Apology to the Naga Realm
Dear friends around the world,
Nagas are powerful beings belonging to the animal realm but they have subtle bodies that humans cannot ordinarily perceive. They are considered one of the Eight Classes of Spirits known as ‘Lu’ in Tibetan. Nagas are ruled by Eight Naga Kings and are usually depicted as serpentine beings, or as beings with the upper body of a human and the lower body of a serpent. They can also appear as large snakes, frogs and as fish. As they are sentient beings within samsara, who have their own karma, perception and tendencies, Nagas are not enlightened beings. Hence as Buddhists we do not take refuge in them.
These beings abide in areas where there is water, such as in streams, springs, ponds, rivers, lakes and the oceans. To a lesser extent they also abide in woodland areas, such as forests and jungles. As these places are their homes, Nagas become extremely displeased when someone pollutes their environment (especially waterways), clears the natural flora and fauna, does any form of destructive earthworks or constructs buildings on their land. They are also displeased when people living on their land or near them are disharmonious and quarrelsome.
Being extremely clean beings, they also abhor negative actions including the killing of animals, and the smell of meat disgusts them. They also cannot stand the smell of alcohol or other intoxicants, and are offended when people break their samaya with their gurus.
If we have offended Nagas in any way, they can afflict us if we have a karmic connection with them from previous lives. Such signs that the Nagas are offended includes:
- dreams of snakes attacking us
- skin diseases, especially leprosy
- kidney problems
- disharmony within our lives
- in extreme cases, can lead to possession and even death.
As powerful beings that can control the weather, they can also cause severe drought, or floods if they are displeased.
There are many ways we can appease these beings, including giving them offerings and reciting certain prayers. For example, you can sponsor a Naga Puja to appease them. When they are happy, Nagas can actually grant conducive weather conditions, for example by calling for or holding off the rain. Nagas who are pleased can also result in improvements in one’s wealth, fame and health. Peace and harmony can increase, and various obstacles and sicknesses in life can be removed. Being sensitive beings however, it is generally not recommended that we propitiate Nagas unless we are under the guidance of a qualified lama.
Making offerings and reciting prayers to the Nagas is more than just appeasing them. It is also to pacify any injury we have caused them due our carelessness, since we have caused them harm by altering their environment. Another method is to recite the sutra below. This can be recited on Naga days or whenever possible. It is good to do this repeatedly when engaging in construction work or any work that disturbs the land, or could cause unintentional pollution to the land and waterways. This sutra can be recited by anyone with good samaya with their lama, and who holds their vows and commitments well. Also, one should observe a strict vegetarian diet one day prior to the recitation and on the actual day of the recitation as well, in order to cleanse yourself since Nagas are adverse even to the smell of meat and alcohol.
Accompanying this recitation, you can burn Naga incense. This incense is made with natural herbs, the scent of which is said to appease Nagas and it is free from any kind of animal products. You can also leave other offerings out near waterways and on your land, such as milk and other foods that do not contain any trace of animal products, as this will serve to anger them more.
Nagas are not generally a type of being who go out of their way to harm us, but due to our carelessness they can be hurt and offended. When they are, they can have a very negative impact on our lives. As such it is wise to be mindful of the natural environment and reduce pollution. For those who are afflicted or could be afflicted due to their work, the sutra recitation presented below will be very useful.
Apology to the Naga Realm
Aug 13 2016
We are very pleased to offer a translation of a very important Naga text from the Zung-Due (collection of Mahayana Sutras). This text, called the ‘Lu’i Pang Kong’ is is an extensive apology and amendment to the realm of Nagas, and is commonly recited when someone has been stricken with a naga-related disease or misfortune. One would commission Lamas to recite this Sutra as many times as one’s age, or recite it oneself.
This text includes the U-chen script, a line of phonetics and an English translation. It outlines the realms of nagas, names their legion of Kings; it describes all the manner in which we knowlingly or unknowlingly harm the Nagas through the impact we make on the environment. It includes lists of the kinds of offerings the Nagas prefer and the specific kinds of medicine they need to heal. By reading this text, you will come to know all about the realm of Nagas and how interconnected we are with them.
Read this Sutra on special Naga days or when making other Naga offerings.
For more interesting information:
- The 35 Confessional Buddhas
- Dorje Shugden Trakze to Dispel Black Magic & Spirits
- Nagadeepa Purana Raja Maha Vihara
- Dharma Protectors of Tibetan Buddhism
- Sadhana & Prayers
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