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All Rights Reserved. Nagamma worshipped many idols and practiced witchcraft at the direction of her father. So, she appears to be foul-tempered, and benevolent only towards her devotees. People asked Nagamma to visit their homes. The cult of Manasa is most widespread in Bengal, where she is ritually worshiped in temples. "My parents took me to the local doctor (not a medical practitioner) who was able to take the snake poison from my body," she recounts. Subhamoy Das is the co-author of "Applied Hinduism: Ancient Wisdom for Today's World." They tied me to a tree and beat me. Ancient Hindu legends in the Puranas, narrate the story of the birth of this powerful serpentine goddess. When Shiva saw Manasa, he was attracted to her, but she proved to him that he was her father. It is dedicated to Goddess … Other Recent Articles from Breaking Christian News. She managed to convert people from different walks of life, including the Muslim ruler Hasan, but failed to convert Chand Sadagar . Former Hindu ‘snake goddess’ now powerful witness to Jesus June 29, ... For young Nagamma, growing up Hindu in southern India, loving snakes seemed natural. Manasa, also Manasa Devi, is a goddess of snakes, worshipped mainly in Bengal, Jharkhand and other parts of northeastern India, chiefly for the prevention and cure of snakebite and also for fertility and prosperity. Mata Mansa Devi Mandir, Panchkula, near Chandigarh. In Bangladesh, the Manasa and Ashtanaag Puja is a month-long affair spanning July and August. Astika also helped in saving the Nāga race from destruction when King Janamejaya decided to exterminate them by sacrificing them in his Yajna, fire offering. Upon being pleased, Krishna granted her divine Siddhi powers and ritually worshiped her, making her an established goddess. A simplified version of the myth regards Manasa as the daughter of Lord Shiva. But a powerful encounter with Jesus in a dream turned her away from black magic to follow the living, true God. She is worshiped for protection from and cure of snake bites and infectious diseases like smallpox and chicken pox. They told me I was mad. But I did not lose my faith in Jesus." [15], Kashyapa married Manasa to sage Jaratkaru, who agreed to marry her on the condition that he would leave her if she disobeyed him. To get there she had to achieve the worship of Chand Sadagar who was extremely adamant and took oath not to worship Manasa. "Satan instructed me that there is golden treasure in that house, so I had to sacrifice a child of below three-months-old to find that treasure.". She is also known as Vishahara (the destroyer of poison), Nityā (eternal) and Padmavati. Ancient Hindu legends in the Puranas, narrate the story of the birth of this powerful serpentine goddess. As the supernatural warfare raged around her, suddenly Nagamma became troubled and disturbed. Manasa is also worshiped extensively in Assam and Tripura, and a kind of Oja-Pali (musical folk theatre) is dedicated entirely to her myth. [17], Later, the sage Jaratkaru married Manasa, but Chandi ruined Manasa's wedding night. During the monsoon season, Goddess Manasa is worshiped, mainly in the eastern Indian states of Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, and Orissa, throughout the months of June, July and August (Ashar - Shravan), a time when the snakes leave their nesting ground and come out into the open and become active. However these stray further from Puranaic references probably due to creative licenses exercised. "I could not complete the black magic and left that house," she says. Chand then retaliated with a counter-curse that worshiping her would not be popular on earth unless he worshiped her also. The goddess is widely worshiped in the rainy season, when the snakes are most active. These men were his ancestors, who were doomed to misery as their children had not performed their last rites. Once, when Jaratkaru was awakened by Manasa, he became upset with her because she awakened him too late for worship, and so he left her temporarily. My color also changed," she recalls. Permission is given to link to, or share a BCN story if proper attribution is given to both the original writer and summarizer of the story. Click Here to read about the dream about Jesus Nagamma had that night, and what He told her in that dream, that changed her life forever. At last, he yielded by offering a flower to the goddess with his left hand without even looking at her. As a consequence, the terrified Jaratkaru ran away from the house. [1] She is also known as Vishahara (the destroyer of poison), Nityā (eternal) and Padmavati.[2]. [3] Manasa is depicted as being kind to her devotees, but harsh to people who refused to worship her.