Serpent has its etymological root in the Latin word serpens from serpentis or “something that creeps, snake.” Serpent connotatively refers to a snake in most religious literatures. In Sanskrit, a nāga (नाग) refers to a cobra, a specific type of hooded snake. “Of the many-hooded Nāgas I am Ananta,” Krishna says (BG. 9.29). Of course, every now and then the word nāga is also utilized to generically mean snake.

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