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According to the Kadru's curse, some of the snakes who refused their mother’s demand will die in Kali Yuga due to a snake sacrifice performed by a King called Janamejaya. The serpents were worried by their mother’s curse. The eldest brother, Vasuki called a meeting with his brothers to discuss about the matter and also to find a solution. The curse went too harsh as there is no way out for it other than death. They decided to find a solution to save their lives. Some snakes suggested to went to King Janamejaya and beg him for not doing the Yajna, while others suggested to went to the King in disguised form as ministers and inform him to not perform Yajna. There were other serpents that had the opinion to kill the chief priest, thereby preventing them from doing the Yajna. Vasuki refused all these proposals citing several problems.

They again discussed the matter seriously. Then again several ideas were proposed. One gives the idea of becoming clouds to put off Yajna’s fires with rain, another gives the idea of stealing Yajna’s articles and a further snake said to kill millions of people, so that they think about stopping yajna. Vasuki again refused these proposals citing that any misfortune or failure of plan will only affect him, since he was the king of serpents.  He also said that he can’t agree with these worthless ideas. Then they decided to go to their father Kashyap and please him for suggestion. But at that time, a serpent called Elapatra remembered an incident when Kadru cursed the serpents. Elapatra overheard the conversation of God with Lord Brahma about this harsh curse. At that time, Lord Brahma said to Gods that at one time the population of snakes becomes uncontrollable. There should be many extremely brutal, cruel and violent snakes. This curse will only result in the death of only sinful and wicked snakes whereas the honest and calm snakes will not be harmed. So Elapatra forward the suggestion of leaving it to fate and nothing to do against the curse. Elapatra also heard from the conversation that an ascetic called Jaratkaru will be born in Yayavara dynasty. His son will be called Astika. This Astika will save the honest snakes by putting an end to Janamejaya’s Yajna.

Vasuki became happy with the Brahma’s predictions and he decides to marry his sister Manasa with sage Jaratkaru, so that she bears the child of Jaratkaru. All the serpants agreed to the proposal of Elapatra’s account and Vasuki’s suggestion of giving Manasa to Jaratkaru. From that moment, Vasuki lovingly started protecting his sister and then waited for the time to come.

Earlier, Vasuki played an important role in the ocean churning exercise between the gods and demons. He became the churning rope of Mount Mandara. Sometimes he became five or seven headed snake. After the ocean churning exercise, Shiva who delighted with Vasuki took the snake and coiled it around her neck. He is also worshipped during all Naga Pujas and especially during Nag Panchami.

Kadru had 1000 Nagas as children. Kadru cursed her sons for the disobedience made by them to her, when she asked them to wrap around the tail of Uchaishravas and made it look black so that he can win the bet from Vinata.  One of the sons of Kadru was Sheshnaga and he became really worried about the curse. Also he was tired of the devious and evil deeds of his other brothers. So Sheshnaga left his mother and brothers and went to Himalayas for strict tapas. He went to various spiritual sites and conducted deep meditations for helping the mankind without taking foods or doing any physical comforts. Lord Brahma noticed Sheshnaga who was wasting his healthy body due to strict penance. The Lord then appeared in front of him and asked the reason for his strict penance without taking much care of the body. Shesha replied that he don’t want to stay with their brothers, since they are doing evil deeds to others and also they are treating Vinata and her son Garuda miserably. He also added that he wants to do something good to mankind and it was the reason for this kind of penance.

Brahma replied that his brothers' will get suitable punishment for their activities in Kali Yuga during a king’s Yajna. They himself had brought the punishment by defying their mother and he also added that Vinata and her son Garuda will soon attain free from their slavery. Impressed with selfless altitude and right dharma of Sheshnaga, Brahma told him to ask a boon. Shesha then requested brahma to make her mind always used for the pursuit of honesty, spirituality, and peace. Delighted with Shesha’s words and also his quest for doing something goodness for mankind, the Lord asked him to enter the earth and to hold the earth. Brahma granted the boon for patience to him for carrying the earth on his body. Since then, Sheshnaga is said to be holding all the planets of the Universe on his hoods. He thus became the bed of Lord Vishnu, since Vishnu is considered as the preserver of life in the Universe. He always engaged in singing the glories of Vishnu. He is sometimes referred to as Ananta Shesha. Sometimes he became five or seven headed snake.

