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Home > Katha's > Nag Panchami Pooja
Nag Panchami Pooja
By Anjalika Sanstha

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Nag Panchami

Nag Panchami 2015 date is 19th August. Nag Panchmi is always celebrated in the month of July or August. The day of Nag Panchami is the fifth day after Amavasya in the month of Shravan. Nag Panchmi is a unique festival that is celebrated to worship snakes. Nag is a Hindu term used for snakes. The festival of Nag Panchami has its own religious importance and is celebrated in many parts of the country.

The association of snakes with the Hindu is not a new thing. There are many mythological stories that state that snakes have always been connected to the Hindu religion. Lord Shiva himself has a snake that can always be seen around his neck and Lord Vishnu has snake too named as Sheshnag. Therefore it is clear that there is a special significance in worshipping snake on the day of Nag Panchami.


On Nag Panchami, the women draw figures of snakes on the walls of their houses using a mixture of black powder, cow dung and milk. Then offerings of milk, ghee, water and rice are made. It is believed that in reward for this worship, snakes will never bite any member of the family.
 

A farmer while tilling his land incidentally killed some young serpents. The serpent took revenge by biting all members of the farmer's family except his daughter, who worshipped snakes.This devotional act of the girl resulted in revival of her family. So on the day of Naag Panchami, tilling of land is forbidden. Snake worship is however believed to have originated due to man's natural fear of reptiles.
 
Naga Panchami is one of the most ancient fasts in India and also finds mention in the Puranas. It is believed to be one of the most auspicious days of the entire year. According to the Bhavishya Purana, when men bathe the snakes Vasuki, Takshaka, Kaliya, Manibhadra, Airavata, Dhritarashtra, Karkotaka and Dhananjaya with milk, on the fifth day of the bright fortnight of Shriven, they ensure freedom from danger for their families. As per a legend, on the day of Naga Panchami, ploughing a field is forbidden.
 
There are a number of legends associated with Naga pancahmi. One has it that on this day, while tilling his land, a farmer accidentally killed some young serpents. The mother of these serpents took revenge by biting and killing the farmer and his family, except one daughter, who happened to be praying to the Nagas. This act of devotion resulted in the revival of the farmer and the rest of his family. Since then, Nag Panchami has been celebrated in India. It is believed that in reward for worship, snakes will never bite any member of the family.
 
There is yet another legend related to the festival. It goes that young Lord Krishna was playing with the other cowboys near river Yamuna, when the ball got entangled in the high branch of a tree. Krishna volunteered to climb the tree and fetch the ball. Below the tree, a terrible snake Kaliya used to live in the river. Suddenly Krishna fell from the tree into the water. The terrible snake came up with anger, but Krishna started jumping on its head. Finally, Kaliya said sorry to Lord Krishna and He forgave the snake and let it go free. Since then, on Nag Panchami day, the victory of Krishna over the Kaliya snake is commemorated.
 
In India, snakes are so revered that temples have also been erected in their honor. There is a particularly famous one in Mysore, at a place called Subramania (Sheshnaga). The Naga culture was fairly widespread in India before the Aryan invasion, and continues to be an important segment of worship in certain areas. After the invasion, the Indo-Aryans incorporated the worship of snakes into Hinduism. The thousand-headed Ananta is Vishnu's couch and also holds up the earth, while snakes play an ornamental role in the case of Shiva. Naga panchami is another form of honoring the snakes.

 

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