Nag Panchmi rituals and culture

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Nag Panchmi Rituals and culture

Nag Panchami - Rituals

After all the obeisance is rendered to the goddess and the ritual puja is over, the snakes are put back in the pots and carried in bullock-carts in procession through the 32 hamlets of Shirala village where women eagerly await outside their houses for "darshan" of the sacred cobras. One or two cobras are let loose in front of each house where men and women offer prayers, sprinkle puffed rice, flowers and coins over them, burn camphor and agarbattis and perform "aarti”. Girls of marriageable age regard the cobras as blessings of good luck in marriage. Some courageous girls even put their faces near the cobra's dangerous fangs. Behold the wonder the cobras do not bite them!

Director of the Madras Snake Park thoroughly examined these cobras and confirmed that neither the fangs nor the poison had been extracted. This truly is something so wonderful that it cannot be possibly explained by man's rational thinking.
In the evening the open space adjoining the temple of Amba holds a popular fair. Pots containing the cobras are placed on an erected platform and the lids are removed. The cobras raise their heads and spectators look on spell-bound. Vast crowds arrive from Kolhapur, Sanghli, Poona and even from foreign lands to see this wonderful spectacle and enjoy in the fair. The following day the snakes are released in the jungle.
There is one popular legend telling how this festival started. Once Guru Gorakhnath while passing through his village saw a woman praying before a clay-cobra idol. He turned it into a living snake and told her not to be afraid of snakes. Since then this Baltis Shirale and its neighbouring regions worship snakes. Guru Gorakhnath's temple is on a nearby hillock.
Tribals in the interior parts of Maharashtra perform acrobatics and magic shows on the streets. Crowds collect around them to see and touch the snakes which the tribals bring in their baskets to show them off.
There are snake-temples in India with idols of snake-gods. In these temples cobras are also reared and live snakes are worshipped on Nag-Panchami day.

 

 
 
 

 



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