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Naag Panchmi: The festival to worship Naag Devta -one of the vedic deities

Nag Panchami is falling on 25 July this year and expected to bring a major turn in the lives of people. There is a provision of venerating Nagas or Serpents with utter devotion on this day.

As the name itself suggests, the festival of Nag Panchami is dedicated to the serpents. It is a tradition to celebrate this event on the Panchami Tithi of Shukla Paksha in the month of Shravan every year. This year, Nag Panchami will be celebrated across the country on 25 July 2020, Saturday. According to the popular beliefs and rituals, Nagas or Serpents are devotedly worshipped on the day of Nag Panchami, and fast is observed.

The festival of Nag Panchami inspires people to protect animals other than snakes, and preserve the environment. The names of major mythological serpents are mentioned in the Devi Bhagavata. It is believed that from ancient times, Sages and Scholars have laid emphasis on carrying out puja rituals venerating the serpents and observing a fast on this auspicious day. Snakes or Nagas are worshipped on the day of Nag Panchami and then bathed with cow’s milk.

Nag Panchami Muhurat

Nag Panchami Date– 25 July 2020

Puja Muhurat– From 05:38:42 Till 08:22:11 (25 July 2020)

Duration: 2 Hours 43 Minutes

Panchami Tithi Begins – 14:35:53 (24 July 2020)

Panchami Tithi Ends– 12:03:42 (25 July 2020)

Nag Panchami Puja Rituals

Create the idols of snakes with cow dung and place them on both sides of the doors of your house on the day of Nag Panchami.

Offer Curd, Durva, Gandha, Kusha, Akshat, Flowers, Modak and Malpua etc. to this statue of the snake.

On this day, offer food to the Brahmins and observe a fast. Doing so eliminates any fear of serpents. Although even though you cannot invite Brahmins at home due to the ongoing pandemic and guidelines regarding social distancing, you can take that portion out and donate it in a temple.

Apart from this, bathing the serpents with milk and worshipping them with devotion on this day also helps you get rid of your fear of snakes.

Turmeric or Haldi must be used when worshipping serpents.

Anant, Vasuki, Shesha, Padmanabha, Kambal, Karkotak, Ashwa, Dhritarashtra, Shankhpal, Kaliya and Takshak are the names of all the serpents. On the day of Nag Panchami, write all these names on the wall with turmeric-sandal paste.

Chant this mantra while worshipping,

“अनन्तं वासकिं शेषं पद्मकम्बलमेव च।तथा कर्कोटकं नागं नागमश्वतरं तथा।। धृतराष्ट्रंं शंखपालं कालाख्यं तक्षकं तथा। पिंगलञ्च महानागं प्रणमामि मुहुर्मुरिति।।”

“anantaṃ vāsakiṃ śeṣaṃ padmakambalameva ca।tathā karkoṭakaṃ nāgaṃ nāgamaśvataraṃ tathā।। dhṛtarāṣṭraṃṃ śaṃkhapālaṃ kālākhyaṃ takṣakaṃ tathā। piṃgalañca mahānāgaṃ praṇamāmi muhurmuriti।।”

This is the namaskar mantra for Naag Devta.

According to the beliefs, cooking anything in an iron pan on the day of Nag Panchami is a prohibited act.

Apart from this, prepare a Payas made of wheat, milk, gram or chana, paddy or rice and roasted barley with full devotion and a purposeful mindset, and offer it to the snakes.

Lord Shri Krishna & Nag Panchami

An account of Nag Panchami is also associated with Lord Krishna. According to this story, once upon a time, Lord Krishna was playing with his friends when his ball accidentally fell into the river. This was the same river which served as the abode to the Serpent King Kalia Nag, who was sent by Kansa to kill Krishna. Seeing the ball going into the river, Lord Krishna also jumped into the water, where Kalia Nag attacked him. However, Lord Krishna taught him a lesson, after which Kalia Nag apologised for his actions and vowed never to harm anyone in the village. The victory of Shri Krishna over Kalia Nag is also celebrated as Nag Panchami.

Significance of Nag Puja

It is said that once Naglok started burning as a result of Matra-Shrapa or the Maternal Curse. To get rid of the excruciating pain, Snakes were bathed with Cow Milk on the auspicious occasion of Nag Panchami. The Cow’s milk cools down the agony caused by the fire and at the same time, provides relief from the fear of snakes to the devotees who perform the task. For a native who performs the fast and rituals with a true heart on the day of Nag Panchami, both the Sheshnag and Vasuki, the best among the Nagas, pray with folded hands to Lord Hari and Lord Shiva.

Things To Avoid On Nag Panchami

Excavation or any kind of digging of land on the day of Nag Panchami is prohibited.

For carrying out the Nag Puja, always worship either the picture or the idol made of clay or metal of Nag Dev. Read the article till the end to know why you should avoid worshipping real serpents.

Apart from this, you can offer Milk, Rice or Dhaan, Kheel or Puffed Rice and Doob. Along with it, if possible, purchase the serpent from the Snake Charmer and release them in the wild.

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Why Milk Shouldn’t Be Offered On Nag Panchami

On the day of Nag Panchami, it has been observed that in many places, people devotedly worship Snakes captured by Snake Charmers, which is wrong. Let us tell you why this is wrong. Actually, Snake Charmers capture wild snakes and break their teeth, which makes them highly vulnerable and incapable of hunting their prey. Due to this, they are forced to stay hungry.

After this, the hungry snake considers the milk offered to him as water for drinking. But drinking this milk can worsen the wounds formed due to their teeth being broken by the Charmers, hence further worsening the situation, and eventually, the snake dies. One major fact to understand is that a snake is not a herbivore organism by nature and doesn’t drink milk. In such a situation, people should worship their statue or idol instead of real and alive snakes.

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