In 'THE KATHA SARIT SAGARA (THE OCEAN OF STORY)', edited by Bhatta Somadeva., New Delhi, India., 1968., this Ten Volume collection of ancient East Indian lore gives a description of the 7-leveled underworld of 'Patalas', which is the traditional abode of the Nagas, or the Serpent Race. Vol. 6, pp. 108-112, gives a legend concerning the journey of a King by the name of Bhunandana to this underworld domain. Although the story may be largely mythological, it is nevertheless a bizarre reflection of the ideas which it's writer or writers, early Hindu's, had concerning this underworld.

Take note that parts of the legend seems to parallel certain ideas concerning the reptilian underground which have appeared in other accounts. Whether this legend has any direct connection with actual reported scenarios concerning "vats" filled with human and animal vital fluids and biological matter, such as that reportedly taking place deep below Dulce, New Mexico, remains to be seen.

We will let the reader make their own determination. The legend, as it appeared in 'THE OCEAN OF STORY', states that:

"There are on this earth many openings leading into the lower regions; but there is one great and famous one is Kasmira made by Maya... even now the place is called by the two names Peak of Pradyumna and Hill of Sarika... the king (Bhunandana) entered with... his pupils, and marched along the road to Patalas for five days and five nights. And on the sixth day they all crossed the Ganges of the lower regions."

The king told his followers, "This is the dwelling of the god Siva (note: Siva or Shiva is an apparently supernatural being that has been identified with the Serpent Race of the 'Nagas', as related in Andrew Tomas' book 'ON THE SHORES OF ENDLESS WORLDS' and elsewhere - Branton), who inhabits the lower regions in the form of Hatakesvara, and whose praises are sung in the three worlds..."

Could these 'three' worlds be the subterran, terran and exterran 'worlds'? In the legend, the underworld of Patalas gave off the impression of being some kind of underworld paradise, yet the hero's of the story soon learn that such 'beauty' is only superficial, and that inwardly things were just the opposite. One of the kings servants, becoming hungry, eats a fruit from one of the subterranean trees and:

" soon as he had eaten it, he became rigid and motionless."

At one point in the journey the king encounters a being that appeared to him in the form of a woman, and this being takes him to an underground garden and, according to the legend,

"...then she sat down with him on the brink of a tank filled with wine, and with the blood and fat of corpses, that hung from trees on its banks, and she offered the king a goblet, full of the fat and wine, to drink, but he would not accept the loathsome compound. And she kept saying earnestly to the king: 'You will not prosper if you reject my beverage.' But he answered: 'I certainly will not drink that undrinkable compound, whatever may happen.'"

In apparent response to his refusal, instead of declaring that he had passed some test, 'she' then pours out the grotesque compound over his head and departs, and shortly afterwards he was expelled from Patalas, the legendary home of the Nagas or the Serpent Race (this particular legend did not refer to the Naga's as the inhabitants of Patalas, as most Hindu legends do, unless of course the 'woman' was actually a Naga in disguise or a "host" for the same. Or could 'she' have been a sorceress who lived in that dark underworld realm and collaborated with its accursed inhabitants? This is assuming of course that there is some seed of truth behind this tale).

Whether fantasy or reality, the 'king' should be commended for resisting the bloody 'drink', and may have been fortunate that he himself did not end up as "food for the [false] gods" of the underworld. This is, again, assuming that there is some flame of truth behind the 'smoke' of such tales.