Who is Naga? The Myth, story, history of Naga. The role of Naga in the Hinduism – Buddhism Mythology.
Naga; The serpent-genii figures in the mythologies of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. They are serpent-like water gods, whose generally friendly disposition contrasts with the saviour versus serpent symbolism of West Asia. An example was the protection afforded the Buddha by Muchalinda, when in a seven-day storm that prodigious cobra enveloped the meditating sage with its coils and spread its hood above as an umbrella.
A naga was pictured as having a human face with the tail of a serpent, and the expanded neck of the cobra. Nagas sprang from Kadru, the daughter of Daksha, son of Brahma, and the wife of Kasyapa, the ancient sage. They inhabit subaquatic paradises, dwelling at the bottoms of rivers, lakes, and seas, in splendid, jewel-studded palaces ever alive with dancing and song. Their girls are renowned for good looks, cleverness, and charm; many nagini feature among the ancestresses of South Indian dynasties.
The protective function of nagas is apparent in temple architecture, where they stand guard at the portals of shrines. In South India nagakals, stones decorated with a single serpent or an entwined serpent-pair, are set up as votive gifts by women desiring offspring. After the carving is finished, the stone is left in a pond for about six months, before its ritual placement in a temple courtyard, near a gateway, under a tree, or beside a pond.