In the Bhagavad GIta, when in the middle of the battlefield Kurukeshetra, Shri Krishna explaining his omnipresence, says: “Of Nagas, I am Ananta” indicating the importance of Ananta Shesha.
Shesha (Sanskrit: Śeṣa), also known as Sheshanaga (Śeṣanāga) or Adishesha (Ādi Śeṣa), is the nagaraja or King of all Nāgas and one of the primal beings of creation. In the Puranas, Shesha is said to hold all the planets of the universe on his hoods and to constantly sing the glories of the God Vishnu from all his mouths. He is sometimes referred to as Ananta Shesha, which translates as endless-Shesha or Adishesha “first Shesha”. It is said that when Adishesa uncoils, time moves forward and creation takes place; when he coils back, the universe ceases to exist.
Vishnu is often depicted as resting on Shesha, a devotee of Vishnu. He is said to have descended to Earth in the human forms or avatars: Lakshmana, brother of Vishnu’s avatar Rama during Treta Yuga, and as Balarama, brother of Vishnu’s avatar Krishna during Dvapara Yuga. According to the Mahabharata (Adi Parva), his father was Kashyapa and his mother Kadru.
“Shesha” in Sanskrit texts, especially those relating to mathematical calculation, implies the “remainder”—that which remains when all else ceases to exist.
Nagas are snakes with occult powers. Shesha, the Naga on whom Vishnu rests, is said to keep all the planets of the universe on his heads, while at the same time singing the glories of Vishnu. It is also called Ananta-Shesha or the Infinite Shesha and Adi-Shesha, the First Shesha.
Maha Vishnu and Sankarshana
Shesha is also depicted as floating in the ocean of the changing world, forming the bed of Maha Vishnu. Since he is known as Adishesha (the foremost of snakes) and because he is Anantashesha or simply Ananta (endless, as He is known to remain in existence even after the end of the Kalpa, when the whole universe is destroyed).
In the Bhagavata Purana Shesha is named Sankarshana, the tamasic energy of Lord Narayana himself, and is said to live deep within the inner layers of patala, where there are many serpents with gems on their heads and where Sankarshana is the ruler. He is said to live since before the creation of the universe. When the universe is towards its end, he creates 11 Rudras from Them to destroy the universe for a new one to be created.
Sankarshana is also one of the four vyuha forms of Vishnu or Krishna, the other three being Vāsudeva, Pradyumna and Aniruddha.
Sankarshana expands himself as Garbhodakshayi-Vishnu in the beginning of the universe to create Brahma. In other words, Lord Sankarshana is Lord Narayana himself.
In previous chapters of the Purana it is also said that Lord Sankarshana spoke the Bhagavata to the Four Kumaras, who in their turn passed this message of the Bhagavata. At some point the message was passed to sage Maitreya who in his turn spoke it to Vidura.
I was today reading in the introduction to Georg Feuerstein’s translation of the Yoga-Sutra of Pantanjali where it immediately points out that Pantanjali according to legend is the incarnation of the serpent king, Ananta, a manifestation of Vishnu said to encircle the Earth. The serpent race that they refer to, Nagas, were entrusted, according to Vedic mythology, with the task of guarding over esoteric wisdom.
This struck me, not sure why, and I felt compelled to look up this Ananta fellow and learn something of his story. I was already familiar with the religious depictions of Vishnu with the cobra hoods all around his back and above, behind and over him. In the past years, I realize I sometimes get a vision of myself with a sort of symbolic cobra hood flared up behind me, almost like a Dr. Strange cape that is right over my shoulders and extending up right past the level of the top of my head. Hmm, Ananta, the King of the Nagas! Mentioned by Krishna himself… amazing! Then I said to myself, ok this is my new, “new blog” post, only my third post here. . . I just got this idea a few weeks ago to start making different blogs to leave a “mark” of my passage through time here on Earth that others may one day stumble upon and find something of value. Kind of like my own version of Termas left by Guru Rinpoche and Yeshe Tsogyal, LOL. And THIS is a free blog from vivaldi.net that I just discovered their nice browser which I’ve made my defaults lately. So being this blog is free then it won’t go down for lack of subscription payment right? So if Vivaldi lasts for 300 years, 300 years from now someone could find a blog post I made in 2021 and learn something or perhaps find amusement. How cool is that! (smiley face)
Well, I’m digging this Ananta being concept, and if he’s alright by Shri Krishna, he’s alright by me. Carry on good people, be ye reptilians, hybrids, ape-people or even mantids… it’s a vast universe and I think at some point up the spiral, we’re ALL related.
