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Apamarga Plant In Hindu Rituals And Pujas

Apamarga plant is widely used in Hindu rituals and pujas. It is used in a number of purificatory rites during the months of Bhadrapada (August – September) and Kartika (October – November), when the plant is in full bloom. On Rishi Panchami, which falls on the fifth day during the bright half of Bhadrapada month, Hindu women, besides taking a ceremonial bath with a mixture of cow’s milk, curd clarified butter, urine and dung (panchagavya), brush their teeth and sprinkle water over their bodies with the twigs of apamarga before worshipping the seven sages – Atri, Kashyapa, Bharadvaja, Vishwamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni and Vasishta (along with his wife, Arundhati).

Apamarga is also used in religious ceremonies relating to the worship of Vinayaka or Ganapathi on Ganesh Chaturthi, the fourth day during the bright half of Bhadrapada.

On Naraka Chaturdashi day, which commemorates the victory of Bhagavan Vishnu over Bali, Hanuman over Ahiravan and Mahiravana and of Bhagavan Sri Krishna over Narakasura, one is required to sprinkle one’s body with mud and apamarga leaves while smearing the body with oil (abhyanga snana) before sunrise. On the occasion, prayers are made to the plant for redemption of one’s sins. Dried apamarga is also sometimes used as an oblation during sacrificial ceremonies.