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MANASA AND NETA
Myth and Magick of East India's Serpent Goddesses
By Jan Fries


"This not a bone-dry study. The Manasa 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.

Manasā 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.   <