My theme for the “A to Z Challenge” is World Mythology.
My A to Z posts will run concurrently with my usual posts. I hope they spark your curiosity. I find it fascinating how so many stories crossed the boundaries of countries and even oceans.
N is for Nagas, Hindu and Buddhist Serpent Gods
“Naga” is the Sanskirt word for a god or entity or being that takes the form of a snake, most often the King Cobra. The myths are found in the Indian religions, mainly Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
“Stories involving the nāgas are still very much a part of contemporary cultural traditions in predominantly Hindu regions of Asia (India, Nepal, and the island of Bali). In India, nāgas 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.
Nagas are snakes that may take human form. They tend to be very curious. According to traditions nāgas are only malevolent to humans when they have been mistreated. They are susceptible to mankind’s disrespectful actions in relation to the environment. They are also associated with waters—rivers, lakes, seas, and wells—and are generally regarded as guardians of treasure.” (Wikipedia)
Naga stones are believed to bring fertility and prosperity. There are rituals in their honor. In south India, women gather in Hindu temples to worship nagas carved into stones.
It is believed Nagas can take human form.
There are some regions In India where people trace their ancestry to nagas.
Go to my 2016 A to Z Challenge page to see my other posts on world mythology.