Today 5th August 2019 is being celebrated as 'Nag Panchami' day.
On this day snakes are revered and offered milk, sweets and flowers as gratitude.
Why is Nag Panchami so important?
The number one pest and destroyer of crops are mice. Because snakes feed on rats and mice, they are the most economical, effective natural eco-friendly control of these pests, That is why farmers in India have always considered snakes as their benefactors and protectors.
While it appears as superstition and nonsense to modernists, snake reverence has a very powerful and practical reason.
Celebrated during the midst of the monsoons, the offerings of sweets are in reality not for the snake but for rats and mice. When they are attracted to the offerings they become easy prey for snakes. The reduced rodent population helps to generate good harvests.
The respect for snakes has been woven and embedded into stories, fables and mythology since ancient times by the wise leaders. The ceremonies are supposed to be carried out in the farmers fields, but many priests and practitioners probably not knowing why and treating it as a mere ritual moved most of the celebrations to urban spaces, where they have little or no relevance.
The world is dominated by Judeo -Christian thinking, in which snakes are considered evil. Indian belief rooted in 'Sanatana Dharma' believe snakes to be good.
Sanatana Dharma is the foundation culture of India from which has been born Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism. It simply means the eternal way. The way nature was, is, and will always be. This is a universal philosophy and applies to nature and life, independent of geography, ideology, religion or race.
That is why in spite of having so many gods and goddesses, myriad belief system there has always been harmony and respect for nature and others, in this great land.
Scientifically based, social practices in Sanatana Dharam were woven into myths and stories in soft, fascinating and appealing ways, where they have remain ingrained and imbedded for thousands of years. That is why India is the only surviving civilisation in the world.
Dominated by monotheism, the Western and Arab mind openly reject and seek to overrun all others particularly local wisdom and practice. Couple this with the failure of Indians themselves to understand, appreciate and transmit their own wisdom have led many to ridicule India and Indians.
Why blame others for our situation when the greatest offender for the dismissal and destruction of our own culture, traditions and wisdom are we Westernised and Arabised Indians ourselves.