Indore: Remembering that life is just a cycle of changes, Hindu community observed Nag Panchami on Saturday.
Observed during the holy month of Shravan, Nag Panchami is dedicated to the worship of Nag Devta or the snake god. Unlike every year when over 10,000 devotees travel from Indore and other districts to Ujjain for darshan of lord Nagchandreshwar, this year devotees stayed home and attended prayers online.
It was for the first time when devotees offered prayers to lord Nagchandreshwar via online streaming on 'Nag Panchami'.
Priests had arranged the facility of online darshans in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. "The doors of this temple are opened once in a year. Usually, lakhs of people visit the temple from across the world. But, this year, due to coronavirus, it wasn't possible," said a temple priest.
Pooja was performed throughout the day and a live darshan facility was available for 24 hours. Nag Panchami falls on the fifth day of the bright half (Shukla Paksh) in the lunar month of Shravan, which is in the month of July and August. The day is observed two days after Hariyali Teej.
Due to corona the outbreak, Nag Panchami was mostly celebrated at homes and with a few devotees in temples.
Starting the day with prayers, people worshipped the serpent god with abhishek. In some areas, serpents carried snakes in a basket. People fed to the snake.
However, as shared by Pandit Harish Sharma, “Nag i.e. snakes should not be offered milk to drink, but just bathe with milk.”
To offer prayers in temples, people used silver idols of snakes. In homes where silver idols of snakes were not available, people had prepared snake idols from clay beforehand.
The idols were worshipped at home with milk, turmeric, grass, kumkum and flowers. Flowers and milk were kept near the burrows and holes where snakes live. People also keep a sculpture made of red soil or cow dung of the snake God near the main entrance of the house.
Homemaker Pooja Verma said, “Prayer and our worship is the same as every year, we all wish and pray to lord to help us in fighting corona and making the entire world corona-free soon.”
Educationist Dr Ajit Upadhyaya said, “The snake primarily represents rebirth, death and mortality, due to its casting of its skin and being symbolically ‘reborn’.” He added that over a large part of India there are carved representations of cobras or nagas or stones as substitutes to represent the cycle of life.