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Daijiworld News Network – Mangalore (VM), pics by Sphoorti Ullal and Dayanand Kukkaje

(with inputs from various sources)

Mangalore, Jul 30: On Sunday, Jul 30, devotees worship the Serpent God before the Nagabana. The dwelling places of serpents like mounds, ant hills etc are also worshiped. In DK thousands throng at temples which are built in honour of the Serpent God like the Shri Anantapadmanabha Temple (Kudupu Temple) and the Subramanya Temple.

The background

The temples are crowded with devotees offering milk, bananas and other food items to the Serpent God. It’s Naga Panchami, the fifth day of full moon in the month of Shravana. The festival is a day dedicated for the worship of serpents.

According to Tulu Mythology, Naga Panchami comes at the end of ‘Aati’ (Ashadha) and in the beginning of Sona (Shravana) month. It is one of the key festivals of Dravidian culture.

Sarpa Pooja (Serpent Worship) exists in Kerala and Maharashtra as well. In Greek culture, cobra was the symbol of bravery. Latin Americans were offering pooja for living cobras. Chinese considered that Naga was the dynasty of their trait. Some tribal groups in America also worship serpent. In literature, cobra is projected as a symbol of sex and revenge. Many people have an idea that a serpent can be controlled when Garuda Rekhe (eagle line) exists in one’s palm. People do not dig the earth on Naga Panchami.

In Hindu culture, Naga has an equal position that of a Brahmachari. The Serpent God is worshiped in the form of a deity on Naga Panchami. Turmeric powder, milk, tender coconut, Pingara (flowers of arecanut), Kedige (fragrant screw pine), coconut, flowers, honey, ghee, sugar and other items in pooja, as they are believed to be dearest to serpents.

People, who offer these things for Naga in front of his deity, believe that their offerings will reach Maha Shesha, who has been lying as the bed of Lord Vishnu in the sea of milk.

Flash report from Goa: Sunday, July 30

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