Sarva Mangala Mangalye Shive Sarvartha Sadhike Sharannye Trembhake Devi Narayani Namostute |||
Salutations to our Almighty God -Shri Venketachalapathy , Our Revered Guru ! After requests from young people staying abroad and afar from their native places ., I am humbly taking up this task of describing a very important ritual of our GSBs in & around Kochi Kerala – of Shri Baan Barap . This ritual actually has its roots way back when our ancestors had fled Goa because of religious persecution by the Portuguese . Food was scarce and to tide over the scarcity – a large clay pot – called Bhaan was used to store grains whenever it was possible to save . This was used as a resort to tide over emergencies , when there was food shortages or when unexpected guests arrived .In modern times when situations have improved so much – it’s now more of a symbolic representation the Goddess of prosperity – Shri Mahalakshmi .
The Shri Bhaan or Shreyapatra is nowadays usually of copper or brass . and is kept reverently in the puja room . For GSB’s in Kerala on the first day called Navarathna Padvo – Bhaan bhorche is the important ritual that day . As per the calculations referring the panchaang – an auspicious time for filling the bhaan is fixed for each year during Navratri by our Swamiji & the pundits/ bhatmaam. The Bhaan has to be filled with rice newly procured for this . It can be sundried on the previous days so that it remains uninfested for a whole year.
Early morning on the first day of Navratri, the family members clean the house thoroughly including the puja room. The eldest married woman(sumangali) of the family after her ritual bath (“anwalein”) decorates the tulsi katto with flowers, mango leaves, kumkum, and circumbulates it . The main threshold of the house – Humboru & also the puja room humboru is decorated with designs with rice flour paste .
Then she lights the sthana deevo and other lamps in the puja room. The Shri Bhaan is emptied out earlier in the day and is cleaned and dried thoroughly. . It is decorated with mango leaves, flowers, applied chandan and kumkum. & also a rice flour paste is used to make beautiful designs on it , Now the decorated bhaan is kept on a plate .
The raw rice is now taken in a Winnowing sieve or “gharshi ” as its called in Konkani ( or can be taken in a wide mouthed vessel – “bhogadein”) . At the auspicious time the lady scoops the rice with both her hands and holding on top of the bhaan – lets a little rice drop in from in between her palms – then lets it drop a little more for the second time . then lets all the rice fall from her hands the third time . This she repeats three times ( some like me do it five times – please see video)) . After this she fills the bhaan till the brim . Then covers it with a plate . On the plate she keeps a “Veedo” of five betel leaves , a betel nut , a small yellow banana , a flower,a coconut and a dakshina of coin & notes. This is said to represent Shri Mahalakshmi and indicates the prosperity of that home .
If not done on the first day of navratri – it can be done on the Mahanavami day ! This is just in general guidelines , there may be a lot of variations according to each family traditions . When placing the coconut with a tuft of fibre -“shendo” on the bhaan – the coconut shendo should face you . some will keep five bananas instead of one .
Navadhanya (nine varieties of dhanya – Moong , Chevli (alsande ) , Rice , Chono , Wheat , Pigeon peas ( Toor/ thuvar ),Kulith , til & Urad (with skin ) ) are kept in nine small cups ( katoris ), fruits & flowers are also arranged in front . ..
This is also done on the joyful occasion when the new bride enters her marital home for the first time . The Bhatmaam instructs the new bride with the procedure .
On the unfortunate even of the passing away of an elder in the family – the Bhaan has to be filled after the whole puja room has been cleaned on the 13th day
Hope this information will suffice to keep our traditions going on for the next generations !Thanking Vijayananda Shenoyanna for helping me with the details !
- Since the timings are usually early morning – there being no sunlight to dry it – you may dry the bhaan by keeping it on your gas stove for a few seconds – holding it with a tongs .
- Only raw rice has to be used .
- The tuft / shendo of the coconut should face you.
- Since the rice may not stay good for a full year you may remove a part of the rice from the Bhaan and later add . but it should never be emptied fully . At least a handful of rice should remain in it . You can fill it again with fresh rice.
- The rice to be used for filling the bhaan should be freshly bought & not taken from the household grocery stock .
- The rice can be used to make any type of food – only that it should not be wasted – Plain cooked rice (sheeth) or used for making dosas or other foods
- The bananas can be changed everyday and the coconut can be taken after Navratri and consumed .
The south Kanara side too has a similar ritual of Bhaan Bhorche . This is done by the families who have the tradition of mhanami/nave jevan / navi devu as passed on by their elders or ancestors My Friend Padmini Kamath has given this information & pictures about it
In South Kanara side bhaan bhorche is called” tandla madki” – this ritual is performed according to one’s family kuldev day or mostly on dashami as one performs ” nave jevan” too on that day
The madki or brass vessel is cleaned and then decorated with shedi or limestone , drawing soorya, Chandra and shimpi in the middle just like we decorate for brides or vakkal, Then tied up with mango leaves, flower thoran, Haldi , kumkum,
Then a Sumangali will fill it with rice five times . “
Honti bhorche ” is done with coconut, banana, a fruit , a veggie if any, veedo, and kept on the madki,
A prasad of sweet poha is offered ,
That evening she performs the honti barap to other sumangalies too .
If the new harvested paddy strands are brought directly from the fields it is kept near the tulsi offered puja pooja and then brought inside the house.
If the pooja paddy is brought from the temple then it is kept in the pooja room . this is then tied along with mango and jackfruit leaves to be tied to the tulasi, coconut tree, pooja room, palle or cradle, cupboards, kheeri urvali , in the office place or work place.
A feast is prepared adding new rice and also some new seasonal vegetables like raw mango, kadgi, cucumber, Maddi etc,
Note :- By any chance if you are not able to do during Navratri you can perform it in Karthika Maasa according to your kuldev day for example if it’s Mahalasa Narayani then it’s Sunday
For more information – refer to the Navratri post – https://wordpress.com/pages/kkaj.in