Essence Of
Varaha Purana


12    Adulation of ‘Nag Devatas’ on every ‘Panchami’ day
Before Sage Mahatapa’s explanation to King Prajapal about the significance of Panchami Puja every month, he first narrated the origin of the Serpents. In Lord Brahma’s creation, Sage Marichi gave birth to Kashyap and the latter’s wife Kadru begot mighty sons like Ananth Nag, Vasuki, Kambal, Karkotak, Padma, Maha Padma, Shankh, Kulik, and Aparajit. No doubt some of these serpents were illustrious and were utilised for Deva Karyas (or tasks entrusted to them by Devas) like Vasuki used for churning the Ocean to secure Amrit, Sesha Nag underneath Lord Narayana as his bed and a few more exceptions, but by virtue of their nature and nurture, the majority of the race of serpents was ferocious, vengeful and crooked utilising their natural tendency of producing poison most of which being ued for killings. In fact some of the notorious leaders of serpents as mentioned above kill for kicks, some out of spite and some for self-defence. Lord Brahma was approached by Devas and Great Sages that the untimely, indiscriminate and defenceless deaths especially among human beings were very frequent, unprovoked and unnatural. Lord Brahma called for a large gathering of Serpents and threatened them for dire consequences and warned them severly; He commanded them to migrate to their abodes permanently to the lower regions of the Universe like Rasatala, Patala and so on. He threatened them that if they did not mend their ways, He would have the immoral serpents exterminated in the ensuing Vaivasvata Manvantara and encourage ‘Sarpa Yagnas’ as King Janamejaya would indeed execute when only the virtuous ones might manage to survive.In response to the warning by Brahma, most of the venomous serpents did migrate to the lower regions, barring a very few still moving surreptitiously causing sporadic incidents of poisonous killings.Brahma advised the serpents as a race to refrain from the areas where herbs, medicinal plants and Kites fly on the Sky which have a powerful eyesight from far off distances. Unfortunately, even the well meaning serpents of non-poisonous type are hunted out and killed by human beings. But those remaining type are venerated especially girls desirous of marrying good husbands and women craving for children by providing milk and eats. Come Naga Panchami, especially in the week following Deepavali celebrations, women observe fast and refrain from eating sour and milk praparations of food in several parts of Bharat till date.

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