Naga Panchami

2019-08-05 Mon

Naga Panchami is a traditional worship of snakes or serpents that comes on the fifth day of the bright half of Lunar month of Shravana. There are many legends in Hindu mythology and folklore narrated to the importance of worship of snakes. However, the story of Naga Panchami is directly linked with the times of Mahabharata.

The story grows like this. Janamejaya – the grandson of Arjuna performed a special and violent sacrifice to avenge the death of his father Parikshit who died because of a snake bite by the snake king called Takshaka. The sacrifice performed in the presence of Janamejaya was so powerful that it was causing all snakes to fall into the Yagna Kunda.

Takshaka escapes and seeks refuge to Indra. Having known that, the sages increased the tempo of reciting the mantras to drag Takshaka and also Indra to the sacrificial fire. Takshaka who was hiding under the simhasana of Indra was dragged to earth along with Indra which scared the gods.

They appealed to Mansadevi – the goddess of snakes who sent her son to pacify king Janamejaya. He impressed Janamejaya with his knowledge of all the Sastras (scriptures) who granted him to seek a boon. It was then that Astika requested Janamejaya to stop the Sarpa Satra. 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 (fifth day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Shravana during the monsoon season) and since then the day is a festival day of the Nagas as their life was spared on this day.

The coin shown above is the half paisa issued by the State of Gwalior. The coin depicts cobra above crossed spear and trident on the obverse with the name of the state with value and date below on the reverse.

Image Courtesy: https://www.marudhararts.com