MANASĀ AND NETA

Myth and Magick of East India's Serpent Goddesses

By Jan Fries

 

"This not a bone-dry study. The Manasā Epic is alive, like you and me and the goddesses who made it happen”

 

The wild, bizarre and epic story of the serpent goddess Manasā and her sister Neta has inspired poets in India for more than 500 years. The Manasā Epic is a collection of stories which were retold, extended, modified, changed and embellished by more than fifty poets over the years. It draws on elements from folktales, vrata rituals, verses from ballads, and episodes from sacred literature such as the Mahābhārata, the Brahmā Vaivarta Purāṇa and many others. Author Jan Fries traces the history and origins of this fascinating cult, as well as providing comparative associations with Eurasian snake cults.

 

“The Manasā Epic was an all-time favourite. More than any other maṅgalkāvya, her tale became popular over a range of more than a thousand kilometres. It was a unifying cultural influence, bridging the gaps between religions, classes and ethnic groups. The process hasn’t stopped. To this day, new versions are created…”

This comprehensive study additionally considers the Nāga cults, kuṇḍalinī, snake charming, venoms and elixirs. This is a book about the serpent goddesses, but it is also about Śiva, Durgā, Gaṅgā, Viṣṇu, Brahmā and many of the other Indian gods and goddesses.

 

  • and Neta is more than an academic study. Readers are invited to participate in an unprecedented journey of invocation, myth and magick. Included are a collection of Vedic rituals, pūjā ceremonies, mantra practice, kuṇḍalinī, breathing and awareness exercises combined with experiential insight and understanding. Jan Fries continues the tradition of retelling the epic and complements it with his exceptional visionary insights, just like the poets before him.

 

2019, 482 pages. Hardback laminate, paperback & Kindle editions available.

ISBN 978-1-910191-14-9

B&W 8.5 x 11 in or 280 x 216 mm Perfect Bound on White w/Gloss Lam

 

ISBN 978-1-910191-15-6

B&W 8.5 x 11 in or 280 x 216 mm Case Laminate on White w/Gloss Lam

 

£38.00 (paperback) and £55.00 (hardback)

Manasā and Neta by Jan Fries

£38.00Price
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  • Acknowledgements

    A swift introduction

    Primal blessing

    Classical invocation

    In the evening

    A fairy tale: Manasā’s Brata story

    PART ONE: ŚIVA

    Creation, traditional

    Creation, bengal style

    Gangā

    Courtship

    Married life

    PART TWO: MANASĀ

    Lotusborn

    Outside

    Tigerfight

    Milkocean

    Husbands

    Over there

    Duel

    Cowherds

    Hāssan and Hussein

    PART THREE: CĀNDO

    Power

    Fishermen

    Sonakā’s conversion

    Conflict

    Dhanvantari

    Journey to Anupāma Pātana

    Journey to Daksin pātana

    Return

    Coming home

    PART FOUR: BEHULĀ

    Heaven

    Beans

    Plans

    Marriage

    Iron-house

    Water’s edge

    Downstream

    Dark waters

    Back

    Thanksgiving

    PART FIVE: FUN WITH SNAKES

    Snake charming

    The Nāga cults

    Kundalinī: the tantric fire snake

    PART SIX: VENOMS AND ELIXIRS

    Drugs and spices

    Cāndo’s paradise

    Auspicious songs

    Manasā mangals

    Brata rituals

    PART SEVEN: THE CULT OF MANASĀ

    Practical worship

    Live performance

    Seasons of the snake

    West Bengal

    East Bengal

    Tripura and Bihar

    Assam

    PART EIGHT: MEDITATION AND RITUAL

    Dhyāna instructions

    A tantric goddess

    First pūjā instruction

    Mantras

    Second pūjā instruction

    Third pūjā instruction

    Fast pūjā instruction

    Divine names

    Ouroboros

    Appendix: the sources

    Bibliography

    Index

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