355 – Why is the snake such a powerful symbol?

In Hinduism what does the snake signify? The snake represents ahamkara (ego). What happens when we prod a snake, it spreads its hood and attempts to attack us. Similarly, our ego is also affronted when someone is rude to us or says something unpleasant to us.

Ego is nonexistent in the gods. Shiva uses the snake as a garland and he monitors our ego. The cobra is considered toxic but when he is with Shiva, he is a gentle creature. Shiva wraps the snake around his throat like a scarf and the snake represents Shiva’s gentle side. Shiva states that live and let live. Snakes also represent the endless cycles of birth and death. If one wants to be free of this cycle, one has to forget one’s ego. Devotees of Shiva also have to be constantly aware of the trappings of their ego.

Why does Ganesha have a snake as a girdle around his belly?

Ganesha’s belly represents the whole cosmos, the seven realms above and below, the seven oceans are inside Ganesha’s cosmic belly. These are held together by the cosmic energy (kundalini) symbolized by the huge snake that runs around his belly, which represents cosmic prana.

Why does Vishnu recline on the Shesha naga?

The Shesha naga is the king of the snakes. He is a hundred headed snake. He is said to hold all the planets of the universe on his hoods and to constantly sing the glories of Vishnu from all his mouths.

Aim Hrim Klim


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