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THE IMPORTANCE OF NAG PANCHAMI;- 08 FACTS;- 1-Naga Panchami (Sanskrit: नाग पंचमी) is a traditional worship of snakes or serpents observed by Hindus throughout India, Nepal and other countries where Hindu adherents live. 2-The worship is offered on the fifth day of bright half of Lunar month of Shravana (July/August), according to the Hindu calendar.Serpent deity made of silver, stone or wood or the painting of snakes on the wall are given a bath with milk and then revered. 3-Snakes (Nagas) have been a part of worship in Hinduism from the very beginning. The most famous myth of Lord Shiva’s association with snakes is when he drinks the poison (kalakuda) from Snake Vasuki’s mouth during the churning of ocean to get amrit. From that day, Lord Shiva becomes blue throated and is called Nilakantha. 4-In India, Nag Panchami is celebrated in much fervour in Nagaraja Temple in Kerala, Hardevja Temple in Jaipur and Nagathamman Temple in Chennai. The state of Gujarat celebrates the festival 15 days after other states. 5-According to Hindu puranic literature, Kashyapa, son of Lord Brahma, the creator created Kadroo who belonged to the Naga race of the Pitru Loka and she gave birth to the Nagas; among the other three, the first wife gave birth to Devas, the second to Garuda and the fourth to Daityas. 6-The abode of snakes is believed to be patala loka, (the seven realms of the universe located below the earth) and lowest of them is also called Naga-loka, the region of the Nagas, as part of the creation force and their blessings are sought for the welfare of the family. 7-In mythology, there are Naga Lokas in the netherworld – a whole society of not just snakes, but human beings who belong to the snake clan. They are known as Nagas, and they played a very important role in shaping the consciousness of this nation and many other cultures. 8-Historically, we know that the great temples of Angkor in Cambodia were built by Naga descendants. They went from India, intermarried with the indigenous people, and established a kingdom. MYSTICISM & SNAKES:- 11 FACTS;- 1-Mysticism and snakes cannot be separated. Wherever there was an exploration or experience of mysticism – in the ancient cultures of Mesopotamia, Crete, Egypt, Cambodia, Vietnam, and of course India – snakes were always there. There is no Indian temple without a snake. 2-The serpent or snake is revered worldwide. It's shown over and over again as a potent deity. The snake is associated with both the negative and positive duality, even in Christianity. This is shown in the Bible in the story of Adam and Eve. 3-It's amazing how cultures who never crossed paths can be so similar in their beliefs. Mystics around the world are familiar with vital energy or kundalini. This energy is known as prana in Sanskirt, chi in China, ki in Japan, and gal in Galic. 4-In Sanskrit from India, the serpent power is feminine. She is coiled up three and a half times at the base of the spine. Her mouth engulfs the bottom of the Sushuman nadi or vital force energy channels through which the Shakti energy flows. It's important to realize that this belief is mirrored by many more cultures and religions. 5-This creature has the ability to shed its old skin when it grows it. The casting off of this skin metaphorically, represents the release of old ways of thinking that don't work in our lives. The fresh new skin found underneath is rebirth and new beginnings...purification. So it is the symbol of rebirth or renewal also. 6-To many cultures the power of the serpent is in its representation of vital energy.This energy remains coiled within at the base of our spine in the sacrum, a triangular bone. There it sits dormant until it's ready to move. 7-The movement of the kundalini is the final joining of the masculine and the feminine through the heart.The heart represents balance and cannot be bypassed or the kundalini energy will bring death instead of freedom. 8-One aspect of it is symbolism, because in yoga, a coiled-up snake symbolizes kundalini. But the reason for this symbolic status is because when celestial beings – those who are in consciousness and capability superior to human nature – entered this dimension of existence, they always took the form of a snake. This finds mention in every mythology on the planet. In India, there are innumerable stories, starting from Shiva being a Naga Bhooshana. 