WHY SHOULDN’T YOU TELL A WOMAN A SECRET? A NAGA STORY (Post No.4877)

WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 3 April 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  7-43 am (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4877

 

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There are lot of stories in India about the Naga race. They were the people who wore snake charms or totem symbols or perhaps their leaders wore Naga/snake crowns. But in course of time people started believing they were real snakes or serpents. All stories develop like this in all parts of the world. Facts are hidden in myths. Let us look at some stories: –

 

The conflict between the snake and garuda/eagle have given birth to several stories around the world. Lot of countries have flags or emblems or coins or currencies showing the enmity between the Garuda/eagle and the snake. India has such stories from the Mahabharata to Puranas

 

The Naga who revealed the secret to a woman!

Once a Naga fleeing in fear of a Garuda/ eagle assumed human shape and took refuge in a house. The lady of the house agreed to hide the person for a fee of 500 elephants.  After sometime the lady asked the Naga how and where from he was going to get 500 elephants. The Naga fell in love with her and revealed his real identity. The lady revealed this secret to another woman. That woman disclosed this to Garuda who was in the human form. Garuda took the human form to search for the fleeing Naga. The result was the poor serpent / naga was killed by the eagle. The moral of the story is NO WISE MAN SHOULD DISCLOSE A SECRET TO A WOMAN. This is a folk tale told along with the Naga stories

 

KING UDAYANA OF VATSA AND THE LUTE

Once Udayana , the king of Vatsa kingdom, was roaming in a forest  in pursuit of a deer. At that time he saw a serpent caught by a hunter. Moved with pity the king asked the hunter to release the serpent and promised him to give something else. The hunter replied, “My Lord, this is my livelihood. I maintain myself by exhibiting snakes. I ma a snake charmer. They dance to my tunes. On hearing this Udayana gave him his costly golden bracelet and then the hunter released the snake. The serpent was very much pleased with the king and it gave him a wonderful lute.

 

The hunter saw the name of King Sahsranika on the bracelet and so he took it to the king. This lead to the reunion of the consorts Sahsranika- Mrgavati who were separated for 14 years. Mrgavati was Udayana’s mother.

 

It is said that Vatsa raja used the lute to capture wild elephants.

 

STORY OF JIMUTA VAHANA

The feud between the Garuda and Naga has found a place in most of the Sanskrit literature. The fairy tale of Jimutavahana is very popular and Katha Sarit Sagra narrates this story twice.   Brhat Katha Manjari and 25 tales of Vetala also narrate this story. King Harsa has dramatized this story in his play Nagananda. Nagas freed from the danger of Garuda due to the sacrifice of Jimutavahana is the theme in the story.

PANCHATANTRA HAS TWO STORIES ON NAGAS

 

Pancha tantra, the oldest fable book in the world has two stories on Nagas

In the Story of Poor Brahmana and the Gold Granting serpent, we find the following story:-

 

Haridatta was a poor agriculturist and he had very little production in his field. One day he saw a snake in his field. He worshipped it and offered it milk. Next day when he came to the field he found a gold coin where he saw the snake the previous day. He started offering milk to the snake every day. And he obtained a gold coin every time he went to the field. Haridatta’s son, knowing this miracle, became very greedy. He thought the ant hill where the snake lives must be full of gold coins. So he planned to kill the snake and dug out the ant hill. The snake bit him and he died. His father felt very sorry. The snake gave Haridatta a costly jewel and asked him not to come again.

 

Different versions of the story are found in western literature as well. They have copied it from India. Greek story teller Aesop also copied lot from Pancha Tantra fables.

There is another story in Panchatantra where the snake appears as the son of human parents. On the day he was married to a woman, he assumed human form in the wedding night. His father burnt the snake’s skin and prevented him from returning to animal form again.

 

Such stories present Nagas as humans and animals.

 

–subham–

 

 

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