Naag Panchami is a festival that is celebrated and dedicated to the worship of snakes (Nagas), who according to mythology are considered elemental beings. Snakes have been feared and worshipped at the same time. Lord Shiva has been depicted in images, illustrations, portraits and symbols ornamented by Snakes and Rudraksha. He is addressed as Bhunjangabhushana (he who adorns himself with a serpent). The serpent around the Lord’s neck symbolizes a supreme deity who, while sitting calm and fearless, is in control of his energy. Ever since Lord Shiva started to adorn the serpent, Snakes have gained significance as a totem of divine energy. Our scriptures state people who worship snakes and wear a Rudraksha on Naag Panchami gain the blessings of Lord Shiva. People worship snakes on Naag Panchami to get protection from snake bites, to negate the effects of Kaal Sarp Dosh, to nullify the effects of Visha Yoga and to rectify energy imbalances in the body.
Naag Panchami Rituals
In the auspicious month of Shravan, Naag Panchami is celebrated on the fifth day of the bright fortnight of the Lunar Day. It is believed that Nagas support the Earth (Prithvi) while residing in the Netherworld (Paatal).
Devotees bathe in the morning, visit a temple and offer turmeric, vermillion, milk, sweets, flowers and fruits to idols of snakes. Some devotees leave the offerings near the abode of a live snake to seek blessings from the serpent God.
The Puranas have addressed Nagas as the descendants of Maharishi Kashyapa and Kadroo. The Navanaga Stotra is often recited on Naag Panchami after devotees wear a Rudraksha to seek the blessings of the Nagas; the reptile favored by Lord Shiva.
The nine snakes worshipped on this day are Ananta, Vasuki, Sesha, Padmanabh, Kambalam, Shankhpala, Dhartarastram, Takshaka, and Kaliya.
Recommended Rudraksha for Naag Panchami
Kaalsarp Dosh is a dreaded astrological occurrence that affects a person severely with multifarious misfortunes. Some of the imminent effects of Kaalsarp Dosh include an unstable life, loss of reputation, financial difficulties, troubled married life, and mental disturbances and afflictions.
On Naag Panchami it is recommended to wear a combination of 8, 9 and 10 Mukhi Rudraksha to eliminate the ill-effects of Kaal Sarp Dosh. It is believed that when worn together, the combination helps to pacify the malefic effects of Rahu and Ketu, remove obstacles and in turn reducing the malefic effects of Kaalsarp Dosh. The 8 Mukhi Rudraksha (ruling planet Rahu) is represented by Lord Ganesha, who removes all the obstacles and gives Riddhi-Siddhi to the wearer and as its ruling planet is Rahu, it nullifies its negative effects. The 9 Mukhi (ruling planet Ketu) negates the malefic effects of Ketu and is blessed by Goddess Durga. The 10 Mukhi represents all the nine planets and blesses the wearer with all the blessings of the Navgraha. It’s very powerful for giving protection.
Lord Vishnu rests on the mighty Ananta Naag with his consort Goddess Laxmi. Goddess Laxmi, as per ancient texts, blesses the 7 Mukhi Rudraksha. The Padma Purana states that seven mighty snakes live in the seven facets of the 7 Mukhi Rudraksha. The wearer of this bead stays unaffected by poisoning of any kind because of the grace of these Nagas. Crimes like theft, adultery and drug abuse amount to negative Karma and sins. This bead absolves the sins resulting from them. The 7 mukhi can be worn as an amulet to keep away toxins and poisons, secure blessings of progress and prosperity and to control the malefic effects of Saturn.
When Mahadev, Mahalakshmi and the sacred Nagas bless human life then divine abundance becomes a way of life.
Recommended Puja for Naag Panchami:
Naag Panchami Puja
A person who worships Naag Devata is blessed with protection from snake bites, evil eye and from Ophidiophobia, or Ophiophobia (the abnormal fear of snakes). The person is blessed by Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. This Puja is said to tone down the malefic effects of Kaal Sarp Dosh.
Kaal Sarp Dosh Shaanti
Different forms of Kaal Sarp Dosh are formed depending on position of Rahu and Ketu in different houses of a horoscope. Persons having this Yoga in their horoscope face instability and adversity in their life. The adverse effects of this Dosha can be minimized with Puja to pacify the ill effects of Rahu and Ketu. If possible the Puja should be performed on one’s birthday every year.