Naag Panchami

Naag Panchami - 2014


Nag Panchami (Shravan Shukla Paksha) :  Friday, 1 August 2014 (All India)

Nag Panchami (Shravan Krishna Paksha) : Wed, 16 July 2014 (Rajasthan & W. Bengal)

** The difference is due to the  calendars being followed there.

* "  Nag-Panchami" is the festival of snakes.

* 'Nag' means 'Snake'  and 'Panchami' means 'Fifth'.

*  It is celebrated on the fifth day (Panchami) after Amavasya of the month of Shraavana or on the fifth day (Panchami)of the bright half (Shukla Paksh) of Shravan month of Hindu calendar'.

* The day is known as Nag Panchami, people worship the snake or nag.

* Serpents are worshipped on Shravan Shukla Panchami.

On the day of Naag Panchami, ploughing of field, digging of foundation is not good. Because, habitat of snake is considered to be beneath the earth. Digging of land can hurt the Snake God.

This festival is celebrated with faith and fervor. On this day, worshiping Lord Shiva, the holder of serpent, is considered auspicious.

* On this day, Milk and cooked rice is offered to snakes carried by snake charmers. 

* Clay snakes are brought home to be worshipped and immersed in the sea / river in the evening.

*  On this day, on both the sides of door two idols of serpents are made of cowdung.

* In this vow, people fast on the Panchami day and take food only in the evening.

* People visit temples specially dedicated to snakes and worship them.

* Shiva temples are also favoured places for worshiping as snakes are considered dear to him.

* Some go to worship the snake which is believed to be hiding in the holes of anthills.   

* Or else a five hood snake is made by mixing "gandh" (a fragrant pigment),"haladi" (turmeric powder), "chandan" (sandal) and "kesar" (saffron) and placed on a metal plate and worshipped.  


Following are the stories connected to the celebration of this day :

Story No. 1

Krishna and the Kaliya Snake :

* Once Young Krishna was playing with the other cowboys, when suddenly the ball got entangled in the high branch of a tree. Krishna volunteered to climb the tree and fetch the ball. But below the tree there was a deep part of the river Yamuna, in which the terrible snake Kaliya was living. Everybody was afraid of that part of the river. Suddenly Krishna fell from the tree into the water. Then that terrible snake came up. But Krishna was ready and jumping on the snake’s head he caught it by the neck. Kaliya understood that Krishna was not an ordinary boy, and that it would not be easy to overcome him. So Kaliya pleaded with Krishna: "Please, do not kill me." Krishna full of compassion asked the snake to promise that henceforth he would not harass anybody. Then he let the snake go free into the river again. Thus Lord Krishna conquered Naga Kaliya and put an end to the evil deeds on this day (Naga Panchami).


Story No. 2

The Snake and the Farmer :

*  A farmer was ploughing his field. At the edge of the field there was an anthill which he inadvertently destroyed with the plough, and thus the young serpents that were hiding in it were killed. The mother snake had casually gone out. When she came back she could not find her young ones. At last she found them cut into pieces. She was furious and understood that the farmer had killed them. She was bent on taking revenge. At night when the farmer was sleeping with his wife and children, the snake came full of anger. She began to bite the feet of the farmer, and then one by one the feet of his wife and children. All began to cry. But the eldest daughter happened to be out of the house that night. Then the snake remembered that on the occasion of her wedding, the girl had gone to the house of her father-in-law. "I will not spare her either," the snake resolved.

The snake ran towards the neighbouring village. She stopped before the door of a house, and saw a young girl inside. She recognized her as the farmer’s eldest daughter. The snake went in determined to bite her. But then she saw the young girl with joint hands worshipping the snake she had made out of "gandh", and the nine "nagkule" (young snakes). She had offered them "nagane" (gram soaked and parched), "lahya" (rice blown out by parching), and "durva" ( doob or grass sacred to Ganpati), and she was praying with great devotion, "O God Snake, don’t be angry if I have committed any mistake. Accept my worship. Look after my people at home and in my father-in-law’s house. Do not bite anyone. Forgive any fault we may have committed inadvertently." With this the snake was pleased and came before the girl. She opened her eyes and got frightened at the sight of the snake. But the snake said, "Don’t be afraid. I shall not bite you. Tell me who you are and where your house is." Then the snake knew well that the girl was the farmer’s daughter and felt very sorry for having killed all her people. The snake told the girl what had happened, but told her not to cry. She gave her some nectar and told her to sprinkle it on her dead people, and with this they all came back to life.


