NÂGA, NÂGAS – Class of Serpents

The Nâgas were the race of serpents or snakes who were born from Kas´yâpa-prajâpati (a progenitor) by his wife Kadrû. Many had divine powers and were neutral as far as their relationship with the gods was concerned.

It was their great power that made them threatening to humans. When Bala-Râma, brother of Krishna, died, his spirit left his body through his mouth as a white serpent and was welcomed into the netherworld by the Nâga kingdom.

NÂGA, NÂGAS - A class of serpents

Prince Candrângada was rescued by the Nâga king Takshâka and lived in his kingdom for a while, even marrying the Nâga princess Ulûpî. Nevertheless, Nâgas were also dangerous, having absorbed the venom (halâhala) that was churned up from the Milky Ocean.

Garuda, the sun eagle, was their natural enemy, eating them as his preferred food. Vâsuki, Kâliya, and Takshâka were among the most famous Nâgas. In some lists Nâgas were classified as minor gods or devas.

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