Astika (Hinduism)

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The snake sacrifice of Janamejaya, as Astika (boy in red) stops the king

Astika was an ancient Hindu rishi (sage), and he was a son of Jaratkaru by the serpent goddess Manasa - a sister of the great serpent king Vasuki. According to the Mahabharata, he saved the life of a serpent Takshaka, the king of snakes, when king Janamejaya organized a snake sacrifice known as Sarpa Satra, where he made great sacrifices of serpents, to avenge for the death of his father Parikshit [1] due to snake bite of Takshaka. Ultimately, he induced and prevailed upon the king to end his persecution of the serpent race.[2] That day was Shukla Paksha Panchami in the month of Shravan and is since celebrated as the festival of Nag Panchami.[3]


  1. ^ Son of Abhimanyu, who in turn was son of Arjuna.
  2. ^ Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam, ed. India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 72. 
  3. ^ Garg 1992, p. 743.