नाग पंचमी कथा

एक समय एक किसान था जिसके दो पुत्र तथा एक पुत्री थी. एक दिन जब वह अपने खेत में हल चला रहा था, उसका हल सांप के तीन बच्चों पर से गुजरा और सांप के  बच्चों की मौत हो गई. अपने बच्चों की मौत को देख कर उनकी नाग माता को काफी दुख हुआ.. नागिन ने अपने बच्चों की मौत का बदला किसान से लेने का निर्णय किया. एक  रात को जब किसान और उसका परिवार सो रहा था, नागिन ने उनके घर में प्रवेश कर गई. उसने किसान, उसकी पत्नी और उसके दो बेटों को डस (काट) लिया. इसके परिणाम स्वरूप सभी की मौत हो गई.  किसान की पुत्री को नागिन ने नहीं डसा था जिससे वह जिंदा बच गई. दूसरे दिन सुबह नागिन फिर से किसान के घर में किसान की बेटी को डसने के इरादे से गई. किसान की पुत्री काफी बुद्धिमान थी . उसने नाग माता को प्रसन्न करने के लिए कटोरा भर कर दूध दिया तथा हाथ जोड़कर प्रार्थना की नागिन उसके पिता को अपने प्रिय पुत्रों की मौत के लिए माफ कर दे. उसने नागिन का स्वागत किया और उसके माता-पिता को माफ कर देने की प्रार्थना की. नाग माता इससे काफी प्रसन्न हुई तथा उसने किसान, उसकी पत्नी और उसके दोनों पुत्रों को, जिसे उसने रात को काटा था, जीवन दान दे दिया. इसके अलावा नाग माता ने इस वायदे के साथ यह आशीर्वाद भी दिया कि श्रावण शुक्ल पंचमी को जो महिला सांप की पूजा करेगी उसकी सात पीढ़ी सुरक्षित रहेगी .

 वह नाग पंचमी का दिन था और तब से सांप दंश से रक्षा के लिए सांपों की पूजा की जाती है.


 Procedure of Fasting on Nag Panchami:

* On the day of Naag Panchami, fast is kept in order to make God Snake happy. 
* In this fast, after the sunset and whole day fasting, Kheer is prepared as an offering for Gos snake while worshiping it. 
* First of all the Kheer is offered to God snake or to Lord Shiva, and then eaten as Prashad (offering from God), by everyone. 
* In this fast, intake of salt and fried things is prohibited. 
* The person keeping the fast should follow all the rules. 

Custom of Consuming Stale Food on Nag Panchami

On the day of Naag Panchami, only the food to be used in worshiping is prepared. Rest of the food is prepared a day before. The family members who don’t keep fast on this day are also given stale food for eating. Well, Kheer, rice, Sewayia are made today as fresh food items in homes. 

Worship of Idol of Snake God at the Main Entrance

On the day of Naag Panchami, people keeping fast, make a sculpture of snake with cow dunk, having five heads, on both side of house’s threshold. Red soil can also be used if, in case cow dung is not available. After this, Snake God is worshiped with milk, grass, Kusha, sandalwood,Akshat(rice used in worshiping),flower, sweet(Ladoo) and Naag source or following Naag mantras are chanted:-

" ऊँ कुरुकुल्ये हुँ फट स्वाहा"

Pacification of Kalsarp Yoga :

 " ऊँ कुरुकुल्ये हुँ फट स्वाहा"

Chanting this mantra rosary, three times, pleases the snake God. The fregnancel of sandalwood is especially dear to Serpent God. Hence, sandalwood should be used while worshiping. White lotus is used in today’s prayer. Chanting of the Above mentioned mantras, reduces the inauspicious effect of Kalsarp Yoga that is, the pacification of KaalSarp Yoga.

  In Northern States:
Worship of Goddess Mansa Devi: 

* In the northern India, there is a procedure of worshiping Goddess Mansa on Naag Panchami of Sharavan Maas. 
* Goddess mansa is considered as the Goddess(Devi) of serpents. So, in Bengal, Orissa, and other northen states, the act of worshiping Mansa Devi is performed.


**  In Jainism and Buddhism:

* In Jainism and Buddhism the snake is regarded as sacred and has divine qualities. 

* It is believed that a Cobra snake saved the life of Buddha; 

* another protected Jain Muni Parshwanath. 


 ** In South India
Nag Panchami is a festival that brings siblings together to celebrate their family's well-being. This festival is observed on the fifth day of Shravana month of the Hindu lunar calendar after the amavasya of Aashaadha month.


In southern India, on the day of Naag Panchami of Shravan Shukla, pure oil is used for bathing. Here, the unmarried girls keep fast and wish to have their dream man. 

On this day, married women and girls wake up early in the morning to bathe, arrange for puja, and go to the nearest ant hill (snake's home). They perform puja to the snake's home and pray to the Snake God (Indian Cobra - Murugan's incarnation) for the wellness of their families. This day is like Raksha Bandhan for South Indian Hindus. If there is no ant hill nearby, they offer puja to snake statues erected in nearby temples. A portion of milk used for puja is taken back home and offered to everyone as prasad.

Sisters traditionally invite their brothers to their home. They then immerse a flower in the leftover milk and apply it on their brothers' back, perform aarti, and present the men with gifts.

Sweets like Kadubu (Kannada, Kudumulu in Telugu) and Nuchununde (Kanduntalu in Telugu) are prepared, offered to Lord Krishna, and then distributed among guests.


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