Vishalya

The demi-goddess Vishalya is very popular among Thalathanists. She is the daughter of Shahkamana, a fertility god. According to legends, she lives on the island Kamata. Vishalya is associated with the ocean, snakes and prevention of snake bites. Her name is invoked as the goddess of the sea who protects seafarers and fishermen. She symbolises patience, tolerance, and the end to suffering. Commonly known as the Krait Goddess, Vishalya is also venerated by nagaists as an immortal being.

There is also a bidadari (nymph) that leads a lay Thalathanist group called the Coils of Vishalya. She also calls herself Vishalya, claiming to be the reincarnation of the demi-goddess. This cult is most widespread in Langa and Nau Islands, where she even has temples of her own. Parts of the southern Panau also have a large following. She is worshiped for protection and prevention against snake bites and infertility. Vishalya's faithful choose to live simple lives and travel the world as wandering nuns and monks, going from one place to the next, and helping the less fortunate. Places of worship are simple shrines open to the sky that welcome anybody, no matter faith. Vishalya is regarded by many as a champion of the sick, poor, and troubled.

Legends claim that Vishalya taught the Kedayuh how to treat snake bites and make antitoxin. Vishalya was originally depicted as a half-snake, half-man with the eyes of a snake. It is believed that he was capable of assuming any form to bring his message of liberation. In the Langa region of Kaliyatra, he is depicted as a young princess dressed in royal garb and a crown of branches and flowers, looking down as if watching over the world. In the Nau Islands, Vishalya is dressed in a red flowing robe and holding a water jar. Such representations of the goddess usually depict a snake wrapped around her neck or arm.

According to one legend, when Vishalya descended into the realm of the dead, her mere presence turned it into a paradise. This forced Tahamatan, Lord of Judgement, to send her back to prevent the destruction of his realm.

The naga who lives in the Anuravati river, is named after this goddess.

See also

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