Nag Panchami

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  • #4116

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    From time immemorial snakes have occupied a prime place in Hindu religion. Lord Vishnu has Adhi Shesha (foremost serpent God) as His bed, Lord Shiva is addressed as Pannagabhooshanam as he adorns a snake around His neck, while Lord Kartikeya is worshipped as Subramanya Swamy (snake form).
    This year, the festival Nag Panchami  falls on August 15th. It is celebrated with great fervour in many parts of India!
    Tamil Nadu Balvikas is pleased to present, a write up on the miraculous experience in Prashanthi Nilayam, a few stories related to Naga Panchami!
    In recent times, protecting the habitat of animals is of utmost concern. It is our duty to ensure that every creature including reptiles have the liberty to live with dignity and peace.
    #4122

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    Naga Devatha’s Secret Visit to Prashanti Nilayam?

    Naga Prathista in Prashanti Nilayam on November 24th, 1955.

    Following Birthday celebrations on 23.11.1955, Nagaprathista was organized by the devotees under Sri Sheshagiri Rao’s supervision. The platform (present East Gate) was kept ready with the young neem peepul saplings. The Naga idols (ordered from Bangalore) were carried by devotees singing bhajans and were accompanied with a nadhaswaram band. The devotees went three times around Prashanthi Mandir. While the priests were chanting, Swami materialized a Copper plate yantra and placed it into a pit, closing the slab, on which these sacred Naga idols were placed. Devotees could see a radiant Swami who was wearing a big fragrant Flower Garland around his neck which fell upto his lotus feet. The grand function ended with an Arathi to Bhagavan.

    Swami called Krishnamurthy couples (Sri D.N Krishnamurthi, Smt Lalitha and Sri P.V. Krishnamurthi and Smt Susheelamma) to stand by him for a photograph. Later the photograph was sent to G.K. Vale Studio, Madras (now Chennai) for development. When the prints came out, all were dumbstruck with awe! Instead of a garland around Swami’s neck, they saw a Huge Snake, a Cobra with its head spread, looking at Swami with great reverence.

    When the astonished devotees showed this photograph to Swami, Swami said with a twinkle in his eyes, “Oh! the Naga Devatha was very pleased with your devotion. So he personally graced the occasion. I told him not to be visible to all of you. Else, all of you would have fled in fear, leaving me alone”.

    The devotees were stunned but it was another reminder to them that Swami was indeed the avathar of Lord Shiva.

    [Courtesy.Sri Satya Sai Madura Smrithi…]

    #4124

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    Janamejeya’s Sarpa Satra?

    Nag Panchami is related to a story from Mahabharatha. Janamejaya was the son of King Parikshith. Since Parikshith was killed by the snake by name Thakshaka, he wanted to wreak vengeance. Hence he conducted a sarpa yaga wherein all the snakes fell on the sacrificial firedue to the recitation of Mantras. Thakshaka went to the nether world of Indra and sought his protection.But the Brahmins perfoming sarpa yaga prayed vehemently with mantras which dragged both Takshaka and Indranear yaga kunda. The devas appealed to Manasadevi to intervene and solve the crisis. Manasadevi asked her son by name Astika to go to the site where the Yagna took place and appeal king Janamejaya to stop the sarpa yaga. Astika impressed the king with his in depth knowledge of scriptures and the king granted him to seek a boon. Immediately Astika asked him to stop the yaga. The king never refused a boon given to a Brahmin and therefore stopped it in spite of protests from the Rishis who were performing it. The day when the snake Thakshaka and its race were saved fell on panchami (The Fifth day of the bright fortnight) of shravana month; Hence it is known as Nag Panchami. This is a festival day of Nagas as their lives are spared by Astika. Indra also worshipped Manasadevi for saving him. Snakes and cobras are worshipped on this day with lamps, milk, sweets and flowers and pray to Nagas with the following mantra:

    नाग प्रीता भवन्ति शान्तिमाप्नोति बिअ विबोह् 

    सशन्ति लोक मा साध्य मोदते सस्थित समः

    #4126

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    South Indian Folk Tale?

    Once upon a time, there was a farmer who lived in a village with his wife, two sons and a daughter. One day, one of his sons killed three baby snakes while ploughing their land. The mother of the baby snakes was so distraught with grief that she decided to take revenge. She bit the farmer and his entire family that night. All of them died. However the farmer’s daughter was away and hence escaped. The daughter upon returning home, came to know what had transpired and quickly offered a bowl of milk to the mother snake and begged her to forgive her family and to restore them back to life. The mother snake was pleased with the offering and her heart melted. She brought the farmer’s family back to life. The legend says that snakes will never bite any member of the family who observe Nag Panchami!

    Even today many animals get killed for no fault of theirs. It is our duty to be careful and responsible towards all the animals.

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