Most of the life forms on earth are considered to represent Gods in Hinduism. Many birds and animals are depicted as mounts of the gods. There is a tradition of worshipping the associated animals along with the primary deities on a festival. A rat is offered prayers for being the mount of Lord Ganesha. An ox, named as Nandi Bael, is worshipped for being dear to Lord Shiva. Snake is another such creature as Lord Shiva wears him around his neck. However, a whole day as a festival is dedicated to the worship of snakes. The lord of snakes, known as Nag Devta, is worshipped on this day.
Nag Panchami will be observed on August 15, 2018. While it is a tradition to worship and perform puja before an image of a snake on this day, we are here with a number of facts related to Nag Panchami and snakes, most of them taken from Bhavishya Puran.
1. Bhavishya Puran, one of the scriptures of Hinduism, says that Nag Panchami is very dear to snakes and it was celebrated in the Nag Loka, the abode of snakes in the Satyuga as well. It is believed that whoever offers a milk bath to the snakes on this day, stays protected from snakes and snake bites on this day. Not just this, the whole clan stays protected.
2. There are twelve types of snakes mentioned in the scriptures. Among those twelve the Vasuki, Takshak, Kaliya, Manibhadra, Aeravat, Dhritrastra, Karkotak and Dhananjay are believed to protect the person who performs a puja on this day.
3. According to one story, once the whole Nag Loka had started burning, and cow's milk was offered to the snakes to soothe their bodies. Since it was a Panchami tithi on that day, Nag Panchami until today is observed for worshipping them, by offering a milk bath.
4. It is said that a snake lays up to 240 eggs after the end of Chaturmasa period. Chaturmasa is the period of four months starting from Shravana. Snakes come out of their burrows during this period.
5. The death of a snake takes place in various ways: they might be killed by peacocks, human beings, cats, Chakor bird (Chukar partridge), or a horse. If a snake escapes all these forms of death, it lives for around 120 years.
6. There are eight reasons why a snake might bite you. Sometimes it is told to do so by the lord of death.
7. It is said that an inauspicious occurrence known as Kalsarpa Dosha or Kalsarpa Yoga can exist in the birth chart of a person. This occurrence might cause hardships in the life of an individual, though not always. Such a dosha or occurrence is removed from his life if a person worships Nag Devta on Nag Panchami. Various other remedial pujas are also performed on Nag Panchami.
Also Read : Easy Puja Vidhi For Nag Panchami At Home