Puja on Nag Panchami involves several steps and rituals and varies slightly depending on the region and tradition. Here is a general guide to performing Nag Panchami puja:
- Cleanse yourself: Take a bath and wear clean clothes before starting the puja.
- Prepare the altar: Create a sacred space for the puja by setting up a small altar or table with a clean cloth, flowers, incense, and a picture or idol of the snake deity.
- Offer prayers: Light the incense and offer prayers to the snake deity, seeking blessings and protection from snake bites.
- Offer milk: Offer milk to the snake deity, as it is believed to be their favorite food.
- Offer sweets: Offer sweets such as laddoos, pedas, or kheer to the snake deity as a sign of gratitude and respect.
- Recite mantras: Recite mantras dedicated to the snake deity, such as the Naga Gayatri mantra or the Naga Stotram.
- Perform aarti: Light a diya or lamp and perform aarti, waving it in front of the snake deity and offering prayers.
- Seek blessings: Seek blessings from the snake deity and ask for protection from snake bites.
- Distribute prasad: Distribute the sweets and other offerings to family, friends, and neighbors as prasad.
It is important to note that the above steps are a general guide, and the specific rituals and practices may vary depending on the region and tradition. It is always advisable to consult with a priest or religious expert for guidance on performing the puja correctly.