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Nagaraja and Nagini - New York City, NY
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Metro2
N 40° 46.720 W 073° 57.767
18T E 587523 N 4514704
Quick Description: Nagas are serpent deities (who sometimes take human form).... this pair happen to be the King and his consort.
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 12/5/2014 10:07:28 AM
Waymark Code: WMN12K
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member puczmeloun
Views: 3

Long Description:
This sculpture is located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Although displayed together in the Museum, the Museum's website has two separate pages for these figures.
For the Nagaraja on the left (visit link) the Museum informs us:

"Nagaraja (Serpent King)
Period: Gupta period
Date: ca. second quarter of the 5th century
Culture: India (Madhya Pradesh)
Medium: Stone
Dimensions: H. 38 7/8 in. (98.7 cm)
Classification: Sculpture
Credit Line: Gift of The Kronos Collections, 1987
Accession Number: 1987.415.1
On view in Gallery 236

On the Indian subcontinent, temples have been dedicated to the worship of serpents since the dawn of civilization. Both Buddhism and Hinduism adopted nagarajas and naginis (serpent kings and their consorts) as protective divinities and depicted them like human beings. This sculpture from a pair of royal serpents (1987.415.1, .2) is carved in the round. The figure stand in front of cobras, whose open hoods form canopies for their heads. They date from the early part of the Gupta period and maintain ties to the style of the late Kushan period."

and for the Nagini, (visit link)

"Nagini (Serpent Queen or Consort of Nagaraja)
Period: Gupta period
Date: second quarter of the 5th century
Culture: India (Madhya Pradesh)
Medium: Stone
Dimensions: H. 34 1/2 in. (87.6 cm)
Classification: Sculpture
Credit Line: Gift of The Kronos Collections, 1987
Accession Number: 1987.415.2
On view in Gallery 236

On the Indian subcontinent, temples have been dedicated to the worship of serpents since the dawn of civilization. Both Buddhism and Hinduism adopted nagarajas and naginis (serpent kings and their consorts) as protective divinities and depicted them like human beings. This sculpture from a pair of royal serpents (1987.415.1, .2) is carved in the round. The figure stand in front of cobras, whose open hoods form canopies for their heads. They date from the early part of the Gupta period and maintain ties to the style of the late Kushan period."

Wikipedia simply groups all the Hindu and Buddhist serpent deities under its page for Nagas (visit link) which informs us:

"Naga ... is the Sanskrit and Pali word for a deity or class of entity or being, taking the form of a very great snake—specifically the king cobra, found in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. A female Naga is a nagi or nagi?i...

Hinduism

Patanjali as Se?a
Stories involving the nagas are still very much a part of contemporary cultural traditions in predominantly Hindu regions of Asia (India, Nepal, and the island of Bali). In India, nagas are considered nature spirits and the protectors of springs, wells and rivers. They bring rain, and thus fertility, but are also thought to bring disasters such as floods and drought.

Nagas are snakes that may take human form. They tend to be very curious. According to traditions nagas are only malevolent to humans when they have been mistreated. They are susceptible to mankind's disrespectful actions in relation to the environment. They are also associated with waters—rivers, lakes, seas, and wells—and are generally regarded as guardians of treasure.[citation not found]

They are objects of great reverence in some parts of South India, where it is believed that they bring fertility and prosperity to their venerators. Expensive and grand rituals like the Nagamandala[4] and the Nagaradhane are conducted in their honor. In India, certain communities called Nagavansi, including the Nairs of Kerala and the ethnically related Jain Bunts of Karnataka (who currently profess Jainism), trace their ancestry to nagas.

Nagas live in Patala, the seventh of the nether dimensions or realms.[5] They are the children of Kashyapa and Kadru. Among the prominent nagas of Hinduism are Manasa, the nagaraja or King of the nagas Se?a and Vasuki.

Nagas also carry the elixir of life and immortality. Garuda once brought it to them and put a cup with elixir on kusha grass but it was taken away by Indra. The nagas licked the kusha grass, but in doing so cut their tongues on the grass, and since then their tongues have been forked."
Associated Religion(s): Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism

Statue Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Entrance Fee: free

Artist: unknown

Website: [Web Link]

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Metro2 visited Nagaraja and Nagini - New York City, NY 7/24/2013 Metro2 visited it