INDIA: Naag Panchami is typically the festival of snakes and has a wide mythological significance in Hinduism. It is generally celebrated on the fifth day of the moonlit fortnight in the month of Shravan each year. This auspicious day falls two days after the Hindu festival Hariyali Teej.
Hindu women worship the Lord of snakes (Sheshnaag) by offering milk to the deity’s sculpture, on this day some even observe fasting for the well-being of their brothers and families. Animals are a vital part of Hindu philosophy so this day is celebrated with utmost sincerity and purity at heart. Many janitorial stories believe this festival helps in ensuring their family’s freedom from the danger of snakes.
The term Panchami means the fifth day of either the crescent moon (Shukl Paksha) or shrinking Moon (Krishna Paksha), in the Lunar cycle with each phase lasting for 15 days. The Naga Panchami ritual includes a temple priest who ensures the worshipping of the Nagraj. He sprinkles Haldi-kumkum (turmeric and red powder and flowers) on the sesh (heads). He Cascades plenty of milk and honey in return to seek immunity from snake bites. On this holy day, one can also witness snake charmers roaming around the country. Devotees perform Naag Puja of the Ashta Naga devatas which means the eight snakes.
How Naag Panchami Is Interlinked With The Famous Hindu Samudramanthan:
During the churning of the Ocean of Milk, both demons and Demi Gods churned the mountain together, during this process, a dreadful poison named Halahal popped out of the Ocean, the poison was so fatal that it had the power to kill all life on this planet. At that point, there is no option left for the Demigods to seek help except the Lord of all God’s “Mahadev”.
The Supreme and Selfless Lord consumed all the dreadful poison but while he was drinking, few of its drops fell on the earth which were consumed by the serpents. Soon the immediate effect of the poison started enhancing and the throat of Lord Shiva started flickering hence, all the gods performed Ganga Abhishekam on Lord Shiva along with the snakes. This day reminds us of the glorious victory of mankind over noxious fumes.
The Mythological Belief Of Naag Panchami:
According to mythological beliefs, The head of a snake is represented as Rahu whereas, the tail of the snake is referred to as Ketu. Many people suffering from Kal Sarp Dosha are believed to undergo a lot of hardships and bad luck. But offering prayers and bhog during the Nag Panchami festival is said to offer relief from the Kal Sarp Dosha.
On this day if a devotee worships Snake Lord and performs Rudra Abhishekam on Nag Panchami he/ she is liberated from all the hardships of life. The offering of prayers to Lord Shiva and Snake Lord on this auspicious day is said to bring relief from Pitra Dosha. Snakes are also associated with virility and are known to bless women who are suffering from infertility with healthy offspring.
Who Is Seshnaaga?
Sheshnaag helps in support of the Earth by holding it on his Hood. It is believed that Lord Vishu’s divine snake takes shelter in Hell and has a hundred hoods, in each of these hoods there is a rare diamond. It is regarded that Sheshnaag has evolved from the Tama element of Shri Vishnu. At the end of every Kalp, Lord Vishnu along with his wife Maata Laxmi spends relaxing hours on Sheshnag in the great Ocean.