One day, the two sisters Kadru and Vinata saw a wonderful, seven-headed horse called Uchaishravas. The horse was one among the fourteen jewels that came out of the ocean of milk. Uchaishravas is considered as the most beautiful horse in the world. Both of them watched at the horse in wonder during its riding. Soon they argued each other about the colour of the divine horse. Vinata said the colour of Uchaishravas is fully white but Kadru argued that its body only was white and its tail was black. They decided to lay a bet on this issue, whoever would win, would become the other's slave.

Having made this bet, the sisters decided to wait till the next morning during its journey. Kadru knew that the horse's tail was white and she also wanted to win the bet at any cost. So she asked her sons to go and twist themselves around the tail so that it looked black while watching from a closer distance. The serpents hesitated to participate in this trickery and refused. Kadru became angry towards the disobedience of her sons and cursed that all of them would die in a yajna fire. Kadru and Vinata spent a restless night and woke up early in the morning to see the horse. Meantime, the scared snakes decided to follow their mother’s order. They believed that if their mother pleases with their actions, then there is a chance for free them from curse. So the next morning, they went to the place where Uchaishravas was grazing and wrapped around the tail of the divine horse and made it look black. After seeing the black tail of horse from a closer distance, Vinata accepted her lost of bet to Kadru and became her slave.

After five hundred years, the second egg laid by Vinata hatched. A huge radiant bird-like creature emerged from the second egg. This bird was so powerful and shone brightly. His eyes were shining with yellow beam and its body was as intense as fire. The bird then flew into the sky and started growing further to a gigantic size. It flew with greater speed than wind. When it flew through the sky, gods first thought that it was Agni (god of fire) growing in size. Then they found their mistake and realized that it was a giant creature called Garuda, the son of Vinata. Garuda then restrained his size and energy to normal level.

One day, Kadru ordered Vinata to take her and her sons to an island. She wants to see the beautiful site beneath the ocean with her sons. Vinata then said to his son, Garuda to fulfill their wish. Garuda obeyed his mother and took the serpents on his back and went to the island. But Kadru and the snakes did not like the island. So they asked Garuda to take them to the next island. Garuda obeyed and took them to the next island. Garuda was upset with his stepmother and stepbrothers, since he is being treated as a servant to them. After much consideration, Garuda inquired Vinata about the reason for being serving them as slaves. His mother then tells his foolish bet with Katru and her trick to win before he born. After hearing the story, Garuda asked the serpents that what he want to do for them to free her mother from slavery. The snakes replied that they want the divine drink, nectar from gods to free her mother from slavery.

Garuda agreed the condition offered by serpents to free his mother from slavery. Garuda after taking the blessing from his mother went to heaven for nectar. On the way, he saw his father, Kashyap who was meditating in a mountain. Garuda saw his father for first time. Kashyap opened his eyes and heard about the bet and Vinata’s slavery from him. Kashyap then told his son about a story of an elephant and tortoise. In their earlier birth, both of them were brothers and fought each other for their ancestor’s wealth. During their fight, they both cursed each other. In this birth, one became elephant and other became tortoise due to each other’s curse. Now both of them were living in an island by keeping rivalry on each others. So Kashyap ordered his son, Garuda to kill those creatures and to take it as food. Kashyap then blessed his son for obtaining the divine nectar an also to kill those creatures.

