Importance of Bilva dalam or Bel Leaves
in Lord Shiva & Vishnu’s Worship
Vande shambhum umapatim sura gurum vande jagat kaaranam
vande pannaga bhooshanam sashi dharam vande mukundapriyam
vande surya shashaanka vahni nayanam vande pashoonaam patim
vande bahkta jana asrayam cha varadam vande shivam shankaram
Lord Shiva is worshipped by chanting sacred nama “Eka Bilvam Shivarpanam”. Bilva leaves are generally trifoliate (three leaves attached together)
According to vedic scriptures the three leaves of a Bilva Dalam denotes:
1) Three eyes of Lord Shiva.
2) Trimurthi Swaroopam – Brahma, Vishnu & Maheswara.
3) Three syllables of Aumkara(Omkara) – Akara, Ukara & Makara.
Pooja, Stotra and Gyana (It is believed that by offering a single bilva dalam, one can get rid of darkness caused due to agyanam /ignorance).
4) Bilva dalam represents Srusthi (Creation), Sthithi (Sustaining) and Laya (dissolution).
5) Bel leaves are considered the most sacred offerings in Shiva pooja. A worshipper should offer Trifoliate meaning Three leaves together called Bilva dalam.
6) One should not offer Bilva dalam with two or a single leaf. It is a sin to offer incomplete Bel -Patra.
7) In an Ekabilvam (A single trifoliate bel-patra), Left leaf is Brahma, Right leaf is Vishnu and the middle leaf is Shiva.
Our Vedic Scriptures also says…..
Bilva/Bel leaves offered once in Shiva Pooja can be re-used or re-offered to God the next day by sprinkling few drops of water on them. A devotee can offer the same Bilva dalam for 15 continous days. Even though bel-leaves become dry, one can still use the dried one’s in Shiva pooja, such is the grateness of Bel-Leaf. Make sure before offering, it has all the three leaves attached to the stem (Trifoliate).
The front portion of a Bel-leaf denotes Amrutham” (Nectar of Immortality). So, while offering bel-leaf, the front portion of the leaf should face Lord Shiva.
A Garden of Bilva trees (Bilva Vanam) is equivalent to Kashi Kshetram. It is very auspicious to have a Bilva tree at home.
According to Vastu-Sastra (Science of Architecture or Construction), a house with Bilva Tree in:
North East – Bestows all kinds of wealth & remove unforeseen dangers.
East – Blesses with happiness, peace and good health.
West – Blesses with healthy progeny.
South – Protects from troubles caused due to Yama.
shantaakaaram bhujaga shayanam padmanaabham suresham
viswaadhaaram gagana sadrisam megha varnam shubhaangam
lakshmi kantam kamala nayanam yogi hridhyana gamyam
vande vishnum bahva bhaya haram sarva lokaika natham
Significance of Bel-leaf in Lord Venkateshwara & Alamelumanga’s worship:
It is our vedic tradition to worship Shiva with Tulasi dalam and Lord Venkateswara (Vishnu’s form) with Bilva dalam during Kartheeka masa. One should never differentiate between Hari(Vishnu) and Hara(Shiva), hence the exchange of these Holy leaves/dalams.
To overcome financial problems, devotees chant a powerful stotram called “Shree Venkateswara Mahishi Mahalakshmi Stotram” while offering Bel-leaves.
It is also believed that offering prayers to Shree Mahalakshmi with Bel-leaves (particularly on Friday’s and also during Shravana Masa), showers the worshipper with abundant wealth and prosperity.
How to select a good Bilva Patra?
While selecting Bilva leaves make sure the Chakra and the Bajra are not present on them. The Chakra is a white mark made by insects on the Bilva leaves, while the Bajra is the thick portion towards the stalk. The Bilva leaves used in pooja should be of 3 leaflets even if one of the leaves gets detached of three leaves then it is of no use.
Tridalam trigunakaram trinetram cha triyayudham
Trijanmapapasamharam ekabilvam shivarpanam .. 1
Trishakhaih bilvapatraishcha hyachchidraih komalaih shubhaih
Tavavapujam karishhyami ekabilvam shivarpanam .. 2
Koti kanya maha danam tila parvata kotayah
Kanchanam sheela danena ekabilvam shivarpanam .. 3
Kashikshetranivasam cha kalabhairavadarshanam
Prayagamadhavam druishtva ekabilvam shivarpanamh .. 4
Induvare vratam sthitwa niraharo maheshwara
Naktam haoushyami devecha eka bilvam shivarpanam .. 5
Ramalinga pratistha cha vaivahika krutam tatha
tatakadi cha santanam eka bilvam shivarpanam .. 6
Akhanda bilva patram cha ayutam shiva poojanam
Krutam nama sahasrena eka bilvam shivarpanam .. 7
Umaya sahadevesha nandi vahana meva cha
Bhasma lepana sarvangam eka bilvam shivarpanam .. 8
Salagrameshu vipranam tatakam dasha koopayo
Yagyakoti saharacha eka bilvam shivarpanam .. 9
Dantikoti sahasreshu ashwamedha shatakratau
Kotikanya mahadanam ekabilvam shivarpanam .. 10
Bilvanam darshanam punyam sparshanam papa nashanam
Aghora papa samharam eka bilvam shivarpanam .. 11
Sahasra veda patheshu brahma sthapana muchyate
Aneka vrata kotinam eka bilvam shivarpanam .. 12
Annadana sahasreshu sahasropanayanam tatha
Aneka janma papani eka bilvam shivarpanam .. 13
Phalastuthi (Merits of recital)
Bilvashhtakamidam punyam yah patheth shivasannidhau.
Shivalokamavapnoti eka bilvam shivarpanam .. 14