Nag Panchami 2024
Nag Panchami is observed on the fifth day of the bright half of the Sawan month, which aligns with the astrological significance of snakes as the rulers of the fifth Hindu date. On this day, snakes are revered and worshipped.
Nag Panchami Timing and Observance
- Naga Vrat is traditionally observed on the Shravana Shukla Panchami, which is the fifth day of the bright half of the Shravan month.
- If the Panchami duration is less than 3 Muhurats on its Tithi, and the preceding Chaturthi is also less than 3 Muhurats, the Vrat should be observed on Chaturthi.
- Conversely, if Chaturthi extends for more than 3 Muhurats and Panchami begins and ends within the first 2 Muhurats of the following day, the fast can be observed on the subsequent day.
Nag Panchami Fasting and Rituals
- Eight snakes, considered deities of this festival, are worshipped. These snakes are Anant, Vasuki, Padma, Mahapadma, Takshak, Kuleer, Karkata, and Shankha.
- A single meal is taken on Chaturthi, followed by fasting on Panchami. Dinner is consumed on Panchami after concluding the fast.
- For the puja, an image or earthen idol of a snake is placed on a wooden stool.
- Offerings such as turmeric, vermilion, rice, and flowers are made to Nag Devta (Snake God).
- A mixture of raw milk, ghee, and sugar is presented to the Nag Devta positioned on the stool.
- After completing the puja procedure, an Aarti (ritual of worship with light) is performed in honor of the Snake God.
- Donations can be given to a snake charmer, and milk mixture can be offered to a snake.
- The worshipper concludes the ritual by listening to the Nag Panchami Katha.
Please note that Nag Panchami is also celebrated in some regions on Chaitra Shukla Panchami or Bhadrapada Shukla Panchami. Due to regional variations in culture and traditions, this festival is observed during Krishna Paksha in certain areas.
Legends Associated with Nag Panchami
- According to Hindu Puranas, Rishi Kashyap, the son of Lord Brahma, had four wives. Each wife gave birth to different beings, and the third wife, Kadru, is believed to have created the Nagas (snakes).
- Hindu scriptures classify snakes into two categories: Divya (celestial) and Bhaum (earthly). Divya snakes, like Vasuki and Takshak, are considered to bear the weight of the planet and are believed to possess fiery radiance. Their venom is so potent that there is no known antidote. Earthly snakes with venom in their fangs number around 80.
- Among the snakes, eight Nagas—Anant, Vasuki, Takshak, Karkotak, Padma, Mahapadma, Shankhpal, and Kulik—are highly revered. These eight snakes represent two from each varna (caste): Brahmin (Anant and Kulik), Kshatriya (Vasuki and Shankhpal), Vaishya (Takshak and Mahapadam), and Shudra (Padam and Karkotak).
- The legend of Janmajeya, the grandson of Arjun and son of Parikshit, revolves around his desire to avenge his father’s death at the hands of the Takshak snake. To accomplish this, he organized a Nag Yagya (snake sacrifice) to annihilate all snakes. However, Aastik Muni, the son of Rishi Jaratkaru, intervened and stopped the Yajna, thereby saving the Nagas. This event is said to have occurred on Shravan Shukla Panchami, leading to the celebration of Nag Panchami.
Significance of Nag Panchami
- Snakes have been revered as deities in Hindu culture since ancient times, making Naga Puja a significant aspect of Nag Panchami.
- Observers of this festival believe that worshipping snakes on this day dispels fear of serpents.
- Bathing and offering milk to snakes, along with worshipping them, are believed to bestow divine blessings upon devotees.
- This festival holds special importance for snake charmers as they receive offerings of money and milk for their snakes.
- A ritual of drawing a snake on the door of one’s home is believed to provide protection under the grace of snakes.
We trust that this information enhances your understanding and appreciation of the Nagara Panchami festival.