Sutra Journal Logo

A curated journal on art, culture and dharma

Who are the Nagas?
a Journey into Embodied Awareness

by Virochana Khalsa October, 2015


A Naga is a subtle elemental entity with a predominance of watery, somewhat spacious essence who resides primarily within the subtle dimensions of our earth. In such kingdoms reside individuals ranging from relative beginners to masters of almost incomprehensible development expressing through all levels of creation in an enlightened continuum.

There is a somewhat common, but mistaken view of Nagas as snake beings, although there is a connection, just as the kundalini is often associated with the movement of a snake. In this article I will share a few of my experiences with these beings and in the process touch upon a few insights into how we embody within our mother earth.

While the shape of a human is unmistakable, composed of 2 arms, 2 legs, a head, and so on; there is no single image one can give for how a Naga looks, because there is an adaptability of form. Indeed, there are Nagas who can become a physically present human, a whale, a sensual current, a great cloud of presence, a sacred movement, or an underlying essence of light to touch upon the possibilities. The concept of individuality is different than the stark separations and clear boundaries which our human society dwells in. What is it then that defines a Naga and differentiates such a being from the human realm? To answer that we will need to dive within.


Nectars are at the root of embodied life, both physical and non-physical. From our sexual nature, to the aliveness in our heart or pleasure in the center of your head, a nectar is an alive substance that is tangibly felt. They are concentrated essence bridging between the realms and composed of elemental or essential qualities, and here we come back to my earlier statement of Nagas having a predominance towards the water element.

Nectars ground our identity and give presence. They can elicit subtle emotion along with expanding our connectivity through feeling, thus making the spiritual path enjoyable, even blissful. You can regenerate your body through their cultivation, or form the support for a deeper dissolving and wakeful definition in the unlimited expanse of our oneness. Touching into them is a simple and basic awareness we all have, and yet the ability to remain in their essence as bindu is an advanced and often unspoken quality developed through meditative practice and purifying into our enlightened nature.

Just as we humans relate to terra firma - walking, talking, and interacting within our constructs of reality, a Naga is at home within a more subtle fluid-like transparent quality, yet still connected to our earth.

Within the intertwining of our physicality and subtleness, between the various aspects of our earth, on the boundaries of our mental structures, and in the many holographic re-creations of our universe - are membranes between the so-called realms. It is on these membranes that our nectar-shakti is cultivated, contained, and flows to hold and support the personified images within a particular realm. A practical awareness of this is a specialty of Naga wisdom, and gives a degree of siddha, or abilities inherent through this multidimensional connection.



As we develop and gain definition in our meditative subtlety, the subtle make-up of creation, such as our earth or another being, likewise unveils itself in whatever direction our glance moves to, in essence mirroring our own inner development.

Resting above the crown of my head and reflecting into the earth, I have differentiated five realms of subtle existence. Our surface reality needs no introduction. In the next 30 miles or so is supported a physical-like strata many go through in their dreams and which receives numerous impressions of our daily life. Of course there is rock in our earth all the way to the center; but that is not what we are talking about here, just as there are physical tissues in our body as we center within its spaciousness.

The third layer under this is much more subtle, primarily supporting a causal awareness, and few consciously touch upon it. The fourth and fifth realms are extremely subtle and require a development beyond the scope of this article to explore, other than to say that one can travel anywhere in the universe from deep within the earth.

Deep in this case is the depth of inner awakening.

Just because you may visualize going into the center of the earth, it does not indicate you have awakened to this depth, as it requires the subjective maturity, and in fact a yogi does not project anywhere as it is all within. These models are simply a helpful modality which gives a psychological support.

A soul wanting to evolve through the long term support of mother earth, will anchor their seed in its core.

Remember the earlier emphasis on the boundaries or membranes between the realms? Well as we have experiences on this earth, they make impressions both within us and also in the subtle tissues of our earth.

There is this illusion that a person gradually and consistently evolves between lifetimes of their own accord. Until there is enough ability to remain awake in the continuum through a higher development, it is more like the bobbing up and down of a cork in the ocean, stimulated here, and forgetting there, while tossed by the interdependent play of desire and the senses, a fragment of our potential.

And yet, there is a potential for a continuum of development, a relative connectivity through lifetimes, so how does it occur?

An analogy will help. Think of our collective spirit in the core of the earth like a bright projector lamp, and the images on these boundaries like a piece of film. As the light shines through the film, it re-creates the subtle images upon our surface calling us forth into their evolvements and continuum.


