanted to enjoy bodily pleasures without the fear of death. This was never going to happen but still they wanted to go beyond the Supreme Truth.

Both Devas and Asuras did not bother about the result of their action. They just wanted to attain Amrut – elixir of life.

Today, the toxic fumes and poisonous gas created to satisfy the unimaginable greed, lust, wealth and power of human beings are destroying the world.

Even after repeated warnings, we humans are not ready to correct our mistakes.

Shiva alone can bail us out from this precarious situation.

But the big question this time around is will he drink the poison of human greed or will he open his third eye to destroy the human race.

Hindu God Vaidyanath – Shiva as Vaidyanathan - The Supreme Physician

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