[Advaita-l] Doubt regarding recycling of Vilva/bhel leaves for doing Shiva Pooja

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 11 22:08:28 CDT 2015

It is true that Bilva  and Tulashi leaves can be kept for several days as given in that verse and this is observed in Assam and Bengal too and one can pick up these in good quantity at a time, to last for several days. However, there is no dearth of these leaves for the pujas and the need has not arisen for reuse of used leaves. The only other restriction is that the flower and the leaves are never to be washed by dipping in water. Only sprinkling of water is permitted for cleaning the flowers and the leaves if that becomes necessary. 

It is quite possible that where there is dearth of these leaves,  the reuse of the once-used leaves could have been permitted. 
Regards,Sunil KB

     On Wednesday, March 11, 2015 10:17 AM, Anand Hudli via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

 The book Sandeha Nivaranee by V. Rajagopala Ghanapathigal published in
Chennai in 2006 has quoted this:

pankajaM pancharAtraM syAt dasharAtram tu bilvakam|
ekAdashAhaM tulasI naiva paryuShitA bhavet||

Lotus flowers can be stored for five nights (before being used for pUjA),
Bilva leaves ten nights. tulasI for eleven days without becoming stale
(unusable for pUjA).

It also implies flowers other than lotuses should not be stored overnight
and then used the following day in pUjA. They should be used on the same
day as when they are plucked from their respective plants.

Here in India, I guess this is not a problem, because flowers, tulasI, and
bilva leaves are available throughout the year, at least in the major metro
areas. During major festivals, we also get flowers, leaves, and fruits that
are specially to be used for the occasion. For example, I have seen the
droNa puShpa (tuMbe hUvu in Kannada) being available only for the
mahAshivarAtri. Although the droNa puShpa can be used for Shiva pUjA on any
day, it is said to be almost mandatory for the mahAshivarAtri pUjA.

However, the book does not state the source of this saying.

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