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Old 09-16-03, 04:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Mar-2003
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Age: 42
Posts: 488
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Reptiles in religion and culture

Religion and culture can be a funny thing when it comes to reptiles especially. Some people will use religion to justify hatred for reptiles (especially snakes because they feel that the snake is evil as the devil took the form of a serpent). Culturally snakes and reptiles have been given a bad rap and this is apparent when you think of phrases like "Cold hearted snake", "Snake in the grass", "cold blooded b**tard". But the more you look into a religion of a culture you will find positive references to snakes and reptiles. Moses had a staff that turned into a snake... was he the first person to keep a snake as a pet then??? lol In Hinduism you have snakes that represent evil but you also have snakes such as "Shesh Nag" which is the associated with the god Vishnu. Shesh Nag is a multi-headed cobra that Vishnu reclines on.

Also in hinduism you have the god Shiva who represents fertility and he is always shown with cobras. As many of you know snakes are considered symbols of fertility in many ancient cultures.

In Sikhism, the founder of the religion Guru Nanak was sleeping in the field one day and a giant cobra spread its hood to shade him from the sun.

In Pakistan there is a place called "Mugger Pir" (Crocodile Saint) in Karachi. This is a hot spring which houses many mugger (marsh) crocodiles and is right next to the shrine of a Muslim Sufi Saint. There are many myths and stories about this place and how the crocodiles got to be their and their relationship with the saint. Every year they have a festival where devotees of the saint come to feed the crocodiles. Actually most of the people in charge of this festival are pakistanis of african origin. There is a small african population in Pakistan which has been there many centuries. You can read about it on this link:

If anyone has any other references to reptiles in different cultures and religions in todays world I would love to hear about it.
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