The very word “Nag panchami” fills our mind with lots and lots of frightful snakes. Though it sounds weird, snakes are worshiped with great pomp and ritual all over India. If not you remember the famous movie 3 idiots wherein during the results “Nagdevta mera physics bachale ,roj 1 litre doodh bhijwaonga” as the student pampers the snake Lord in blessing him with good marks.
Nag panchami festival information
Nagpanchami is also called Nag puja. It is celebrated on the 5th day of the Shravan month of the lunar calendar. Nag Panchami is worshipping of serpents. It is worshiped by Hindus throughout India, Nepal and other countries.
There are various myths, revelations, folklores which signify the importance of Nagpanchami. The Vedic scripture Mahabharata mentions the story of Janamejaya whose father King Parikshit was killed by a snake named Takasaka. Infuriated, Janamejaya called for the greatest sacrifice which would kill all the snakes across the earth.
This sacrificial fire was started and performed by qualified priests and Brahmins. It was so benevolent that all the snakes except Takasaka were drawn and dragged to the fire. Taksaka hiding in the heavenly abode of king Indra was too dragged along with Indra as the Brahmins intensified the fire.
The gods, disturbed by the event, prayed to goddess Mansa Devi for a peaceful resolve. She asked Astika to pacify Janamejaya. Later, Janamejaya was astonished by the scriptural knowledge of Astika who asked for a boon from the king. The king gave up his vengeance spirit and told Brahmins to stop the Fire. This was the day when all the snakes got their life back. Hence, the Hindus worship snake gods on the day.
Fast is observed on Nagpanchami and Brahmins are fed. Snakes are worshiped and fairs are held. In some regions, milk is offered along with crystallized sugar, rice pudding. Images of Nag deities made of silver, stone, wood or paintings on the wall are first bathed with water and milk and then worshipped with the reciting of the following mantra: ” Naga preeta bhavanti shantimapnoti via viboh sashanti lok ma sadhya modate shashttih samh” which implies -” let all have divine blessings of the snake goddess, let all attain peace. Let all live serenely without any turmoil.
In SouthIndia, this day is celebrated to strengthen the bonds between the brother and sister. Snakes have had a lot of revered and holy references in Hindu Mythology and scriptures and it is said that praying to them on this day protects a person from unnecessary fears in life and brings good health, wealth, peace and prosperity in life.
India is famous for a lot of things around the world from yoga to its diversity from its travel destination to its rich and vibrant past but one thing that this country is famous for is celebrating festivals, lots of festivals. A country with diverse religious and cultural backgrounds with varied mythological stories with different tastes and flavors is a different experience altogether.