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Vinayaka Chavithi-Significance of Herbs

09/02/2016

The beauty of ritual is that one can pass on immense benefits to the masses in a very simple manner without having to involve in complicated discussions. The ancient Indians took this to a whole new level by turning every festival into an opportunity to connect with the elements, commune with the divine and at the same time heal people on the mental, physical and emotional levels.

Very soon in the next two days most Indians will celeberate Vinayaka Chavithi or Ganesh Chaturthi or Pillayar Chaturthi as it is known in multiple regions of India .Many would also religiously follow the puja vidhi as it is published in many daily newspapers or as it has been passed down from generation to generation. However very few would focus on the meanings behind the ritual or why certain things have to be done.

Understanding the ritual enhances the beauty of the whole thing and will also help the next generation. Today let us look at the 21 leaves used as part of Ganesha Worship.

1) Why Leaves

Every Puja and Murthi in Hinduism has it own distinct set of Puja materials. This is because the form being worshipped is different. Form and Sound are intertwined and when both these change the Yantra ( 3D representation) also changes. The quality of the Murthi and Shakti also changes.

For example

-Indian Bael (Aegle marmelos)  is exclusively used for Lord Shiva .  On the pure physical level the Bael levels have the chemical composition to purify water and also heal the liver. On the spiritual level, this is one of the leaves that has the capacity to absorb a large amount of energy . Water infused with Bael leaves poured over the Shiva linga and then given to the Devotee’s imparts the same energy easily to the masses.

Also using leaves as part of Puja delivers the distinct message that even leaves are sacred and one should have a healthy respect for the Environment. Exposure to the leaves and inhaling the aromatic smells allows for nasal ingestion of the natural chemicals in the leaves.

On the spiritual level the leaves enhance the quality of energy being perceived.

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Bilva Tree India ( all credits rest with wikimedia)

2)  Leaves specifically used for Lord Ganesha/Vighneswara/Ganapati 

21 Leaves are used as part of Lord Ganesha’s Puja. Please find below the Sanskrit name, English name and the botanical name of the leaf and its benefits.

Sanskrit Name        Telugu Name     English Name        Botanical Name        Health Benefits

Machipatram          Machipatramu   MugWort        Artemesia Vulgaris   Anti spasmodic,Tonic

Brihatipatram       Tella Mulaka    Indian Nightshade  Solanum Indicum  Respiratory relief

Bilvapatram           Maaredu          Indian Bael           Aegle Marmalos   Anti Diabetic

Durvarapatram     Garika        Bermuda grass    Cyanodon Dactylon   Antimicrobial, Anti viral

Datturapatram    Ummetta    Jimson Weed  Datura Stramonium  Pain Relief

Badaripatram     Regu      Indian Jujube  Ziziphus Mauritania  Rheumatism, Cough relief

Apamargapatram    Uttareni  Devil’s horsewhip Achyranthus Aspera   Asthma, Snakebite

Tulasipatram     Tulasi   Holy Basil Ocimum sanctum    Respiratory relief,Anti inflammatory

Chootapatramu     Mamidi  Mango leaves  Mangifera Indica  Scabies, Anti Diabetic

Karaveera Patramu    Ganneru    Indian Oleander  Nerium Indicum  Tonic, Cardiotonic

Vishnukranta  Vishnukanta  Dwarf morning glory Evolvulus Alsinoides  psychotropic

Dadimipatramu  Danemma  Pomegranate   Punica granatum  urinary infections

Devadaaru patramu  Devadaru  Deodar Cedar  Cedrus Deodar  Skin diseases

Maruvaka Patramu  Maruvaka   Marjoram  Origanum majorana  High blood pressure

Sindhuvara Patramu   Vavilli  Chinese Chaste tree  Vitex nirgundo    hormone balance

Jaji Patramu   Jaji  Royal Jasmine   Jasminum grandiflorum     Oral Disorders

Gandaki Patramu    Devakanchanm    Karaya Gum   Sterculia Urens  Skin diseases

Shami Patramu    Jammi    Prosopis specigera  respiratory problems

Ashwatha Patramu  Raavi  Sacred Fig   Ficus religiosa  blood purification, diabetes

Arjuna Patramu    Tella Maddi  Tropical Almond  Terminelia Arjuna  Joint Pains

Arka Patramu   Jilledu     Milkweed Calotropis Procera   Skin diseases, Wounds

 

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Arjuna Patramu ( Terminalia Arjuna- all credits rest with Wikimedia)

 

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Vitex Nirgundo- Chinese Chastetree-Sindhuvara Patramu

 

We will explore the Puja itself in our next post.

 

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