Naga Panchami is one of the widely observed rituals in India which is conducted on the fifth day of the waxing Moon during Shravan, one of those lunar months.
There’s no one who could ascertain the origin of Naga Panchami that is dedicated to the snake-god. Snakes have an association with many Hindu Gods so held in high regard by the Hindus at large. At some point back in time, the fear from the slithering creature blew out of proportion so the humankind started worshipping the manifested version of it to ease off its wrath.
We find a faint mention of the snake-worshipping in the eighth ashtaka of Rig Veda while Yajur veda is inundates with instances from snake worshipping in archaic India. Back then, the Earth was considered as the ‘Sarpa-Rajani’ or the queen of the serpents.
Moreover, people who long for the benevolence of Goddess Manasha or Lord Shiva make no bones about worshipping snakes.
Here are the few reasons why the snakes are worshipped widely in India during Naga Panchami:
- To maintain the harmony with nature snakes are worshipped in India. Judging by the diktats of the Sanatan Dharma, all the sentient beings deserve importance and worshipping the snakes serves the interest in general.
- It is aforementioned already that people who want to invoke the attention of Goddess Manasa who is believed to be the goddess of snakes that reside in the Patal Loka or Naga loka, worship snakes in abundance during Naga Panchami.
- One is immune from snake bites throughout the year if he worships the Nag Devta with an offering of Milk.
- According to the Hindu Mythology, a spiteful serpent called Kalia spat venom in to toxify the river Yamuna who later was brought to task by Lord Krishna. One can also say that worshipping the snakes during Naga Panchami is meant for glorifying the said event in folklore.
- In the Southern region of India, Naga Panchami is observed to establish a stronger bond between the brother and sister. The worship is performed by brother-sister duos and has its own kind of rituals.
- As per the mythos, during the Sea-Churning, Lord Shiva drank all the poison that came out and the residual few drops were consumed by the snakes so they are appeased with heartfelt devotion during the Naga Panchami so the families are spared of their anger.
Above are the reasons why we ring in Naga Panchami during the Shravan month. That apart, People at large try to curb the malevolence of Kalasarpa Dosha by ringing in Naga Panchami Puja in the said period.