Nagamani (Telugu:నాగమణి), (English – Cobra Pearl) is a luminous mineral called Chlorophane, a rare variety of Fluorite, usually found in river beds where mines exist. The pearl is typically egg-shaped translucent, transparent, and semi-translucent gems of roughly 2 cm length, 2 cm diameter and weighing about 5 grams. Some varieties are tumbled and polished while others are unpolished, and all appear in a range of colors (golden, green, red, blue, pink, white, black). Some have stratification which may periodically change direction or contrast. Others have hatch-like surface textures, yet others have tiny inclusions that may appear and disappear over time.
In Sri Lanka, Nagamani is called Serpent pearl, Animals (including snakes) can form ‘stones’ in their bodies under specific circumstances – ‘gall stones’, ‘enteroliths’ and ‘bezoars’. Hence People selling ‘snake pearls’ are claiming to be selling stones formed in this way by snakes. In rural areas some tribes claim oval shaped black glands present in the hood of Cobra snakes to be Nagamani pearls.
Agni Purana: “Under the earth is the underworld. This too, consists of seven regions and their names are Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Talatala, Mahatala, Rasatala and Patala. The daityas and the danavas live in the underworld. Vishnu is also there in the underworld, in his form of the great snake Shesha. The snake Shesha holds up the earth on its hood.”
Vayu Purana: “Snakes and demons live in the underworld. Atala is ruled by the demon Namuchi; Sutala by the demon Mahajambha; Vitala by the demon Prahlada; Gabhastala by the demon Kalanemi: Mahatala by the demon Virochana; Shritala by the demon Kesari; and Patala by the demon Vali. The great snake Vasuki lives in Shritala and the great snake Shesha lives in Patala. (Vasuki is a king of the snakes or Nagas. He was the son of Dakshas daughter Kadru and the sage Kashyapa. Usually, Vasuki and Shesha are regarded as synonymous, the name “Ananta” also being used.) The eyes of the snake Shesha are like red lotuses. His complexion is white and he wears blue, His thousand hoods glow with radiance.”
Vishnu Purana: “There are seven underworlds on earth…. Here live the Danavas, Daityas, Yakshas and Nagas. Narada once went on a trip to Patala and discovered that Patala was more beautiful than Svaraga. It was a place full of jewels. During the day, the sun only provided light, but no heat. And, during the night, the moonbeams provided light, but no cold. Patala was full of rivers, forests and lakes. The inhabitants of Patala wore beautiful clothes, rubbed scented paste on their bodies and loved music. At the bottom of Patala was Vishnu in the form of a thousand-headed snake. This snake was known as Shesha.”
Bhagavata Purana: “Since there is no sunshine in those subterranean planets, time is not divided into days and nights, and consequently fear produced by time does not exist.”
“Many great serpents reside there with gems on their hoods, and the effulgence of these gems dissipates the darkness in all directions.”
“Beneath Rasatala is another planetary system, known as Patala or Nagaloka, where there are many demoniac serpents, the masters of Nagaloka, such as Shankha, Kulika, Mahashankha, Shveta, Dhananjaya, Dhrtarashtra, Shankhacuda, Kambala, Ashvatara and Devadatta. The chief among them is Vasuki. They are all extremely angry, and they have many, many hoods – some snakes five hoods, some seven, some ten, others a hundred and others a thousand. These hoods are bedecked with valuable gems, and the light emanating from the gems illuminates the entire planetary system of bila-svarga.”
Brahma Purana: ” The underworld is a wonderful place, more beautiful than heaven itself. The sage Narada once went on a trip to the underworld and was bowled over by its beauty. It is full of palaces and jewels. The sun rises there, but does not radiate too much of heat. The moon also rises, but its beams are not at all chilly. The forest are populated by beautiful trees and the ponds are thick with lotus flowers, the songs of cuckoo birds are heard everywhere. Below the underworld sleeps a great snake, known as Shesha or Anata. It has a thousand hoods, all covered with jewels.In fact, this snake is really Vishnu in one of his various forms.”
Not all references in the Vedic texts of radiant gold eggs regard the Underworld. The creation story itself relates the archetype of a bright gold egg-shaped object, appeared from the water, as the first container of divinity; one from which all things manifest would emerge.
