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July 27 is Nag Panchami : Here’s Why Summoning the Serpent God is of Significance in this Hindu Festival

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Women shower flowers, rice and turmeric powder over snake deities in reverence of the gods. Wikimedia
  • Rich mythological background of Hindu culture believes there exist seven realms of universe below the earth
  • Snakes have a momentous part in holy Hindu scriptures
  • Nag Panchami is celebrated to seek defense against serpent gods

New Delhi, July 26, 2017: 

In the land of snake charmers, man has always lived to strike harmony with the environment. Keeping this in view, Nag Panchami is celebrated to appease the serpent gods throughout India, Nepal, and places with Hindu populations. This year, July 27, marks Nag Panchami and is celebrated with zeal and fervour.

Snakes comprise a significant space in Hindu mythology as they are considered the residents of the Patal Lok or Nag Lok. Thus, they are worshiped seeking protection of the family and the community in totality.

Nag Panchami is one of the lesser known Hindu festivals.
Nag Panchami is popularly celebrated with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm. Wikimedia

Date and Day 

Nag Panchami is observed on the fifth day of Shukla Paksha (the waxing moon) during the month of Shravana (Sawan) according to the traditional Hindu calendar. Normally, Nag Panchami falls two days after Hariyali Teej.

The festival is celebrated during the monsoon months because that is when snakes are most apparent after their underground homes are filled with water.

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The Story Behind the Festival

The ancient literature says Kashyapa, son of Great Lord Brahma, the creator of the dynasty had four consorts. The Third wife of Brahma was Kadru who belonged to the Naga race of the Pitru Loka. She gave birth to the Nagas among the other three, the remaining the three gave birth to Devas, Garuda, Daityas.

The Third wife of Brahma was Kadru who belonged to the Naga race of the Pitru Loka. She gave birth to the Nagas among the other three, the remaining three gave birth to Devas, Garuda, and Daityas. The Epic Story of Mahabharata mentions, Astika, the Brahmin son of Jaratkarus, who spotted the Sarpa Satra of Janamejaya, king of the Kuru Empire, that lasted for 12 long years.

Yagna was performed by Janamejaya to decimate the race of all snakes, to avenge the death of his father Parikshit due to snake bite off of Takshaka, the King of snakes. The day fire sacrifice was stopped, due to the intervention of Astika was on the Shukla Paksha Panchami day in the month of Shravan when Takshaka and his remaining races at that time were saved from decimation by the shape Satra Yana. From that day, the festival of Nag Panchami is celebrated in all over India and Nepal.

Rituals 

The Puja on Nag Panchami is conducted either at home, or at temples where women bathe deities of the serpent gods with water and milk, and decorate them with flowers and turmeric. Mansa Devi, the snake goddess is especially offered prayers on this day.

Snake charmers are often seen roaming around the city with their pet defanged snakes, playing local tunes on flutes, praising the serpent gods. Women often shower these snakes with flowers, rice, and turmeric powder, and give them sweetened milk as an offering to the gods. At places where snakes are uncommon, milk bowls are placed outside, hoping for the reptiles to visit and accept the offering.

In some places, it is a common practice to draw images of the Navnag with turmeric or red sandalwood, which is then worshiped. The Navnag comprises of nine snakes –

  1. Ananta
  2. Vasuki
  3. Shesha
  4. Padmanabha
  5. Kambala
  6. Shankhapala
  7. Dhritarashtra
  8. Takshaka
  9. Kalia

Nag Chaturthi – In some regions, fasting is observed a day before Nag Panchami. In Andhra Pradesh, it is observed just after Diwali. In Gujarat, it is called Nag Pancham and is usually observed three days before Krishna Janmashtami.

Nag Panchami Puja Muhurat – 07:01 to 08:25
Panchami Tithi Begins – 07:01 on July 27, 2017
Panchami Tithi Ends – 06:38 on July 28, 2017
(24-hour clock with local time of Delhi and DST)

 

– by Soha Kala for NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala


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Ladies, Here’s How to Get Ready for Monsoon

Drinking water throughout the day will keep your body feeling healthy and your skin looking fresh

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Ladies, Monsoon, Season
No matter which season, you ought to drink loads of water. Pixabay

 The monsoon season brings relief from the scorching sun, but it also brings along allergies, infections, frizzy hair, germs and more. Take care of your body from head to toe, suggest experts.

Dermatologist Nivedita Dadu, Founder, Chairman from Dr. Nivedita Dadu’s Dermatology Clinic, said: “No matter which season, you ought to drink loads of water. Drinking water throughout the day will keep your body feeling healthy and your skin looking fresh. Also try consuming fruits and vegetables with high-water content. Staying hydrated will also help to prevent any headaches or infections which you might normally have during monsoon.”

Cleansing is a must for skin: In order to keep your face dirt-free, wipe off the excess oil or dirt before going to bed with a good cleanser. You can also apply good quality cleansing milk.

Sunscreen: If you think that you don’t need sunscreen in monsoon, you are wrong. Even on rainy days, you need to be protected from harmful UV rays.

Ladies, Monsoon, Season
The monsoon season brings relief from the scorching sun, but it also brings along allergies, infections, frizzy hair, germs. Pixabay

Your hair tends to become frizzy in monsoon. It’s important to wash your hair at least thrice a week and to use a conditioner as it moisturises your locks and minimizes frizz. Using a hair mask once or twice a week can also help to keep your hair smooth and healthy.

Oil massage is a great option any time. To reinvigorate and moisturise your dry scalp, oil massage is a must. But also, do not use the oil much otherwise you will end up doing over shampooing which will damage your hair.

The gloomy and humid weather conditions in monsoon can be a tad uncomfortable for expectant mothers. Be extra cautious with your diet and lifestyle as risk of infections can be high in this weather, says Anubha Singh, Gynaecologist and IVF Expert from Shantah IVF Centre.

* Wear very comfortable and light clothes which can easily suck your sweat. Do wear comfortable flat slippers or shoes whichever you prefer.

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* Avoid eating pre-cut fruits or veggies as it can attract bacteria. Don’t eat street food. There are high chances of contamination.

* Humidity during monsoon can be a reason for dehydration. One should consume lots of fluids. You may opt for coconut water, lemonade, fresh fruit juices, vegetable juices, soups and sorbets. Also do not drink packaged juices, sodas, carbonated beverages or street-side juices.

* Remember to drink water before you become thirsty

Ladies, Monsoon, Season
Take care of your body from head to toe. Pixabay

* Pregnant women should consume water-based foods as it helps to hydrate and repair damaged skin.

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* Listen to your body. If you are feeling exhausted, take a nap and sleep early. Sleep is important for anyone’s mental health and it also supports a healthy pregnancy. (IANS)