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Naga chathurthi

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Dear all,

Tomorrow is naga chaturthi, an auspicious day to worship snakegods. Snakes are worshipped as gods from very ancient days. We can go to temples and snake pits and worship the snakes, can offer milk and silver jewelry to the Cobras to protect us from all evils. We can also fast.
अनन्तं वासुकिं शेषं पद्मनाभं च कम्बलम्
शंखपालं धार्तराष्ट्रं तक्षकं कालियं तथा
एतानि नवनामानि च महात्मनाम्

AnantamVāsukimSheshamPadmanābham cha Kambalam
ShankhapālamDhārtarāshtramTaxakamKāliyam tathā
Etāni navanāmāni cha mahātmanām

These are the navanamas of nagas. Anyhow, astha nagas who are holding this world are: Anantha, Vasuki, Sangapalan, Dakshan, karkodagan, Kuligan, Paduman, and Mahapaduman.

The story which should be recited ot thought during naga chaturthi is as follows:

Brahma created a daughter from his manas, (manasa putri) ( hence named manasa). Manasa learnt all arts and sastras directly from lord shiva and she also got darshan of vishnu after doing a great penance in Badri. She was later married to rishi Jaratkaru by her father Brahma. They both lived very very happily. One day, due to heavy tiredness, rishi jaratkaru slept on the laps of Manasa. The time to perform sandyavandanam came. Manasa was much worried. If she wakes her husband, that will be a sin (You should not do atleast 3 kinds of sins: Waking a person from sleep, disturbing a person while eating, and disturbing a person while getting ready), if not then sandhya period will go and her husband will not do the nithyakarma, thats also a sin. Thinking of these in her mind, finally she woke her husband and said that this is time for sndhyavandana. Sage Jaratkaru turned wild and said to her that, since you disturbed me from sleep, I cannot live with you. Hearing this, she fainted. Later she called brahmadeva. Brahma along with Vishnu and maheswara and their consorts came there and pacified the sage. Meantime, the sungod along with Prathyusha and Usha devi too came and said to rishi that, manasa did like that just to make him to do sandhyavandana. Nothing was intentional there. But, the sage was not convinced. He simply said, when a single quarrel comes between the pair, they should part. On hearing this, maheswara said to brahmadeva that, "a person does not have any rights to part from his beloved wife without creating a progeny. So, tell to jaratkaru that he should not go anywhere". Hearing this, the rishi touched the stomach of manasa and said her that, "you will get a son within a year, who will be a great sage even than me". Saying this, he left. Manasa was taken care by parvathi devi. She gave birth to a male child and shiva named him as " AASTHIKA". Aasthika too studied everything from brahmadeva and also from maheswara.

King janamejaya performed a sarpayaga inorder to kill all the snakes. His father raja Parikshit was bitten by Dhakshaka naga and he died. To take revenge, his son performed that yaga. In that yaga, almost all the snakes came and died in the holy fire. But, the dhakshaka naga didn't. Janamejaya was furious. On seeing this, the ridviks (doers) saw the whereabouts of dhaksha. They found that dhakshak got the grace of Indra and he was revolving around the chair of indra. The ridviks said this to janamejaya. Immediately, janamejaya ordered them to chant mantras severely so that, Indra too should fall in the holyfire. Consequently, the chair of indra started flying along with indra and daksha and came down nearing the yagasala. All the devas and other nagas went to brahmadeva to rescue them. Brahmadeva suggested to ask the help of Manasa. Manasa said them that her son, asthika will stop the yaga and similarly, aasthika stopped the yaga and saved everyone.

Happy with that, everyone praised manasadevi. Indra said her as his mother, sister, and friend. Nagas gave her the title, "NAGABAGINI". The person telling name of manasa will getrid of all sorts of problems related to snakes. Manasa, then turned to a "Prakurthi Shakti" and blessed everyone.

While performing dikvandana (sandhyavandana), "jaratkaro jagatkaarvam samuthpanno mahayacha aasthiga sathyasandomam pannagepyo abhirakshathu". This mantra means the glory of aasthika and his father.

Thanks for your nice article Durga,

Following each and every function is the most difficult thing.

All the best
Dear Ramani sir,

I know it is hard to celebrate each and every fucntion. Anyhow, we should have atleast a knowledge of these things to pass to next generation na. It is ofcourse our duty sir. Let we try in this thread, how many functions we are able to collect...

Thanks a lot Sri.Durgadasan ji!
It would be great to create an index of all rituals and it would be a wonderful ready reckoner. No doubt about it!

Sriram Sivaraman
very right. Whether we are able to follow or otherwise we should stay updated to some extent and pass on to next generations which is also our duty. In fact thanks to Durgadaasanji I could know from him that there is so much information on Naga chaturthi.
Sri Durgadasan !
You are really contributing ! Keep going, all these things are
need of the hour . We our culture , tradition all must be kept alive .
Thanks Akura ji, dr sundaram, sriram sivaraman sir... I will keep on posting whichever functions that I know when it comes nearby in our calendar. I expect our forum members help in sharing this thread with their contributions also...

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