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Durga Puja 2022: Navapatrika Puja Date, Time, Significance, And Symbolism of Nine Plants

With the onset of the autumn, Bengal prepares itself for one of the most significant Durga puja events, that spells reunion, revival and joyful remembrances of its age-old culture and tradition. On the tenth day, the celebration of Dussehra concludes.

As per the belief, this time is when Goddess Durga takes a sojourn from Mount Kailas to her paternal home on earth, bringing along with her, Goddess Laxmi, Goddess Saraswati, and her children, Lord Ganesha and Lord Karthikeya as well. Read more to know how that connects with Navapatrika.

Navapatrika is an observance that stems from religious beliefs revolving round the Durga puja. Literally speaking, nava and patrika mean nine plants. Durga is invoked into the navapatrika (branches of nine plants) on the Saptami, which are tied to the twigs of the Aparajita plant using a yellow thread. Read to know more about this day.

Navapatrika Puja: Date And Time

Navapatrika snaan will be observed on Sunday, 2 October 2022. It dawns at 05:52 am on the Navapatrika Day. The Sun rises at 06:15 am. Saptami Tithi begins at 08:46 pm on 01 October 2022 and ends at 06:47 pm on 02 October 2022.

Navpatrika Puja 2022: Mahasnan And Puja vidhi

  • The worship of Mahasaptami begins after the Mahasnan (also known as Kolabou Snan in Bengal) Mahasnan incurs infinite grace of Goddess Durga on the worshipper.
  • Navpatrika is made by bundling nine different plants, of which one is the Bilva tree branch. Navpatrika is given a ritualistic bath in a river. Then it is enveloped in a red or orange coloured cloth and placed on a wooden seat to the right side of Goddess Durga.
  • For observing the ritual of Mahasnan, the devotees place a mirror in such a manner that the reflection of Goddess Durga is seen in it. The reflection of Goddess Durga in the mirror is offered the holy and ritualistic bath by taking several puja essentials.
  • Bathing can be done in the holy river, by the worshipper and then Navapatrika is also bathed with holy water of various rivers. The waters of the Ganges and Saraswati River, the rainwater, the seawater, the water from the pond with lotus, and lastly the waters of the spring are used to bathe the Navapatrika.
  • Navapatrika is now decked up to look like a Bengali bride, resplendent with the graceful white saree, and the garlands of flowers.
  • Post the mahasnan, Pran Pratishtha is performed wherein, the idol of Mother Durga is placed on the altar, which is cleaned, and Mother Durga is decorated with flowers and sarees.
  • Worship sometimes is done on the banks of the ghat.
  • Shodashopachar Puja is performed as the next step, wherein Mother Durga is worshiped with 16 different items.
  • Sandalwood paste is applied on the Navapatrika, and flowers are offered and then placed on the right to Lord Ganesh idol, as his wife.
  • Maha Mangalaarti is performed after which prasad is distributed.

Nabapatrika Puja 2022: Vrat Katha

Kolabau, also known as Nava patrika was a Goddess Durga devotee who used to worship Goddess using leaves of nine different trees. This puja is probably inspired by her devoted puja. There is not much information about the vrat katha for this ritual.

Navapatrika Puja 2022: Offerings

Apart from the sweet offerings, there are many other items that are offered including vermillion, mirror, pancha ratna, cowdung, kusha grass, sugar, honey, wood apple leaves, flowers, sesame seeds, four-finger rings, jute ropes, and red thread.

Navapatrika Puja 2022: Farewell

The tenth day marks the end of the Navapatrika puja, and a farewell ceremony is carried out on this day. Women offer the Navapatrika some milk products and sweets. Navapatrika is placed at the right of the goddess Durga during the puja.

Navapatrika Puja 2022: Significance

Since the time immemorial, Navapatrika puja has been practiced by peasants as a worship ritual to get blessed with a plentiful and prosperous harvest. The farmers do not worship the idol, but they idolize the mother nature. They conduct Navapatrika rituals only when the harvest is about to begin. Apart from that, this festival also signifies fertility. This ceremony is done keeping in mind the importance of Durga Puja and is an insereparable part of the celebrations.. Although navapatrika as a ritual does not find a mention in the Vedas, it still comes across as a glorious blend of both Vedic and non-Vedic customs celebrated under one platform.

Navpatrika Puja or Nabapatrika Puja is also popularly called Maha Saptami, which is the very first day of the Durga Puja celebrations. As per the Hindu beliefs, a living medium should invoke Goddess Durga and hence she is invoked into the branches of the Bilva tree after which the Durga puja begins.

Navapatrika Puja 2022: What Do The Nine Plants Stand For?

The nine plants stand for the nine goddess forms of Durga during the entire stretch of the puja. During the puja, all the nine goddesses are present in essence to bless the worshippers.

  • Banana tree and its stem and leaves signify Goddess Brahmani.
  • Kacchi, Kacchi or the Kachu plant symbolises the Goddess Kali.
  • The yellow-colored Turmeric plant denotes Goddess Durga.
  • Jayanti plant and its leaves indicates Goddess Kartiki.
  • The Bilva plant, its branch, and leaves symbolises Lord Shiva.
  • The pomegranate plant denotes Goddess Raktadantika.
  • The Ashoka tree and its leaves indicates Goddess Sokarahita.
  • The Manaka plant signifies Goddess Chamunda.
  • The Rice Paddies stands for Goddess Lakshmi.

The ritual of Maha Saptami Puja starts once the mahasnan is completed.

Navapatrika Puja 2022: Why Is It Important During Durga Puja

The first day of Durga Puja is of Mahalaya, in which Tarpan is performed, for the souls of the devas and rishis who were killed in the war waged on them by the asuras. Durga puja starts on the Shashti day, which was when Goddess Durga descended down to earth and Navapatrika is worshipped on the next day.

Ashtami (eighth day) is the important day of Durga Puja, on which day Sandhi Puja is also conducted. The 24 minutes after the end of Ashtami and 24 minutes after the beginning of Navami are termed as 'Sandhikshana' according to the sandhi puja. These were the exact moments when Goddess Durga annihilated the asuras Chanda and Munda. Dashami is the day when Goddess Durga killed Mahishasura. After the Durga worship concludes, she is given a warm farewell wherein she returns back to Kailas with her children.

Story first published: Saturday, September 24, 2022, 12:03 [IST]
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