Indian mythology states that a snake can become Ichhadhari only after living 100 years
A ‘nagamani’ can be defined as ‘snake gem’ or ‘snake pearl’
Shesha naag and Vasuki are synonymous with each other as Anant
Ichhadhari naag and nagin are one of the most interesting subjects of mythology. Ichhadhari naag and nagin concept is gaining momentum these days owing to the various television serials and Bollywood movies, as most of them are based on this concept. This concept is used as it fascinates large number of people and is an efficient tool for gaining TRP.
Ichhadhari naag and nagin are defined as serpent like creatures which can change their form and mask like any other creature. But, these Ichhadhari naag and nagin are more willing to take form of a human. Moreover, Indian mythology states that a snake can become Ichhadhari only after living 100 years.
According to the Speakingtree.com Website, other most interesting subject that is related to Ichhadhari naag and nagin is ‘nagamani’. A ‘nagamani’ can be defined as ‘snake gem’ or ‘snake pearl’. Although it is not actually a gem or any other stone, it is unused venom of a snake that turns out into a stone.
Some people also believe that nagamani is formed when rain droplets enters mouth of King Cobra during Swati nakshatra. It is formed in the hood of king Cobra. Nagamani is said to have blessings of Lord Shiva. However, possessing nagamani is not easy, as King Cobra never discloses nagamani.
Nagamani is a powerful and most shining stone in the world. It is moon like pearl with a blue tint in it. It possesses lighting power of 100 bulbs. There are number of the myths regarding nagamani. Prevalent one is that whoever owns nagamani, will have great fortune regarding money, health and fame. It fulfills all the desires of the person who possess it. According to Puranas, King Cobra will die once it gets detached from Nagamani, said the Speakingtree.com Website.
There is a mention of Ichhadhari naag and nagin in Agni Purana. According to it, there are seven worlds beneath Earth – Atal, Vital, Sutal, Talaatal, Mahaatal, Rasaatal and Paataal. Lord Vishnu is also said to live beneath the earth in the form of Shesha Naag. It is believed that Shesha Naag is supporting earth by carrying it on its hood. According to Vayu Purana, snakes and devils live beneath Earth. Vasuki, a great snake lives in Shreetal. Shesha naag and Vasuki are synonymous with each other as Anant.
Various scriptures suggest that nagamani is found in many colors ranging from yellow to white. The stories about Ichhadhari naag and nagin are still prevalent in Rural India. Some people also believe that Ichhadhari naag and nagin exists in today’s world.
-prepared by Aparna Gupta, an intern with NewsGram. Twitter @writetoaparna99
“The word ‘Shiva’ means literally, that ‘which is not’. On another level when we say ‘Shiva’, we are referring to a certain Yogi, the Adiyogi or the first Yogi and also the Adi Guru, the first Guru.”
“Shiva” who is known as Mahadeva is one of the chief deities of Hindus. He is considered as the supreme being within ‘Shaivism’, one of the major traditions within contemporary Hinduism. He is known as “The Destroyer” within the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity that includes Brahma and Vishnu.
With context to the Hindu Mythology, Shiva is the supreme being who creates, protects and transforms the Universe~ But Shiva is beyond this identity. Who is Shiva? Is he a god or a construct of collective imagination? Or is there a deeper meaning to Shiva? Revealed only to those who seek? Jaggi Vasudev, an Indian yogi and author popularly known as “Sadhguru” explains it all!
Sadhguru says, “Today, modern science is proving to us that everything comes from nothing and goes back to nothing. The basis of existence and the fundamental quality of the cosmos is vast nothingness. The galaxies are just a small happening – a sprinkling. The rest is all vast empty space, which is referred to as Shiva. That is the womb from which everything is born, and that is the oblivion into which everything is sucked back. Everything comes from Shiva and goes back to Shiva.”
Sadhguru also stresses upon the fact that more often Shiva is described as a non-being.He is not described as the light but as darkness. Here, Sadhguru describes that the light is not eternal in comparison to the darkness. He says, “Light is not eternal. It is always a limited possibility because it happens and it ends. Darkness is a much bigger possibility than light. Nothing needs to burn, it is always – it is eternal. Darkness is everywhere. It is the only thing that is all pervading.”
Sadhguru tells that in some places in the west, Shiva is considered to be a Demon!
He says that if we look at it as a concept, there isn’t a more intelligent concept on the planet about the whole process of creation and how it has happened.
Shiva: Being the Adiyogi & One and The Same!
Sadhguru further explains that “Shiva refers to both “that which is not,” and Adiyogi, because in many ways, they are synonymous. This being, who is a yogi, and that non-being, which is the basis of the existence, are the same, because to call someone a yogi means he has experienced the existence as himself.”
