Nabapatrika Puja - Offerings of Leaves to Durga
Nabapatrika is a ritual dedicated to Durga during the festival of Durga Puja. The term ‘Nabapatrika’ is a compound of two words, ‘Nava’ means nine and ‘Patrika’ means leaves. Thus the rituals is about offering nine leaves from different nine plants to Durga. The festival is majorly celebrated in Orissa, Bengal and people belonging to eastern states of India. The day is also known as Maha Saptami.
The day is considered auspicious in the lives of the farmers as it signifies good harvest. People who perform the ritual are blessed with abundance of crops.
Plants and their Importance
The various plants which are used for the rituals are as follows-
Banana- It represents Goddess Brahmani. She is a benevolent aspect of Shakti who is majorly worshipped in Rajasthan and Gujarat. She is considered the female counterpart of Brahma and is believed to provide him with his power of creation The leaf of it is considered the most auspicious one and is used extensively in Hindu rituals.
Kachvi- It symbolizes Goddess KaliKali
There are several traditions of how Kali came into existence.... It is as edible root.
Turmeric- Durga is symbolized through turmeric. It is the most common spice used in Indian households thus signifying the presence of the Goddess in every nook and corner.
Jayanti- It denotes Karttiki. The leaves of this plant are cure to various kinds of fevers, thus has medicinal properties.
Wood Apple (Bilva) A Hindu’s sacred tree known as wood-apple whose leaves are mainly used to worship Shiva Linga but are also offered to other deties- It denotes ShivaShiva
Shiva is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindu Trinity that ... and because he is considered one with Shakti, he also denotes one of the form of Durga. The leaves of this plant are majorly offered to Shiva, especially on Shivaratri.
Pomegranate- It indicates Raktadantika. She is one of the fiercest form of Durga who is also worshipped by Lord Shiva. She destroys evil and fear. Her name means ‘one who has blood stained teeth’. She has blood-red eyes and wears red clothes and ornaments. Her weapons are a sword and a plow The leaves of this tree are majorly used by people of Bengal, during Durga Puja.
Ashoka- It stands for Sokharita. It is a sacred tree whose leaves are used in Hindu rituals. It is also considered as the tree of VishnuVishnu
Vishnu is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindus and is a part of Hindu Trinity,... Women who are barren, eat the leaves of Ashoka tree for fertility.
Manaka- It symbolizes ChamundaChamunda
The name Chamunda is the combination of two names ‘Chanda’ and ‘Munda’.... People make oil from the leaves of this plant which is herbal and has medicinal values.
Rice Paddy- Lakshmi is represented through rich rice paddy. It represents life and abundance. Unhusked rice grains are used in all auspicious ceremonies.
Thus all the above mentioned plants become important for the sustenance of life and healthy being. This is also suggests that Durga is a life-giving and life-sustaining goddess.
People bring nine different plants and wrap them in red or white cloth. These nine kind of plants symbolize the nine different forms of Durga. As she is also the Mother Nature, hence plants become the appropriate symbol. They take these plants to a nearby river or pond and as soon as the first ray of sunshine appears in the sky, the ritual begins. A priest chants mantras to breathe life into the plants.
As soon as the ritual is completed, the stem of the banana tree is covered with the red cloth again, leaving the leaf of it and other plants uncovered. People then head back to their worshipping arena and place the plants next to an idol of Durga and GaneshaGanesha
The guardian deity of Hindus, also known as the Ganapati (The God of all groups) is the son of Lord Shiva ....