(Last Updated on : 12/02/2009)
The term 'Ananta' means infinite and it is also the name of 'Sesha' or 'Vasuki'. Ananata is the king of the Nagas, a race of serpents which inhabit Patala. He belongs purely to the Puranic period. He is said to have a thousand hooded-heads. There is a sign called Swastika on the foreheads of them. The mystic cross on it betokens good fortune.
Ananta is clothed in purple and wears a white necklace. He holds a plough in one hand he and a pestle in the other. It is said that he vomits a venomous fire at the end of each Kalpa, which destroys all creation. Ananta bears the universe on his head and produces earthquakes whenever by yawns. Lord Vishnu relaxes on his body during the intervals of creation and is sheltered by his hoods which stretch out above him like a canopy.
Ananta was used during the churning of the ocean. His tail was caught by the gods and the demons caught his head. They twisted him round Mount Meru and thus formed a churn on a large scale. Ananta is also another name of Lord Vishnu, of Baladeva (Krishna's elder brother), of Shiva.