When we talk about Shiva as “that which is not,” and Shiva as a yogi, in a way they are synonymous, yet they are two different aspects.Because India is a dialectical culture, we shift from this to that and that to this effortlessly. One moment we talk about Shiva as the ultimate, the next moment we talk about Shiva as the man who gave us this whole process of yoga.
Shiva is Beyond Any Perception!
Sadhguru has stressed upon the fact that Shiva is beyond the image and perception of what people see in through Indian Calender art.
He says that, “Calender Artists have made him a chubby-cheeked, blue-colored man because a calendar artist has only one face. Why would a yogi like Shiva look chubby-cheeked? If you showed him skinny it would be okay, but a chubby-cheek Shiva – how is that?”
In the yogic culture, Shiva is not seen as a God. He was a being who walked this land and lived in the Himalayan region. As the very source of the yogic traditions, his contribution in the making of human consciousness is too phenomenal to be ignored.
Devotional Manifestation: Ancient Shiva Temples
Sadhguru says that in India since the the Ancient times, temples were built mostly for Shiva. It was only in the last 1000 or so years that other temples came up.
He writes, “The word Shiva literally means ‘that which is not.’ So the temple was built for ‘that which is not.’ ‘That which is’ is physical manifestation; ‘that which is not’ is that which is beyond the physical.”
There are thousands of Shiva temples in the country, and most of them don’t have any form as such. They just have a representative form and generally it is a linga.
“The Adiyogi Shiva does not belong to the past, he belongs to the future”
At many places, Sadhguru has stressed upon this fact that if you read through the Shiva Purana, you cannot identify Shiva as a good person or a bad person. He is Sundaramurthy, the most beautiful. At the same time, nobody can be more horrible than him!
Shiva is a terrible combination of everything put together…
(About Sadhguru: Named one of India’s 50 most influential people, Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, a bestselling author & poet. Sadhguru has been conferred the “Padma Vibhushan” by the Government of India in 2017, the highest amongst the annual civilian awards, accorded for exceptional and distinguished service.)
Snake brain lacks limbic system and cortex. Therefore, snakes cannot think and cannot have emotions. This means that a snake will do whatever it has to, without emotions. Even if you feed him, he will not develop loyalty towards you. He has no emotions for the people who feed him and the people who keep him as a pet. Snakes are usually solitary, they have no friends, and they do not socialize. Their brain does not understand communication and cannot process emotions. They have no attachment to other snakes and their own offspring. They do not bond with their mates. They are incapable of taking revenge.
They have no ears, arms, legs. They can sense the vibrations in the air. They are very good hunters. They can slither, glide, dart through the water, and climb up. They have no eyelids and stare fixedly.
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Their metabolism is very low and therefore their internal organs stay alive longer. They feel pain and fear long after decapitation and retain reflexes hours after death.
Snakes do not hoard and do not build. They do not kill or eat each other. They just fight and try to survive. They may hibernate together in large numbers as at that time there is no competition for food.
Snakes have only R (Reptilian) complex as the brain. This complex performs basic functions like fight or flight, hunger, temperature control, keeping safe and defending territory.
The limbic system controls mood and memory. It is responsible for mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, memory issues, and emotional imbalance. Cats, dogs, horses have limbic system surrounding the R complex.
Humans have one extra part of the brain called cortex. This is the outermost part of the brain. It is responsible for complex social interactions. The human brain is larger in relation to body size than the brain of animals. Monkeys and chimpanzees have smaller cortex as compared to humans.
A meditating person is supposed to quieten his or her mind, control emotions, and focus inwards. This means that he is not supposed to use the limbic system and cortex. The limbic system is the source of mood, emotions, or concern for loved ones. It means a person who is meditating is like a snake, with function up to the spinal cord and R complex.
Man is thought to be more developed than other animals because man has the capability to think, feel, make informed decisions, do complex interactions, etc. yet paradoxically we are told not to use this capability during meditation. While praying we are supposed to surrender completely to Ishwar. By suppressing, this capability to think about past, present, and future, enlightenment comes, the third eye opens, and the understanding of universe happens.
Remember, coiled snake like form of kundalini which goes from Muladhar chakra to top chakra during awakening.
Coming back to a snake, they are sacred for many. People worship them, offer them milk, and even keep them as pets. Vishnu is often depicted lying on Shesnag , who has a thousand heads. Shiva is depicted wearing Vasuki snake around his neck. There is a snake over Shivling. Ganesh is often depicted with a snake, which forms a circle around his belly. Kartikey is often shown with a peacock and a snake.
