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The Nagas

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ligne serpent

Statue de Naga dans un Temple de Chiang Mai

In the Thai Buddhist tradition, Nagas are water spirits, guardians of treasures vast and mysterious. They are most often depicted in the form of huge serpents have sometimes five or seven heads. The Thais believe that even today one can find Nagas in the depths of the Mekhong.

Statue de Naga au Temple de la vérité
Nagas can effortlessly assume a human form to appear to men or women with out frightening them. Such story appear in ancient legends but also very recently in the real world!

A Nâga, represented with 4 harms and a human torso

Une vitrine d'yeux des Nagas à Bangkok
In some rare mineral boutiques one can find the precious "naga eyes". Here, in this Bangkok
vendor's display case, a veritable fortune can be seen!

collection yeux des Nagas
A handful of Naga Eyes: "power stones" - in the Thai tradition, Naga Eyes (or "Naga Diamonds") are considered to have many paranormal powers, among which the protection of their carrier from any peril of water, and to increase tenfold one's acquisition of extraordinary powers, and greatly to facilitate the development of the strengths one already has!

trésor du Temple de Nongkhaï

yeux des Nagas du Temple de Nongkhaï
These Naga Eyes are a part of the treasure trove of
Wat Pochaï at Nongkhaï.

As usual, when the issue is "power stones", there are several explanations for the existence of those stones. I am going to try in the following text to explicate the two principal explanations and to bring forward as far as possible documentation to help you comprehend these explanations. The following photos are rare and were difficult to put together.

First Explanation: the Naga Eye's being is linked to the festival called Bang Faï Paya Nag, which takes place every year in Thailand's Nongkhaï region.


Thai music clip for the Bang Faï Paya Nag festival

Carte de Thaïlande
In red is the Nongkhaï area

la foule attend Bang Fae Paya Nak

les moines attendent aussi!

The long Mekhong walkway right before the Bang Fae Paya Nag festival

This festival takes place round about the 15th to 25th of October every year, and a great crowd gathers to partake in a mysterious phenomenon. From the Mekhong silently and very rapidly orange light spheres soar. They are the size of goose eggs, and shoot high into the sky; traditionally they are called "Naga Fires".

boule de feu des Nagas
Most rare photo of a Naga fireball.

image sépia de bang fae paya nak

mage ancienne de Bang Fae Paya Nag 1

Image ancienne de Bang Fae Paya Nag 2

Image ancienne de Bang Fae Paya Nak
Older photographs of the same phenomenon

This phenomenon is observable every year for several hundred miles from the Mekhong, and also in some rivers, lakes and even ponds in this region. I have been able to chat with witnesses of this phenomenon, who say one can see it occur in secluded places, very secluded, which totally refutes the theory that the phenomenon is man-made.

When all is said and done on this subject, from the tale of Laotian soldiers shooting flares from the opposite bank (who, pray, has ever seen such a flarerising up in silence?) to the pseudoscientific theory of gas pockets being drawn forth via lunar pull (gas pockets which burst forth only once a year at a fixed date in tune with the moon and, at bottom, made of sand? GIMME A BREAK!)

Tradition assures us that the fireballs are gifts from the Nagas to humans, in thanks for keeping the Mekhong unpolluted here. I was able to speak to a granddaughter of a gentleman 94 years old who has always lived in this region, has taken part every year since his childhood in the Naga Fire phenomenon, and he stoutly asserts that NEVER in all those years has he seen or heard of anything that would lead one to think that the phenomenon is the result of fraud. Having myself participated in the Bang Fae Paya Nag festival of 2006, I can aver that I saw no indication
of phoniness.

There is a film called "15 Kham Duan 11", which puts forth the notion that the phenomenon is a fraud created by the followers of a venerable Laotian. Disabuse yourselves.
This is not a documentary; this is a put on.

