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Snakes have been considered sacred by Sri Lankans long before the emergence of all the current major religions. Although deifying snakes or their worship as such is very rare in Sri Lanka now, evidence of a serpent cult can be seen going far back in history when the ocean navigating, astronomically directed nāga (snake) clans lived in the north-western stretch of the island. But even today, serpents—particularly hooded cobras—are usually left unharmed when they wander into households because of a general unspoken consensus of their significance as protective spirits attached to lands and water bodies. 

 

Partly, the survival of the sacred serpent story is due to the symbiosis that it has found with all present-day religions on the island. Being a common symbol in both Hinduism and Buddhism where many-hooded cobras are often shown guarding Vishnu and Buddha, the serpent icon continues to inspire ideas connected to protection.  This is why nāga lamps are found, although quite rare, among Hindu and Buddhist spiritual paraphernalia. They convey protection, earthbound divinity and wonder.

 

This beautiful nāga lamp is over a hundred and twenty years old, and was cast in solid brass in Pilimathalāwa or its vicinity.

 

2.2” W x 4.5” L x 1.75'' H

Antique nāga lamp

₨6,250.00Price
Out of Stock