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Who Is Manasa Devi?

{written by : Juraj Sipos}

Article word count : 546 -- Article Id : 3402
Article active date : 2012-05-17 -- Article views : 871


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Article is about :
Manasa Devi is one of the oldest, pre-Aryan Goddess of snakes. Snakes symbolize power, fear and respect. Manasa Devi has about 1 million devotees and She is not a mainstream deity and is mostly worshipped in Bengal and in rural areas. The article highlights some specifics of this Goddess.





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Manasa Devi is Goddess from India. She is believed to be the daughter of Lord Shiva. Manasa Devi is mentioned in the Puranas and also in the Manasamangal Kavya - the poem that belongs to Mangal-Kavya, a group of Bengali (Hindu) religious texts (poems) composed sometimes after the 12th century and later. Manasamangal Kavya is the oldest of them. Some texts dedicated to celebration of Manasa Devi are also taken from the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, the origin of which is tightly associated with the region of Bengal (where the worship of Manasa Devi is the strongest in India). The relevant texts are taken from the second part of the Brahma Vaivarta Purana called Prakriti khanda, which deals with goddesses (Shaktis - the manifestations of Prakriti, the basic nature of intelligence on which the universe stands; Prakriti khanda celebrates the greatness of Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati and Savitri in the creation of the world). These texts are used also for purposes of celebrating Manasa Devi. During the Manasa puja ceremony, people bath the statues of Manasa Devi with milk and recite the hymns taken from Prakriti khanda. Poems that people dedicated to Manasa Devi are known as Manasa Mangal in Bengal.

In Chapter 38 (Book 9) of the Devi Bhagavatam Purana it is written: "You should worship Manasa Devi, the giver of all siddhis, on the Samkranti day (when the Sun enters another sign) in every year;" here I can say that also this is the reason why the worship of Manasa Devi is based on the moon calendar. The Naga deities are traditionally associated with number 5, so worshipping them requires a devotee to dedicate milk/prayer either on Friday (fifth day of the week), or on the fifth lunar day.

Chapter 48 of the Book 9 (Devi Bhagavatam Purana) says: "Now the radical mantra as stated in the Vedas is "Om Hrim Shrim Klim Aim Manasa Devyai Svaha". Repetition of this, five lakhs of times, yields success to one who repeats."

In the Book 9 of the Devi Bhagavatam Purana, Chapter 1, the following text is written (starting with verse 71): "Then comes the Manasa Devi, the daughter of Kasyapa. She is the dear disciple of Shankara (Lord Shiva) and is therefore very learned in matters of Shastras. She is the daughter of Ananta Deva, the Lord of Snakes and is very much respected by all the Nagas. She Herself is very beautiful, the Lady of the Nagas, the mother of the Nagas and is carried by them. She is decorated with ornaments of the Snakes; She is respected by the Nagendras (Lords of Snakes) and She sleeps on the bed of Snakes."

In Chapter 48 (Book 9) of the Devi Bhagavatam Purana it is written: "I meditate on the Devi Manasa, whose color is fair like that of the white champaka flower, whose body is decked all over with jewel ornaments, whose clothing is purified by fire, whose sacred thread is the Nagas (serpents), who is full of wisdom, who is the foremost of great Jnanins, who is the presiding deity of the Siddhas, who Herself is a Siddha and who bestows Siddhis to all."

The Vedas, too, contain a reference to the Nagas (snakes), for example, the Sama Veda (4.6.13, Sukta 13 - Charm against Snake Poison) says: "I have surrounded the race of the serpents."


Author Bio :
Juraj's karma with Manasa Devi

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