SERPENT WORSHIP IN GREECE AND ITALY (Post No.4874)

WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 2 April 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  13-34  (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4874

 

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Worshipping snakes is a very common sight in India. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari we have thousands of towns and villages named after the snakes. Sanskrit words Naga and Sarpa gave birth to English words such as S +naga (snake) and Serpent (serpent). Thousands of snake (Naga) statues are worshipped in almost all famous temples in South India. Kashmir’s History book Nilamata purana and Kalahana’s Raja Tarangini give lot of stories about Naga Kings. Naga Panchami and Varuna Panchami, celebrating the snakes, are followed by devoted Hindus even today. Nilamata Purana CONTAINS AN EXTENSIVE LIST OF THE NAGAS. IT GIVES THE NAMES OF 527 NAGAS. It surpasses in length of all lists from Sanskrit literature.

 

Abul- Fazl, Prime Minister of Moghul Emperor Akbar, had collected interesting notes from Kashmir snake worship. He also mentioned the miraculous powers of Nagas.

 

Naga rani (snake queen) Naga worship were found in the Vedas and Indus valley (Please read my previous article)

Snake worship in Greece

In Greece serpent became the guardian of the city and healing god. Similar to Hindu myths of Krishna subduing Serpent Kaliya, Greeks have Apollo destroying dragon Python. Cadmus fought and killed the dragon that devoured his men.

Though Hercules is said to be the destroyer of serpents, he was the progenitor of snake race through Echidna.

 

Like Hindus feeding snakes living in ant hills, Greeks fed the snakes in the caves of Delphi and Trophonius. The serpents figure in Greek mythology as the representative of gods, or as delivering oracles, or guarding sacred places.

 

The great centre of Serpent worship was Epidaurus where the serpents were kept and fed until the time of Pausanias (second century CE).

Plutarch tells us that Olympias, mother of Alexander, kept tame snakes in her house. Philip and Lucian believed that Alexander was born of a serpent.

 

Tiberius imported Snakes from India!

Lanuvium, 16 miles from Rome, had a large and dark grove, where there was a temple of Argive Juno. Aelian tells us that virgins of Latium were taken in to the cave annually to ascertain their chastity, which was indicated by the dragon. If the serpent accepted their offering, not only was their purity  confirmed but also a fertile harvest was assured.

 

Two snakes sent by Minerva to destroy Laocoon for his attempt to undeceive the fated Trojans. Two serpents were painted on the walls to indicate the palace was sacred.

Roman Scipio Africanus believed that he was nursed by a snake.

Emperor Tiberius kept a tame serpent for his amusement but one morning when he found it was eaten by ants, he procured a large serpent from India and placed it in the temple of Jupiter Olympias at Athens.

My old articles on Nagas:–

Serpent Queen:Indus Valley to Sabarimalai | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/2012/06/17/serpent-queenindus-valley-to-sabarimalai/

17 Jun 2012 – British archaeologist Arthur Evans excavated at the palace of Knossos in Crete and revealed to the world the fascinating details of a new civilization that existed between 2700 BC and 1500 BC coinciding with theIndus Valley Civilization. The famous serpent queen figure is of a priestess holding two snakes …

 

Nagas from Meera Rai Post

Snakes and Snake Bites in Mahabharata! | Swami’s Indology Blog

swamiindology.blogspot.com/2015/03/snakes-and-snake-bites-in-mahabharata.html

10 Mar 2015 – The stories in Hindu scriptures are real life stories. They are not concocted. The best examples are stories of snake bites. From the story of Parikshit to down south Tamil stories of Periya Purana and Tiruvilaiyadal Purana, we hear about several deaths due to snake bites. In some stories gods or saints came ..

 

included the Olmec, the Mixtec, the Toltec, the Aztec, and the Maya.

snake miracle | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/snake-miracle/

(for old articles go to tamilandvedas.com ORswamiindology.blogspot.com). sesha … Though there is no religion or culture without a snake in it, Hindus are the only community who worship snakes from the Vedic days until today. There are millions of … All the Hindu gods are linked with a snake in one way or another. All the .

 

Are Mayas, Indian Nagas? | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/2012/04/28/are-mayas-indian-nagas/

28 Apr 2012 – Maya calendar begins on 11th August 3114 BC. Indiancalendar Kaliyuga begins in 3102 BC. But Hindu mythology is very clear about their existence long before Kali yuga. Kaliyuga is the last of the four yugas. But Mayas are silent about their existence before this date 3114 BC. The amazing co incidence …

Amazing Similarities between Mayas and Hindu Nagas | Tamil and …

https://tamilandvedas.com/…/amazing-similarities-between-mayas-and-hindu-nagas/

28 Apr 2012 – Amazing Similarities between Mayas and Hindu NagasAmazing Similarities between Mayas and Hindu Nagas ( The first part of this article is Are Mayas, Indian Nagas?) 1. Strange co incidence: Kali Yuga 3102 BC and Maya Yuga beginning 3114 BC 2. Maya appearance:Maya people of Central America …

 

Naga Yakshi | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/naga-yakshi/

We have Nagapanchami celebrations celebrated throughout India where live snakes are worshipped. Hindus respect Nature and Environment and use the natural resorces to the minimum. Snake Goddesses such as Manasa Devi and Naga Yakshi are worshipped in India. The Vedas has an authoress named as Serpent …

Gondwana | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/gondwana/

They celebrate Hindu festivals such as Dasara and Naga Panchami. Like any other village community they have their own stories for everything. They are well versed in arts and building. They have divided themselves into four different castes lie the four divisions of work in ancient Hindu society. They form the biggest tribe …

 

–subham–

 

 

Are Mayas, Indian Nagas?

