Apology to the Naga Realm

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Könchok Thrinley
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Apology to the Naga Realm

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

Hi, I just found this sutra and thought some may found it useful or interesting.

http://saraswatibhawan.org/apology-to-the-naga-realm/

Have a nice reading. :smile:
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Soma999
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Re: Apology to the Naga Realm

Post by Soma999 »

Hi Miroku,

Thank you for your post. I fond the text highly interesting.

Reading sutras is very powerful. I don't consider it to be a "lesser" practice, like something outdated. It's very potent, powerful, and reading them as an act of offering purify and bring in the light.
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Re: Apology to the Naga Realm

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

Glad you've enjoyed it. :-) Reading sutras is amazing way how to accumulate merit and also learn a thing or two. :D
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

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Re: Apology to the Naga Realm

Post by pael »

Why this sutra contains prostrations to nagas? Is it same as taking refuge in them?
I heard you shouldn't take refuge in wordly beings.
May all beings be free from suffering and causes of suffering
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Re: Apology to the Naga Realm

Post by Sentient Light »

pael wrote:Why this sutra contains prostrations to nagas? Is it same as taking refuge in them?
I heard you shouldn't take refuge in wordly beings.
Prostration doesn't mean taking refuge. A prostration is a display of veneration as well as one of humility. There is much merit in showing veneration to other beings, including one's parents and elders. It doesn't mean you take refuge from suffering in these other beings, merely that you are according respect where it is due.
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Re: Apology to the Naga Realm

Post by Grigoris »

pael wrote:Why this sutra contains prostrations to nagas? Is it same as taking refuge in them?
I heard you shouldn't take refuge in wordly beings.
If you kow-tow to a high official does that mean you have taken refuge in them?

If you call an elderly gentleman "sir" does that mean you are taking refuge in them?
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Re: Apology to the Naga Realm

Post by cyril »

"By offering musk [...] snakeskin [...] cuttlefish bone... " - from the page 18 of the document.
I thought you were not supposed to offer animal-derived ingredients, as this will only irritate the Nagas.
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Re: Apology to the Naga Realm

Post by Malcolm »

cyril wrote:"By offering musk [...] snakeskin [...] cuttlefish bone... " - from the page 18 of the document.
I thought you were not supposed to offer animal-derived ingredients, as this will only irritate the Nagas.
Musk in particular is toxic to Nāgās.
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that name does not exist."
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Re: Apology to the Naga Realm

Post by Lhasa »

So if you know for sure you have a naga problem, how do you resolve it?
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Re: Apology to the Naga Realm

Post by Soma999 »

Hi Malcolm,

I was wondering from which source do you know that musc is toxic to nagas ?
Do you imply the sutras contains errors ?

There are many sources. Some say nagas don't eat meat, still, Machik talk about some nagas who does (they class them in four, depending on their castes if i remember well ; 3 are vegetarian, 1 take meat).

Maybe your advise on musc comes from the fact this is derived from animal product ?
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Re: Apology to the Naga Realm

Post by crazy-man »

