Monday, October 17, 2011

Snakes on a Material Plane

Snakes or Nagas are given great importance in Vedic mythology. Lord Shiva has a snake around his neck, Lord Vishnu's throne was Shesh Naga - the Eternal Serpent.  Shesh Naga represents the cycles of time and space which are the seed of cosmic creation. The Nagas  are shaped like snakes but stand tall. The Nagas are highly evolved beings. They are wise, but their wisdom can be used for both good and bad. The Naga sheds his skin, this symbolizes transformation,re-birth. The snakes in Vedic literature remind people of their mortality.

The Nagas are a race of serpent beings. Most often they manifest themselves with half-man, half-serpent bodies, although sometimes they assume the shape of a dragon, or appear in the guise of a cobra. They can take many different forms including snakes, humans with snake tails and normal humans, often beautiful maidens. A precious gem is embedded in their heads endowing them with supernatural powers including invisibility. Some are demoniac, some neutral or sometimes helpful.

Nagas are divided into four classes: heavenly, divine, earthly or hidden, depending upon their function in guarding the heavenly palace, bringing rainfall, draining rivers or guarding treasures.

In Burma, the Nagas combine elements of the dragon, snake and crocodile. They have guarded and protected several royal Burmese personages. They also give rubies to those they favor.

They inhabit lakes and rivers, but their real domain is a vast underground region called Bila-svarga, or subterranean heavens. There they guard great amounts of jewels and precious metals. Here they dwell with their seductive mates, the Naginis who sometimes seduce humans.

One such account is to be found for example in the Mahabharata. Arjuna, the son of King Pandu, was "abducted" by Ulupi, the Naga princess who enamored him, into the parallel realm in the river Ganges near Hardwar. After spending a night with her and begetting a son called Iravan, he returned back. This incident is also mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana 9.22.32. R. Thompson in his book "Alien Identities" uses this account to give an example of parallel dimensions.

Vishnu Purana tells of a visit by the divine wandering sage Narada to Patala. Narada describes Patala as more beautiful than Svarga (heaven). Patala is described as filled with splendid jewels, beautiful groves and lakes and lovely demon maidens. Sweet fragrance is in the air and is fused with sweet music. The soil here is white, black, purple, sandy, yellow, stony and also of gold.[2][5]
The Bhagavata Purana calls the seven lower regions bila-svargas ("subterranean heavens") and they are regarded as planets or planetary systems below the earth. These regions are described as being more opulent than the upper regions of the universe, which include heaven. The life here is of pleasure, wealth and luxury, with no distress. The demon architect Maya has constructed palaces, temples, houses, yards and hotels for foreigners, with jewels. The natural beauty of Patala is said to surpass that of the upper realms. There is no sunlight in the lower realms, but the darkness is dissipated by the shining of the jewels that the residents of Patala wear. There is no old age, no sweat, no disease in Patala.[6]

11 days  until the  MAYAN CALENDAR END DATE of 10/28/11