Oeil de Naga brut

Pierres yeux des Nagas de ma collection
Raw samples of Naga eye cristal

Some people say that the crystals from which the Naga Eyes are carved are found along the Mekhong in the days following the appearance of the Naga Fireballs: we are dealing with, therefore, a crystal out of the ordinary, direct from the Nagas' treasury!
I haveseveral specimens of this mineral in my personal collection, and can say without doubt that they resemble no ordinary crystal.

Nâgas géodes showed at the Temple of Vénérable LP Thong Gleung

Naga eyes are sometimes discovered by certain Buddhist masters residing unsmelted in a rare species of geode - "magic" - found in caves in northern Thailand and Laos. These geodes, can be found only by designated ones who have achieved a high spiritual level, and that only after a long ceremony which entails the lighting of a sacred fire to "fire" the geodes in sacred flames, thus rendering them into a liquid form from which naga eyes may be created.

In spite of many on-site inquiries in Thailand, I have not been able to find much more information regarding this second explanation. Having seen and held many of this stones, I can simply say that I have NEVER seen one containing the slightest trace of a bubble, which would indicate that the stone was once in a liquid state.
On the other hand, could it be that the mode of smelting is so strict that the formation of bubbles is precluded?

I lean toward the conclusion that both explanations have their value, that one sometimes encounters strange crystals along the Mekhong from which local artisans craft naga eyes, but in other cases accomplished monks produce them in another way. Obviously, there exist phoney glass Naga Eyes - distance yourself as from the plague from these unscrupulous vendors who will offer you glass pebbles as though they were true Naga Eyes. I especially think of some eBay sellers.

Whatever the explanation of their coming into being, Naga Eyes are highly sacred crystals, whose origin is shrouded in mystery and legend. It is enough to hold one in one's hand just once: the aura of power and serenity is truly sublime. It is difficult to find them - to my knowledge only three very discrete Bangkok boutiques offer them for sale.

I've decided to offer here on my site a selection of these sacred stones - you won't find them on many website. True Naga Eyes are heavy for their size, very solid, and equally very difficult to photograph (the light play about them can be bizarre).

Another mystery related to the nagas: the "Naga Queen picture"

la reine des nagas
The renowned photo of a "Naga Queen", about 25 ½ feet long, captured in the Laos Mekhon on June 27, 1973 (for the amateurs I offer a paper version of this photo for 15 Euro, dimensions 8.66 inches by 19 ¼ inches).

tête de la Reine des Nagas
Enlargement of the head (note that the green eye is obviously a result of tampering).

dos de la reine des Nagas
Enlargement of part of the back, please note the red fin.

Personally, while I have my reasons for believing in the existence of nagas, I think this is a false photo, since the fish shown resembles an oarfish whose head has been tampered with, and the GI's in the photo clearly are having a good time, as though they were pulling off a prank to make fun of local credulity. A close inspection of the "original" of this photo on paper is very revealing.

A recent photo of an oarfish.

tête de Oarfish
The head of an oarfish: note the similarity of bone structure with that of the "Naga Queen".

roi des harengs
An oarfish whose total length is a bit over 13 feet! Specimens as long as 26 feet have been found and a few bystanders speak of a specimen 56 feet long!
This lengthy fish lives in deep oceanic fissures but no way does it live in the Mekhong!

This oarfish was caught in Malaysia

On this 19th drawing we see when look to be a gigantic Oarfish!
Pink Oarfish?

Another mystery, much less well known than the above - "Naga trails", which are sometimes found along the Mekhong.

traces de nagas
This Naga trail, in Mekhong mud, was photographed by a fisherman in the vicinity of Nongkhaï in 2002. Naga trails are found rather frequently in that area.

traces de nagas dans un Temple
Here, Naga trails photographed in 2004 in a temple located in the north of Udhon-Thani.

naga qui nage?

naga qui nage?
I took these two photos myself at the Mekhong in 2006 at the Bang Fae Paya Nag festival. Obviously it is an oversized animal swimming on the surface against the current!
A Nâga perhaps?
Whatever, it is neither a fish nor a duck!

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