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Naag Mani

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Naag Mani
See also   Motee;

The Naag Mani is considered as one of the nine sacred pearls (Motee) and most of the books on gems give the procedure how it is formed, ie when rain drops in Swaati Nakshtra into mouth of the king cobra, the Mani develops. Books also mention that it only happens in the cobra that passes one hundred years of life on earth. Once the peal is formed the snake achieves magical powers and can transform into any form it
desires, the size and luster of Mani increases with age of snake. It is moon like pearl with blue tint and it emits light in darkness to play with it and to search for its prey in its light. Owning such Mani is considered good luck, makes person wealthy and fulfill all desires. It also mentioned that when gem is separated from the Cobra, the cobra dies.

Scientific Facts:
The life of cobra or king cobra recorded in captivity is around 20-30 years and they live less in wilderness because of very high death rates due to infant mortality, diseases, predators, bad weather, accidents, or competition for food.

Now coming to cobra pearl as per the article published in Harper's monthly magazine by Prof Hensoldt PhD, who saw the cobra pearl with his own eyes in Sri Lankaa in natural conditions and also owned a few pieces before he left Ceylon, ultimately it was found to be mineral called Chlorophane, a rare variety of fluorspar.

Some varieties of Chlorophane are so sensitive that even slight warming of hand (such as is produced by holding the sample in hand for few moments) will cause them to phosphoresce for hours in the dark. Similar Chlorophane pebbles were also found by eminent Berlin mineralogist Gustave Rose in Altai Mountains of Siberia. These Chlorophane pebbles shone with intense brilliancy all night long without having received any other warmth by the Sun's rays during the day.

From where do these Chlorophane pebbles come from, why snakes carry it and how they make use of it? These water worn Chlorophane pebbles are normally found in dry bed rivers and especially in area where gem mines are around, ie places like Sri Lankaa, Burmaa and Uraal (Siberia). In Sri Lankaa the Chlorophane is also called serpent stone. A Chlorophane from Siberia glows white from hand heat, green in boiling water and emerald green on burning coal. And Chlorophane from Amelia Court House, Virginia, long recognized as remarkably thermo luminescent, became, after exposure to UV rays, so sensitive it would glow green from the heat of one's hand. The activator causing the green fluorescence, is yttrium. The color of fluorescence may vary depending on traces of impurities in Chlorophane.

The cobras are perhaps the only serpents which eat insects. They feed on ants, grasshoppers, variety of beetles, etc, but seem to have preference for fire-lies, because they can be caught at night much more easily than any other insect. Darting here and there to catch these fire-flies is tiring for a cobra. Now every entomologist knows that the flying lightning bugs consist entirely of males. The females, which are not very numerous, are much larger and cannot fly, as they have only rudimentary wings. They sit quietly in grass, emitting a greenish light which is much stronger than that of the males, and fades and becomes brilliant at regular intervals, this light attracts male lightning bugs and they almost land in close proximity.

The pebble of Chlorophane also emits in the dark a dark green light, which is so much like that of female lightning bug that is an easy matter to deceive the male fire-fly with it, by setting it up as a decoy. The cobras have gradually come to take advantage of an experience made by them accidentally.

It may frequently happen, for instance that cobra finds one these shining pebble in the gravel of the dry river beds, being attracted to it by its glow at night, and taking it for a glow worm (larvae) . It would then, at any rate notice that the fire-lies could be caught much more easily and quickly in the neighborhood of that shining object than anywhere else and would habitually return to it. Several cobras might come together and there would be competition, and from this moment to the finding out that success in capturing fire-lies depends on the possession of this phosphorescent pebble, and to the seizing of it in order to prevent another snake from monopolizing it.

It is no great step and involved no exception powers of reasoning. The cobra carries it about and soon learns to treasure it, for it affords it an easy means of getting its living. All it has to do is deposit this stone in the grass at night and the obliging insects literally fly down its throat. There are even reasons for believing that no individual experience is now necessary to cause any cobra to act in this manner, but that even a young cobra, on finding such a stone, will instinctively take it up, and use it in the manner described above. It must be borne in mind that there is an inherited race memory among the lower animals which is often far stronger than the memory gathered during the short lifetime of the individual.

