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Shri Manasa Devi









Shri Manasa Devi: Shri Manasa devi is considered as the Serpent Goddess or the Queen of Serpent Gods. She was the daughter of Kasyapa muni and Kadru, the sister of the serpent King Sesha. She is also considered as the goddess of fertility. Some people say that she is a pre-Aryan goddess. She is is worshipped mostly in the eastern parts of India.

Shri Manasa devi is associated with earth and higher knowledge of nature. She is said to have special powers that can fulfill the wishes of her devotees and protects them against snakebite. She cures infectious diseases and showers the devotee with wealth and prosperity. She is worshiped with rituals and sacrifices in the rainy season, as this is the time when snakes are most active in this season.

Manasa is the sister of Vasuki, king of Nāgas (snakes) and wife of sage Jagatkāru (Jaratkāru). She is also known as Vishahara (the destroyer of poison), Nityā (eternal) and Padmavati.
Her myths emphasize her bad temper and unhappiness, due to rejection by her father Shiva and her husband, and the hatred of her stepmother, Chandi (Shiva's wife, identified with Parvati in this context). In some scriptures, sage Kashyapa is considered to be her father, rather than Shiva. Manasa is depicted as kind to her devotees, but harsh to people who refused to worship her. Denied full godhead by her mixed parentage, Manasa’s aim was to fully establish her authority as a goddess and to acquire steadfast human devotees.


Originally a Adivasi (tribal) goddess, Manasa was accepted in the pantheon worshipped by Hindu lower caste groups. Later, she was included in higher caste Hindu pantheon, where she is now regarded as a Hindu goddess rather than a tribal one. As a Hindu goddess, she was recognized as a daughter of sage Kashyapa and Kadru, the mother of all Nāgas. By the 14th century, Manasa was identified as the goddess of fertility and marriage rites and was assimilated into the Shaiva pantheon as a relative of Shiva. Myths glorified her by describing that she saved Shiva after he drank poison, and venerated her as the "remover of poison". Her popularity grew and spread to Southern India, and her cult began to rival Shaivism itself. As a consequence, stories attributing Manasa's birth to Shiva emerged and ultimately Shaivism adopted this indigenous goddess into the Brahmanical tradition of mainstream Hinduism

Generally, Manasa is worshipped without an image. A branch of a tree, an earthen pot or an earthen snake image is worshipped as the goddess, though images of Manasa are worshipped too. She is worshipped for protection from and cure of snake bites and infectious diseases like smallpox and chicken pox.
The cult of Manasa is most widespread in Bengal, where she is ritually worshipped in temples. The goddess is widely worshipped in the rainy season, when the snakes are most active. Manasa is also a very important fertility deity, especially among the lower castes, and her blessings are invoked during marriage or for childlessness. She is usually worshipped and mentioned along with Neto, who is called Neta, Netidhopani, Netalasundori, etc. in various parts of Bengal.

In North Bengal, among the Rajbanshis, Manasa (called Bishohora, Bishohori or Padmavati) is one of the most important goddesses, and her thaan (shrine) may be found in the courtyard of almost every agrarian household. Among the lower-caste Hindus of East Bengal (present-day Bangladesh)too, she is worshipped with great pomp.

Manasa is an especially important deity in Bengal for the mercantile castes. This is because Chando of the Manasamangal was the first to initiate her worship, and Behula, the heroine of the Manasamangal was a daughter of the Saha clan (a powerful trading community).

Manasa is also worshipped extensively in Assam, and a kind of Oja-Pali (musical folk theatre) is dedicated entirely to her myth.

Manasa is ceremonially worshipped on Nag Panchami - a festival of snake worship in the Hindu month of Shravan (July–August). Bengali women observe a fast (vrata) on this day and offer milk at snake holes.