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1000 Headed Sheshnag Snake – Recalling the Classic Legend

1000 Headed Sheshnag Snake – Recalling the Classic Legend

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Snakes are rapacious creatures. Many of us find them intriguing and terrifying. In India, snakes are worshipped and you find snake charmers all around. Well, it’s a popular attraction in various parts of India. No matter where you go – the banks of Ganga River or monuments in Delhi, you will find snake charmers with their cobras. Give them a hundred and you will get to click a picture as well. 

While Indian cinema and daily soaps have made a mockery of snakes, there is a lot you need to know about Sheshnag, the snake. Sheshnag, the 1000-headed serpent, has been a prominent figure of worship in Hindu mythology for ages. 

Christians refer to the snake in the famous Garden of Eden. There’s another legend of the Nagas that is found in Buddhism and Hinduism. Most people are scared of snakes, but that’s not the reason why most treasure coves have snakes as treasure keepers. The significance can be understood with the knowledge of ancient Vedas. 

As per the locals of Jagannath Puri, Odisha, the temple top houses plentiful gold and snakes protect it from the evil eyes. 

Snakes are such an essential part of Indian society. We have so many stories to tell. You may have heard about Sheshnag, but this article will give you a clear insight into who it is and the classic legend behind it. Let’s get started! 

Sheshnaag – The King of Snakes 

Sheshnaag is referred to as the ‘king of snakes.’ People all over the country call it Adishesha or Shesha. If you take a look at Hindu craftsmanship, folklore, culture, reasoning, and writing, Sheshnaag would be mentioned in all of them. 

People feel that Sheshnaag holds all of the planets on its hoods. Sheshnaag is a devotee and also a lover of dear Lord Vishnu. As per tales, the king of snakes sings for the lord from every mouth. 

What does Sheshnaag look like? 

You may get a scary image in your head, but a Sheshnaag is a coiled snake. He resides in the Ocean of Milk. It creates a bed so that Lord Vishnu can lean back and rest. Also, Goddess Lakshmi (the wife of Lord Vishnu) is seen at Lord Vishnu’s feet. 

Shesha is depicted as a seven-headed or a five-headed snake. It is also portrayed as a mighty 1000 headed snake. Also, the heads or the hoods of the sheshnaag wear luxurious and good-looking crowns. 

You might be wondering how this name came into being. The word has Sanskrit roots. It means the one which stays. Sheshnaag will stay regardless of great floods at all times. 

Lord Vishnu is always portrayed as leaning back on the mighty Sheshnaag. As per Hindu folklore, the snake had slid into Planet Earth in two particular structures – Balarama and Lakshmana. 

Unraveling the Legend 

As per legend, Shesha was born to the kind sage Kashyapa and his beloved wife Kadru. Shesha was the eldest, but also the noblest of all. There were a thousand serpents born in the family, but they were extremely dangerous and notorious. 

Shesha had to go through hard years of extreme penance. This is how he gained the position of Lord Krishna’s vahana or ‘chariot.’ 

When Vasudev was trying to transport his son Krishna to Gokul, he has to cross over the mighty Yamuna River. That day it was raining profusely and baby Krishna was placed in an open basket. Sheshnaag appeared from the river and helped the two of them. He formed an umbrella using his hood and protected baby Krishna’s head during the transportation. 

Here’s another legend you may want to know: 

Gods or Asuras were not always immortal. They needed to churn the ocean of milk to get Amrit or the absolute elixir. This was their only ticket to eternal life. 

The Asuras and the Gods could not find a rope (a long one) to churn the milk ocean. Sheshnaag volunteered to become that rope to churn the ocean so that gods could attain immortality. 

Where can you spot Sheshnaag? 

Sheshnaag has not been spotted in a long time. However, people say that it can be found in Kashmir. If you’re lucky you may find it near Sheshnag Lake in Amarnath too. 

If the mythical Sheshnaag appears in front of you, consider yourself lucky. But this may not be possible in real life. Many people see Sheshnag in their dreams. 

Sheshnaag in Dreams: What’s the Meaning? 

Lord Vishnu and Sheshnaag in dreams mean yearning, repose, and familiarity. If you have dreamt of Sheshnaag, it means something good will happen. 

You might gain victory over enemies or come out of a difficult situation. Sheshnaag is protecting you in every aspect of life. Your enemies will not be able to destroy you since sheshnag has his kind eyes on you. 

Here’s one warning you might not want to overlook: In case you have been bitten by a snake in your dreams, be careful as your health might be at risk. 

Perhaps, you can meditate and pray to Lord Shiva. Seek forgiveness for the sins that you might have committed in this life or your previous lives. Offer milk to snakes or a Shivling to seek their blessings. 

Concluding Thoughts 

Sheshnaag is a mythical creature and he holds major importance in Hindu mythology. He’s the protector of Lord Vishnu and also his place of residence. 

So, worshiping Sheshnaag might help you overcome all the obstacles in your life. We hope this article helped you understand who Sheshnaag is and what he looks like.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is sheshnag the king of snakes?

Sheshnaag has no part in the creation or destruction of the universe. When it comes to Snake Vasuki, he is referred to as the “King of All Snakes.” It’s worth noting that Vasuki was chosen for the churning of the seas, in which all deities and demons pulled snake Vasuki with all their might in a tug-of-war game.

2. Is Sheshnag and Vasuki same?

Sesha (the snake around Shiva’s neck) and Vasuki (the serpent around Shiva’s neck) are brothers. Sesha is the oldest, followed by Vasuki, and then Kadru and Kashyapa’s other sons. Vasuki serves Shiva while Sesha serves Vishnu. In certain Puranas, Sesha is said to keep the Earth in balance.

3. What is the story of Sheshnag?

Sesha (the snake around Shiva’s neck) and Vasuki (the serpent around Shiva’s neck) are brothers. Sesha is the oldest, followed by Vasuki, and then Kadru and Kashyapa’s other sons. Vasuki serves Shiva while Sesha serves Vishnu. In certain Puranas, Sesha is said to keep the Earth in balance.

4. Who was Kaliya Naag?

In Hindu mythology, Kaliya (IAST: Kliya, Devanagari: ) was a venomous Nga who lived in the Yamun river in Vndvana. For four leagues around him, the Yamun’s water boiled and bubbled with venom. Only one solitary Kadamba tree grew on the riverbank, and no bird or beast could go close.

5. Is Balarama avatar of Sheshnag?

Balarama is the most powerful warrior in the Dwapar Yuga after Lord Krishna and is the avatar of Shesha (the primordial serpent who bears Lord Vishnu himself in the cosmic ocean).