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I heard stories of Icchadhari naagins (snake). As per beliefs, snakes become icchadhari if they do penance for 100 yrs. and get blessings from Shiv.
Aadi shesha took revenge and killed Meghnath who had a boon that he can only be killed by a person who has stayed away from his wife for 14 yrs. Aadi shesha took human avatar as Laxman and stayed away from his wife for 14 yrs.
People believe that snakes guard wealth. Some believe that snakes are always paired and if someone kills one snake, the other comes back to take revenge.
There is a festival called Nag Panchami. On this day people worship snakes, offer them milk, sweets, sesame seed ladoos, etc. People do not dig or plow on this day to avoid any harm to snakes.
Shetpal village in the Sholapur district of Pune, Maharastra, India has many poisonous snakes. They roam freely in houses and outside. Snakes sleep with people in the house. People worship them and offer them milk, eggs, etc. There is a specific place in the house for snakes to rest. These poisonous snakes rarely bite village residents.
There are Naga temples in India where people worship snakes to attain or restore fertility.
Snakes appear in medical symbol also. It represents longevity, immortality, healing, and fertility.
So, there is a conflict here between people’s beliefs, practices, and science.
Science says that snakes are reptiles. They have no mammary glands and therefore cannot produce milk. In addition, they cannot digest milk. They are cold-blooded carnivores. So, what is the point of offering milk to snakes?
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Baby snakes do not depend on their mother’s milk to survive. They absorb the rest of the yolk in their eggs before hatching, and they can survive off the yolk for weeks. Baby snakes are usually independent since birth. They do not receive any teaching from their parents. If they do not guard their own children, how do they guard wealth?
Snakes have no affinity for people around them, worshiping them or keeping them as a pet. How do they answer human prayers and decide not to harm humans? Snakes do keep a check on the population of some insects and animals. However, are predators as well as prey.
Snakes do not live in pairs and have no way to think about revenge. According to science, if they are trying to mate, they may come to the place where the other snake was killed but that is not for revenge. They just follow the odor left by the killed snake.
So, again same question- why Vishnu, Shiv, Ganesh, Karthikeya have snakes and why are snakes considered sacred? I do not know the answer. I am guessing that snakes are able to attain ‘moksha’ easily because of their inability to do some things, which humans can. They do not struggle to choose between right and wrong, they are not attached to anything, they are detached from all emotional bonding. So, spiritually they may be nearer to Ishwar (God). There is some matching of frequency and vibration that makes them quiet and calm when they are near Devtas.
In case of Shiv ji, people say that Vasuki represents awakened kundalini at top chakra. Vasuki’s three coils around neck represent past, present, and future. Some say that Vasuki provided coolness to Shiv’s neck when he was drinking poison during samundra manthan. However, these beliefs do not explain Vishnu laying on snake or Ganesh wearing snake around his belly.
Bharti Raizada is a Chicago-based physician with special interest in spirituality and alien phenomena.
The Tirupati Temple is one of the most important temples in South India. This Temple is very much popular with all the pilgrims and is located in Chittoor, in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Daily, a lot of pilgrims are visiting this temple from all over India, and also from foreign countries. It is one of the richest temples in India. Every year, crores of rupees are received from the devotees through hundial, and also received from various endowment donations. Nithya annadanam scheme is very much popular in Tirupati. A lot of devotees are consuming good and tasty divine food daily. Hence it is a must to visit this temple, at least once in a year and to offer our prayers, to have annadanam and to offer money based on our financial background, and to get Lord Sree Venkateswara’s divine blessings forever.
2. Ramanatha Swamy Temple, Lord Shiva:
The Ramanatha Swamy temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it is situated at Rameswaram.
People are visiting here for doing their ancestral rituals, and it is very famous for that. This is one of the ancient temples of South India. Free food is offered in the temple for more than 100 devotees. Aadi Amavasya, Thai Amavasya and Mahalaya Amavasya pitru rituals are very popular in this temple. We can take a bath from the sacred wells situated inside the temple. It is a must to visit this temple, to get relieved from various sins, and also by clearing our ancestral debts by doing pitru tharpan. Many sites seeing places are also there nearby Rameswaram. We can visit Abdul Kalam Sir’s Memorial also in Rameswaram. Dhanushkodi is the best sightseeing place situated near Rameswaram.
3.Virupaksha Temple of Lord Shiva
The virupaksha temple is one of the most famous temple of south India situated at Hampi, Karnataka. This is one of the sacred temples of Lord Shiva and it was established in 7th century AD and also it is one of the oldest temples in India. It is a must to visit this temple since it is surrounded by natural beauty. The temple continues to prosper and attracts huge crowds for the marriage festivities of Virupaksha in the month of December every year.
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