MORE from Wikipedia, they have some nice articles on the Vedic and Tibetan gods and other supernatural beings… good job Wikipedia, but we’re still watching you otherwise.. YOU KNOW what I’m talking about.. your efforts to help the Illuminati hide their nefarious dealings and whatnot? Don’t think we’re not taking notice.. shame shame shame…
As per the Mahabharata, Shesha was born to sage Kashyap and his wife Kadru. Kadru gave birth to a thousand snakes, of which Shesha was the eldest. After Shesha, Vasuki, Airavata and Takshaka were born, in order. A lot of Shesha’s brothers were cruel and were bent upon inflicting harm on others. They were even unkind to Garuda, who was Kashyapa’s son through Vinatha, sister of Kadru. (Kadru and Vinatha were daughters of Daksha).
Shesha, disgusted by the cruel acts of his brothers, left his mother and kin, and took to austere penances. He lived on air and meditated in places including Gandhamadhana, Badrikashrama, Gokarna, Pushkara and Himalayas. His penances were so severe that his flesh, skin and muscles dried up and merged with his frame. Brahma, convinced of his Shesha’s will, asked Shesha to request a boon. Shesha asked that he be able to keep his mind under control so that he could continue to perform ascetic penances. Brahma gladly accepted the request. Brahma then asked a favour of Shesha: to go beneath the unstable earth and stabilize it. Shesha agreed and went to the netherworld and stabilized her with his hood. He is known to support her even today, thus making Patala his perennial residence.
And furthermore from our awesome Hare Krishna’s who have exposed the English speaking world to the monumental Srimad Bhagavatam (ha, because of this post I just ordered the 30 volume hard cover set at a bargain price! from the KrishnaStore.com)
SB 5.25.1: Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said to Maharaja Parikshit: My dear King, approximately 240,000 miles beneath the planet Patala lives another incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the expansion of Lord Vishnu known as Lord Ananta or Lord Sankarshana. He is always in the transcendental position, but because He is worshiped by Lord Siva, the deity of tamo-guna or darkness, He is sometimes called tamasi. Lord Ananta is the predominating Deity of the material mode of ignorance as well as the false ego of all conditioned souls. When a conditioned living being thinks, “I am the enjoyer, and this world is meant to be enjoyed by me,” this conception of life is dictated to him by Sankarshana. Thus the mundane conditioned soul thinks himself the Supreme Lord.
SB 5.25.2: Sukadeva Gosvami continued: This great universe, situated on one of Lord Anantadeva’s thousands of hoods, appears just like a white mustard seed. It is infinitesimal compared to the hood of Lord Ananta.
SB 5.25.3: At the time of devastation, when Lord Anantadeva desires to destroy the entire creation, He becomes slightly angry. Then from between His two eyebrows appears three-eyed Rudra, carrying a trident. This Rudra, who is known as Sankarshana, is the embodiment of the eleven Rudras, or incarnations of Lord Siva. He appears in order to devastate the entire creation.
SB 5.25.4: The pink, transparent toenails on the Lord’s lotus feet are exactly like valuable gems polished to a mirror finish. When the unalloyed devotees and the leaders of the snakes offer their obeisances to Lord Sankarshana with great devotion, they become very joyful upon seeing their own beautiful faces reflected in His toenails. Their cheeks are decorated with glittering earrings, and the beauty of their faces is extremely pleasing to see.