Mayas were a mysterious people. They ruled parts of Central America between 2600 BC and 1500 AD. Their relics are seen in Mexico, Belize Honduras and Guatemala. Though we have archaeological evidence from 2600 BC, their calendar begins from 11th August 3114 BC. They were famous for their accurate calendar, written language, astronomical and mathematical systems. But all these came to our attention only because of their big and beautiful buildings. They built massive structures. The ruthless Spaniards came in 1540 and massacred a lot of people and plundered their gold. The Spaniards destroyed Maya culture and language, but couldn’t do anything to the architectural wonders because they were so huge.

Maya calendar begins on 11th August 3114 BC. Indian calendar Kaliyuga begins in 3102 BC. But Hindu mythology is very clear about their existence long before Kali yuga. Kaliyuga is the last of the four yugas. But Mayas are silent about their existence before this date 3114 BC. The amazing co incidence between Hindus and Mayas, particularly their calendar years, was a puzzle. Now we have solved the puzzle with all the information available.

Mayas were Indian Nagas. They migrated after a big fight with Krishna and Arjuna. Both of them burnt the Khandava Vana (forest) for the sake of general public. But the tribal Naga people living inside the forest resented this act. It looks like lot of Nagas who resisted Arjuna and Krishna were killed. Indra was pro Nagas. But anti Naga Krishna had an earlier fight with another Naga leader called Kaliya. When he objected cowherds coming into his area Krishna went and killed Kaliya. Those who narrated the Puranic stories “Kaliya Mardhanam” slowly projected them as demons and snakes. But the fact of the matter is they were actually people who wore snake symbol (totem).

(Khandava Vana is called Gondwana land in geography lessons and the tribal Naga people are called Ghondus in anthropology lessons).

Following this clash, the enmity between the Nagas and Pandavas widened. Krishna died just before the Kaliyuga began. After all the Pandava brothers demise, the Nagas wanted to take a revenge on Arjuna’s grandson Parikshit. When they were waiting for an opportunity Parikshit was cursed by Shamika that he would die by “snake bite”. In reality the seer’s friend and tribal Naga leader Takshaka was given that task of “snake bite”. Takshaka challenged Parikshit and said that he would be assassinated within seven days. King Parikshit took all the precautions. But like Shivaji escaped in a fruit basket from the prison of mighty Moghul emperor Aurangazeb, Parikshit’s enemies entered Parikshit’s palace in a fruit basket and killed him. Puranas symbolically wrote that Parikshit was killed by “snake bite”.

Like Indira Gandhi’s assassination was followed by revenge attacks on Sikhs, Parikshit’s son Janamejayan went on a killing spree what was described symbolically as a Sarpa Yagna (snake sacrifice) on the banks of river Narmadha. A lot of Nagas were killed, actually massacred. The English word snake originated from Sanskrit word (s)naga.

Brahmin’s Peace Agreement

In those days mixed marriages existed and some Nagas were married to kings and Brahmins. One of them was a seer called Astika. He was asked to go as an emissary for peace talks, because his father Jaratkaru was married to a Naga woman. He was successful in his peace mission and stopped all the killings. Then started the Naga migration from a port called Patala . That is what Hindus called Patala loka (One of the seven worlds “below”the earth). The port was the gate way to Sri Lanka, South East Asia and South America. Hindu scriptures describe these lands as Naka Loka/ Naga Land. When Hindu mythologies said that  Bali and other demon kings were sent to Patala Loka what they meant was they were banished from the mainland. Port Patala at the estuary of Indus river was mentioned even by foreign travellers. Broach (Bharukacha) was another port on the banks of river Narmadha. Both these ports handled much of the foreign trade with the West in ancient India.

When Arjuna burnt the Khandava Vana, one leader was allowed to escape from the burning. His name was Maya Danava. He thanked Arjuna and Yadavas for this and he constructed the palace for the Pandavas as a token of gratitude. He led a massive migration to South East Asia and then to Central America and South America. The day he left the holy Bharat was gratefully remembered by the Mayas as 11th August 3114 BC. It coincided very well with the date of Janamejayan’s rule, Arjunas great grandson, around 3100 BC.

Brahmins are doing an amazing thing thrice a day. They recite the 5000 year old Peace Agreement during their daily ritual called Sandhyavandhanam. They praise the Nagas as Maha Yasa: (Great and famous people) and request them to keep away in the name of Astika and Jaratkaru. The mantra starts with Narmadhayai Nama: (Salute to river Narmadha!).

(Please read Brahmins deserve an entry into Guinness Book of Records)

Divine garments and Nagas:

Nagas were expert weavers. They had some special type of clothes which were so nice and looked exactly like snake skin. 2000 year old Sangam Tamil literature refers to this cloth in two places (Porunar. Lines 82-83;Puram.383).  In another place King Ay was praised by Nallur Nathaththanar for giving the rarest Naga cloth to Lord Shiva (Sirupan. Lines 96-99). It means that he adorned Shiva’s statue with the cloth. It was presented to Ay by Neela Nagan.

Sanskrit literature is also replete with such references. Karkotakan, Naga tribal leader, gave Nala a rare cloth to reveal his identity to his wife Damayanti when both were separated. So this is a rare type of cloth only certain people can afford to buy it. It is in Mahabharata (3/73-3).

(Please read Amazing similarities between Mayas and Hindus (Nagas)

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