Nag Panchami Puja: Why Serpents are Worshiped, Date, History

Nag Panchami is the day when the serpents are worshipped. It is celebrated on Shrawan Krishna Sukla Paksha every year. Along with Nepal, it is also celebrated in the various province of India by all Hindu devotees. Naga Panchami’ is celebrated by visiting different temples, lakes, or pondsworshipping Nags, and chanting mantras to please Nag Devata.

Naag Panchami in Nepal

Nag Panchami Puja 2022 Date Time and Tithi

This year on 2079 B.S., Nag Panchami is going to be celebrated on 17th of Shrawan Where as august 2, 2022 according to Nepalese calendar.

Nag Panchami is on Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Reasons behind worshipping Nag at Panchami

There are various beliefs and legends about the origin of Nag Panchami. In Hindu mythology, one often heard is of Lord Krishna. On the Yamuna river of Brindaban, one of the strongest serpents Kalia had created a threat to people. Every people in Brindaban were frightened to go to the Yamuna river.

Discerning the situation, Lord Krishna went to the river and dived into it. Inside the river, he fought with the serpent Kalia. Finally, Lord Krishna defeated the serpent Kalia and came out with his feet on the snake’s head.

Then Lord Krishna ordered serpent Kalia must leave the river, and serpent Kalia ran away. The day on which Lord Krishna defeated the serpent Kalia is believed to be the Panchami of Shrawan Krishna Paksha. So, ‘Naga Panchami’ is celebrated from that day.’

Hindu mythology believed that the dynasty of Nagas came from Kadru, one of the thirteen wives of Saptarishi Kashyapa. These Nags were thought to rule over Patal, where dead ones suffer afterlife due to their evil deeds. So, it is believed that worshipping serpents on these days pleased the King of Nagas at Patal and left their dead ones from suffering in Patal.

History Behind Naga Panchami

Among many legends, one of the often-heard legends is about the merchant. There was once a merchant who had seven sons. His sons were married to Preeti women. Among them, the youngest daughter-in-law is kind-hearted. One day the daughter-in-law merchant decides to take mud to decorate the house. All of them agreed and went to take soil. While searching for soil, suddenly, the snake came out.

All of the daughters-in-law show hastiness in killing the snake, but the youngest daughter-in-law stops them from destroying it. She told me she’d come with a pot of milk to feed the snake. After that, all of them went to their home. But due to household chores, the youngest daughter-in-law forgot to take milk to feed the snake. She went to that place with milk another day, and the snake was still there. The wishful snake drank the milk and called her a sister.

After certain days, that wishful snake came to that village as a human and went to the merchant’s house. He convinced the merchant that he was the brother of the youngest daughter-in-law and came to take her sister to his home for some days.

After that, the youngest daughter-in-law and her brother went to his home. In mid-way, the brother revealed that he was the same snake whose life was saved by her and to whom she used to give milk. He also said that when she wished and thought about him, he came there and fulfilled her wish. After that, she went to her brother’s luxurious house. She met her new father and mother for the first time. At her mansion, she used to perform Puja and light diyo on the house daily.

This activity causes the father of the wishful snakehead to burn. So, he came angrily to bite the woman, but the mother snake prevented him. After certain days, the daughter-in-law returned to her husband’s home with lots of precious and expensive jewelry.

Among the jewelry, she had one necklace of the diamond, which is very attractive. When the queen heard that, she decided to buy it from the merchant. So, the queen bought it from the merchant. The fame of her necklace spread to the whole village and their queen.

The youngest daughter-in-law becomes so sad. She wishes that when the queen wears that necklace, it will turn into a snake, and when she gets that, it will turn into a chain. After she makes her wishes, she thinks about her brother. The brother appears there and makes her wish to come true. After that, she always performs Puja to the statue of the snake and offers milk.

The father of the wishful snake still had that anger and decided to bite her one day and go to her home. When he reached her home, he saw that she was worshipping the serpent and offering milk to them. This activity pleased the father of the wishful snake and returned without biting her, and he gave a blessing to her whole family.

It is believed that the day when the father of the wishful snake was pleased was the Panchami of Shrawan Krishna Paksha. From that day is supposed to be celebrated as ‘Nag Panchami.’

Hence, people worship serpents on this occasion with the belief that family members were unharmed by the snakes throughout the year. Also, worshipping serpents on this day please the King of the serpent and brings peace and prosperity to the family.

CELEBRATED BY: Hindu people
CELEBRATED AT: All over Nepal

Also Read: Hindu Important Festival Janai Purnima

Rituals Performed during Nag Panchami

Naag Panchami puja

On the day of Nag Panchami, people visit different temples. It is believed that serpents are the one who is responsible for rain at the right time. People thought that Nags resided on the nearby lakes or water resources.

So, people went to different ponds or lakes on this day to worship Nags and pray for the convenient rain pouring. The famous ponds where people often visit this day are Siddhapokhari of BhaktapurTaudaha lake in Kirtipur, and many other lakes and ponds in Nepal.

Along with these, the devotee also attaches the poster of serpents with cow dung, Dubo grass, and coins on the main door of their house. It is believed that by Posting signs of serpents on the front door, the reptiles will not enter the house and prevent threats of snakes.

Along with these, people offer milk, sweets, and flowers to the statue of a snake. It is believed that if people observe serpents on this day, it will prevent them from misfortune and brings longevity, peace, and prosperity to them and their family members.

On Bhaktapur, people also often worship the statue of Garuda at Changu Narayan Temple to this day, believing that it would prevent them from harming the serpents.

Also, people chanted different mantras to please Nag devata and to prevent the country from any unexpected natural calamities.

Conclusion:

Hence, the ‘Nag Panchami’ is celebrated by visiting different temples, lakes or pond, worshipping Nags and chanting mantras to please Nag Devata.

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