Wisdom Library Logo

Nāga, aka: Naga; 14 Definition(s)

Nāga means something in Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Sanskrit, Pali Check out some of the following descriptions and leave a comment if you want to add your own contribution to this article:

13 Definition(s) from various sources:

Nāga (नाग) appears once in the Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa (xi. 2, 7, 12) in the form mahānāga, where ‘great snake’ or ‘great elephant’ may be meant. In the Bṛhadāraṇyaka-upaniṣad (i. 3. 24), and in a citation found in the Aitareya-brāhmaṇa the sense of ‘elephant’ is clearly intended. In the Sūtras the mythic Nāga already occurs.

Rating: -

Nāga (नाग) is another name (synonym) for Kampillaka, which is the Sanskrit word for Mallotus philippensis (kamala tree), a plant from the Cleomaceae family. This synonym was identified by Narahari in his 13th-century Rājanighaṇṭu (verse 13.99), which is an Āyurvedic medicinal thesaurus.

Rating: -

The lowest metal on the alchemical hierarchy is lead, most commonly called nāga, “serpent” or sīsa/sīsaka, an allomorph of the name of the cosmic serpent Śeṣa; or, more rarely, ahirāja, “serpent king.” The Rasakāmadhenu (2.1.4) and Rasendra-bhāskara (4.108) state that lead arose from the semen of Vāsuki, the king of a mythic race of serpents known for the great wealth it possessed in its subterranean treasure hoards.

This bird-serpent opposition is made most explicit in the ca. sixteenth century Rasakāmadhenu, which identifies gold, at the summit of the hierarchy of metals, with semen shed by Agni, and lead, at the base of the system, with the seed of Vāsuki. Let us also recall here the Rāmāyana myth, related at the beginning of this chapter, in which lead and tin (often used interchangeably) are said to arise from the residue (mala) or after-birth of the generation of gold.

Added: 16.Dec.2015 | Google Books: The Alchemical Body
Rating: -

Nāga (lead):—That which looks black on cutting, heavy in weight, snigdha (smooth) on touch, melts quickly, looks ujjvala (bright) and black from out side is considered śuddha-nāga (pure lead) and that is useful, not otherwise.

Nāga-bhasma can destroy all the premaha-rogas, vātaja-rogas, specially dhanurvāta-rogas etc., and also twenty types of śleṣmaja-(kaphaja)-rogas undoubtedly.

Rating: -

Nāga (लोह, “Lead”) is the name for a variation of ‘metal’ (dhātu/loha) from the sub-group named Pūtiloha, according to the Rasaprakāśasudhākara (a Sanskrit work on Indian medicinal alchemy (rasaśāstra)). Lead has no varieties.

Added: 19.Oct.2015 | Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra
Rating: -

Naga — serpent spirits classified as one of the eight classes of gods and demons, or as animals or demi-gods. They live beneath the surface of the earth or in the water and are believed to be endowed with magical powers and wealth, as well as being responsible for certain types of illnesses (Wyl. klu’i nad) transmitted to humans. In Indian mythology they are preyed on by the garudas.

Virupaksha, the guardian king of the West, is the leader of the nagas.

The word Naga comes from the Sanskrit, and nag is still the word for snake, especially the cobra, in most of the languages of India. When we come upon the word in Buddhist writings, it is not always clear whether the term refers to a cobra, an elephant or even a Mysterious person of nobility. It is a term used for unseen beings associated with water and fluid energy, and also with persons having powerful animal-like qualities or conversely, an impressive animal with human qualities.

In myths, legends, scripture and folklore, the category naga comprises all kinds of serpentine beings. Under this rubric are snakes, usually of the python kind (despite the fact that naga is usually taken literally to refer to a cobra,) deities of the primal ocean and of mountain springs; also spirits of earth and the realm beneath it, and finally, Dragons. In Indian mythology, Nagas are primarily serpent-beings living under the sea.

However, Varuna, the Vedic God of storms, is viewed as the King of the Nagas, ie. Nagarajah. Here we see the king and queen of water Nagas worshipping Parshva, the Jain Tirthankara of the era before this one. All Nagas are considered the offspring of the Rishi or sage, Kasyapa, the son of Marichi. Kashyapa is said to have had by his twelve wives, other diverse progeny including reptiles, birds, and all sorts of living beings. They are denizens of the netherworld city called Bhogavati. It is believed that ant-hills mark its entrance. The naga Varuna connection is retained in Tibetan Buddhism, where Varuna, Lord of weather, is known as Apalala Nagarajah.

etymology: Naga (Skt. nāga; Tib. ཀླུ་, lu; Wyl. klu).

