The Naga: Snake Guardians of Ancient India…

The Naga: Snake Guardians of Ancient India


Sacred Snakes

Not every culture glorifies snakes; in fact, most deplore them.

But Hindus had a different take: they were divine.

Recognizing there is an intrinsic balance and harmony in nature, Hindus held sacred the aspects of the world that were most fascinating…including scary or threatening creatures, such as snakes.

Every year, on the 5th day of bright half of the lunar month, Hindus celebrate the birth of the Naga, the serpent deities.

The stories of the snake deities are almost as old as Hinduism itself, with statues and carvings going back longer than 5,000 years.

SEE ALSO: 5 Things About Lakshmi You Didn’t Know

The Origin of the Naga

According to the Hindu texts, Naga were birthed by one of Brahma’s son’s wives. Some of them became the servants of the gods, while other lived on earth.

The servants of the gods were well behaved and did as they were supposed to, but the snakes on earth were very wicked and terrorized humanity.

This enraged Brahma, and he  threatened to destroy them.

With their death imminent, the Naga had a change of heart and promised to change their ways.

Instead, they bargained with Brahma to be exiled to the underworld; to a place called Naga-Loka, a land of incredible riches.

CHECK IT OUT: Our Naga Collection Is Stunning!

The Types of Naga

There are 3 major types of Naga:

Sesa- These are types of Naga that lord Vishnu rests upon, from where he protects creation.

Vasuki- The types of Naga used to churn the ocean when Lakshmi ran away.

Taksaka- One of the most powerful kings of the Naga.

What’re They Up To?

Traditionally, Naga are thought to be nature spirits, and are only hostile when mistreated (this usually means when we mistreat the environment, which they protect).

Because of the nature of their protective roles, they’re often depicted as guarding the gods, even adorning them as jewelry, like with Shiva.

Today, Naga have inspired Naga sadhus, a new group in India that believes in protecting and preserving the “lost glory of Hinduism”.


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Matt Caron

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Matt is the content manager of the Sivana blog, an enthusiastic Yoga teacher, and life voyager. He strives to inspire…

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