7. Nāgā
A class of beings classed with Garulas and Supannas and playing a prominent part in Buddhist folk lore. They are gifted with miraculous powers and great strength. Generally speaking, they are confused with snakes, chiefly the hooded Cobra, and their bodies are described as being those of snakes, though they can assume human form at will. They are broadly divided into two classes: those that live on land (thalaja) and those that live on water (jalaja). The Jalaja-nāgā live in rivers as well as in the sea, while the Thalaja-nāgā are regarded as living beneath the surface of the earth. Several Nāga dwellings are mentioned in the books: e.g.,
Mañjerika-bhavana under Sineru,
Daddara-bhavana at the foot of Mount Daddara in the Himālaya,
the Dhatarattha-nāgā under the river Yamunā,
the Nābhāsā Nāgā in Lake Nabhasa,
and also the Nāgas of Vesāli, Tacchaka, and Payāga (D.ii.258).
The Vinaya (ii.109) contains a list of four royal families of Nāgas (Ahirājakulāni): Virūpakkhā, Erāpathā, Chabyāputtā and Kanhagotamakā. Two other Nāga tribes are generally mentioned together: the Kambalas and the Assataras. It is said (SA.iii.120) that all Nāgas have their young in the Himālaya.
Stories are given - e.g., in the Bhūridatta Jātaka - of Nāgas, both male and female, mating with humans; but the offspring of such unions are watery and delicate (J.vi.160). The Nāgas are easily angered and passionate, their breath is poisonous, and their glance can be deadly (J.vi.160, 164). They are carnivorous (J.iii.361), their diet consisting chiefly of frogs (J.vi.169), and they sleep, when in the world of men, on ant hills (ibid., 170). The enmity between the Nāgas and the Garulas is proverbial (D.ii.258). At first the Garulas did not know how to seize the Nāgas, because the latter swallowed large stones so as to be of great weight, but they learnt how in the Pandara Jātaka. The Nāgas dance when music is played, but it is said (J.vi.191) that they never dance if any Garula is near (through fear) or in the presence of human dancers (through shame).
The best known of all Nāgas is Mahākāla, king of Mañjerika-bhavana. He lives for a whole kappa, and is a very pious follower of the Buddha. The Nāgas of his world had the custodianship of a part of the Buddha's relics till they were needed for the Māha Thūpa (Mhv.xxxi.27f.), and when the Bodhi tree was being brought to Ceylon they did it great honour during the voyage (Mbv. p.. 163f.). Other Nāga kings are also mentioned as ruling with great power and majesty and being converted to the Buddha's faith - e.g., Aravāla, Apalālā, Erapatta, Nandopananda, and Pannaka. (See also Ahicchatta and Ahināga.) In the Atānātiya Sutta (D.iii.198f.), speaking of dwellers of the Cātummahārajika world, the Nāgas are mentioned as occupying the Western Quarter, with Virūpokkha as their king.
The Nāgas had two chief settlements in Ceylon, in Nāgadīpa (q.v.) and at the mouth of the river Kalyānī. It was to settle a dispute between two Nāga chiefs of Nāgadīpa, Mahodara and Cūlodara, that the Buddha paid his second visit to Ceylon. During that visit he made a promise to another Nāga-king, Manjakkhika of Kalyānī, to pay him a visit, and the Buddha's third visit was in fulfilment of that undertaking (Mhv.i.48f.).
The Nāgas form one of the guards set up by Sakka in Sineru against the Asuras (J.i.204). The Nāgas were sometimes worshipped by human beings and were offered sacrifices of milk, rice, fish, meat and strong drink (J.i.497f.). The jewel of the Nāgas is famous for its beauty and its power of conferring wishes to its possessor (J.vi.179, 180).
The word Nāga is often used as an epithet of the Buddha and the Arahants, and in this connection the etymology given is āgum na karotī ti Nāgo (e.g., MNid.201). The Bodhisatta was born several times as king of the Nāgas: Atula, Campeyya, Bhūridatta, Mahādaddara, and Sankhapāla.
In the accounts given of the Nāgas, there is undoubtedly great confusion between the Nāgas as supernatural beings, as snakes, and as the name of certain non Aryan tribes, but the confusion is too difficult to unravel.
http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_names/n/nagaa.htm

Naga and musk
https://books.google.de/books?id=jubNIs ... sm&f=false
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Re: Apology to the Naga Realm

Post by Grigoris »

The white nagas, who, if properly appeased, can be helpful, should not be offered animal products (except milk, butter and honey).

The black nagas, source of problems, cannot be appeased anyway and offering to them only makes them more powerful (ie capable of causing even greater harm).

Basically when making offerings to the naga you are trying to help the white naga overcome the black naga.

There is a dharani/mantra (that I am aware of) that requires lung, etc... with a short prayer and a torma offering (plus other offerings) made on naga days, especially those that coincide with the normal auspicious days.
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"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: Apology to the Naga Realm

Post by Malcolm »

Soma999 wrote:Hi Malcolm,

I was wondering from which source do you know that musc is toxic to nagas ?
Do you imply the sutras contains errors ?

There are many sources. Some say nagas don't eat meat, still, Machik talk about some nagas who does (they class them in four, depending on their castes if i remember well ; 3 are vegetarian, 1 take meat).

