Snakes play a pivotal role in Hinduism. According to the ancient Holy Scriptures, the patala loka is believed to be the abode of the serpents. The patala loka also known as the Naga- loka or the Naag loka is believed to be the lowest of the seven lower worlds of the universe which are situated below the Earth. As per an old belief, snakes are known to have more powers than human beings due to their association with Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Devi and Subramanya. It is believed that worshipping the serpents will appease the Nag devta (God) and He will bless the entire family of the worshipper by protecting them from danger and by bestowing over all wellbeing. The word Naga means snake and the fifth day of moon’s waning phase in the Lunar Hindu month of Shravana is called as the Panchami, thus, the name Nag Panchami. According to the Hindu calendar, the Nag panchami is observed in Shravan on the Shukla Paksha Panchami.
This year the Nag Panchami falls on the 5th of August 2019 which is a Monday. The Nag Panchami falls in month of July or August according to the Gregorian calendar. This festival is celebrated by Hindus all over the country exactly two days after the Hariyali Teej.
How is Naag Panchami Celebrated?
On Nag Panchami, people worship and prayer over the snake pictures or the snake idols made of wood, stone and metal by offering milk, sweets and flowers and by chanting the mantra
‘Naga preeta bhavanti shantimapnoti via viboh
Sashanti lok ma sadhya modate shashttih samh’ which means
‘Let all have divine blessings of the Snake Goddess, let all attain peace. Let all live serenely without any turmoil.’
One can also find serpent charmers with snakes on the road. People visit these charmers and offer milk and offerings to the snakes. Devotees also observe fast on this day and serve food to the Brahmins On this auspicious day people also offer prayers to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. It is said that worshipping snake Gods on this day protects the wearer from all kinds of inauspiciousness.
Nag Panchami tithi:
|Date and Day||Tithi begins||Tithi Ends|
|Nag Panchami Tithi||August 4th 2019, Sunday||06:48 AM|
|Puja Vidhi Muhurat||August 5th 2019, Monday||06:20 AM||08:54 AM|
|Nag Panchami Tithi||August 5th 2019, Monday||03:54 pM|
There is belief that any prayer and worship offered with a pure heart to the serpents would be accepted by Naga Devata. A number of serpent gods are mentioned in the Vedas, but on the occasion of Nag Panchami, only a few snake gods namely Shesha, Vasuki, Padma, Ananta, Kaliya, Pingala, Takshaka, Dhritarashtra, Kambala, Shankhapala, Ashvatara, and Karkotaka are worshipped.
Legend behind celebrating Nag Panchami:
As mentioned in Mahabharata, the ancient Vedic scripture, there was a King named Parikshit who was killed by a snake named Taksaka. The king’s son Janamejeya was angered and outraged by the demise of his father. Janamejaya decided to perform the greatest ritualistic sacrifice in order to kill all the snakes across the globe. With the help of learned and qualified Brahmins and priests, the ritual of Sacrificial Fire began. This fire was so magnanimous that it dragged all the snakes into it except the serpant Taksaka who was the Nagaraja (King of serpants). Taksaka was safe as he was hiding in King Indra’s heavenly abode. As the fire was intensified by the Brahmins king Indra too was dragged towards the fire along with Nagraja Taksaka. Looking at this grave situation all the gods got disturbed and prayed to Manasadevi goddess to put an end to this dreadful event. After a lot of prayers and pleading goddess Manasadevi agreed to help the gods. She sent her son Astika who was a great sage to pacify the anger of Janamejeya. Sage Astika went to the King Janamejeya and tried calming his anger by sharing scriptural knowledge with him. Janamejeya was astounded by the scriptural knowledge of the sage. Astika in return asked the King for a boon. Pleased with sage Astika the King agreed to bless him with a boon on which the sage asked him to give up his revenge and stop the fierce fire. King Janamejeya asked the Brahmins to stop the Fire. Once the fire was stopped all the snakes got their life back and thus, this day marks the rebirth of all the snakes and hence it is celebrated with zeal in order to pay respect to the Nag devas.
On the Nag Panchami people who have KaalSarp Dosha in their natal charts must observe fast and make sculptures of snakes having five heads with cow dunk. In case, cow dunk is not available, one can make the snake sculptures with Red soil. Place these snake sculptures on both the sides of house threshold. Now worship this idol by offering milk, Akshat, sandalwood, Kusha, grass, flower and sweet (Ladoo) to the idol and later chant the following mantra three times
” ऊँ कुरुकुल्ये हुँ फट स्वाहा”
Doing so appeases the snake God and reduces the ill effects of Kalsarp Dosha.