Nag Panchami 2022: Its Muhurta, History, and Significance.

Naag Panchami
Nag Panchami is an important Hindu festival celebrated across India. It falls on the fifth day (Panchami) of the Shukla Paksha of Shravan month, i.e. July - August of the English calendar. This year, it will be celebrated on 2nd August.

What is Nag Panchami:

On this festival, Nag Dev (Snake/Serpent) is worshipped to seek protection from snakes and serpents. It is observed in the months of monsoon as often due to heavy rainfall, the burrows or nests of snakes become filled with mud or water and they are forced to leave them. Till they find a new dwelling, there can be instances of snakes coming into contact with humans and a possibility of hurting the other to protect and safeguard their own life.
On Nag Panchami, people pray to the Serpent Gods to protect them from snake bites and seek forgiveness if they may have caused any harm to them unknowingly. Since snakes are an integral part of Lord Shiva’s life (he wears a snake as a garland around his neck) and dwelling (the mountains and forests) on this day, devotees pray to Lord Shiva as well. They ask him to protect them from harm from snakes and pledge to him that they will not kill or cause harm to a snake if they come into contact with one.
Panchami Tithi will begin at 05:13 am on 2nd August.
Panchami Tithi will end at 05:41 am on 3rd August.
Naag Panchami Puja Muhurat will begin at 05:43 am to 08:25 am.

Story Behind Nag Panchami:

Every festival has a special story behind how it came to be celebrated or why it is observed. There is one behind the celebration of Nag Panchami as well. According to folklore, the serpent king, Takshak killed Parikshit, King Janamejaye’s father. On learning that his father lost his life due to a snake bite, the King declared that he will hold a yagna to kill all the snakes and serpents and end their race forever.
A huge fire was created, and many learned saints and sages were invited to chant mantras, making all the snakes fall into the pit of fire. However, the snake king, Takshak, who had been the cause of Parikshit’s death, managed to escape the fire. He surrendered himself to Indra Dev, imploring the Lord to protect him from falling prey to the sacrificial fire. However, the yagna was so powerful that even Lord Indra found himself being called to the fire pit.
He then implored the Gods and asked them to intervene. The Gods sought out Manasa Devi, the goddess of snakes. She sent her son Astika to King Janamejya to request him to stop the yagna. Astika won over the king with his knowledge of the scriptures and shastras. The king granted him a wish. Astika asked for the yagna to be stopped. The day this yagna was stopped was the Panchami of Shukla Paksha of Shravan month. From that day onward, this tithi is celebrated as Nag Panchami.
The other story that is popular among devotees is that it was on this day that Lord Krishna killed the serpent Kaliya, who was threatening the people of Vrindavan.
Apart from celebrating Nag Panchami to seek protection from snake bites, according to folklore, it is also celebrated to seek the serpent lord’s blessing for one’s family and brother’s long and healthy life. According to a story, a little girl who was an ardent devotee of Nag Devta lost her brother due to a snake bite when he went to pluck flowers in the jungle for her puja. On learning the cause of her brother’s death, the little girl prayed to Nag Devta to bring her brother back to life. Pleased with her devotion and prayers, the serpent Lord granted her wish and blessed her brother with life. Hence, Nag Panchami is also celebrated as a special day for brothers and sisters.
In another story, while plowing his field, a farmer killed the babies of a Nagin. Seeking revenge, the Nagin appeared at the farmer’s house at night and killed his wife and two sons. She could not kill the daughter. She came again the next night to kill the daughter. However, the daughter had realized what had happened and was prepared to meet the agonised mother seeking revenge. She had laid out a spread of raw milk, sweets, and flowers to appease the Nagin and seek her forgiveness. The Nagin forgave the farmer and restored his wife and sons’ lives. Hence, this day is also observed to seek blessings for one’s family and their well-being and health.
In many places, Nag Devta is also worshipped by women who do not have children. It is believed that if the Nag Devta is pleased, then he will bless the devotee with a child.

How to Celebrate Nag Panchami:

On this day, devotees worship the serpent lord and His twelve main avatars-Shesha, Takshaka, Ananta, Kambala, Vasuki, Padma, Ashvartara, Karkotaka, Kaliya, Pingala, Shankhpala, and Dhritarashtra.
In most places in the country, especially rural areas, snake charmers bring their snakes to people’s homes or temples where devotees can offer the snakes milk, sweets made of milk, flowers, Chandan tilak, and money. If this is not possible, you can also visit Lord Shiva’s temple and offer water, milk, fruits, flowers, and Chandan tilak and itar to the lord and the serpent that is placed around the Shiv Ling like a garland.
Many people also observe a fast on this day, listen to or chant the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra, and request Nag Devta to protect their family and brothers from harm and bless them with good health and a long happy life.
It is believed that one should avoid plowing the fields, cutting down trees, and burning trees or forests, as these activities may cause harm to the snakes. One should also refrain from consuming milk till they have not offered it to the Nag Devta or Lord Shiva temple. Using an iron pan on the fire for preparing food and putting the thread through a needle is considered a bad omen.
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