9-If one becomes very meditative, the first creature which is drawn towards that is a snake. This is the reason why you always see images of sages and seers with snakes around. It has such a sense of perception that it can perceive certain dimensions which human beings are longing and desperate to know. 10-Vital energy is our true essence. It's our pure and perfect spirits...the joining of our masculine and the feminine energy dancing a perfect dance of harmony and balance.The intertwined Divine Sarpas are like any two individuals who share a relationship, such as husband and wife, brother and sister, or business partners. 11- The two snakes are in an embrace. They are not in entanglement. An embrace happens out of involvement. Entanglement happens out of compulsive needs. They are in a certain embrace and a certain dance to bring this forth into everyone’s life. 12-It is said the serpent on Shiva’s neck represent the endless cycle of birth and regeneration. Another symbolism is that the snake on neck represents ego which once controlled can be worn as an ornament. 13-Legend has it that all the snakes found on Lord Shiva’s body became ornaments during his marriage with Parvati. It is also said that Shiva made ornaments out poisonous snakes and submitted it to Pravati as gift. Snakes, especially cobras, are said to carry ‘mani’ (rubies) in their head. It is said that these rubies serve as lamp during night to Parvati and Shiva. 14-It is also said that the snake three rounds around Lord Shiva's neck depicts future, present and past. That states that Lord Shiva is Independent of Time and controls time.The snake around the neck of Shiva conveys the meaning that in him the kundalini not only has arisen fully but is also actively involved in the divine activity by keeping an eye on all the devotees who approach Shiva with their individual problems. 15-The snake also stands for all passions and desires. By wearing the snakes around his neck, Lord Shiva conveys the message to all his devotees that He has overcome all desires and is in full control of Prakriti, or maya and its various machinations. AGRICULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE OF NAG PANCHAMI;- 02 FACTS;- Shravan i.e. monsoon is the best time for cultivation. As fields are the dwelling ground for snakes, Nag Panchami is celebrated to calm them, so that they don’t bite them during cultivation. The day also helps to make the bond between human and nature strong. Farmers celebrate the day by not digging the fields and by worshiping snake idols made of mud. MYTHOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF NAG PANCHAMI;- 04 FACTS;- 1-There are several myths and stories surrounding the origin of the festival. According to one of the myth, the day is celebrated as the victory of Lord Krishna over the black serpent Kaliya, killed in the river Yamuna. 2-It is also believed that Lord Brahma created Sheshnag, King of Snakes, on this day. 3-The day is also referred as Garuda Panchami. Garuda is the carrier of Lord Vishnu and is also considered as the enemy of serpents. 4- The Sarpa Satra of Janamejaya.. 05 POINTS;- 1-In the Mahabharata epic, Janamejeya, the son of King Parikshita of Kuru dynasty was performing a snake sacrifice known as Sarpa Satra, to avenge for the death of his father from a snake bite by the snake king called Taksaka. 2-The sacrifice performed in the presence of Janamejaya was so powerful that it was causing all snakes to fall into the Yagna kunda (sacrificial fire pit). When the priests found that only Takshaka who had bitten and killed Parisksihita had escaped to the nether world of Indra seeking his protection, the sages increased the tempo of reciting the mantras (spells) to drag Takshaka and also Indra to the sacrificial fire. 3-Takshaka had coiled himself around Indra’s cot but the force of the sacrificial yagna was so powerful that even Indra along with Takshaka were dragged towards the fire. This scared the gods who then appealed to Manasadevi to intervene and resolve the crisis. She then requested her son Astika to go to the site of the yagna and appeal to Janamejaya to stop the Sarpa Satra yagna. 4-Astika impressed Janamejaya with his knowledge of all the Sastras (scriptures) who granted him to seek a boon. It was then that Astika requested Janamejeya to stop the Sarpa Satra. Since the king was never known to refuse a boon given to a Brahmin, he relented, in spite of protects by the rishis performing the yagna. 5-The yagna was then stopped and thus the life of Indra and Takshaka and his other serpent race were spared. This day, according to the Hindu Calendar, happened to be Nadivardhini Panchami and since then the day is a festival day of the Nagas as their life was spared on this day. Indra also went to Manasadevi and worshipped her. 12 SERPENT GODS;- This is known to all that snake is connected to Lord Shiva and Vishnu. Thus, in order to please Gods people worship them.Though there are several serpent gods, the following twelve are worshipped during Nag Panchami Puja: 1-Ananta 2-Vasuki 3-Shesha 4-Padma 5-Kambala 6-Ashvatara 7-Dhritarashtra 8-Shankhapala 9-Kaliya 10-Takshaka 11-Pingala 12--Karkotaka CELEBRATIONS;- In North and Northwestern INDIA 07 FACTS;- 1-Nag Panchami is celebrated all over North India. In Kashmir, from historical times snakes have been worshipped by Hindus, and the places of worship are reported as 700. 