Thus the accumulated experience of the cobra's ancestors during countless generations now causes it to act in a manner which we refer to instinct. Such are the remarkable facts connected with the naja-kallu, the cobra's shining stone. Who can tell whether the old traditions of snakes carrying precious stones, of which we still find traces in our fairy tales, may not have their source in some such fact as this?

(1) Cobra Pearl is a mineral called Chlorophane, it is not formed inside the body of snake.
(2) King Cobra does not eat insects, it eats only other snakes, small mammals and lizards, so King Cobra would not need this Chlorophane pebble to hunt insects. So a King Cobra would not carry such pebble.
(3) Since Chlorophane is the mineral, question of petrified cobra pearl does not arise.
(4) Typically old snakes use Chlorophane pebble to attract fire-flies or other insect and on loss of such pebble they may not die of grief but because of hunger, due to their inability to hunt.

The real Naag Mani gives light like a 100 watts bulb at night when kept in the grass or mud but in open environment that too any number of times and at different places. While the fake Nag Mani gives light only once and then if you change the place there will be no light of it. It is all chemical or electronic remote reactions which takes place.

The fake Naag Mani may be identified by such instance - The sellers will take you to 15 feet away and tell you to be silent. They show you the magic. Initially the light comes like a cigarette bud burning and then slowly slowly the light increases and goes to max. They operate with remote in such a way that they themselves make sound and reduces the intensity of the light so befool you. Because if there is a sound then the Mani does not emit light. Now here they finish the show and come with you to that spot and intentionally draw your attention to the fake one which you have placed and they place their feet on the other arrangement which has actually shown the light. Now if you tell them to do the same at some other place they will never do that, because they need to have a complete arrangement to show this light coming out to fool any person. In this way they befool the innocent devotees.

Pearls from the Cobra's hood are perfectly round, like fish pearls, and they radiate a natural effulgence. By repeated washing, a snake pearl becomes as lustrous as a polished sword blade. Anyone possessing such a Naag Mani attains piety, rare good fortune, and eventually becomes illustrious as a leader of men, complete with a great collection of all precious gems. Naag Mani (gem) is in the gemology chapters of Garud Puraan.

Upon acquiring such a snake pearl, the owner should perform the rite of installation, performed by a priest who is learned in religious formalities. After hearing from the owner how the pearl was obtained and conducting the benedictory ritual, the priest should formally install the jewel inside the owner's house. On such an auspicious occasion, the sky becomes filled with dark and heavy rain clouds, thunder, and flashing lightning, such as exhibited at the time of universal dissolution. A man in possession of such a snake pearl will never be troubled by snakes, demonic beings, diseases, or disturbances in any form.

Other Ratn (gems) such as Ruby, Natural Pearl, etc can be proved by science of Gemology. Lakshmee Shankh, etc can also be proved by science of Conchology, but Naag Mani cannot be identified like that. There is no science, no ID, no proof. So its gifting or selling both are impossible because no-one knows the truth. Naag Mani can withstand up to 200 degrees Centigrade of direct naked fire. The reflected heat given off by Naag Mani is estimated to be double, up to 400 Centigrade, almost impossible to hold in hand. So real Naag Mani cannot be held in hand.

The following identification tests can be administered which can actually eliminate the real ones from fake.
(1) Fire torch test of 600 degree Centigrade of burning the Naag Mani, 18 minutes burning is sufficient.
(2) Equivalent test is burning the Naag Mani for 18 minutes with cigarette lighter for 30 minutes
One of the above is used as first level acceptance test.

References to Naag Mani in Various Sacred Texts
The body of information on these pearls, Naag Mani, is fairly large in Indian knowledge base and the legends exist in most Asian cultures, with apparent origin in the cobra-revering Naag tribe (who literally trace their bloodline to a Cobra patriarch) found in India, Tibbat and some Innuit tribes residing above the Arctic Circle. Some of the earliest legends describe Naag women who turn from human to snake at will, aided by a jewel embedded in their forehead.

