Manasa Devi



Here is a dictionary of terms related to Manasa Devi.

Anjan K. Nath, Ph.D. in his article "The Myth of Manasa - The Serpent Queen" says that, "The Manasa cult is one of the most ancient of the Vedic cults, having as its basis the fundamentals of nuclear science. The different branches of Indian philosophy are more or less its off-shoots with the Yoga sect being at the forefront in the practice and promulgation of the esoteric art of harnessing the serpent- power, Kundalini, towards realization of the philosophic vision that is necessary for attaining the divine sphere."

Behula - bride of Lakhindar, the youngest son of Chand Sadagar.

Manas - an attribute of Bindu (of a "point") and a tendency to emit dormant powers.

Manasa Mangal - a poem, or the Mangal genre, is a group of Bengali devotional poems dedicated to rural deities, two of them are very much famous in Bengal - Chandi Mangal and Manasa Mangal. Chandi is a poem dedicated to Durga. The origin of these poems results from the fact that orthodox Brahmins in the area deprived indigenous people of their right to have access to Vedic knowledge. Manasa Mangal is also a ritual.

Suhaag Raat - the night after wedding when bride and groom sleep together. Manasa warned Chand that she would kill his youngest son on this night.

Pat-chitra culture - a culture in the area, a village tradition of painting scrolls and narrating stories that these scrolls symbolize. This culture still lives in the area.

Patua - a scroll painter.

Pat - such a scroll.

Ankaiya - painter of such pats.

Manasa pat - a story of Behula painted on such a scroll.

Gazi Pir - a Muslim saint (a warrior saint) who worshiped Manasa. Many Gazi Pats that show this saint are also valuable for the Hindus.

Gazir Gan - songs to this legendary Muslim saint.

Tofail Ahmad - the author of "Patuya Sudhir Acharya", Dhaka, 1989. Tofail Ahmad writes about these scrolls.

Bandana - a hymn that precedes Gazi songs.

Goda - a fisherman who ridiculed Behula.

Naga - cobra (not really just every snake).

Snake litanies - a ritual practiced in the area.

Moncha - snake; scholars believe that the word Manasa is derived from this Dravidian word.