Added: 17.Aug.2014 | bimbima: Hinduism
Rating: -

Nāga, (Ved. nāga; etym. of 1. perhaps fr. *snagh=Ags. snaca (snake) & snaegl (snail); of 2 uncertain, perhaps a Non-Aryan word distorted by popular analogy to nāga1) 1. a serpent or Nāga demon, playing a prominent part in Buddh. fairy-tales, gifted with miraculous powers & great strength. They often act as fairies & are classed with other divinities (see devatā), with whom they are sometimes friendly, sometimes at enmity (as with the Garuḷas) D. I, 54; S. III, 240 sq.; V, 47, 63; Bu. I. 30 (dīghāyukā mahiddhikā); Miln. 23. Often with supaṇṇā (Garuḷas); J. I, 64; DhA. II, 4; PvA. 272. Descriptions e.g. at DhA. III, 231, 242 sq.; see also cpds.—2. an elephant, esp. a strong, stately animal (thus in combn hatthi-nāga characterising “a Nāga elephant”) & freq. as symbol of strength & endurance (“heroic”). Thus Ep. of the Buddha & of Arahants. Popular etymologies of n. are based on the excellency of this animal (āguṃ na karoti=he is faultless, etc.): see Nd1 201=Nd2 337; Th. 1, 693; PvA. 57.—(a) the animal D. I, 49; S. I, 16; II, 217, 222; III, 85; V, 351; A. II, 116; III, 156 sq.; Sn. 543; Vv 55 (=hatthināga VvA. 37); Pv. I, 113. mahā° A. IV, 107, 110.—(b) fig. = hero or saint: S. II, 277; III, 83; M. I, 151, 386; Dh. 320; Sn. 29, 53, 166, 421, 518. Of the Buddha: Sn. 522, 845, 1058, 1101; Miln. 346 (Buddha°).—3. The Nāga-tree (now called “iron-wood tree, ” the P. meaning “fairy tree”), noted for its hard wood & great masses of red flowers (=Sk. nāgakesara, mesua ferrea Lin.): see cpds. °rukkha, °puppha, °latā.

—âpalokita “elephant-look” (turning the whole body), a mark of the Buddhas M. I, 337; cp. BSk. nāgâvalokita Divy 208; —danta an ivory peg or pin, also used as a hook on a wall Vin. II, 117 (°ka Vin. II, 114, 152); J. VI, 382; —nāṭaka snakes as actors DhA. IV, 130; —nāsūru (f.) (woman) having thighs like an elephant’s trunk J. V, 297; —puppha iron-wood flower Miln. 283; —bala the strength of an elephant J. I, 265; II, 158; —bhavana the world of snakes Nd1 448; J. III, 275; DhA. IV, 14; —māṇavaka a young serpent J. III, 276; f. °ikā ib. 275; DhA. III, 232; —rājā king of the Nāgas, i.e. serpents J. II, 111; III, 275; Sn. 379 (Erāvaṇa, see detail SnA 368); DhA. I, 359; III, 231, 242 sq. (Ahicchatta); IV, 129 sq. (Paṇṇaka); —rukkha the iron-wood tree J. I, 35 (cp. M Vastu II. 249); —latā=rukkha J. I, 80 (the Buddha’s toothpick made of its wood), 232; DhA. II, 211 (°dantakaṭṭha toothpick); —vatta habits of serpents Nd1 92, also adj. °ika ibid. 89; —vana elephant-grove Dh. 324; DhA. IV, 15; —vanika cl. hunter M. I, 175; III, 132; —hata one who strikes the el. (viz. the Buddha) Vin. II, 195. (Page 349)

— or —

Naga, (Sk. naga tree & mountain, referred by Fausböll & Uhlenbeck to na+gacchati, i.e. immovable (=sthāvara), more probably however with Lidén (see Walde under nāvis) to Ohg. nahho, Ags. naca “boat=tree”; semantically mountain=trees, i.e. forest) mountain S. I, 195= Nd2 136A (nagassa passe āsīna, of the Buddha); Sn. 180 (=devapabbata royal mountain SnA 216; or should it mean “forest”?); Th. 1, 41 (°vivara), 525; Pv. II, 961 (°muddhani on top of the Mount, i.e. Mt. Sineru PvA. 138; the Buddha was thought to reside there); Miln. 327 (id.); Vv 166 (°antare in between the (5) mountains, see VvA. 82). (Page 345)

Rating: -

naga : (m.) mountain. || nāga (m.), a cobra, an elephant; the iron-wood tree; a noble person.

Rating: -

Nāga (नाग): Nāga is the Sanskrit and Pāli word for a minor deity taking the form of a very large snake, found in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. The use of the term nāga is often ambiguous, as the word may also refer, in similar contexts, to one of several human tribes known as or nicknamed "Nāgas"; to elephants; and to ordinary snakes, particularly the King Cobra and the Indian Cobra, the latter of which is still called nāg (नाग) in Hindi and other languages of India.

Rating: -

The race of snakes, the Nagas is said to be the offspring of the great sage Kashyapa and Kadru, a daughter of Daksha prajapathi. They reside in Nagaloka. Their half-brother Garuda, the mount of Lord Vishnu is their natural enemy. Various snakes are mentioned as their king, including Vasuki, Takshaka and Adisesha.

Added: 16.Jun.2012 | Apam Napat: Indian Mythology
Rating: -

Great serpents (or dragons, or water creatures). The king of the Nagas protected Buddha from a storm.

Added: 19.Dec.2010 | Wisdom Library: Indian Philosophy
Rating: -

1. Naga

An eminent Thera of Ceylon, a teacher of the Vinaya. Vin.v.3.

