Why many gods have snakes ?

As it has already been mentioned, the ancients were heart oriented people and their language is always poetic. Naturally, the contemporary people of our age, the mind oriented people - we find it difficult to understand the images and writings of the ancients.

Unlike the language of the mind, the poetic forms always give rise to many meanings, sometimes quite ambiguous too and it becomes a puzzle for the mind and it [the mind] thinks the object has no or trivial meaning, as the language of the mind, the logic is always precise and has only one definite meaning.

Thus the snake too has many meanings so - it is associated with many gods for one or the other reason. In the Hindu mythology the snake represents many different things and ‘time’ is one such representations of it, the kala sarph.

The time is associated with all things in life from birth to death and in between and it is more so in the present age. The time is associated with every work in the Hindu life and it is a matter of serious concern for all, as not doing in time will fetch you sin. In other words the man is afraid of time as in the case of a snake, both threaten and kill.

Another point is that – the same thing that is a curse for a common man becomes a boon to the extraordinary men. For example, a devil is curse for the common people but, if it is controlled it can do miracles for you, i.e., in the case of extraordinary people it is a boon for them.

Same is in the case of time. If the time is under your control – it is a boon for you, it can help you a lot - you can do miracles with it, it becomes a boon to you. The only way to control it is to go beyond it, the ‘gods’ have gone beyond it or the time is in the hand of the gods’, they can control it just like a pet, a jewel or a vehicle.

The same ‘time’ the common man fears – is a boon to the gods. To symbolize this fact, the snake is associated with many gods. It simply means that – the gods are beyond time, beyond this relative plane the common man lives.

It implies or teaches that, one has to control the ‘time, one has to go beyond time – to attain the absolute, to become god or one with god.

Snake, the poetic representation, in the context of Yoga sastra, or the science of Yoga, has a different meaning altogether. Here, the spiritual energy or the vital life force - is represented as a ‘snake’ in the ‘muladhar chakra’ present at the start of the spinal card, it is called as ‘kundalini sakti’. If a person indulges in the worldly pleasures then the vital force goes down – as in the usual case. If it [vital force] is tamed, controlled and sent up – it reaches the seventh chakra, the sahasrar at the head and the man is liberated.

The Yoga science says – the sole purpose of life is to control the ‘kundalini’ and send it up to the final chakra, the sahastrar. Naturally, the liberated soul has control over the ‘kundalini’.

The ‘gods’ - have control over the ‘kundalini’ and are liberated, this is symbolically represented as – gods holding or having ‘snake’.

Only few implications of the snake are presented here and the snake has still more implications in the Hindu context.

{This post is an answer to the question from  - V Muralidharan, Bangalore, India. Thank you Murali, for your question..!}

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1 comment:

Bhargava Kotur said...

Thank you for sending your queries, Murali.

I hope my answers will be helpful.

# Bhargava