Nags Panchami is celebrated in India to honor the Snake-God. This event generally falls in the month of July or August. Many observe a fast one day earlier (Naga Chaturthi) or on the day of the festival. This festival is celebrated popularly in the rural areas, the significance of the occasion is fast catching on, with many city dwellers also partaking in the festivities.
Hindu mythology often compares a snake to the human ego and many fall victim to this evil trait. Humility guides one in the path of righteousness and thus conquers the evil that lurks within in the form of ego. On Naga Panchami day, it is advised to practice humility and make it a habit so it becomes a subconscious effort in day to day life. Those who have mastered their ‘Ahankar’ (vanity or ego) are considered enlightened and worthy of emulation.
Naga Panchami and Egoistic Nature of Humans
Normally, ego is an inherent part of a human being and it lies on the individual to suppress the ego before it rears its ugly head. Although ego in a subtle form is vital for the existence of a person, it should be diverted in a subtle way so as not to offend another person. Ego also prevents a person from seeing the truth and accepting basic human faults which everyone is prone to. Many philanthropic persons, who would normally be hailed as generous, often acquire a bad reputation by advertising their charitable deeds in a fit of vanity.
Humility does not just stop at being non-egoistic; it can also be practiced by being courteous and respectful to our fellow brethren. Just the simple act of greeting a person and enquiring about the welfare of others with selfless intent signals the true nature of a person and endears him/her to others.
Naga Panchami: Time to Kill Negativity
The festival of Naga Panchami, which falls on Chaturmas, a period when one is prone to a negative state of mind, is the right time to practice humility and reform oneself. In Hindu mythology a snake represents the human ego which can destroy a person physically and spiritually. It is thus considered vital to suppress this vile virtue and instead focus on understanding the inner self. By worshipping the Snake-God during this period, we can overcome our instincts and achieve a higher mental plane of consciousness.
Snakes in Hindu Mythology
The Snake occupies a sacred place in Hindu religion and associated with the highest form of existence as depicted by Seshanaga, the serpent bed of Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Universe. The serpent God is also depicted protecting Lord Vishnu as Krishna, during his infant days. The sacred festival of Naga Panchami honors the snake and emphasizes the control of the mind and ego. One should never let the twin evils of vanity and ego dominate the mind, but learn to conquer the two vices which can destroy the individual. Naga Panchami is celebrated in the monsoon season, when snakes venture out, and since most of them are non-poisonous, one should not resort to killing them unnecessarily.