Ananden

Ananden in Hindu mythology, is the monstrous snake supporting the earth. The figures of the Indian priests represent her curled up, with her five heads erect. Vishnu sits upon her as upon a throne, and is said at one time to have used two of her heads as a pillow, the third as a footstool, and on the fourth and fifth he laid his hands. Now the snake desired to know what he would do if another head should grow. Presently a sixth head grew, and from the body of Vishnu a third hand appeared; then a seventh head, and at the same time a fourth hand; and thus up to a thousand heads, when the snake saw fit to withdraw from further trial of Vishnu's power. Every head of the snake sparkles with precious pearl, in which Vishnu's image is reflected a thousandfold. Ananden was the huge snake which was wound round the Mandar Mountain. In the wars between the good and evil spirits the snake takes an active part.

 
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