By Priyanka Mahajan
Nag Panchami 2012 date is July 24. Nag Panchami is the day on which snakes are worshipped. It is celebrated all over India when monsoon is on its peak. Monsoonal season is the best time when snakes can be found easily. But this festival is majorly celebrated in Maharashtra, Bengal and Southern part of the country. On this day of Naga Panchami, Nag Devata or the snake god is worshipped and prayed for the protection against snake bites. Protection from snake bites, here communicates, the protection from all the evils.
According to the Hindu calendar, Nag Panchami falls during the month of Shravan and on the fifth day of the moonlight-fortnight i.e. either in July or in August, which is also the time when Monsoon comes in India. In Puranas, it is specifically mentioned that there are some Nagas which must be worshipped on this day. These include Anant, Padma, Kanwal, Karkotak, Kalia, Aswatar, Takshak, Shesh, Sankhpal, Vasuki, Dhritarashtra and Pingal. However, some historians are of the view that the above mentioned Nagas were the Naga kings and not only the snakes.
The Indian scriptures are full of stories relating, snakes, humans, gods and demons with each other. Snakes have been associated with eternal gods like Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and also Lord Vishnu's incarnation Lord Krishna. This communicates the relationship and significance of snakes with the Hindu religion.
There is an old Hindu story that the origin of snakes and Lord Brahma are related to each other. This is the reason why the Nagas are treated very important and are worshipped in India. As per scriptures, Brahma had a son Kashyapa, who married four times. Firstly, he married to the mother of all Devas, then to Garudas, thirdly to Nagas and lastly to Daityas. Kashyapa's third wife, known as Kadroo, was the one who gave birth to Nagas. This is the reason because of which the snakes are also known as Kadrooja, who then also became the leaders of Patal Loka.
People worship snakes with lot of respect and love on the day of Nag Panchami. Poojas performed by different people and in different parts of the country differ in rituals. Some people worship living snakes while others worship idols or images of snakes. The pooja generally performed consists of bathing the idol of snake with milk as well as turmeric. When this ritual of bathing the snake with milk is performed, the snake charmers play the music with 'been'. So on this day, the snake charmers are also in great demand.
After this ritual is performed, Lord Shiva is also worshipped by the devotees, as Lord Shiva and snakes are connected spiritually, and it can easily be understood by the snake around his neck. People then visit temples and also the snake pits. Silver jewelry is also offered by many people to cobras. Many people also keep a full day fast on this day. Nag Panchami is then celebrated for the whole day, spreading loads of joy and happiness all around. Music, dance, cultural fairs etc. spread a beam of enjoyment everywhere.
Naga Panchami Festival - Nag Panchami Pooja