Nag Panchami: Blessings of the Nagas
Naga Panchami 2014 date is August 1. Naga Panchami or Nag Panchami is a day devoted to the worship of the nagas or the snakes. It is celebrated with all the fervor on the fifth day of Amavasya of the Shravana month of the Hindu calendar. People in India and Nepal both consider snakes as Gods and thus, Naga Panchami 2014 will be celebrated widely in both the countries.
No doubt, people have a huge angst for snakes. It is said, if a person worships the snakes on this pious day of Naga Panchami then he/she receives their blessings and will never be attacked by them. This removes the fear of snakes from the minds of people.
About the Nagas
While celebrating Nag Panchami in 2014, we should know a bit about Nagas too. The nine known great Nagas are: Ananta, Vasuki, Shesha, Padmanabha, Kambala, Shankhapala, Dhartarashtra, Takshaka, and Kaliya.
Some people say, Nagas are considered divine because of the following reasons:
- According to the Hindu mythology, Kashyapa (the son of Lord Brahama) had four wives. The first one gave birth to the Devas, the second to Garudas, the third to “the Nagas” and the fourth one to the Daityas. The Nagas ruled the Patal-lok.
- Sheshnaga- The Sheshnaga was the snake on which Lord Vishnu used to rest while sleeping in the sea.
- Vasuki- Lord Shiva carried the snake Vasuki around his neck.
Stories of Naga Panchami
Naga Panchami in 2014 is an excellent opportunity to find out the mythical legends associated with the festival.
Lord Krishna and Kaliya
A very well known story related to the history of the Nagas is that of Lord Krishna and Kaliya, the huge serpent. Once, in his childhood, Krishna was playing ball with his friends near Yamuna. Mistakenly, the ball got entangled in a branch of a tree. Krishna climbed on the tree to get the ball. But, he suddenly fell into the river. Kaliya got angry and he curbed Krishna. But, Krishna with his divine powers became so huge, that Kaliya realized his mistake and left him. Kaliya asked for forgiveness and Krishna forgave him. From then onwards, on the day of Naga Panchami, this story is also solemnized.
The story of a farmer
Another famous story which tells the importance of Naga Panchami is that of a farmer, who, while tilling the field accidently killed some snakes. The mother of the snakes was angered so much so that in her rage, she killed the farmer, his child and also his wife, except his daughter. The reason why she didn't kill her was that his daughter used to pray to the snakes on the day of Naga Panchami. This devotion of the farmer’s daughter also led to the renaissance of her family.
Naga Panchami Celebrations
On Naga Panchami, people get up early in the morning on this day and take bath. Some people also keep fast. Then, they visit temples and worship nagas. Some people after performing aarti also offer milk to the idols of snake god. It is said that by praying to the snakes, one protects oneself from all the evils. Ploughing of lands or fields is also prohibited Naga Panchami. Women go to their parent’s house to celebrate this festival. They prepare a swing from the branches of the trees, swing on them and sing songs.
There is a huge mela organized in Nepal on Naga Panchami. In Nepal, people hang the images of the snake Gods on the main door of their houses in order to protect themselves from all the evils.
This festival is celebrated as Rakshabandhan in South-India. The sisters call their brothers home. After performing the pooja of the Nagadevtas, the sisters offer milk to them. They drop a flower in the left over milk, apply the milk on their brother’s body and perform their aarti.
Some of the very famous snake temples in India are Nagaraja Temple in the town of Mannarsala in Kerala, Adi Seshan Sanadhi at Ardhanarishwar Temple at Tiruchengode, Raagu Temple-Thirunageswaram etc. One can make this festival more special by planning in advance to visit these temples on this auspicious day. Blessings of the Nagas on this day will not only protect you from all the evils but it will also make you feel stronger. We hope that on this Naga Panchami you get the divine blessings. Happy Naga Panchami 2014.