SB 5.25.5: Lord Ananta‘s arms are attractively long, beautifully decorated with bangles and completely spiritual. They are white, and so they appear like silver columns. When the beautiful princesses of the serpent kings, hoping for the Lord’s auspicious blessing, smear His arms with aguru pulp, sandalwood pulp and kunkuma, the touch of His limbs awakens lusty desires within them. Understanding their minds, the Lord looks at the princesses with a merciful smile, and they become bashful, realizing that He knows their desires. Then they smile beautifully and look upon the Lord’s lotus face, which is beautified by reddish eyes rolling slightly from intoxication and delighted by love for His devotees.
SB 5.25.6: Lord Sankarshana is the ocean of unlimited spiritual qualities, and thus He is known as Anantadeva. He is nondifferent from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. For the welfare of all living entities within this material world, He resides in His abode, restraining His anger and intolerance.
SB 5.25.7: Sukadeva Gosvami continued: The demigods, the demons, the Uragas [serpentine demigods], the Siddhas, the Gandharvas, the Vidyadharas and many highly elevated sages constantly offer prayers to the Lord. Because He is intoxicated, the Lord looks bewildered, and His eyes, appearing like flowers in full bloom, move to and fro. He pleases His personal associates, the heads of the demigods, by the sweet vibrations emanating from His mouth. Dressed in bluish garments and wearing a single earring, He holds a plow on His back with His two beautiful and well-constructed hands. Appearing as white as the heavenly King Indra, He wears a golden belt around His waist and a vaijayanti garland of ever-fresh tulasi blossoms around His neck. Bees intoxicated by the honeylike fragrance of the tulasi flowers hum very sweetly around the garland, which thus becomes more and more beautiful. In this way, the Lord enjoys His very magnanimous pastimes.
SB 5.25.8: If persons who are very serious about being liberated from material life hear the glories of Anantadeva from the mouth of a spiritual master in the chain of disciplic succession, and if they always meditate upon Sankarshana, the Lord enters the cores of their hearts, vanquishes all the dirty contamination of the material modes of nature, and cuts to pieces the hard knot within the heart, which has been tied tightly since time immemorial by the desire to dominate material nature through fruitive activities. Narada Muni, the son of Lord Brahma, always glorifies Anantadeva in his father’s assembly. There he sings blissful verses of his own composition, accompanied by his stringed instrument [or a celestial singer] known as Tumburu.
SB 5.25.9: By His glance, the Supreme Personality of Godhead enables the modes of material nature to act as the causes of universal creation, maintenance and destruction. The Supreme Soul is unlimited and beginningless, and although He is one, He has manifested Himself in many forms. How can human society understand the ways of the Supreme?
SB 5.25.10: This manifestation of subtle and gross matter exists within the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Out of causeless mercy toward His devotees, He exhibits various forms, which are all transcendental. The Supreme Lord is most liberal, and He possesses all mystic power. To conquer the minds of His devotees and give pleasure to their hearts, He appears in different incarnations and manifests many pastimes.
SB 5.25.11: Even if he be distressed or degraded, any person who chants the holy name of the Lord, having heard it from a bona fide spiritual master, is immediately purified. Even if he chants the Lord’s name jokingly or by chance, he and anyone who hears him are freed from all sins. Therefore how can anyone seeking disentanglement from the material clutches avoid chanting the name of Lord Sesha? Of whom else should one take shelter?
SB 5.25.12: Because the Lord is unlimited, no one can estimate His power. This entire universe, filled with its many great mountains, rivers, oceans, trees and living entities, is resting just like an atom on one of His many thousands of hoods. Is there anyone, even with thousands of tongues, who can describe His glories?
SB 5.25.13: There is no end to the great and glorious qualities of that powerful Lord Anantadeva. Indeed, His prowess is unlimited. Though self-sufficient, He Himself is the support of everything. He resides beneath the lower planetary systems and easily sustains the entire universe.
SB 5.25.14: My dear King, as I heard of it from my spiritual master, I have fully described to you the creation of this material world according to the fruitive activities and desires of the conditioned souls. Those conditioned souls, who are full of material desires, achieve various situations in different planetary systems, and in this way they live within this material creation.
SB 5.25.15: My dear King, I have thus described how people generally act according to their different desires and, as a result, get different types of bodies in higher or lower planets. You inquired of these things from me, and I have explained to you whatever I have heard from authorities. What shall I speak of now?