The Hindu cosmology has no single concept of Hell commensurate to other religions, largely due to a participatory paradigm wherein one creates his own hell-like existence in this life as a direct result of his own misdeeds. One can change their ways, make amends, or remain in his own hell. Ignorance, the worst sin, is considered as a degree of spiritual darkness, and awakening from ignorance reveals remedies to misdeeds and resulting misery. The following excerpts from the sacred texts bring a broader understanding of the combined presence of deity within both the higher and lower realms:

The Agni Puraan: "Under the earth is the underworld. This too, consists of seven regions and their names are Atal, Vital, Sutal, Talaatal, Mahaatal, Rasaatal and Paataal. The Daitya and the Daanav live in the underworld. Vishnu is also there in the underworld, in his form of the great Naag Shesh Naag. Shesh Naag holds up the earth on its hood."

The Vaayu Puraan : "Snakes and demons live in the underworld. Atal Lok is ruled by the demon Namuchi; Sutal Lok by the demon Mahajambha; Vital Lok by the demon Prahlaad; Gabhastal Lok by the demon Kaalnemi: Mahaatal by the demon Virochan; Shreetal Lok by the demon Kesaree; and Paataal Lok by the demon Bali. The great snake Vaasuki lives in Shreetal and the great snake Shesh lives in Paataal. (Note - Vaasuki is a king of the snakes or Naag. He was the son of Daksh's daughter Kadru and the sage Kashyap. Usually, Vaasuki and Shesh Naag are regarded as synonymous (the name "Anant" also being used for them). The eyes of Shesh Naag are like red lotuses. His complexion is white and he wears blue, His thousand hoods glow with radiance."

The Vishnu Puraan: "There are seven underworlds on earth.... Here live the Daanav, Daitya, Yaksh and Naag. Naarad once went on a trip to Paataal and discovered that Paataal was more beautiful than Swarg (Heaven). It was a place full of jewels. During the day, the Sun only provided light, but no heat. And, during the night, the moonbeams provided light, but no cold. Paataal was full of rivers, forests and lakes. The inhabitants of Paataal wore beautiful clothes, rubbed scented paste on their bodies and loved music. At the bottom of the Paataal Lok was Vishnu in the form of a thousand-headed snake. This snake was known as Shesh Jee."

The Bhaagvat Puraan: "Since there is no sunshine in those subterranean planets, time is not divided into days and nights, and consequently fear produced by time does not exist. "Many great serpents reside there with gems on their hoods, and the effulgence of these gems dissipates the darkness in all directions."

"Beneath Rasaatal is another planetary system, known as Paataal or Naag Lok, where there are many demoniac serpents, the masters of Naag Lok, such as Shankh, Kulik, Mahaashankh, Shwet, Dhananjaya, Dhritaraashtra, Shankhchood, Kambal, Ashwatar and Devdatt. The chief Naag among them is Vaasuki. They are all extremely angry, and they have many, many hoods - some snakes five hoods, some seven, some ten, others a hundred and others a thousand. These hoods are bedecked with valuable gems, and the light emanating from the gems illuminates the entire planetary system of bila-Swarg."

The Brahm Puraan: "The underworld is a wonderful place, more beautiful than Heaven itself. The sage Naarad once went on a trip to the underworld and was bowled over by its beauty. It is full of palaces and jewels. The Sun rises there, but does not radiate too much of heat. The Moon also rises, but its beams are not at all chilly. The forest are populated by beautiful trees and the ponds are thick with lotus flowers, the songs of cuckoo birds are heard everywhere. Below the underworld sleeps a great snake, known as Shesh or Anant. It has a thousand hoods, all covered with jewels. In fact, this snake is really Vishnu in one of his various forms.

Not all references in the Vaidik texts of radiant gold eggs regard the Underworld. The creation story itself relates the archetype of a bright gold egg-shaped object, appeared from the water, as the first container of divinity; one from which all things manifest would emerge.

The Matsya Puraan: " The Creation. In the beginning, there was nothing in the Universe. There was only darkness. When the time came for Creation to begin, Vishnu removed the darkness and expanded into three. These three parts came to be known as Brahmaa, Vishnu and Shiv. The first object that appeared was water and Vishnu slept on this water. Since Nar means water and Ayan means resting-place, Vishnu is accordingly also known as Naaraayan.

"In this water next appeared a golden egg. The egg shone with the radiance of a thousand suns. Inside the egg, Brahmaa grew from the navel of Vishnu. The egg was golden. Garbh means womb, and since Vishnu appeared inside a golden egg, he is also known as Hiranyagarbh.

