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Encyclopedia > Naga (mythology)

The nagas (नाग "snake") are an ancient race of snake-humanoid beings first depicted in ancient Vedic Hindu mythology and oral folklore from at least 5000 B.C.E. Stories involving the Nagas are still very much a part of contemporary cultural traditions in predominantly Hindu (India, Nepal, and the island of Bali) and Buddhist (Sri-Lanka and South-East Asia) regions of Asia. Superfamilies and Families Henophidia Aniliidae Anomochilidae Boidae Bolyeriidae Cylindrophiidae Loxocemidae Pythonidae Tropidophiidae Uropeltidae Xenopeltidae Typhlopoidea Anomalepididae Leptotyphlopidae Typhlopidae Xenophidia Acrochordidae Atractaspididae Colubridae Elapidae Hydrophiidae Viperidae Snakes are cold blooded legless reptiles closely related to lizards, which share the order Squamata. ... The term humanoid refers to any being whose body structure resembles that of a human. ...

Nagas are especially popular in southern India where some believe that they brought fertility to their venerators. According to Hindu legends, they are Varuna's servants. Nagas live in Patala the seventh of the "nether" dimensions or realms [1]. They are children of Kashyapa and Kadru. The Nagas are the enemies of the Garudas, divine eagle-like creatures. This article is about the god. ... This article is about the Hindu god Kasyapa. ... In the mythology of India, Kadru (Kadrū in IAST notation), is usually the daughter of Daksha, wife of Kasyapa, and mother of the Nagas. ... Garuda according to Ida Made Tlaga, an 19th century Balinese artist. ...

The Nagas according to Hinduism include:

Alternative: Sesa (Java) In Hinduism, Manasa is a naga and goddess of fertility. ... In Hinduism and Buddhism, Mucalinda is a naga, a snake-man, who protected the Buddha from the elements before his enlightenment. ... In Indian and Hindu mythology, Sesha is a naga (serpent). ... Vasuki is a naga, or one of the serpents of Hindu mythology. ...

For Malay sailors, nagas are a type of dragon with many heads; in Thailand and Java, the naga is a wealthy underworld deity. In Laos they are beaked water serpents. Motto: Bersekutu Bertambah Mutu (English: Unity Is Strength) Anthem: Negaraku Capital Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya1 Largest city Kuala Lumpur Official language(s) Malay Government • Paramount Ruler • Prime Minister Federal constitutional monarchy Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Jamalullail Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Independence Formation From the UK (Peninsular only) August 31, 1957 With Sabah... Map of Java Java (Indonesian, Javanese, and Sundanese: Jawa) is an island of Indonesia, and the site of its capital city, Jakarta. ... // In the study of mythology and religion, the underworld is a generic term approximately equivalent to the lay term afterlife, referring to any place to which newly dead souls go. ...

The name of the Indian city Nagpur is derived from Nagapura, the legendary city of Nagas. It is believed that the legends of Nagas may have originated with some kind of tribal people in the past. Nāgpur City name is derived from River Nag which flows through the city. ...

In India there is an ancient belief in a subterranean race of divine serpent people who dwell in a patala a "nether" dimension. The word Naga comes from the Sanskrit, and "nag" is still the word for snake in most of the languages of India. They are considered nature spirits and the protectors of springs, wells and rivers. They bring rain, and thus fertility, but are also thought to bring disasters such as floods and drought. Since Nagas have an affinity with water, the entrances to their underground palaces are often said to be hidden at the bottom of wells, deep lakes and rivers. Varuna, the Vedic god of storms, is viewed as the King of the Nagas.

According to some traditions Nagas are only malevolent to humans when they have been mistreated. They are susceptible to mankind's disrespectful actions in relation to the environment.

The Nagas also carry the elixir of life and immortality. One story mentions that when the gods were rationing out the elixir of immortality, the Nagas grabbed a cup. The gods were able to retrieve the cup, but in doing so, spilled a few drops on the ground. The Nagas quickly licked up the drops, but in doing so, cut their tongues on the grass, & since then their tongues have been forked.


