Naga (snake) Pratishta (establishment) is commonly done in India to get rid of ‘Naga Dosha’ – an Indian term that refers to issues concerned with fertility, child birth or other ill omen relating to the child’s future. The only ironic thing is that this is predicted by Astrologers!
In this particular Naga Pratishta there are four snakes. The one on the left is a 7 headed snake (adi-shesha or sheshnag). The middle 5-headed snake has an idol of Subramanya (considered the god of snakes) below its hood. On the right there are two snakes intertwined with a Shiva Linga in the middle. Snakes intertwine only while mating, its anyones guess why mating snakes are depicted here!
During a visit to a relative’s place in Coorg, last November, I came across these snake statues established at their farm’s backyard. They had established the Snake statues in the belief of ensuring a good future to their family’s second child.
Lord Subramanya is considered as the the god of snakes
One might wonder how an age old custom like Naga Pratishta has survived this long. I believe that if a custom has to survive the test of time it has to be proven and the people should have seen results by following it.
Shesha Naga sheltering Lord Subramanya
Here is an excerpt from an article which gives a logical explanation to this custom.
In most of the cases women of soft constitution are liable to be barren. Indian women do not have the benefit of outdoor exercises except when they go round on annual tours of pilgrimage. So some sort of exercise is of absolute necessity for them to shake off their barrenness. Generally women belonging to the working classes have many children born to them whereas those belonging to the richer classes are barren and if at all they bring forth issues, they are few and not enough strong as compared to the children of the working classes. The wise preceptors of the rich people in bygone days wanted to give the rich ladies some sort of exercise coupled with a mental attitude favourable for child-bearing. Religious belief was pressed into service.
To read more, follow this link.
You might also like my article on Kotilingeshwara. Kotilingeshwara is home to the worlds largest Shiva linga and has more than 33 lakhs Shiva lingas established within its premises.