[4]. When Nagamma was 12-years-old, a snake reared up its ugly head and bit her as she attempted to feed milk to it. All articles on this site and emails from BCN are copyrighted property of Breaking Christian News. Manasa, also Manasa Devi, is a goddess of snakes, worshipped mainly in Bengal, Jharkhand and other parts of northeastern India, chiefly for the prevention and cure of snakebite and also for fertility and prosperity. Among the lower-caste Hindus of East Bengal (present-day Bangladesh)too, she is worshiped with great pomp. Manasa, due to her mixed parentage, is denied full Godhead. As word spread about the snake goddess, she became famous throughout her district. [14], The Puranas are the first scriptures to speak about her birth. Breaking Christian News 2005-2019. As per McDaniel, Manasa was originally a Adivasi (tribal) goddess. A branch of a tree, an earthen pot or an earthen snake image is worshiped as the goddess,[1] though images of Manasa are worshipped too. One day Nagamma performed black magic in the home of a family with a small child when something unusual happened. Her myths emphasize her bad temper and unhappiness, due to rejection by her father Shiva and her husband, and the hate of her stepmother, Chandi (Shiva's wife, identified with Parvati in this context). Devotees pay obeisance to goddess Manasa and perform various 'pujas' or rituals to appease her. She was initially mocked by the people but then Manasa forced them to worship her by raining calamity on those who denied her power. [5] Bhattacharya and Sen suggest that Manasa originated in South India as a non-Vedic and non-Aryan goddess and is related to the Kannada folk snake-goddess Manchamma. [12], Manasa is depicted as a woman covered with snakes, sitting on a lotus or standing upon a snake. She is the sister of Vasuki, king of Nagas and wife of sage Jagatkaru. Manasa Puja, Worship of the Serpentine Goddess, Hindu God Shani Bhagwan (Shani Dev): History and Significance, Vishwakarma, the Hindu Lord of Architecture, An Introduction to Lord Vishnu, Hinduism's Peace-Loving Deity, Lakshmi: The Hindu Goddess of Wealth and Beauty, The Goddess Durga: The Mother of the Hindu Universe, The Most Popular Stories of Shiva, the Destroyer, Navadurga and the 9 Forms of the Hindu Goddess Durga, Two Tales of Ganesha, Hindu God of Good Fortune, M.A., English Literature, University of North Bengal. "They wanted to get a touch from me for their blessings." Manasa is the mother of Astika, sister of Vasuki, king of Nāgas (snakes) and wife of sage Jaratkaru. "My father was a leading sorcerer among our people. Later, she was included in higher caste Hindu pantheon, where she is now regarded as a Hindu goddess rather than a tribal one. [11], According to Tate: By the 14th century, Manasa was identified as the goddess of fertility and marriage rites and was assimilated into the Shaiva pantheon, related to the god Shiva. So my people considered me as the snake goddess. "My parents used me and money out of it," Nagamma notes. On the request of the great Hindu gods, Jaratkaru returned to Manasa and she gave birth to Astika, their son, before deserting his wife again.[15]. For the town in Neemuch district, India, see, "Sri Manasa Devi Temple in Mukkamala Peetam", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Manasa&oldid=979559555, Articles having different image on Wikidata and Wikipedia, Articles lacking reliable references from May 2019, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 21 September 2020, at 12:29. "Snakes were my favorite gods," she notes. Thus to gain his fear and insecurity, Manasa one by one killed his six sons . Manasa gained control over the earth, by the power of mantras she chanted. Manasa is the mother of Astika, sister of Vasuki, king of Nāgas (snakes) and wife of sage Jaratkaru. As a consequence, stories attributing Manasa's birth to Shiva emerged and ultimately Shaivism adopted this indigenous goddess into the Brahmanical tradition of mainstream Hinduism. Manasa then propitiated the god Shiva, who told her to please the god Krishna. [1][13], The Mahabharata tells the story of Manasa's marriage. She is usually worshiped and mentioned along with Neto, who is called Neta, Netidhopani, Netalasundori, etc. Her family were of the Dalit class, on the lowest rung of India’s social ladder and once known as ‘untouchables’. [8], According to Tate, Manasa as Jaratkaru was initially recognized as a daughter of sage Kashyapa and Kadru, the mother of all Nāgas in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. -Nagamma. Chandi advised Manasa to wear snake ornaments and then threw a frog in the bridal chamber which caused the snakes to run around the chamber. She stands for both 'destruction' and 'regeneration', almost akin to a snake shedding its skin and being reborn. He was practicing black magic," says Nagamma, which means, "mother snake." [10] Alternatively, S B Dasgupta suggests that the Bengali tale of Manasa reflects rivalry between Shaivism and the Goddess-centric Shaktism. In her community in the border area of Kerala and Tamil Nadu States, there were many snake idols in a special temple dedicated to snakes, located under a fig tree. Scholar D. C. Sen traced fifty-one versions of her tale. Sage Jagatkāru practised severe austerities and had decided to abstain from marriage. October Surprise: US Economy Booms in Third Quarter With 33.1% GDP Growth, Zeta Slams New Orleans as Cat 2, Nearly 2M Lose Power; Now It's Racing Northeast, Steve Shultz, Managing Editor Founder and Owner. She was accepted in the pantheon worshipped by Hindu lower caste groups. Shiva took Manasa to his home where his wife, Chandi, suspected Manasa of being Shiva's concubine or co-wife, and insulted Manasa and burnt one of her eyes, leaving Manasa half-blind. Myths glorified her by describing that she saved Shiva after he drank the poison, and venerated her as the "remover of poison". Manasa is also known as Jaguli. Manasa is ceremonially worshiped on Nag Panchami - a festival of snake worship in the Hindu month of Shravan (July–August). Nagamma's family is part of the Hindu Dalit class at the lowest rung of Indian society, sometimes known as "untouchables.". Manasa is an especially important deity in Bengal for the mercantile castes. 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