Naga is a word with many meanings. In Indian mythology, it refers to a snake-like creature with two heads that originate from the Hindu texts of Vedic scriptures. These mythical creatures are known as being powerful and highly respected, but what is their secret? What does it mean to be a naga? This article will explore the mythological background of Naga as well as some of its cultural origins – exploring how they have changed over time and where we can find them today.
The Sanskrit word for snake or serpent is sarpa, which has given rise to the word “Sarpanch,” meaning a person who rules like a king. It is believed in Hindu mythology that Naga people are descendants of Kadru – one of the ten Prajapatis or progenitors of mankind according to Vedic texts. The Prajapatis were the children of Lord Brahma, who is sometimes considered to be the creator god and other times was said to rule over the cosmos.
Kadru gave birth to a thousand snakes, and she and her offspring were cursed by their mother Vinata – another one of the ten Prajapatis (the ability to lay eggs is a characteristic of snakes in Hindu mythology) – to be condemned to live half of their lives on the Earth and half of them under it. This act was committed out of jealousy, as Vinata desired her children Garuda (a bird-like creature with wings), Suparna (a giant eagle), and Aruna (the god of the dawn) to stay close to her, rather than flying away as Kadru’s children did.
Dr. P.C. Roy, a professor at Calcutta University, wrote that “On account of this boon from Brahma the Nagas never die a natural death but only by the will of God.” They are, of course, very powerful creatures, and the word naga is often used as a title for those holding positions of power such as kings and queens. They are believed to be bloodthirsty and vicious creatures – typically possessing great physical strength – but they also play an important role in Hindu mythology as “wisdom-bringers” who possess magic and the ability to change shapes at will.
In Hindu scriptures, there are many accounts of nagas being defeated by various humans, including Indra – a god known as a champion of mankind who is associated with rain and thunderstorms – and Garuda, the vahana (a vehicle used in one’s daily life) of Vishnu. Many Hindus view the naga as a protective deity, and in some Indian states such as Orissa it is believed that there is a cobra that lives inside each household’s perimeter and guards them against evil spirits.
In Indian art, nudity of any kind or partial nudity is considered highly taboo, except for depictions of certain deities. Nudity is used to express a number of things among these cultures, such as depicting characters that are half-snake and half-human (like the Naga themselves) or representing unadulterated purity and divinity.
The cultural origins of nagas can be traced back to ancient Mesopotamia and the civilizations of Sumer and Assyria. Cuneiform texts from 3000 B.C. refer to a snake goddess known as “The Great Mother Serpent” or “Goddess of Creation.” In these texts, she is described as being half-woman and half-snake and her symbol was an eight-pointed star – an early representation of the female anatomy.
The Assyrian kingdom is known for their mighty winged bulls that guarded the entrances to their city – most notably, they are having two horns on their heads with long beards and curled tails. These creatures are often drawn alongside pictures of serpents, suggesting that nagas were viewed as guardians of the beasts.
The naga has existed in the art and culture of Southeast Asia for over 5,000 years. Examples include Angkor Wat located in Cambodia which was built sometime between the 9 th and 14 th centuries A.D., as well as various artifacts found within Thailand, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, Borneo, and the Philippines.
The naga is a snake-like creature with two heads that originate from Indian mythology. These mythical creatures are known to be powerful and highly respected, but what is their secret? What does it mean to be a naga? The word “naga” often refers to those holding positions of power such as kings and queens in India – they possess great physical strength, wisdom, magic that can change shapes at will – some believe them to protect the household while others see them as dangerous beasts which must be defeated by Indra or Garuda (Vishnu’s vahana). The cultural origins of these mythical beings date back over 5 thousand years!