The Naga kingdoms primarily reside in the 2nd and 3rd realms, although they touch upon our surface as well but remain invisible to most people. That does not however mean that they have no effect in our world, or ours in their world. The Nagas in particular know the nature of these boundaries and how to stimulate the impressions living on them, and to even wash and release them upon the timing of the great mother, who is all those who are awake within that moment.

An intuitive estimate is that about 20% of us have deeply anchored into the core of our planet, either initially or through evolvement. It may not be something we are aware of explicitly, but there is a deep down feeling about it. The remaining individuals have entered her through the surface layers of their psyche, and from this perspective are not fully here, simultaneously reflecting a kind of fragmentation within themselves. It is another way of looking at the disconnection between our souls and embodied lives. This is not judgmental, as our universe is a big place and we travel within it over the eons of our journey into embodied enlightenment.

As the more difficult emotional and mental impressions are stimulated and released from the subtle layers of our earth over the coming decades, the essence of the incompletions themselves still remain in each person’s subtle makeup and tissues of their body. When that person dies, and those images are no longer simultaneously present in our earth, there is no magnetic attraction pulling one back to them, and the samsaras will look for another place to ground in our universe.

This is a turning of the wheel, one that is always, albeit slowly turning. As the wheel turns to support a more unified expression, a kind of permission comes into the innate awareness of adepts who know how to facilitate this clearing to bring forth a greater transparency of the oneness of life. The analogies given here are simplistic in what is in reality an almost incomprehensible, interwoven matrix, but the essence of this remains true. This is not just individual clarification, as many will understand to a greater degree what collective karma means and make choices where they stand within the social structures shaping their life source. If amidst these stimulations, one internalizes self-responsibility, there is greater opportunity of knowing oneself and growth; indeed a blessed time.

But to think that the human psyche is in control of that timing is arrogance, and so to think we are the pinnacle of life, while in fact there is a great interplay of many forms of consciousness, is an arrogance that might be our downfall.

Life on our planet is not just respecting our physical resources, but also honoring the type of thoughts and emotions we have, and recognizing that this can also be either a blessing or pollution we are placing within this, our larger body.


Many sacred practices, primarily of a tantric holistic nature, are held and treasured in the Naga realms, of which I have received a number through transmission and dreams. Some are personal, and some involving a larger service in the collective. While most of these are beyond the scope of this article, here is a simple one.

In a dream, a Naga friend came to meet me while I was sitting in my meditation spot in our dome. He took a knife and very quickly cut through the surface layers of a woman’s body, like flaying a fish, about ¾ of an inch deep, and as doing so brought forth an ecstatic release of energy exposed from the within it.

As a meditation, sit still sensing the wholeness of your body and its interior space. Within that interior transparency, imagine a skin like membrane about a half inch to an inch or so underneath your skin. Make it paper thin, electric, and shimmering with a bright fluid sensual energy with a positive life-force. Let it heal you, making you strong and vital, while keeping the primary weight of your effortless focus in the heart or above.



As we awaken our kundalini in a stabilized sensitivity of our larger environment, a type of subtle elemental (essence) body is developed which becomes a vehicle of expression. Moving through our earth, this is like the kundalini currents within it. Such a presence can sometimes be large covering hundreds of miles and influencing the feeling and nature of a country.

The maturing of this can be called a dragon, inferring a quality of elemental potency and expanse, but they are not like picture book dragons, although your mind can use that representation if it needs to.

The evolutionary evolvement of a Naga is to become a dragon of enlightened expression. Likewise human practitioners also frequently develop this ability, and many if not most of the great yogis and yoginis have done so. An example being Ramana of Arunachala who often visits me in that form.


There is a vast range of realization within the Naga realms. Some get caught up on the sensual currents and forget themselves, becoming trapped in the sexual and drug energy of humans for example.

Once I was asked to teach a 3-day retreat within the middle of an alternative tantra scene. I would not have normally done so, but there was a reason. The night before I flew on the plane, a dragon came in my dreams and started vibrating the layers of the earth underneath the place I would be teaching with this beautiful orange light. This was stimulating the release of many images from the earth, having outwardly positive or negative affect on each individual depending on how they internalized it or not.

As this continued the head of a dragon would materialize out of the light for a moment, and the background voices were saying, is it a god or a demon, and the dragon was telepathically broadcasting to me, “Where do you put the power?”, meaning if centered beyond the individual or not.

Then he would dissolve and continue to increase the vibratory mainly orange light within the earth, and again people would say is it a demon or a god, and again he would silently transmit in a booming voice to me, “Where do you put the power?”. This happened a number of times.

