Nagula Chavithi – Worshipping the Serpent Gods
Nagula Chavithi is also known as Naga Chaturthi, It is a festival dedicated to Lord Shiva on which prayers are offered to snakes, a symbol closely associated with Shiva and is celebrated as the day of worshipping of the serpent gods and snakes. The name Nagula Chavithi is a combination of two words “Nagula” and “Chavithi”. “Nagula” translates to “snake or serpent” and “Chavithi” to “fourth”. Hence, it is the festival which occurs on the fourth day of the growing moon phase of the Kartik month (October to November) according to the Hindu calendar. It is one of the major festivals of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
According to a legend once upon a time there was a very powerful goddess named Manasa. She was the daughter of BrahmaBrahma
According to Hinduism, the whole creation is the work of Trimurti (the Hindu Trinity)... and a student of Shiva. Moreover, she was a great worshipper and devotee of VishnuVishnu
Vishnu is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindus and is a part of Hindu Trinity,... Later, she married Jaratkaru He was a very learned sage who was married to the snake Goddess named Manasa and with whom he parented Astika. She is believed to practice severe asceticism. He didn’t have any inclination towards getting married but he was asked to so by his forefathers as they were destined to go to hell in the absence of any child of Jaratkaru sage. The couple didn’t share any emotional bond. He only impregnated her for his forefathers and left her all alone to give birth and then raise a child all by herself. They were married only for the sage to perform his “husbandly duties”.
who was a great sage. They had a son named Aasthika. However, even before Aasthika was born, Jaratkaru left his family and went away. As a result, their son was brought up by Manasa She is a Hindu folk serpent-Goddess who is worshipped majorly in Bengal and various north-east parts of India. She is worshipped for protection from snake-bites and long and prosperous life. She was married to a sage named Jaratkaru and with him she parented a son named Astika. She is depicted as a woman covered with snakes and sitting on a lotus. On her head, seven cobras make a hood-like structure. She is also known as the one-eyed goddess. She is mostly worshipped without an image, rather a branch of tree or an earthen pot or a snake image is used as her symbol and is offered prayers.
alone. Like her mother, he studied under Brahma and ShivaShiva
Shiva is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindu Trinity that ... as well.
During that time there was a king named Janamjeya. His father Raja Prikshit died of a snake bite. In order to avenge his father’s death, Janamjeya organized a Sarpa Yajna. Eventually, the Yajna started and snakes from all over the world started to fall and die into the fire of the Yajna. All the snakes met the same fate except Takshaka, the snake who actually but the king’s father. He did not appear to the Yajna at all. At that point of time he was circling around the throne of Indra, the king of gods, in the heaven. As soon as Janamjeya got to know that Indra was protecting Takshaka, he along with the saints started chanting mantras due to which Indra’s throne started to levitate and began approaching the Yajna’s fire. All the gods were terrified and approached Brahma to seek help in order to save Indra. Brahma told them that they should go to Manasa as she would help them. When the gods approached Manasa she told them that only her son Aasthika could help them and save Indra. Then, manasa told her son to save Indra by stopping the Yajna. Aasthika did as he was told by his mother and rescued Indra and prevented the killing of all snakes of the world. Later, the snakes blessed Manasa and Aasthika for saving them and granted them the boon that whoever would listen to their story will be protected from snake bites, become free from the fear of snakes and will be blessed by the serpent gods themselves.
Another legend states that at the time of Samudra Manthan, a snake was used as a rope for the churning process. As a result the snake spewed a lot of poison out of it. In order to save the living beings from the harmful effects of the poison, Shiva drank all the poison. He drank so much poison that his throat became blue. However, a few drops still spilled out in the process and fell into the world. Therefore, people worship serpent gods in order to protect themselves from the harmful effects that can occur because of the poison that is present in this world.
People who celebrate Nagula Chavithi are supposed to wake up early in the morning and bathe by taking a dip in a nearby pond or river. Later, the devotees go to a temple with idols of serpent gods or offer prayers to the holes or pits of snakes. Vermilion, turmeric powder, lamps made of clay, milk, fruits sweets are offered to them. Many people worship serpent gods by making an idol of a snake in their homes. The most fervent devotees and worshippers of serpent gods and Shiva observe fast for the whole day. It is also important for the devotees to not to dig ground or do farming on Nagula Chavithi as it is considered a way of destroying snakes’ homes.
It is a widely popular belief that people who worship serpent gods on Nagula Chavithi are protected from snake bites, fear of snakes and all that is evil in the world. A very common belief is that women who are childless should offer prayers to serpent gods on this day to get their blessings and have children. It is also considered auspicious for anyone to see snakes in their dreams on this day as it is believed to bring about enormous wealth for that person.