Garuda then went to the island, where the elephant and tortoise living. He then killed both of them and took the meal. After his meal, Garuda resumed his flight to heaven for obtaining nectar of immortality. As Garuda drew near to heaven, Indra got the sign of omen in Heaven. He then went to guru, Brihaspati and inquired about the omen. Brihaspati replied that Garuda is coming here to humble him for nectar. He is the son of sage Kashyap and Vinata, who was blessed with the power to become a mighty creature and even had the power to seize the nectar from gods. As soon as Grauda came near, his enormous, waving wings drew a large dust storm, which disturbed the gods and he then attacked the gods with his beak and talons. Finally after beating the gods, he managed to enter the place where the nectar was kept. He then took the pot of nectar and flew back to the serpents without drinking a drop of nectar. Pleased with Garuda’s dedication of not drinking a drop of nectar and also his need for nectar to save his mother from slavery, Lord Vishnu appeared before him. The Lord then asked him for boon Garuda replied two requests, one for serving the lord and other for becoming immortal without drinking the nectar. The Lord granted these boons and disappeared.

On the way, Indra tried to attack Garuda with his mighty weapon, Vajra but it became useless in front of him. However Garuda dropped a feather to pay his honor towards the weapon. Thus he got the name Suparna. Indra was amazed by Garuda’s strength. Finally, Indra bowed his hands and requested to return the nectar, since the serpents that the garuda going to feed will make the gods lives unbearable. Garuda said his reason for seizing nectar. He then told Indra to pick the pot of nectar at the moment when he transfers it to serpents. Indra was reassured by garuda’s solution and he asked him for boon. Garuda then remembered the betrayal and cruelty of serpents towards his mother. He then asked Indra to grant serpents to become his food. From that day Garuda became the enemy of serpents.

Then Garuda went to serpents and transfer the nectar and thus they released his mother from slavery. When the serpents rushed to drink the nectar, Garuda stopped them and advised to bath before drinking since it was a divine drink. He placed the pot in the sharp blades of kusha grass. When the serpents were gladly taking their bath, Indra flew down calmly and took away the pot of nectar and flew back to Heaven. During snatching the pot, a few drops of nectar fell on the kusha grass. Seeing this, the serpents went quickly and started licking the grass in the hopes of getting a few drops. But the grass was so sharp that their tongues were sliced into two. The serpents then realized that it happened so due to their evil deed done to Vinata. Since then, the kusha grass became sacred and is used for sacred ceremonies. Vinata who got freedom his son Aruna’s curse, then happily lived with his son. Garuda later became the king of birds and his fame spread to all regions. With the boon granted by Lord Vishnu, he served the Lord by becoming his vehicle.

The below story says about how the gods and demons churned the ocean of milk to obtain the nectar of immortality.

One day, Lord Vishnu revealed the fact about nectar of immortality and how it can be obtained from the ocean of milk to both gods (devas) and demons (asuras).  Upon the suggestion of Vishnu, both of them decided to use Mount Mandara to churn the ocean of milk and to obtain it from depths of sea. However, the task turned out to be an impossible one since it is 55,000 miles high and 55,000 miles deep inside the earth.

The Gods prayed Lord Vishnu for a solution to dig. Lord Vishnu then influenced the king of serpents, Vasuki to dig the mountain and then to place it in the ocean. The Lord also said him to become the churning rope of mountain. The mighty Vasuki obeyed and did what the Lord said. The Vishnu then took the Kurma (Tortoise) Avatar to place the Mount Mandara on her back.

The gods and the demons started to churn the ocean of milk with Vasuki as churning rope of Mount Mandara and also supported by Kurma inside the ocean. A millennium passed and everyone getting tired. When Lord Brahma noticed it, he informed it to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu replied that he is giving strength to both devas and asuras. As soon as lord said these words, the strength of the both devas and asuras increased to ten-fold. They then started to churn by giving even more strength. Suddenly waves of ocean raised and Chandra, the moon come out of it. After moon, Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Varuni, Uchchaihshravas, Kaustubha, Kalpavriksha and Kamdhenu came out consecutively. Lakshmi became Vishnu’s consort whereas Varuni, Moon and Uchchaihshravas went to the heaven of gods.