2. Naga

Third of the ten sons of Mutasiva, and therefore a brother of Devanampiyatissa. Dpv.xi.6; xvii.75.

3. Naga

A thera of Ceylon during the pillage by Brahmans Tissa. His sister was an arahant theri named Naga (q.v.). For their story see MA.i.546f.; AA.ii.654f.

4. Naga

An Elder of Karaliyagiri in Ceylon. For eighteen years he gave up teaching the Dhamma, but later he taught the Dhatukatha, and his memory of the contents was perfect. Vsm.96.

5. Naga

See Coranaga, Mahanaga, etc.

-- or --

1. Naga

Chief woman disciple of Sujata Buddha. J.i.38; Bu.xiii.26.

2. Naga

One of the chief women supporters of Phussa Buddha. Bu.xix.21.

3. Naga

A former birth of Asokamala, when she was the wife of Tissa (later Saliya), an artisan of Mundaganga. MT.605.

4. Naga Theri

An arahant of Bhataragama. During the pillage of Brahmana Tissa, when all the villagers had fled, she went with her colleagues to a banyan tree, the presiding deity of which provided them with food. She had a brother, Naga; when he visited her she gave him part of her food, but he refused to accept food from a bhikkhuni. MA.i.546; AA.ii.654.

5. Naga

A class of beings. See Appendix.

6. Naga

An eminent Theri of Ceylon. Dpv.xviii.35.

7. Naga

A woman who lived near the Rajayatana cetiya. Once, seeing sixty monks return from the village with empty bowls, she, although already pledged to work by day, borrowed some money on promise to work at night as well, and gave them food. The monks retired to Mucalindavana and developed arahantship before eating. The deity of the kings parasol shouted applause, and the king, having heard the story, gave Naga the whole island, which thus came to be called Nagadipa. Ras.ii.16f.

8. Naga

A class of beings classed with Garulas and Supannas and playing a prominent part in Buddhist folk lore. They are gifted with miraculous powers and great strength. Generally speaking, they are confused with snakes, chiefly the hooded Cobra, and their bodies are described as being those of snakes, though they can assume human form at will. They are broadly divided into two classes: those that live on land (thalaja) and those that live on water (jalaja). The Jalaja naga live in rivers as well as in the sea, while the Thalaja naga are regarded as living beneath the surface of the earth. Several Naga dwellings are mentioned in the books: e.g., Manjerika bhavana under Sineru, Daddara bhavana at the foot of Mount Daddara in the Himalaya, the Dhatarattha naga under the river Yamuna, the Nabhasa Naga in Lake Nabhasa, and also the Nagas of Vesali, Tacchaka, and Payaga (D.ii.258). The Vinaya (ii.109) contains a list of four royal families of Nagas (Ahirajakulani): Virupakkha, Erapatha,

Added: 12.Apr.2009 | Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
Rating: -
A term commonly used to refer to strong, stately, and heroic animals, such as elephants and magical serpents. In Buddhism, it is also used to refer to those who have attained the goal of the practice.
Rating: -

Look for other relevant definitions:

Search found 312 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Śeṣanāga
Śeṣanāga (शेषनाग).—An expansion of Lord Balarāma or Saṅkarṣaṇa who takes the form of a...
Nāgābhra
Nāgābhra variety when heated strongly on fire produces hissing sound like that of snake and ...
Nāga Panchami
Nāga Panchami (नाग पंचमी): The festival of Nāga panchami is celebrated in Hindus to pay respect...
Nāgabandha
Nāgabandha (नागबन्ध).—One of the saṃyutta-hastāni (Twenty-four combined Hands).—...
Nāgāsana
Nāgāsana (नागासन, “nāga posture”) is a Sanskrit word referring to a type of post...
Nāgabhasma
Nāgabhasma (नाग) is a Sanskrit technical term corresponding to the “ash of lead”...
Nāgamantra
Nāgamantra (नागमन्त्र).—Before any dramatic performance (nāṭya) takes place, gods and ...
Nāgatīrtha
Nāgatīrtha (नागतीर्थ).—Sacred to the Pitṛs.** Matsya-purāṇa 22. 33.
Nāgaraṅga
Nāgaraṅga (नागरङ्ग) is a Sanskrit word referring to the “orange tree”, or the fr...
Culapindapatika Naga
A monk of Nalakhandapadhana. See Ambamacca.
Mahallaka Naga
Father in law and commander in chief of Gajabahuka Gamani. After Gajabahus death he became...
Naga Vihara
See Nagamaha vihara.
Śaṅkha
Śaṅkha (शङ्ख, “conchshell”) is a Sanskrit word referring to a musical instrument...
Ananta
Anantā (अनन्ता):—Another name for Sārivā (Hemidesmus indicus), a species of medicinal ...
Shesha
The (cosmic) serpent Śeṣa (शेष, “Remains,” “Residue”) who upholds th...

Search through literary sources:

Search found 309 books containing Nāga or Naga. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the 20 most relevant articles:

- Was this explanation helpufll? Leave a comment:

Make this page a better place for research and define the term yourself in your own words.

You have to be a member in order to post comments. Click here to login or click here to become a member.