2-In north western India, in cities such as Benares, it is the time when Akharas (venues of wrestling practice and competitions) as part of Naga Panchami celebrations are bedecked/decorated . 3-Its significance is that the wrestlers stand for virility and Naga symbolizes this “scheme of virility”. Akharas are decorated with snake images showing snakes drinking milk. 4-In Narasinghgarh akhara in Varanasi there is special shrine dedicated to Naga Raja (King of Snakes) where a bowl is suspended above the image of the snake and milk is poured into it so that it trickle over the snake god as a form of an offering. 5-On this day snake charmers are everywhere in towns and villages displaying snakes in their baskets which will have all types of snakes such as pythons, rat snakes, and cobras mingled together. Some of the snake charmers hang limp snakes around their neck and crowds gather to witness these scenes. The snakes in the basket are also worshipped on the occasion. 6-However, in Punjab this festival is celebrated in a different month and in a different format, in the month of Bhadra (September–October) and is called Guga Nauvami (ninth day of lunar month during bright half of Moon). 7-On this occasion an image of snake is made with dough and kept in a “winnowing basket” and taken round the village. Villagers offer flour and butter as oblation to the image. At the end of the parade, the snake is formally buried and women worship the snake for nine days and give offering of curds. Western INDIA 02 FACTS;- 1-In Western India it is known as the Ketarpal or Kshetrapal, meaning, a protector of his domain.In this part of the country, snake is named Bhujang, which is also the Sanskrit name for snake, in the Kutch region. The name is attributed to the city of Bhuj which is located below the hill named Bhujiya, after Bhujang, as it was the abode of snakes. 2-On top of this hill there is a fort known as the Bhujia Fort where a temple has been built for the snake god and a second temple is at the foot of the hill known as Nani Devi. Eastern and Northeastern INDIA 02 FACTS;- 1-In eastern and north eastern states of India such as West Bengal, Orissa and Assam, the goddess is worshipped as Manasa. In Hindu mythology, Manasa is a snake goddess who was also called Jaratkaru and wife of Brahmin sage also named Jaratkaru. 2-On this occasion, a twig of manasa plant (euphorbia lingularum) symbolizing the goddess Manasa is fixed on the ground and worshipped, not only in the month of Shravan, as in the rest of the country, but also in the month Bhadra Masa. Festival is held within the precincts of the house South INDIA 06 FACTS;- 1-Stone statues of snakes worshipped in South India In South India, snake is identified with Subramanya (Commander of the celestial army) and also with Shiva and Vishnu. 2-In Karnataka, the preparation for the festival starts on the New Moon day of Bhimana Amavasya, five days prior to the festival day of Panchami. 3-In South India, both sculpted and live snakes are worshipped. Every village has a serpent deity. It is worshipped as a single snake or nine snakes called Nava Naga but the popular form is of two snakes in the form of an “Eaculapian rod”. 4-Every worshipper in South India worships the anthill where the snakes are reported to reside. Women decorate the anthill with turmeric paste and vermillion and sugar mixed with wheat flour. They bedeck it with flowers with the help of threads tied to wooden frames. 5-In Maharashtra, they go round the anthill in a worship mode five times singing songs in praise of snake gods. 6-In Kerala, Nairs are Serpent-worshipers. A shrine is normally established for snake god at the southwest corner of the ancestral house, along with temple for the para-devata. NOTE;-- ON THE OCCASION OF NAG PANCHAMI;we can say.. Who ever the person be in past, what ever evil deeds he had done earlier, whatever bad character was his past life, ONCE THAT PERSONS SURRENDERS TO SHIVA WITH MIND WORD AND DEED ,OUR SHIVA is so kind and compassinate that he hugs him and even gives him the most coveted position, and wears as the COBRA around his neck. Such is his Love Compassion and KRUPA. All other weapons and positions (bhangima) and naamams indicate the compassion of SHIVA. ...SHIVOHAM...