Then a wonderful four-tooth elephant called Airavata came and it is immediately acquired by Indra. Soon after the Airavata came, a terrible poison called Halahala issued out of its depths which enveloped the universe. With its fumes, gods and the demons started to lose their consciousness. The gods approached Lord Shiva for rescue. Lord Shiva consumed the poison, while goddess Parvati pressed her hand on Shiva's throat and kept it in his throat itself. Suddenly the colour of Shiva's neck changed to blue. Thus Lord Shiva got the name, “Neelakanta”.

After a while, Dhanavantri came out with a pot containing the nectar. As soon as he emerged, both devas and asuras started to fight for it and finally the demons seized the pot of nectar. The gods became worried and prayed Lord Vishnu for help. Lord Vishnu then took the form of Mohini and went to demons for trapping them with her beauty. The unwise demons fell in love with her beauty.  Mohini thus managed to take the pot of nectar by claiming that she will distribute it among gods and demons. Mohini then started to distribute the nectar among gods. A demon called Rahu disguised himelf as a deva and tried to drink some nectar. The Sun and the Moon noticed it and they informed Mohini. As soon as the nectar reached his throat, Mohini in the form of Vishnu cut off the rahu's head with her divine discus, Sudarshana Chakra. Rahu’s head was torn off his body. His body became lifeless. But the head, remained immortal due to nectar’s effect. After this incident, Rahu became the enemy of both sun and moon.

Mohini returned to her original form after feeding the nectar to gods. The angry demons, who not only received any treasures but also was fooled by gods declared a war against gods. A terrible battle erupted resulted in bloodshed. Lord Vishnu also joined the battlefield to help gods by taking two forms – One as Nara and other as Narayan. Nara attacked the demons with divine bow whereas Narayan beheaded numerous demons with Sudarshana Chakra. At last, Gods defeated Demons.

The Rishi Kashyap married thirteen daughters of Daksha Prajapati. Two of his wives were Kadru and Vinata.  Impressed with the loving care of these two wives, Kashyap decides to give boon to these wives. When he turned to Kadru, she said that she want thousand brave and radiant serpents, while Vinata said he want only two sons who must be braver and brighter than Kadru’s sons. Kashyap granted their respective wish and asked to take care during pregnancy. He then went to the forest for tapasya.

Within some days, Kadru laid thousand eggs and Vinata laid two eggs. The delighted wives preserved the eggs in warm containers. Five hundred years passed. Kadru’s eggs hatched into thousand serpents, but Vinata’s eggs did not hatch. Vinata became jealous over Kadru and the impatient Vinata broke the shell of one egg. The half-developed baby came out and it became angry and cursed his mother that he want to wait for another five hundred years for next egg to hatch.  Since due to her sibling rivalry, she committed this crime by making him a handicap forever, so the baby also added that she will become a slave to her sister and would free from her slavery until his brother hatch out from the egg by its own.After cursing his mother, the half-developed baby flew away from Vinata. Later upon the advice from Brahma, he became the charioteer of the Sun god. He is Arun also called as Aruna.

Vasuki, Sheshanaga, Elapatra and Manasa were the prominent among thousand Nagas born to Kadru. Vasuki is the eldest son of Kadru and also he became the king of all Nagas. Manasa is the sister of serpents and she became the serpent-goddess. Sheshanaga later became the bed of Lord Vishnu.The Nagas chose to live underworld in the ocean depth.

The story about how Arun became the charioteer of Surya is mentioned in Mahabharata and it is as follows.

After churning the ocean of milk, Devas got the divine nectar with the help of Mohini. But the asura, Rahu, drank some of the nectar. The Surya and the Chandra realized it and alerted Mohini. Then Mohini took the form of Vishnu and cut off the rahu's head before the nectar could pass his throat. The body of Rahu separated from head and it became lifeless. But the head, remained immortal due to nectar’s effect.

