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The demons and the celestials agreed to churn the ocean of milk. Mount Sumeru was the churning staff, the snake Vasuki the churning rope. They wanted to get ambrosia. But when they were about to get the desired nectar, poison came from the mouth of the snake. Frightened the gods and the demons ran away. They had recourse to Shiva, the Great God. Shiva out of compassion swal-lowed the deadly poison, which remained as a blue stain on his throat. Hence the name Nilakantha. Saved from the danger the Devas and Asuras resumed churning the ocean and shared the ambrosia that was obtained.