On arriving, I became aware that there was a young Naga spirit entrapped within the sensual energy that the group had created, and my body went into a fever transmutting it, sleeping a few hours per night during the retreat. While teaching for the 8 hours a day or so, the fever would go, but would return the moment I finished a session. This was a secret work, for which no one knew the real reason I was there. In the years following, it ended up shifting the energy of the whole area which is sacred, and is now one of the areas I live in.

Many in the Naga realms do not relate to the human way of things and often make fun of it, laughing amongst each other. For example, the seriousness at which humans look upon death. A number of times they have come in my dreams, digging bodies out of grave yards, mocking funerals, and just making fun of the social fabric which humans bind themselves in.



To transmute something, one has to become it. Thoughts and dramas impress themselves in our cells and upon the earth. After a while this creates an opaqueness to our light, further compounding ignorance and fear. Such is the environment we all live in today, and there is a lot to lighten up.

Nagas, because of their connection to the water element are associated with disease, and some people give them the power to curse us with it – but in reality it comes about from the accumulation of our own collective thoughts.

Every action has a reaction, every thought through all time must either be dissolved or evolved, as all is consciousness.

The dishonoring of our earth and the grossness of our perceptions will eventually create dis-ease. As our fabric is stimulated for the removal of toxic thoughts, hopefully we can work with it intelligently instead of as an outer force thrown upon us.

A great trust is slowly developed between those who know each other as pure in heart, who are willing to help in this transmutation, typically with skillful means and a transcendent anchor. Of all the powers, abilities, skills – Love is the one that can most open and bring forth new opportunity into a hopeless situation. May the sharp eye of our discernment rest upon a heart-filled love.


There exists a lot of Love and a number of great masters in the Naga community. As I hope you have caught glimpse of, for an enlightened being the limitations of a human, Naga, or other form as the sole expression, has dropped away. So many, but not all, of the great masters, known and unknown to the greater populace, are also in these realms. The Nagas are one expression, and there are others.

They are very involved with the welfare of our earth, and it would help if people can understand that this earth is the mother for a number of beings, visible and invisible, of which there are many forms. Some of those forms are more corporeal than others, and when we understand our own nature as consciousness-first, then there is a greater opportunity to awaken into this awareness.

Recently I had a couple of bad horse accidents, worse than most people realized, and a number of times I was breaths away from leaving this body. These things are always opportunities. Sometimes it was all I could do to get my body to the dome, and then meditate for 3 or 4 hours in an inner flame. One of these times, a great female Naga adept from South India, whom I knew well, visited me in her subtle body along with a Naga King typically residing in the Himalayas. Clinging to the human body for my dharma, they presented me the choice to come back into their realm fully: a place of honoring, a transparency, where the blending of individual and the greater oneness is naturally understood. I was given the opportunity to embrace particular practices that I love within the reflections of a more enlightened community, although there are still challenges in these realms as well.

I have had this choice a few times, in different ways, and this was something I had to seriously consider. Walking back from the dome, the one I call my Sat Guru, placed his arm on my shoulder and assured me that I would live, and he has continued to back up this assurance with his help. It is the choice-less choice, to know one’s dharma created in freedom and the innate wisdom of love.

Find the images you have created within yourself, within the earth, and evolve them. Discover who you are, and take courage in your decisions in that pure elevated place.


I hope to have transmitted at least a glimmer of the great life we live within, and whatever each of our journeys are within that, I hope that we can bring enough wisdom and love to it and each other.

These journeys within the earth and stars, within our own precious human body, are but a reflection within a non-dual awareness. When you sit and meditate, know that you have the potential within you to experience it all, and honor that pure, simple space within your body through which your spirit flows. There is no need to search for experience outside of yourself, rather through the natural uprising of purity and potency of practice, these things present themselves. Keep it internalized as it matures, and may all beings be blessed by and in your light.

Virochana Khalsa

by Virochana Khalsa

October, 2015

About Virochana Khalsa

Virochana Khalsa has taught Kriya, Tantra, and ways of working consciously in the earth for 35 years in a dozen countries. He is the author of 4 books including Eternal Yoga: Awakening into Buddhic Consciousness and Tantra of the Beloved, is a co-creator of Sacred Mountain Retreat, and has a software company Silver Earth.

From designing computer chips at Caltech, to working with street people; from years spent building a retreat in the mountains of Crestone, and a life of joyful Sadhana, Virochana immerses himself in everything he does. He lives primarily in Colorado and Maui, rides Arabian horses, and loves meditation.

Get the One and Only Sutra Journal Newsletter

Sutra Journal Logo

© 2016 All Rights Reserved by Sutra Journal and Respective Authors.

Sutra Journal has readers from 170 countries.