The Infamous Flying Snakes of the Bhagavat Purana Still Exist!


Does the reader remember the serpent Takshaka, who put Maharaj Pariksit to death by his bite?

Now, please consider the following from Page 160 of the book Unexplained! by Jerome Clark, where there is a sub-chapter on the snake-bird, more correctly referred to in that book as the sky serpent. (Snakebirds are a species of bird.) Selections from that chapter follow:

Flying snakes and other terrors

"In a dispatch out of Columbia, South Carolina, on May 30, 1888, The New York Times reported that, three weeks earlier, at dusk, Ida Davis and her two younger sisters, while on a stroll through the woods of Darlington County, were suddenly startled by the appearance of a huge serpent moving through the air above them. The serpent was only two or three rods distant when they first beheld it, and it was sailing through the air with the speed equal to a hawk or buzzard, but without any visible means of propulsion. Its movements in flight resembled those of a snake. The flying serpent was also seen by a number of people in other parts of the country earlier in the same day, and by those it is represented as emitting a hissing noise which could be distinctly heard.

Area papers asserted that the sky serpent was seen that day over the town of Grassland, ten miles to the southeast. According to the account, the creature circled the Methodist Church steeple, adorned by a metal dove, which it mistook for a real dove. When it did so, ‘with a fierce swash of its tail, it knocked the weathercock from its fastenings and sent it to the ground below in a hundred pieces. Some of the fragments picked up are stained with blood.' The church pastor, the Reverend Richard Medway, and his wife (who fainted at the sight), supposedly witnessed the incident."

From Page 161: "Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer was a researcher in zoological history. In the late 1930s, she "once investigated reports of similar creatures in southern Namibia (then South-West Africa). In one instance, native shepherds had walked off their job after complaining that their employer, the white owner of a large ranch, did not take seriously their insistence that a large flying snake lived in the mountains nearby. With no one else to watch the livestock, the farmer dispatched his sixteen year old son to the site. When he failed to return that evening, a search party set out to the mountains to look for him. He was found unconscious.

Even after regaining consciousness, for three days the young man could not speak – owing, his attending physician said, to shock. Finally, the son related he had been relaxing beneath a tree when a sudden roaring noise, like a powerful wind current, startled him. As he looked up, he saw a huge "snake" flying down from a ridge. The closer it got, the louder was the roaring sound. All around, the sheep were scattering. The creature landed in a cloud of dust. The boy noticed a strong odor reminiscent of burned brass. At this point he passed out. Courtenay–Latimer, who arrived on the scene soon afterwards, interviewed witnesses, including other farmers and local police officers, and examined marks left on the ground reportedly left by the creature. She was told that a police party had seen the creature disappear into a crevice in the mountain. Sticks of dynamite were heaved into the opening, from which a low, moaning sound subsequently emanated, followed by silence. The creature was seen no more."

On page 162 we find the pertinent information that Roy P. Mackal, a crypto zoologist, "traveled to Namibia in the summer of 1988 with a small group of associates. From an isolated, private desert area owned by Namibians of German descent, he said, come continuing reports of ‘flying snakes'. Witnesses with whom Mackal spoke said the animals indeed had wings – of a thirty foot span, no less – but no feathers. The creatures apparently live in caves and crevices in the many kopjes (small veld [a grassland especially of southern Africa] hills) that dot the landscape. … A 1995 television documentary, In Search of the Flying Snake of Namibia, the testimony of witnesses was featured that estimated the creature's length to be nine to fifteen feet long."

Fifteen foot long cryptic creatures with a 30 foot wingspan are not included in the western purview of natural phenomena, but the reader can keep in mind that the sky serpent mentioned above, as is typical of serpents, lived in a cave. This is suggestive that the sky serpent is more active in underground worlds and that it may only come topside temporarily due to immediate exigencies, such as a shortage of animals to prey upon.

The fact that the Bhagavat mentions unfathomable entities such as sky serpents might be seen to diminish its authenticity in the West, but we see that once again, the version of the Bhagavat is vindicated. When the British were first exposed to the Puranic descriptions of smart arrows that followed their targets, flying vehicles (vimanas) and weapons activated by mantras, they dismissed the Puranic descriptions as so much nonsense. But now we see that radar-guided and heat seeking missiles, every kind of aircraft and voice-activated weapons do exist in our times, such that the Puranic version deserves to be revisited, to say the least. And modern testimony of sky serpents with wings, no less, also contributes much to re-vindicating the Bhagavat's authenticity and the authenticity of all of the Puranas.

Pertinent shlokas from the Bhagavat Purana may be found below.

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Bhagavat 1.18.2

"Furthermore, Mahārāja Parīkṣit was always consciously surrendered to the Personality of Godhead, and therefore he was neither afraid nor overwhelmed by fear due to a snake-bird which was to bite him because of the fury of a brāhmaṇa boy."