After this incident, Rahu became the enemy of both sun and moon. He then started to swallow the sun, but the sun passes through the opening at the neck. It marks the starting and ending of eclipse. Once when Surya was swallowed by Rahu, the sun went angry and it raised its frequency of heat without bothering it will result in the destruction of Universe. The Devas then requested Lord Brahma to save the world. Lord Brahma then advised Aruna, the son of Kashyapa and Vinata who has the power of divine radiance to become the charioteer of Surya and shield the world. From that day, Aruna precedes Surya in the heavens and is worshiped along with the sun. The chariot was made of fire proof material and the Sun’s rays themselves which is driven by seven horses. Before the Sun rises the red light of the dawn is his reflection. Aruna prevents the heat and shield the world from the anger of Surya. He is brother of Garuda. Jatayu and Sampati (King of the Vultures) were the sons of Aruna. Aruna was also mentioned in Ramayana where he took the form of an apsara, Aruni Devi and produces two sons – Vali and Sugriva.

Lord Brahma was considered as the creator of universe. Lord Brahma is considered to be originated by Swayambhu and he is the First Manu. He had created six Manasaputras (Mind born of Brahma). They are considered equal to Prajapatis (progenitors of all beings in creation). The Manasaputras of Lord Brahma were Marichi (Second Manu), Angiras, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha and Kratu. Some of the offspring born from Brahma's body parts are Dharma, Adharma, Krodha, Lobha, Bhrigu and others.Later through these offspring and manasaputras - Devas, Asuras, Planets, Gandarvas, Apsaras and others were born through their generations.

Kashyapa was born to Marichi. Kashyapa (Third Manu) is considered as the father of humanity since it was from him; the entire earthly creatures were born. Brihaspati was born to Angira. Brihaspati (Jupiter) later became the guru of gods. Shukra was born to Bhrigu. Shukra (Venus) later became the guru of asuras. Let us go through the generations of Kashyapa from Satya Yuga to Kali Yuga.
Daksha Prajapati (one of the Prajapati) was born out of the right thumb of Brahma, whereas Bhudevi was born out of the left thumb of Brahma. It is believed that the union of a man and a woman started from Daksha Prajapati and Bhudevi. Bhudevi produced thousand sons and fifty daughters. None of his sons married, they practiced Sankhya Yoga and attained Moksha. Daksha Prajapati married thirteen of his daughters to Rishi Kashyap, ten of his daughters to Dharma and the remaining twenty seven daughters, who are Nakshatras to Chandra.

Rishi Kashyap married Aditi, Diti, Kadru, Danu, Arishta, Surasa, Surabhi, Vinata, Tamra, Krodhavasa, Ida, Vishva and Muni. Kashyap, by his first wife Aditi had 12 sons including Indra and Vivaswan (Surya). The sons of Aditi are called as Adityas. Indra became the king of gods in heaven whereas Vivaswan (Fourth Manu) married Saranya, daughter of Lord Vishwakarma (one of the Prajapati). Saranya, a goddess of the clouds became the mother of Vaivasvata Manu (Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Manu) and the twins Yama and his sister Yami. Yama became the Lord of Death. All the dynasties on the earth descended from Manu's sons including Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Shudras. Vaivasvata Manu had ten children and Ila Kanya was the only daughter and all the remaining children were sons. The Sixth Manu is Vaivasvata Manu’s ten children. One of the sons of Vaivasvata Manu is Ikshvaku who established Ikshvaku Dynasty (Solar Dynasty or Suryavansha). Sri Rama (seventh avatar of Vishnu) is a descendent of Ikshvaku Dynasty.

