śeṣa शेष

Definition: m. Name of a celebrated mythological thousand-headed serpent regarded as the emblem of eternity (whence he is also called an-anta-,"the infinite" ; in the viṣṇu-purāṇa- he and the serpents vāsuki- and takṣaka- are described as sons of kadru-, but in one place śeṣa- alone is called king of the nāga-s or snakes inhabiting pātāla-, while elsewhere vāsuki- also is described as king of the naga-s and takṣaka- of the serpents; the thousand headed śeṣa- is sometimes represented as forming the couch and canopy of viṣṇu- whilst sleeping during the intervals of creation, sometimes as supporting the seven pātāla-s with the seven regions above them and therefore the entire world; he is said to have taught astronomy to garga-; according to some legends he became incarnate in bala-rāma- q.v) etc. ()