Bhagavat 1.19.4

While the King was thus repenting, he received news of his imminent death, which would be due to the bite of a snake-bird, occasioned by the curse spoken by the sage's son. The King accepted this as good news, for it would be the cause of his indifference toward worldly things.

[The Sanskrit verses above specifically use the name Takshaka]

At the end of the Bhagavat Purana, in the twelfth canto, just how the king's passing came about is narrated:

SB 12.6.4: I have heard from you this Srimad-Bhagavatam, which is the perfect summary of all the Puranas and which perfectly describes the Supreme Lord, Uttamahsloka.

SB 12.6.5: My lord, I now have no fear of Takshaka or any other living being, or even of repeated deaths, because I have absorbed myself in that purely spiritual Absolute Truth, which you have revealed and which destroys all fear.

SB 12.6.6: O brahmana, please give me permission to resign my speech and the functions of all my senses unto Lord Adhokshaja. Allow me to absorb my mind, purified of lusty desires, within Him and to thus give up my life.

SB 12.6.7: You have revealed to me that which is most auspicious, the supreme personal feature of the Lord. I am now fixed in knowledge and self-realization, and my ignorance has been eradicated.

SB 12.6.8: Suta Gosvami said: Thus requested, the saintly son of Srila Vyasadeva gave his permission to King Parikshit. Then, after being worshiped by the King and all the sages present, Sukadeva departed from that place.

SB 12.6.9-10: Maharaja Parikshit then sat down on the bank of the Ganges, upon a seat made of darbha grass with the tips of its stalks facing east, and turned himself toward the north. Having attained the perfection of yoga, he experienced full self-realization and was free of material attachment and doubt. The saintly King settled his mind within his spiritual self by pure intelligence and proceeded to meditate upon the Supreme Absolute Truth. His life air ceased to move, and he became as stationary as a tree.

SB 12.6.11: O learned brahmanas, the snake-bird Takshaka, who had been sent by the angry son of a brahmana, was going toward the King to kill him when he saw Kasyapa Muni on the path.

SB 12.6.12: Takshaka flattered Kasyapa by presenting him with valuable offerings and thereby stopped the sage, who was expert in counteracting poison, from protecting Maharaja Parikshit. Then the snakebird, who could assume any form he wished, disguised himself as a brahmana, approached the King and bit him.

SB 12.6.13: While living beings all over the universe looked on, the body of the great self-realized saint among kings was immediately burned to ashes by the fire of the snake's poison.

SB 12.6.14: There arose a terrible cry of lamentation in all directions on the earth and in the heavens, and all the demigods, demons, human beings and other creatures were astonished.

SB 12.6.15: Kettledrums sounded in the regions of the demigods, and the celestial Gandharvas and Apsaras sang. The demigods showered flowers and spoke words of praise.

SB 12.6.16: Hearing that his father had been fatally bitten by the snakebird, Maharaja Janamejaya became extremely angry and had brahmanas perform a mighty sacrifice in which he offered all the snakes in the world into the sacrificial fire.

SB 12.6.17: When Takshaka saw even the most powerful serpents being burned in the blazing fire of that snake sacrifice, he was overwhelmed with fear and approached Lord Indra for shelter.

SB 12.6.18: When King Janamejaya did not see Takshaka entering his sacrificial fire, he said to the brahmanas: Why is not Takshaka, the lowest of all serpents, burning in this fire?

SB 12.6.19: The brahmanas replied: O best of kings, the snake Takshaka has not fallen into the fire because he is being protected by Indra, whom he has approached for shelter. Indra is holding him back from the fire.

SB 12.6.20: The intelligent King Janamejaya, hearing these words, replied to the priests: Then, my dear brahmanas, why not make Takshaka fall into the fire, along with his protector, Indra?

SB 12.6.21: Hearing this, the priests then chanted this mantra for offering Takshaka together with Indra as an oblation into the sacrificial fire: O Takshaka, fall immediately into this fire, together with Indra and his entire host of demigods!

SB 12.6.22: When Lord Indra, along with his airplane and Takshaka, was suddenly thrown from his position by these insulting words of the brahmanas, he became very disturbed.

Pages of Interest:

Hollow Earth in the Puranas   Krishna Comments   Aryan Invasion Revised   

Halls of Shambala   Vedic Culture Remains in Hollow Earth   

Sons of Sagara in the Hollow Earth    Olaf Comments on Sanskrit  

Hollow Venus   Pyramids   Seven Days North of Tibet   

The Contradictory Architecture of Egypt

You Could Learn a Lot from a Daitya!   

Ossendowski on Tibet   Abduction of Duryodhana

Krishna´s Jump, and the Geode Model  

Rakshasha Influence   Prince Ritudwaj

Maricha and Other Shapeshifters


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