Indian Mythology (by ApamNapat)

Adisesha - The Thousand Headed Serpent


Adisesha is the thousand headed serpent on which Lord Vishnu reposes in Vaikunta. Adisesha floats upon the sea-of-milk in Vaikunta. He is the first born of the serpents [Maha:1.35]. His mother is Kadru, a daughter of Daksha. His father is the sage Kashyapa. According to the [Maha:1.36], he was asked by Lord Brahma to bear the weight of the world on his head.

He was saddened by the wicked ways of his brothers and left them. He repaired to the mountain Gandhamadana and practiced ascetic devotions, living upon air and rigidly observed his vows. He passed his days in those sacred regions, with his passions under complete control. When Lord Brahma saw the devotion of this serpent, he appeared in person and offered to grant him a boon.

Sesha said, "My brothers are wicked of heart. I do not wish to live among them. Let this not draw the censure of the world. I wish to cast of this body of mine and attain salvation. I am very much grieved by the treatment meted out to my aunt Vinata and her son by my mother and brothers."

Brahma said, "Thou shalt attain salvation in due course. Ask me another boon."

Sesha replied, "O divine, O Grandsire, Let my heart always delight in virtue and in ascetic penances."

The Lord said, "So be it. I shall also confer another honor upon you. You shall bear the earth upon your head and support her great weight steady."

Last Modified At: Wed Oct 20 01:17:39 2004