Note: ILA Kanya became the mother of Pururava. Pururava established the lunar dynasty (Somavansha or Chandravansha). Pururava later had six sons by Urvashi. They are Ayus (father of Nahusha), Amavasu, Vishvayu, Shrutayu, Shatayu and Dridhayu. The throne of Pururavas was later inherited by many able descendants from the royal bloodline and they continued to rule for centuries. There list included great kings like Yayati (son of Nahusha), Puru and Yadu (sons of Yayati), Dushyanta, Bharata and later by Kuru kings. Descendants of Yadu are called as Yadavas and descendants of Puru are called as Pauravas. Dushyantha and his son Bharata were Puru’s descendants. According to Rig Veda, Kuru was born after 25 generations of Puru dynasty and this Kuru established the Kuru dynasty. Shantanu is Kuru’s descendant. Kauravas and Pandavas were born after 15 generations of Kuru dynasty. Sri Krishna (ninth avatar of Vishnu) was the descendant from Yadu and he lived in the same generation of Kauravas and Pandavas in which the great Kurushetra war happened.

Like his guru, Ved also became a teacher and he had several students. But he had never asked them for a test to prove their devotion, since he does not like his students to suffer for him. He is also serving as a priest to King Janamejaya and King Paushya. One among his brilliant students is Uttanka.

One day, Ved appointed Uttanka to take care of the house since he wants to leave his house for priestly duty. Uttanka obeyed what his master said and took the control of the house. Days passed and when he returned, he heard a lot of praise for Uttanka. Impressed with his decent behavior, he wished and given the permission to leave the hermitage and to built his carrier. Uttanka bowed to his guru and inquired what to give in return as Guru Dakshina. Ved first refused but due to Uttanka’s persistence, he said to ask guru’s wife. Uttanka then turned to guru’s wife and asked the same. She smiled and said to bring a pair of earrings from the queen of King Paushya. There is a need for her to wear those earrings in the banquet conducted for Brahmins after four days. She also said that if he failed to perform this task, he would not be successful.

Uttanka set out for King Paushya’s palace. On the way, a tall man sitting on a bull asked him to eat the bull’s dung. Uttanka refused it but the man convinced him by saying that his Guru already ate this when he asked to eat. Hearing this, Uttanka ate it and on the way to palace he washed his mouth. Finally he reached the king’s palace. He then introduced himself and requested the earrings of queen for giving gift as Guru Dakshina. The king sent him to queen’s palace. Uttanka searched for queen in the palace, but he failed to find her. Then he went to king and complained that the queen is not there. The King replied that her queen is a pious woman and anybody who is indecent or unclean can’t see her. Uttanka suddenly remember the incident happened on the way and he narrated it to the king. The king instructs him to dip in the holy water for three times and also to wash the mouth for two times. After performing the rituals, he went to queen and this time he saw the queen. The queen greeted him and presented the food and drink. Uttanka then tell his teacher’s wife’s demand to the queen. The queen gave the earrings to Uttanka with a warning that Takshaka wanted these earrings. So there is a chance for robbery.

Uttanka expressed his gratitude towards king and the queen for their kindness. He then started his return to Guru’s hermitage. On the way, a snake started to follow him. The snake would sometimes appear and then disappear. Uttanka noticed it and he remembered queen’s warning. After long walk, he felt thirsty. Then he placed the earrings in land to drink water. The serpent was waiting for that opportunity and it snatched it and disappeared. Uttanka recognizes the serpent that robed the earrings was none other than Takshaka, the king of serpents. Uttank summoned the Vajra (the weapon of Indra) and with its help he chased Takshak to the land of snakes. Terrified with the power of Uttanka, Takshaka returned the earrings. Uttanka then returned to the hermitage of his guru on time and presented it to Guru’s wife. He then fell into the legs of Guru’s wife and received her blessings. But he could not forgive Takshaka for his devious behavior.

Later he came to Hastinapur and pays a visit to King Janamejaya, who was just returned after the victorious invasion of Takshasila from the Nagas headed by Takshaka. Uttanka then informed the king that his father was killed by Takshaka. A sage called Kashyap can save his father from the poison. When the sage decided to visit the palace for treatment, Takshaka tricked him into going back. Uttanka then encouraged King Janamejaya to conduct a Yajna to burn the Takshaka and other sinner snakes into ashes.


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