Nagas in Cambodia

In a Cambodian legend, the Naga were a reptilian race of beings who possessed a large empire or kingdom in the Pacific Ocean region. The Naga King's daughter married the king of Ancient Cambodia, and thus gave rise to the Cambodian people. This is why, still, today, Cambodians say that they are "Born from the Naga". The Seven-Headed Naga serpents depicted as statues on Cambodian temples, such as Angkor Wat, apparently represent the 7 races within Naga society, which has a mythological, or symbolic, association with "the seven colours of the rainbow". Furthermore, Cambodian Naga possess numerological symbolism in the number of their heads. Odd-headed Naga symbolise the Male Energy, Infinity, Timelessness, and Immortality. This is because, numerologically, all odd numbers come from One (1). Even-headed Naga are said to be "Female, representing Physicality, Mortality, Temporality, and the Earth." The main entrance to the temple proper, seen from the eastern end of the Naga causeway Angkor Wat (or Angkor Vat) is a temple at Angkor, Cambodia, built for king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. ...

Legends similar to the Cambodian legend exist amongst the tribal Hindus of Southern India (Adivasis) and the aboriginals of Australia. In this version of the legend, the Nagas inhabited a massive continent that existed somewhere in the Pacific Ocean region. The continent sank and the remnants formed the Indonesian archipelago and Australia. These Nagas are said to have developed a subterranean or underwater civilization technologically more advanced than ours and they are thought to possess superhuman powers.

Nagas in the Indian State of Nagaland

In addition to the Cambodians there exists a significant ethnic group of South East Asian extraction native to India's North-East known as the "NAGA". They live in the Indian State of "Nagaland" [2](named after their tribe) and have traditionally believed that they are the direct descendants of the mythological "Nagas". Unfortunately, due to over-zealous Evangelical (Baptist) Christian fundamentalist missionary activity (which actively suppresses native culture and beliefs) many Nagas of Nagaland have lost most of their tribal lore including the legend of their origins as descendants of supernatural snake beings. References to the existance Nagaland Naga tribals and their traditional beliefs have been recorded in the ancient Indian Hindu books of knowledge known as the Vedas.

See also

To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Saint George versus the dragon, Gustave Moreau, c. ... Reptilian humanoids are intelligent, supernatural, or highly developed reptile-like humanoids in mythology, popular fiction, and fringe theories. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. ... Yamata no Orochi (八岐大蛇; often called Orochi in English) is a monster in Japanese mythology. ... The word Naga can refer to several different things. ...

External links

Hinduism | Hindu mythology | Itihasa
Male Deities: Brahma | Vishnu | Shiva | Rama | Krishna | Ganesha | Indra | Lakshman | Hanuman
Female Deities: Gayatri | Lakshmi | Saraswati | Durga | Devi | Sita | Radha | Kali | Parvati | Shakti
Texts: Vedas | Upanishads | Puranas | Ramayana | Mahabharata

  Results from FactBites:
Nagas (165 words)
Some of the nagas are: Ananta (symbol of eternity), Vasuki, Manasa (fertility goddess and protector against snake-bites), and Mucilinda.
On Java and Thailand, a naga is a mythical serpent or dragon, a serpent-god, a ruler of the netherworld who possesses immense wealth.
In Thailand, a naga is often sculpted in temples as a dragon with five heads.
Nagas Mythology (1531 words)
Under this rubric are snakes, usually of the python kind (despite the fact that naga is usually taken literally to refer to a cobra,) deities of the primal ocean and of mountain springs; also spirits of earth and the realm beneath it, and finally, dragons.
In Mexico, we find the "Naga" which becomes "Nagal." In China, the Naga is given the form of the Dragon and has a direct association with the Emperor and is known as the "Son of Heaven"...while in Egypt the same association is termed "King-Initiate".
In Indian mythology, Nagas are considered as a subterranean race of primarily serpent-beings living under the sea in a place called Patala which is believed to be the seventh of the "nether" dimensions or realms.
  More results at FactBites »



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