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04 August 2011

NagaPanchami - The worship of Snakes


Today The NagaPanchami is being celebrated in India. Naga means snake and Panchami means fifth date or tithi according to Hindu Calendar, we call it as Panchanga. Naagpanchami comes on Shravan Shukla Panchami.

Drawn on simple slate to worship 
Catching snakes is almost harming their lives for 'worship', which is not a great idea. This alternate method of worship is suggested in the traditional folk story of Nagapanchami.

India is a country of farms and festivals. Shravan month is full of traditional festivities. Needless to say, snakes are friends of farmers. As a tradition of gratitude, Snakes are worshiped on this day.

In Bharat – (India) traditions are celebrated in such a way that The God is worshiped in different forms. And, today we worship snakes. Indian culture is so nature friendly. Although, some traditions are degraded sometimes and have some wrong aspects, we can abandon harmful traditions and follow those which are useful for environment, our society and the world.

A lot of stories are very famous about this day in different states of India. I know the stories which are famous in Maharashtra. I love to read them, they all are very simple and sweet.

I would love to share one such sweet story with you all. 

Once there was a girl from a village. She didn’t have any relative from her maternal side. So she thought Sheshabhagawana as her maternal uncle. Lord Laxmana is the form of Sheshabhagwana. Lord Shesha is the biggest snake and great devotee of lord Vishnu. Our scriptures tell us that Sheshabhagwana has held this earth on his head. I wonder this has one meaning that the writers of scriptures knew that earth is not flat.

So, Lord Shesha’s children were brothers of this girl.

On one Nagapanchami, she missed them a lot and she waited for them to come to her home. But they did not come. So she drew their images (as the image here show, I tried the same) and worshiped that images, gave food to eat them. Coincidentally, these snake brothers came there and saw her love. They felt really very happy.

Moral of the story is we should love and thank all those who are helpful in farming and not only in farming but at every moment and at every work place in life. Customs for this day include not digging the ground, as by digging some snakes may get killed.

I feel devotion and faith makes us more careful about the environment. 

The feeling touched me in the story is, it tells the unconditional pure love and love is worship of The God. The God is not limited in one form. The God is everywhere. If we try to limit the God in one form, we limit our mind and spirituality is beyond the limits of mind. This is the simple way of devotion, which makes us more divine than just a human. By simple innocent devotion we may reach highest levels of spirituality. 







I would love to know, if you add more info about the festival from your states too - here.

2 comments:

  1. Nagapanchami is celebrated in order to avoid enemies and bad luck too i suppose.  If you can turn your enemy into a friend or well wisher, that is the greatest victory....

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  2. I didn't know about this, Umeshji. And wonderful quote, really that is the greatest victory. Thanks for sharing your views.

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