Friday, 1 July 2011

Amla Navami

Amla navami falls on Karthik shukla navami, that is on the ninth day of the bright fortnight during the month of Kartik (October – November). Hindus take this as a special day to worship Amla tree. In 2010, Amla navami is on 15th November. Let us know about amla navami in this article.

Amla Tree – The Resident of Demigods Gooseberry is called Amla in Hindi. Hindus believe that during the month of Kartik all demigods and sages take resident on the Amla tree. Also in the puranas it is mentioned that Amla tree is equivalent to goddess Lakshmi. Amla is also called Dhatri or container of fortune. Thus amla tree is worshipped for prosperity and auspiciousness. The fruit amla is very significant. During this period the amla fruit ripens and therefore the worship is thanksgiving to the Nature. Also there are many medicinal uses of amla, especially in Ayurveda.

The Rituals and Celebrations of Amla Navami Indian women folk observe the ritual of amla navami with great reverence. On the day of amla navami women wake up early in the morning and take holy bath. They don fresh clothes and decorate themselves for the event.

All women gather at the place where an amla tree is present. If amla tree is not found anywhere, a branch of tree is brought from somewhere and set in mud and water.

The ritualistic worship (puja) is performed in a particular direction. Actually it is done facing towards east. First the tree is watered and then various offerings are made. Milk, roli, jaggery, chawal, batasha, moli, blouse piece and money are offered to the tree. Then dhup (incense) and deep (lamp) are offered to the tree. Then all women apply auspicious red mark (tilak) on each other’s foreheads.

Parikrama of amla tree is an especially significant thing in the ritual. Women go around amla tree for certain times, like 8 or 11 or 21 or 108 times. While doing this pradakshina they wrap white thread or red moli around the tree. After this women sit under the tree and read/listen to Kathas associated with amla navami. The delicacies that are offered to amla tree are distributed as prasadam.

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