Nagas are children of Sage Kashyapa and Kadru. Adisesha, elder among the Nagas, is bed for Lord Vishnu. Vasuki, second child, is Lord Shiva's snake. There are many other Nagas but these two Nagas are prominent.

Chapter 39: Story of JaratKaru of Astika Parva: Adi Parva of Mahabharatha describes Vasuki as Nagaraj and Nagendra which are words for "King of Nagas".

हितो ह्ययं सदाऽस्माकं प्रियाकारी च नागराट्
प्रसादं कुरु देवेश शमयास्य मनोज्वरम्॥७॥

The king of the snakes is always our friend and benefactor; O lord of the gods, be gracious to him and remove the fever of his mind.

ब्रह्मोवाच मयैव तद्वितीर्णं वै वचनं मनसाऽमराः।
एलापत्रेण नागेन यदस्याभिहितं पुरा।।८।।
तत्करोत्वेष नागेन्द्रः प्राप्तकालं वचः स्वयम्।
विनशिष्यन्ति ये पापा न तु यै धर्मचारिणः॥९॥

Brahma said :
O immortals, I have thought in my mind what you have said. Let the king of the snakes do what Elapatra had told him before. When the time comes, the wicked only will be destroyed and not the virtuous.

But Chaper 43 Astika's bite says Takshaka as Nagendra, King of Snakes.

काश्यप उवाच
दश नागेन्द्र वृक्षं त्वं यद्येतदभिमन्यसे।
अहमेनं त्वया दष्टं जीवयिष्ये भुजंगमः॥ ३॥

Kashyapa said:
O snake, if you are so minded, bite (the tree then). I shall revive it, though bitten by you.

Wiki says Hindu texts call Adisesha, Vasuki and Takshaka by this Title.

How post of "King" can be conferred to three snakes? Are there any stories regarding coronations of any of these Nagas as King?

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    I think there is difference between words nagas and snakes, so you cannot use those words by interchanging them with each other. Snake equivalent word is Sarpa Naga is used for a specific type of Sarpas known as King Cobra in Common Language. So Naga = Cobra and Snake in general = Sarpa
    – Yogi
    Apr 12, 2016 at 18:03
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    I think Naagraj is Karkokata and Sarparaaj is Vaasuki...
    – Tezz
    Apr 13, 2016 at 1:23
  • Nagaraja is mentioned in Sri M's autobiography - "Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master". He lives in Nagaloka and often comes to earth to meet Mahavatar Babaji(Lord Shiva). You should definitely buy that book - a must read!
    – Pinakin
    Apr 13, 2016 at 10:44
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    @Yogi Sri M is a living yogi so he cannot be present in either of the pramanas. Well, I believe Sri M is a realized yogi, right now he is in Walk of Hope - a yatra from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. He lives in Madanapalle near Bangalore. Yes, it is true that nowadays everyone claims to have met the great Mahavatar Babaji but if you monitor their lives closely, studying their works, analysing everything till the depths, it becomes very easy to identify between real yogis and fake ones. Sri M is not as popular as Swami Vivekananda but that doesn't make him any less realized.
    – Pinakin
    Apr 14, 2016 at 3:38
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    @Yogi I believe Sri M to be on the same level of all the sages you have mentioned(Veda Vyasa, Valmiki etc..) because there is no difference between realized souls. Sri M never said you should believe his words, he never said 2-3 verses of Gita to gain followers. All he says is you have to progress, move upward and realize the truth. If you don't believe his words, its fine but my one small suggestion to you - meet him once his Walk of Hope is completed. Anyone from anywhere in India can meet him.
    – Pinakin
    Apr 14, 2016 at 3:50

2 Answers 2


Yes, there is the story how these posts are attained. Kaśyapa Prajāpati is not only the progenitor of snakes and reptiles, but also to many creatures like creepers, Daityas, Adityas, Vasus etc., After the progeny of the mobile and immobile, the great sage started to assign chief of respective domain.

