Nagula Chavithi is a festival to worship Nag Devatas or Serpent Gods and is observed on the fourth day after Deepavali Amavasya in Karthika month. Nagula Chavithi is usually observed by married women for the welfare of their children.
Nagula Chavithi is a popular festival in the state of Andhra Pradesh and some parts of Karnataka.
It is believed that any Puja offering made to the snakes would reach to the Serpent Gods. Hence, on this day people worship live snakes with a belief that they represent Serpent Gods, who are respected and worshipped in Hinduism. Even though there are several Serpent Gods, twelve of them are worshipped during Nagula Chavithi Puja.
Nagula Chavithi Mantra:
Mantra Translation:- May the snakes who are staying in this world, sky, heaven, sun-rays, lakes, wells, ponds etc. bless us and we all salute them.
Nagula Chavithi Mantra:
The nine Nag Devtas are Ananta, Vasuki, Shesha, Padmanabha, Kambala, Shankhapala, Dhritarashtra, Takshaka and Kaliya. If chanted regularly every day in the morning, they will protect you from all evils and make you victorious in life.
Nagula Chavithi Story:
Several gods have been associated with snakes. Lord Shiva is known as Naga Bhushan. Sri Maha Vishnu is known as Sesha Thalpa Sai, Lord Ganesh is Naga Yajnopaveetha, and Lord Kumara Swamy is Naga Swarupa.
A legend for Nagula Chavithi indicates that during the agitation of the ocean by gods and demons in search of nectar, a snake was used as a rope. In the process, Halahal’s poison had appeared. The poison would have affected the world, but Lord Shiva swallowed it and held it in the throat. His throat turned blue. Therefore, Lord Shiva is known as “Neelakantha”. However, a few drops spilt on the ground. To avoid the harmful effects of poison, people began to worship serpents to soothe off progeny and protect themselves from harmful effects.
Nagula Chavithi Celebrations:
One day before the Nagula Chavithi, all the devotees take a head bath. On the Ngula Chavithi day, the devotees set up a Naga Devata idol at home and perform puja, or visit “Putta” (Snake burrow) and offer Prasad and puja. The prayers take place in the temples of Naga. Sesame Laddu (Nuvvula vanda), Vadapappu and Chalimidi are prepared for Prasad. The devotees visit the serpents burrow and offer naivadhyam and perform Puja with flowers, turmeric with cow’s milk, Kumkum, banana, Tamboolam and rice flour. They take place around the snake pit for 3 or 5 times. The devotees apply the soil of the snake mine on the ears. In the temples of Shiva, idols of “Naga Pratima” or snakes are placed under Peepal / Banyan.
Importance of Nagula Chavithi:
In winter and in the cold season, snakes in the fields come out of a well to eat rats that destroy crops. Snakes in fresh water kill micro organisms. They make the soil fertile for crops. It is observed that Nagula Chavithi shows gratitude towards the snakes. According to astrology, the planet Rahu represents a snake. The effects of Rahu result from the curse of a snake that can be corrected by worshiping snakes. Couples without children or those who already have children must perform Nagula Chavithi.