The Navpatrika Puja is essentially connected with the Durga Puja. It is carried out on the day of the Durga Puja Maha Saptami.
The Maha Saptami is the first day of the Durga Puja and is mostly observed in the states of West Bengal, Odisha, Assam and other parts of Eastern India.
On the day of Maha Saptami, Goddess Durga is invoked within nine plants, which are believed to be her manifestation, and that is Nava Patrika. In 2019, the Navpatrika will be observed in the month of October, 5th
What is Navpatrika?
Navpatrika or Navpatrika are the leaves of nine plants which are used during the Puja and invocation of Ma Durga. It is a Sanskrit word built from 2 words; Nava or nine and patrika or leaves. The leaves of nine plants are installed in the pandal or in the puja mandap on the day of the saptami.
The nine plants are draped in a saree of white or red color and this is considered to be a manifestation of Goddess Durga or symbolically thought of as Ma Durga. The nine plants used are considered to be nine symbolic representation of Ma Durga.
The Navpatrika and their symbolism
The nine plants used are –
- Banana tree with leaves and stem. This represents the form of Brahmani
- Kachvi or Kachu or the Kacchi plant represents the Goddess Kali
- The bright yellow turmeric represents Goddess Durga
- The Jayanti represents the Goddess Karttiki
- The Bilwa patra or the wood apple represents Lord Shiva
- The Pomegranate , known as Dalim represents the goddess Raktadantika
- The Ashoka tree represents the Goddess Sokarahita
- The Manaka, also known as Arum represents the Goddess Chamunda
- The Rice Paddies represents the Goddess Lakshmi
The Navpatrika Puja Process
The Navpatrika puja is carried out right at the crack of dawn on the Saptami day. It ideally should take place just as the sun rises. The Banana plantain representing Brahmani is wrapped around with the other eight plants and is draped in a red or a white saree with a red border. This is the Navpatrika or the Kola( banana) bou or bride.
The Navpatrika is then taken for the Mahasnan to a nearby pond or river. For the Mahasnan , a mirror is placed at a place where the Goddess Durga’s face can be seen in that mirror. This reflection of Goddess Durga is then given a bath using a number of ingredients. Post the ritual bath, this reflection is divinized and consecrated in the Pran Pratistha ceremony. After the pran pratistha and the Ghat sthapana is done the Shodosopschara Puja begins. This puja means worshipping the Goddess with 16 types of items.
The Navpatrika or the Kola Bou is then draped in a red or orange colored saree, placed in the right side of the Goddess Durga.