- Adishesha, the divine thousand-headed ser-pent, is the couch for Lord VISHNU as he sleeps between eras on the vast ocean of milk. When the MILK OCEAN was churned by the demons and gods to produce the nectar of immortality, Adishesha 7 JAdishesha was the churning rope, according to some versions of the story. It is also said that, when time begins again in a new era, the world sits on the head of Adishesha; whenever he stirs, earthquakes result. At the end of each cosmic era he vomits out the fire of destruction, which incinerates the universe.In the story of PRAHLADA and HIRANYAKASHIPU, Prahlada prays to Adishesha when forced by his father to eat poison and is saved. Other stories associate Adishesha with cosmic poison in differ-ent ways.Many different personages in Indian tradition have been said to be incarnations of Adishesha, most notably BALARAMA, the brother of Lord KRISHNA. Adishesa is usually described as the son of a rishi, a seer. However, as is common in Indian mythology many contradictory stories exist, and some say that he was born of SHIVA. He has even been identified with the eternal, all-encompassing BRAHMAN itself.Further reading: Cornelia Dimmitt and J. A. B. van Buitenen, Classical Hindu Mythology: A Reader in the Sanskrit Puranas (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1978); E. Washburn Hopkins, Epic Mythology (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1986).
Encyclopedia of Hinduism. A. Jones and James D. Ryan. 2007.
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Nag Panchami — Nāga Panchamī A Statue of Naga being worshiped on Nag Panchami Also called Naaga Pujaa Observed by Hindus Type … Wikipedia
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Ananta — See Adishesha … Encyclopedia of Hinduism
Badami — Badami is an archaeological site in the Bijapur District of the Indian state of Karnataka, capital of the famed Chalukya empire from around the sixth to the 11th century. Four sixth century temples carved into solid rock there show a com… … Encyclopedia of Hinduism
Balarama — Balarama is the elder brother of KRISHNA. He is depicted as having a light color in contrast to Krishna’s dark skin; one legend says that Balarama was created from a light hair of VISHNU, and Krishna from a black hair. Sometimes Balarama is… … Encyclopedia of Hinduism
nagas — The term naga appears in different contexts in Indian tradition. Its basic meaning is “serpent” or “snake,” usually the cobra. NAGAPANCHAMI, for instance, is a snake festival celebrated on panchami, the fifth day of the lunar month of Shravana … Encyclopedia of Hinduism
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Shesha — See Adishesha … Encyclopedia of Hinduism
Tirupati — Tirupati (also known as Tirumala) is a site in southern Andhra Pradesh where a TEMPLE to VISHNU in the form of Venkateshvara stands on top of a sacred hill. It is one of the major PILGRIMAGE sites in India and may be India’s richest temple.… … Encyclopedia of Hinduism
Vishnu — Vishnu in his various forms is one of the most worshipped gods in the Indian pantheon. His tradition, known as VAISHNAVISM, constitutes the second largest sect within Hinduism. Vishnu first appears in the VEDAS as a rather insignificant… … Encyclopedia of Hinduism