Maybe your advise on musc comes from the fact this is derived from animal product ?
I am sure the sutra is not in error, I am sure however the translation is in error.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
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Re: Apology to the Naga Realm

Post by pael »

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Basically when making offerings to the naga you are trying to help the white naga overcome the black naga.
Does garudas eat both nagas?
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Re: Apology to the Naga Realm

Post by Soma999 »

Thanks Malcom for your answer.

So if you think there is an error in translation, how would you translate "kla rtsi" (ie musk in tibetan) ?

And why do you consider musk incompatible with nagas ? Do you have practical experience of this question or does it come from tradition or teachings ?

I'm curious about it

Thank you
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Re: Apology to the Naga Realm

Post by Grigoris »

pael wrote:Does garudas eat both nagas?
Given that both can cause problems....
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: Apology to the Naga Realm

Post by pemachophel »

As someone involved with this translation, yes, Malcom is 100% correct: the translation is in error here. It should not read musk. Not sure how this error crept in, but I will endeavor to fix it today. Since Khandro Kunzang is traveling just now, it may take some weeks before this fix is made at the Saraswati Bhawan website. Sorry.

As for the cuttlefish bone, the Tibetan name translates word-for-word as "sea foam." So some Tibetans may not even know this is an animal product. It is described as being collected in the seashore. IOW, found washed up, not from deliberately harvested and killed cuttlefish.(I understand this may not be the case in terms of the commercial product traded from China.) I've asked several Tibetan Lamas about this. All say this ingredient is ok in terms of offering to Nagas. This issue came up when one of my Dharma friends made a large batch of Naga sang incense which included "sea foam"/cuttlefish bone and I needed to determine if it was usable or not.

In terms of the snakeskin, I believe we're talking about snakeskin that has been naturally shed, not skin from a snake that has been purposefully killed for it's skin. Same with crocodile claws.
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Re: Apology to the Naga Realm

Post by pemachophel »

OK, I think I have the revised translation. On page 18 of the Saraswati Bhawan on-line version, where it says "Musk...", I believe it should read:

Naga plants and healing medicinals, such as
Suitable flat [leaves] and sprouts,

The problem is that one of the translators simply typed into their on-line Tib-Eng dictionary klu rtsi and got the word "musk." Since this person was not conversant with Naga puja and lore, this did not raise a red flag. Since I trusted the translator, I also did not notice this (even though I should have).

However, now I'm wondering if the next line, reading "The patterns of colors of a peacock [feather]," is correct. This does not really fit as a type of healing plant. Perhaps rma bya'i mdongs is the proper Tibetan name of a medicinal herb. Malcolm?
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Re: Apology to the Naga Realm

Post by Malcolm »

pemachophel wrote:OK, I think I have the revised translation. On page 18 of the Saraswati Bhawan on-line version, where it says "Musk...", I believe it should read:

Naga plants and healing medicinals, such as
Suitable flat [leaves] and sprouts,

The problem is that one of the translators simply typed into their on-line Tib-Eng dictionary klu rtsi and got the word "musk." Since this person was not conversant with Naga puja and lore, this did not raise a red flag. Since I trusted the translator, I also did not notice this (even though I should have).

However, now I'm wondering if the next line, reading "The patterns of colors of a peacock [feather]," is correct. This does not really fit as a type of healing plant. Perhaps rma bya'i mdongs is the proper Tibetan name of a medicinal herb. Malcolm?
mdongs here means the "eye" or bindu (thig) on a feather (sgro) of a peacock. so it means a peacock feather, simply put. mdongs - ...1) sgro thig ...rma bya'i sgro mdongs bkrag mdangs can,..., sgro thig - rma bya sogs kyi sgro'i mig ... .

This passage: ཀླུ་རྩི ་དང་སྨན་གྱིས་གསོ་བ་ནི་འདི་ལྟ་སྟེ simple means "The elixir/tonic and restorative medicine of the nāgās is as follows..."
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Re: Apology to the Naga Realm

Post by pemachophel »

Thanks Malcolm.
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