"For a thousand years Brahmaa stayed inside the egg. He then split the shell into two and emerged out. Heaven (Swarg) was made from one half of the shell and the Earth from the remaining half. All the land masses, the oceans, the rivers and the mountains, had been inside the egg in embryonic form."

Neither do gems held by snakes have anything less than divine attributes...

The Mahaabhaarat: "Uloopee then thought of the gem that has the virtue of reviving a dead man. The gem, the great refuge of the snakes, thus thought of, came there. The daughter of the prince of snakes taking it up... then placed that gem on the breast of Prithaa's son of immeasurable energy. After the gem had been placed on his breast; the heroic and puissant Jishnu became revived. Opening his red eyes he rose up like one who had slept long. Beholding his sire, the high-souled hero of great energy, restored to consciousness and quite at his ease..." .......There are many references to gems from the Naag...

Garud Puraan: "A pearl found in the hood of a cobra is round in shape like the one obtained from the mouth of a fish and emits a dazzling effulgence from its own natural seat. After copious washing such a pearl assumes the luster of a well-polished sword. The possessor of a cobra or serpent pearl meets with rare good fortune, and becomes a pious and illustrious king in time, with a treasury full of other species of precious gems.

Dark clouds, hung down and heavily charged with rain, and roaring with the voice of the eternal trumpets blown upon at the time of universal dissolution and spangled with flashes of lightning, closely envelop the sky, at the time, when the Braamhan, well versed in the religious and ceremonial proceedings, after inquiring about the acquisition of such a pearl, and having done the necessary rite of protection unto it, formally takes it into the interior of the house of its possessor. Neither the serpents, nor the Raakshas, nor diseases, nor disturbances of any kind would assail the man amidst whose treasure such a snake pearl would lie. " (ch. 69)

They are by default governed by Vaasuki of Naag Lok, but once installed to an individual are bound to their owner. A conscious commitment to restrain all anger is considered an important consideration for one's readiness to own a Cobra Pearl.

Naga Mani are not considered 'traveling pearls', and may not be neglected by extended absences. In such cases, pearls must remain with the owner 24 hours a day. It is taught that they must not be handled by women during menses (still a topic of debate ), and they cannot be carried on or in leather. It should be noted that shoes must be removed when handling any of the Mani, but especially so in dealing with the Cobra Pearls.

Cobra Pearls are traditionally predisposed to Tulasee incense and fragrant flowers daily, however the flowers must not be smelled by anyone before given to the Cobra Pearls. Cobra Pearls should be placed on a visible pedestal of some sort and permitted to enjoy the open air at their residence. Cobra Pearls may be dressed with Lotus Oil or other fragrant non-corrosive essential oils and should not be exposed to hard metal or rough cloth. Cobra Pearls should also be transported in a soft container with flowers inside, but if carried on one's person's body, only in his right pocket, never the left.

Once a Cobra Pearl is installed, it stays installed. An owner may only relinquish a Cobra Pearl to a temple, and a noted consideration is that few temples will receive a Naag Mani due to the responsibilities involved. Any such potential dark side is easily avoided, however, by the owner performing weekly Poojaa, a two-minute ritual to bathe the pearl.

Some Other Information About Naag Mani
There are various types of Naag Mani which may be called stones of a snake or snake stones aka snake gems.

Colors of Naag Mani:
Scriptures mention that Naag Mani are available in various colors and the most spotted ones are yellow, honey, green light green, red and even white.

Light Emission:
As regards emission of light, there are some snake stones or gems which emit light at will and some stones that wont emit any light. the legendary Naag Mani shown in an artistic viewpoint as a big ruby type red gem atop the hood of king cobra is not seen or available anywhere. Most snake charmers and those who deal in these items say that the growth of light emission is proportionate to the age of the snake and the stone from an younger snake do not possess that much light as that of an old snake gem, so Naag Mani which are genuine from snakes but are not old enough or grown enough do not emit enough light yet they are rarest to get.

Lately a Naag Mani has been seen which was in honey color, was solid and was a sort of transparent and was emitting some light though not up to several feet or meters away. After a few tests, it was found that it emitted light at will especially when it was kept atop a leaf or a flower in dark in nature and not inside house.


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 06/09/11