Panchami Tithi Begins - 06:49 PM on Aug 04, 2019
Panchami Tithi Ends - 03:55 PM on Aug 05, 2019
During the auspicious month of Shravan on Shukla Paksha Panchami, Naag Panchami is observed. Naag Panchami is the traditional worship of the serpent Gods. Any Puja offered to the snake Gods during Naag Panchami, it is believed, would reach the Gods. As a ritual, during Panchami, devotees worship of live snakes as representatives of the snake Gods who are worshipped and respected in Hinduism.
Following are the twelve snakes that are usually worshipped during Naag Panchami Puja:
Ananta, Vasuki, Shesha, Padma, Kambala, Karkotaka, Ashvatara, Dhritarashtra, Shankhapala, Kaliya, Takshaka, and Pingala.
In Gujarat, Naag Panchami is observed 15 days later than other states. According to New Moon Lunar Calendar followed in Gujarat, the day falls during Krishna Paksha Panchami of the Shravan month. It is usually observed three days prior to Janmashtami.
In Andhra Pradesh, Naag Chaturthi is observed just after Diwali and in Tamil Nadu it coincides with the six days long festival Soora Samharam.
सर्वे नागाः प्रीयन्तां मे ये केचित् पृथ्वीतले।
ये च हेलिमरीचिस्था येऽन्तरे दिवि संस्थिताः॥
ये नदीषु महानागा ये सरस्वतिगामिनः।
ये च वापीतडगेषु तेषु सर्वेषु वै नमः॥
Translation of Mantra: In the whole sky, earth, heaven, lakes and ponds, in the rays of the sun etc., wherever the snake God is present, we pray, they all give us a life which is peaceful by removing our sorrows. We bow to them.
अनन्तं वासुकिं शेषं पद्मनाभं च कम्बलम्।
शङ्ख पालं धृतराष्ट्रं तक्षकं कालियं तथा॥
एतानि नव नामानि नागानां च महात्मनाम्।
सायङ्काले पठेन्नित्यं प्रातःकाले विशेषतः।
तस्य विषभयं नास्ति सर्वत्र विजयी भवेत्॥
Translation of Mantra: The names of nine Nag Devtas are Ananta, Vasuki, Shesha, Padmanabha, Kambala, Shankhapala, Dhritarashtra, Takshaka and Kaliya. Chanting of the Mantra every day in the morning, will keep you protected from all evils and make you victorious in life.
Naag Panchami is performed in order to offer prayers to the Snake Gods. Snakes have been an important part of the Hindu belief as Lord Shiva is seen adorning snakes around his body and neck and Lord Vishnu is seen resting on a snake bed. It is believed worshipping snakes bestows good fortune to devotees.
While performing Naag Panchami Puja there are certain Puja Samagri (materials) that are required, they are, image or statue of a snake made with red soil, or stone, or cow dung, or wood, or silver or a painting of a snake. Milk, sweets, fruits, flowers, pulses, camphor, turmeric paste, sprouts and incense are some of the Samagri required.
If the Puja is being performed in any temple there is no need for an image of a snake to be kept. Offer a milk bath to the image and idols of snakes. Decorate the idols and images with turmeric paste, vermillion and offer incense sticks. Devotees should then offer sprouts, sweets, flowers and fruits.
There are many legends associated with the festival of Naag Panchami.
As the legend goes, once a farmer was ploughing his fields and in doing so unknowingly killed some snakelets. The mother of the snakelets (Nagini) decided to take revenge on the farmer and his family. In the night she came and bit the farmer, his wife and two sons. Nagini came back the next morning to bite the daughter of the farmer, but the girl put a bowl of milk in front of the snake to please her. The girl asked for Nagini’s forgiveness on behalf of her father and the family was spared of Nagini’s revenge. It is believed the incident happened on the fifth day of the Shravan Month. Ever since that day, people started worshipping snakes seeking protection.
As per legend, once when Lord Krishna was playing with his friends on the banks of the Yamuna River and their ball fell into the river. Lord Krishna jumped into the river to retrieve the ball. There was a legend in the village about a huge snake that resided in the river. As soon as Lord Krishna jumped in to the river, the huge snake named Kaliya came to bite him. Lord Krishna fought with the snake and won. Kaliya requested the Lord to not kill him as he realized the immense power young Krishna had and promised to leave the Yamuna River. Since then Naag Panchami has been celebrated.
As mentioned in the Mahabharata, Janmajeya who was the grandson of Arjuna and son of King Parikshit had arranged for a Yagna to kill the entire clan of snakes as the king was killed by a snake called Takshaka. The sacrificial fire became so huge that all the snakes were dragged in the fire except for Takshaka. As the fire intensified, the Gods prayed to Goddess Manasadevi who sent her son Astika to pacify Janmajeya. Astounded by the knowledge of Astika, Janmajeya stopped the Yagna and the snakes got their life back. It is believed that it was on the Shravan Shukla Panchami that the Yagna was stopped; hence snakes are worshipped on this day.
A person who worships Naag Devata is blessed with protection from snake bites, evil eye and from Ophidiophobia, or Ophiophobia (the abnormal fear of snakes). The person is blessed by Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. This Puja is said to tone down the malefic effects of Kaal Sarp Dosh.
Different forms of Kaal Sarp Dosh are formed depending on position of Rahu and Ketu in different houses of a horoscope. Persons having this Yoga in their horoscope face instability and adversity in their life. The adverse effects of this Dosha can be minimized with Puja to pacify the ill effects of Rahu and Ketu. If possible the Puja should be performed on one’s birthday every year.
Kaalsarp Dosh is a dreaded astrological occurrence that affects a person severely with multifarious misfortunes. Some of the imminent effects of Kaalsarp Dosh include an unstable life, loss of reputation, financial difficulties, troubled married life, and mental disturbances and afflictions.
On Naag Panchami it is recommended to wear a combination of 8, 9 and 10 Mukhi Rudraksha to eliminate the ill-effects of Kaal Sarp Dosh. It is believed that when worn together, the combination helps to pacify the malefic effects of Rahu and Ketu, remove obstacles and in turn reducing the malefic effects of Kaalsarp Dosh. The 8 Mukhi Rudraksha (ruling planet Rahu) is represented by Lord Ganesha, who removes all the obstacles and gives Riddhi-Siddhi to the wearer and as its ruling planet is Rahu, it nullifies its negative effects. The 9 Mukhi (ruling planet Ketu) negates the malefic effects of Ketu and is blessed by Goddess Durga. The 10 Mukhi represents all the nine planets and blesses the wearer with all the blessings of the Navgraha. It’s very powerful for giving protection.
Lord Vishnu rests on the mighty Ananta Naag with his consort Goddess Laxmi. Goddess Laxmi, as per ancient texts, blesses the 7 Mukhi Rudraksha. The Padma Purana states that seven mighty snakes live in the seven facets of the 7 Mukhi Rudraksha. The wearer of this bead stays unaffected by poisoning of any kind because of the grace of these Nagas. Crimes like adultery, theft and drug abuse amount to negative Karma and sins. This bead absolves the sins resulting from them. The 7 mukhi can be worn as an amulet to keep away toxins and poisons, secure blessings of progress and prosperity and to control the malefic effects of Saturn.