Adi śeṣa was the eldest son of Kadrū( also known as Surasā). He is crowned as the king of all the creatures with fangs. Vāsuki is named as the leader of Nāgas(snakes) and Takṣaka the leader of Sarpas(cobras), sarīsṛpa(reptiles) and Pannagas(serpents).

From an excerpt of Chapter 8 of Upodghātapāda, Brahmānda Purāṇa:

सर्वेषां दंष्ट्रिणां शेषं नागानामथ वासुकिम् |
सरीस्रुपाणां सर्पाणां पन्नगानां च तक्षकं ||13||

He (Kaśyapa Prajāpati) Adi śeṣa the leader of all those who have fangs, Vāsuki the leader of the Nagas(snakes) and Takṣaka the leader of sarīsṛpa(reptiles), sarpas(cobras) and pannagas(serpents).

So, the king of Snakes is Vāsuki.

Wiki says Hindu texts call Adisesha, Vasuki and Takshaka by this Title.

Seems fair because Vāsuki is only the king of Nāgas. Takṣaka is the king of reptiles which is a superset of snakes. Adi śeṣa is crowned as the king of all the fanged creatures. Snakes are also classified as fanged creatures. So, he also can be called king of the snakes.

Vāsuki is the king only to snakes whereas Takṣaka and Adi śeṣa are the kings to other creatures(reptiles and fanged creatures) too in which snakes(Nāgas) are a subset.

  • Thanks! But there are verses in other Puranas and especially Mahabharata which say Adi Sesha and Takshakas are also Nagarajas.
    – The Destroyer
    Jul 7, 2017 at 9:47
  • What do you mean by "Takṣaka and Adi śeṣa are the kings to other creatures too in which snakes(Nāgas) are a subset."? Btw, i will post an answer saying title applies to all three.
    – The Destroyer
    Jul 25, 2017 at 5:19
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    Takshaka is the king of sarpas and sarisrupas also along with snakes. Adi shesha is the king of all fanged creatures. Snakes are only a class of fanged creatures. Jul 25, 2017 at 5:21
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    It is in the answer itself. I quoted above. "सर्वेषां दंष्ट्रिणां शेषं ""He (Kaśyapa Prajāpati) Adi śeṣa the leader of all those who have fangs" Jul 25, 2017 at 5:25
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    How can it be? What about Takshaka then? Kashyapa prajapati crowned him as the king of all fanged creatures. Brahmanda Purana explicitly mentions that. If one is a king of whole India, he is also the king of Delhi too. Similarly if one is the king of all fanged creatures, he will be the king of snakes too. So, calling Shesha as Nagaraja is not wrong. It is applicable to Takshaka also. Jul 25, 2017 at 5:34

Are there any stories regarding coronations of any of these Nagas as King?

In Southern Recension Kumbhaghonam Edition of Mahabharatha: Adi Parva: Astika Parva: Chapter 36, coronations of Vasuki is mentioned:

`अनन्तेऽभिप्रयाते तु वासुकिः स महाबलः।

अभ्यषिच्यत नागैस्तु दैवतैरिव वासवः॥' ॥ 1-36-26

Hindi translation of this is mentioned in Gitapress version of Mahabharatha:

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The rough English translation would be something like this:

After Anant Nag is gone, the Nagas appointed Mahabali Vasuki to the post of Nagaraja in the same manner as the gods appointed Indra to the post of Devaraja.

Same and previous chapter mention that Shesha (Ananta) was the eldest among Nagas and Vasuki was second eldest. Though, not a hard and fast rule but by default eldest becomes the king. So Shesha could have been Nagaraj earlier but due to evil nature of his brothers he left them and then, Nagas appointed Vasuki as their king.

And it seems (after seeing SB 5.24) that later on Takshaka became the chief of Sarpas of Mahātalaloka while Vasuki remained the king of Nagaloka/Patala.

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