Matsya Purana: ” The Creation. In the beginning, there was nothing in the universe. There was only darkness. When the time came for creation to begin, Vishnu removed the darkness and expaned into three. These three parts came to be known as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The first object that appeared was water and Vishnu slept on this water. Since nara means water and ayana means resting-place, Vishnu is accordingly also known as Narayana.”
“In this water next appeared a golden egg.The egg shone with the radiance of a thousand suns. Inside the egg, Brahma grew from the navel of Vishnu. The egg was golden. Garbha means womb, and since Vishnu appeared inside a golden egg, he is also known as Hiranyagarbha.”
“For a thousand years Brahma stayed inside the egg.He then split the shell into two and emerged out. Heaven (svarga) was made from one half of the shell and the earth from the remaining half. All the land masses, the oceans, the rivers and the mountains, had been inside the egg in embryonic form.”
Neither do gems held by snakes have anything less than divine attributes…
Mahabarata: “Ulupi then thought of the gem that has the virtue of reviving a dead man. The gem, the great refuge of the snakes, thus thought of, came there. The daughter of the prince of snakes taking it up… then placed that gem on the breast of Pritha’s son of immeasurable energy. After the gem had been placed on his breast; the heroic and puissant Jishnu became revived. Opening his red eyes he rose up like one who had slept long. Beholding his sire, the high-souled hero of great energy, restored to consciousness and quite at his ease…”
There are many references to gems from the Nagas…
Garuda Purana: ” A pearl found in the hood of a cobra is round in shape like the one obtained from the mouth of a fish and emits a dazzling effulgence from its own natural seat. After copious washing such a pearl assumes the lustre of a well-polished sword. The possessor of a cobra or serpent pearl meets with rare good fortune, and becomes a pious and illustrious king in time, with a treasury full of other species of precious gems.
Dark clouds, hung down and heavily charged with rain, and roaring with the voice of the eternal trumpets blown upon at the time of universal dissolution and spangled with flashes of lightning, closely envelop the sky, at the time, when the Bramhana, well versed in the religious and ceremonial proceedings, after inquiring about the acquisition of such a pearl, and having done the necessary rite of protection unto it, formally takes it into the interior of the house of its possessor. Neither the serpents, nor the Rakshas*, nor diseases, nor disturbances of any kind would assail the man amidst whose treasure such a snake pearl would lie.
The sacred texts indicate that there is no lack of precious gems in Nagaloka. These “snake gems” have a peculiar quality such that even in the darkest night, they possess “effulgence” which lights the way so that one can at least see where they are going.
The life of cobra or king cobra is around 20–30 years and they live less in wild because of very high death rates due to infant mortality, diseases, predators, bad weather, accidents, or competition for food.
As per the article published in Harper’s Magazine by Prof. Hensoldt PhD, it was found to be mineral called Chlorophane, a rare variety of fluorspar. Some varieties of chlorophane are so sensitive that even slight warming of hand (such as is produced by holding the sample in hand for few moments) will cause them to phosphoresce for hours in the dark. Similar chlorophane pebbles were also found by eminent Berlin mineralogist Gustave Rose in Altai Mountains of Siberia, these chlorophane pebbles shone with intense brilliancy all night long without having received any other warming that that by the sun’s rays during the day.
Since Chlorophane is mineral, question of petrified cobra pearl does not arise. Typically old snakes use chlorophane pebbles to attract fire-flies, insects or other small animals and on loss of such pebble they may not die of grief but because of hunger, due to their inability to hunt.
Cobra snake or any other of its species in the world never have pearls in their hood. The concept of Nagamani was introduced in sacred texts by ancient writers, so that the snakes will be worshiped by man. Most of the species of snakes are venomous. If the concept of Nagamani was not introduced, all the species of snakes, especially Cobras would have been killed by man very long ago.
Nagamani is a very precious and magical pearl. It generally improves good luck, business, social standing, personal charisma, attractiveness, intuition, all-around healing, sexual strength, and peace with envious creatures. The cost price of the pearl is decided when all of the below said tests are conducted.
Flower test: The bud of a hibiscus flower blooms when it is touched to the pearl.
Water test (or) Bubble Test: The pearl when dropped in a glass of 50% water, bubbles come up a little later.
Light test: In a dark room, the pearl gives light so that a news paper can be read from a little distance.
The dragon that holding and sucking ball (pearl) is also a misunderstanding from this story.
Video Clip: The scam man with a fake nagamani
Video clip: Catch 2 scam mans