Lord Shiva is known for many things. His matted hair, snake around His neck, His trident, three eyes and the destruction the third eye causes when the Lord is angry. Another spectacular attribute of Lord Shiva is His blue throat. Ever wondered why is Shiva depicted as having blue throat? It is because Lord Shiva consumed a deadly poison for the benefit of all living beings!
The Hindu scriptures are filled with numerous miracles of Lord Shiva. But among these many miracles, drinking of the poison is extremely significant for all human beings. It is not just a story of how Lord Shiva protects us in every way but also a lesson for us. The blue-throat of Shiva signifies that we do not always need to suppress or react to the vices. We sometimes need to modify the negativities and make them ineffective.
Before we come to the significance of the blue-throat of Lord Shiva, let us have a look that splendid story of Neelkanth or the blue-throated God.
Churning Of The Ocean
Most of you must be familiar with the story of Samudra Manthan or churning of the ocean. To get the elixir or nectar from the bottom of the ocean, once the Gods and the demons came together to churn the ocean. While the churning was in process many things emerged out of the ocean. Precious gems, animals, gold, silver, Goddess Lakshmi, Dhanvantri etc. were some of the things which emerged from the ocean which were divided among the Gods and the demons.
Among the many things which came out of the ocean, a deadly poison named Halahala was also one of them. This poison was extremely deadly and soon all the beings who came in contact with it began to perish. Even the Gods and the demons were asphyxiated and were on the verge of dying. This is when Lord Brahma and Vishnu prayed to Lord Shiva for help.
Shiva: The Neelkanth
Only Lord Shiva had the power to control and digest the poison which was so deadly. Since He had the power, Lord Shiva took the responsibility to drink the deadly poison. He drank the halahala whch started spreading in His body. Soon the deadly poison started affecting Lord Shiva and His body started turning blue.
Goddess Parvati's Role
Alarmed by the fast spreading of the poison, Goddess Parvati entered Lord Shiva's throat in the form of a Mahavidya and controlled the poison to His throat. Thus, Lord Shiva became blue-throated and came to be known as Neelkanth.
Significance Of Neelkanth
The blue colour of the poison signifies the negative thoughts and vices in our lives. The poison contained in the throat of Lord Shiva signifies that the poison can neither be drunk nor spitted out. But it can be controlled and made ineffective over time. Hence, Neelkanth signifies that we need to control all our negative thoughts and keep working towards achieving our goal.