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Naga Tales and Locomotion

From: (haramullah)
Subject: Naga Tales and Locomotion (was RE-Introduction)

50000229 IVom Erismas!

assalam alaykum, my kin.

> Welcome back. . .draw up a chair and rest your feet. Surely living within 
> such polarities, as described in your re-intro above, must be very tiring. . 
> .perhaps a cup of lithium might be helpful. . .
> :-)

thank you for the warm welcome. my polar explorations are less biophysical
than metaphysical, kin. lithium has served some of those with whom I have
visited, however: best taken on a doctor's recommendation. ;>
> Still, I guess its appropriate that the Nagasiva (snake of siva?) turns up 
> right when we are discussing Adam. 

indeed. some identify nagas with snakes. to some, nagas are more of a
being between snakes and dragons, perhaps dwellers in a realm just
beyond the physical (that of myth). Adam, being a character in just 
such a mythical story, would also seem to be related.

> Perhaps you might be able to answer the following question as posed 
> by another freind just before your entrance:
> *Jinavamsa writes:
> well, one take on Genesis 3:8-13... so: if the snake crawled
> around on its belly from that point forward, how was it moving
> about *before* that restriction on its movement in 3:14????*
> :-)

the Last, Al-Akhir, shall be first:

	"O Adam, inherit, thou and thy wife,
	the Garden, and eat of where you will,
	but come not nigh this tree, lest you be
		of the evildoers."
	Then Satan whispered to them, to reveal
	to them that which was hidden from them
	of their shameful parts. He said, "Your Lord
	has only prohibited you from this tree
	lest you become angels, or lest you
		become immortals."
	And he swore to them, "Truly, I am for you
		a sincere adviser."
	So he led them on by delusion; and when
	they tasted the tree, their shameful parts
	revealed to them, so they took to stitching
	upon themselves the leaves of the Garden.
	And their Lord called to them, "Did not I
	prohibit you from this tree, and say
	to you, 'Verily Satan is for you
		a manifest foe'?"
	They said, "Lord, we must have wronged ourselves,
	and if Thou dost not forgive us, and
	have mercy upon us, we shall be
		among the lost."
	Said He, "Get you down, each of you
	an enemy to each. In the earth a sojourn
	shall be yours, and enjoyment
		for a time."
	Said He, "Therein you shall live, and
	therein you shall die, and from there
		shall be brought forth." (7:1-24 [Qur'an, excerpt])


	And recite to them the tidings of him to whom
	We gave Our signs, but he cast them off,
	and Satan followed after him, and he became
		one of the perverts.
	And had We willed, We would have raised them up
	thereby; but he inclined toward the earth
	and followed his lust. So the likeness of him
	is as the likeness of a dog; if thou attackest it
	it lolls its tongue out, or if thou leavest it
	it lolls its tongue out. That is that people's
	likeness who cried lies to Our signs....
	 (7:172-180 [Qur'an, excerpt])
	"Islam", ed. by John Alden Williams, 
	 published by George Braziller,
	 1961; "Qur'an" excerpts, p. 22-4.

the tales contained in "Genesis" are of Canaanite origin,
translated into a Jewish framework. originally the serpent
was seen as a liberator, rather than a deceiver. "Qur'an" 
illustrates the development of the Adversary from Iblis to 
Shaitan in name as an indication of his perversion. many 
Judeochristian texts indicate that Iblis/Shaitan, although
not specifically identified as the serpent of Genesis until
later centuries (New Testament books like "The Revelation
of St. John", etc.), was a wayward or corrupt angel. even 
some Muslim sources seem to proclaim Iblis the Greatest 
Lover of Allah (being one who would not bow down to Adam, 
and for this reason was cast down into the underworld to 
dwell at the furthest reach from the Most Compassionate)
rather than the Instigator of All Evils.

from the above, it seems reasonable that if the serpent
and Shaitan are presumed to be the same entity, and,
further, if this entity was angelic, that it could have
used a great many different modes of transportation,
inclusive of flight, levitation, or erect sliding motion
without physical propulsion.

it should be said, however, that the way the story reads
it comes sounding off more like a Kipling animal-origination 
story comparable to "How the Leopard Got its Spots" or, in 
this case, "Why the Snake Crawls on its Belly".

lest we enter into arrogance over such myths, we'd be wise
to remember the following traditional sufi tale:

	Encounter with the Devil
	A certain devout man, convinced that he was a sincere Seeker
	after Truth, embarked upon a long course of discipline and study.
	  He had many experiences, under various teachers both in his
	inner and outer life, over a considerable period of time.
	  One day he was meditating when he suddenly saw the Devil
	sitting beside him.
	  "Away, demon!" he cried, "for you have no power to harm me; I
	am treading the Path of the Elect."
	  The apparition disappeared.
	  A truly wise man passing by told him, sadly:
	  "Alas, my friend, you have grafted effort upon such an unsure
	basis as your unaltered fear, greed, and self-esteem that you have
	arrived at your ultimate possible experience."
	  "How so?" asked the Seeker.
	  "That 'devil' is, in reality, an angel. 'Devil' is only how *you*
	saw him."
	"Caravan of Dreams: Writings and Sayings from the Near East",
	 ed. by Idries Shah, Penguin Books, 1968; p. 178.

peace be with you,


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