Nag Panchami is observed on the Shukla Paksha Panchami during the Hindu calendar month of Sawan. As per the Gregorian calendar Nag Panchami falls in month of July or August. In 2016 Nag Panchami will fall on the 7th of August. Nag Panchami is celebrated two days after Hariyali Teej. On this day women pray for the well-being of their brothers and families. They worship the Nag Devta (serpent God) and offer milk to them.
The festival of Nag Panchami is observed by Hindus throughout India and traditionally dedicated to the worship of Nag Devta. As per the Hindu calendar, the worship of serpent Gods is essential on some days. The Panchami Tithi especially during the month of Shravan is propitious to worship Nag Devta. Nag Panchami observed on the Shukla Paksha Panchami during Shravan month is highly propitious.
It is believed that any prayers offered to snakes would be well received by the God of snakes. Hence snakes (as a representation of Nag Devta) are worshipped by Hindus. There are many serpent Gods revered in Hinduism, but these twelve are worshiped on Nag Panchami: Ananta, Vasuki, Shesha, Padma, Kambala, Karkotaka, Ashvatara, Dhritarashtra, Shankhapala, Kaliya, Takshaka and Pingala.
Nag Chaturthi: Many people observe a fast one day prior to Nag Panchami. This fasting is known as Nag Chaturthi or Nagul Chavithi. In the state of Andhra Pradesh this ritual is observed right after Diwali. It also coincides with Tamil Nadu's six days long festivity, Soora Samharam.
Nag Pancham: In Gujarat Nag Panchami is popularly known as Nag Pancham. Here it is observed 15 days after all the other states have celebrated the festival. It is celebrated three days before the festivities of Krishna Janmashtami.
Bola Choth or Bol Choth in Gujarat: Bola Choth (also known as Bahula Chauth) is observed one day prior to Nag Pancham. On this day cattle, especially cows are worshipped.
Nag Panchami Puja
Nag Panchami Puja Muhurat = 06:17 to 08:50 Duration = 2 Hours 32 Mins Panchami Tithi Begins = 04:04 on 7th Aug Panchami Tithi Ends - 05:58 on 8th Aug
Nag Panchami is one the holy festivals of India. Millions of locals celebrate it with festive spirit. It is the festive day when the snake gods (Naagas in Sanskrit) are worshipped. It is a celebration praised all over India with devotion and dedication. Nag Panchami is a proud festival of Hindus observed by the followers of Hinduism. Since the time immemorial, the Vedic philosophy (Later evolved into modern Hinduism) has stressed the significance of worshipping the Supreme Truth (God) in His numerous forms, of whose Nagas being one of the forms.
Secret Legends and Lore behind Celebration
The Vedic scripture Mahabharata mentions the story of Janamejeya whose father King Parikshit was killed by a snake named Taksaka. Angered, Janamejeya called for the greatest sacrifice which would kill all the snakes across the earth. The Sacrificial Fire was started and performed by qualified priests and Brahmins. It was so magnanimous that all the snakes except Taksaka 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
Manasadevi for a peaceful resolve. She asked her son Astika to pacify Janamejeya. Later, King Janamejeya was astounded by the scriptural knowledge of Astika who asked for a boon from the King. The King gave up his revengeful 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.
Another tale is about a farmer who killed three snakes while ploughing the land. Angered and enraged, the mother of the dead snakes killed the farmer, his wife and two children by biting them. Fortunately his daughter never came to the curse of the mother snake. She worshipped her with milk and begged for her family's life. Pleased with her devotion, the mother snake brought her family back to life.
Scriptural significance: As per one of the Vedic scriptures Garuda Purana, one should offer prayers to the snake gods on this day and offer food to Brahmins.
How to Worship Nagas?
On this day, one can offer milk, sweets or flowers to snakes. Generally, it is risky or even impossible to have a real snake in front worship. One can install the snake gods' deity of stone, wood or even painting. Then, the devotee may purify the deity with sacred bath and offer milk.
Following this, worship the deity reciting this mantra:
'Naga preeta bhavanti shantimapnoti via viboh Sashanti lok ma sadhya modate shashttih samh'
'Let all have divine blessings of the Snake Goddess, let all attain peace. Let all live serenely without any turmoil.'
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