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The giant snake water spirits : The Nagas

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ligne serpent

chiang mai nagas statue

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.

wooden nagas statue
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!

naga on temple door
A Nâga, represented with 4 harms and a human torso

nagas in laos
Nâgas in Laos

nagas in tibetan thangka
Nagas on a Tibetan Thangka, with their treasures

nagas eye crystal shop
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!

nagas eyes crystal
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!

thai temple treasure

thai temple treasure magic stone crystal
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.

Carte de Thaïlande
In red is the Nongkhaï area

la foule attend Bang Fae Paya Nak

les moines attendent aussi!

Some video clips showing Naga fireballs  

Video clip showing some Nagas sightings  

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".

naga fireball
Most rare photo of a Naga fireball

fire of the nagas

old nagas fire picture

old nagas fire picture

old nagas fire picture
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.

nagas fossil
Very rare fossil of the Nagas from Laos

magic sacred nagas crystal

nagas eye crystal uncut
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.

magic geodes of the nagas
nagas crystal inside stones
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"

queen of nagas photo
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).

head of nagas queen
Enlargement of the head (note that the green eye is obviously a result of tampering).

fin of the 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

sea snake giant
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.

nagas trails
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.

nagas trails in a temple
Here, Naga trails photographed in 2004 in a temple located in the north of Udhon-Thani.

swimming nagas

swimming nagas
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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