Kurma, Lord Vishnu’s Second Incarnation
In this incarnation, Lord Vishnu took the form of a tortoise. According to this legend, the gods and demons united in their efforts to churn the celestial ocean of milk, in the quest of Amrit (the nectar of life and immortality). This mammoth task was carried out with the Mandara Mount as the churning stick and the mythological snake Vasuki as the rope. Thus, Lord Vishnu incarnated himself as the Kurma (the tortoise) in order to support the mount Mandara, which started sinking during the churning of the ocean. Thus, the Kurma sat on the bottom of the ocean with a mountain, being placed on his back by the other gods so that the gods and demons could churn the sea and fine the ancient treasures of the Vedic people.