Lotus is an inseparable part of Durga Puja. Without 108 lotuses we can’t even think about ‘Sandhi Puja’ (a special ritual performed in the Puja). But why lotus is so important in Durga Puja! Let’s find out…
According to ancient Hindu mythology to get Devi Durga’s blessing in defeating Ravana, Sri Ramchandra decided to do ‘Akal Bodhon’ (premature awakening) of Devi Durga. Because Ravana, his Biman and his Kingdom were blessed by Vadrakali’s (goddess) blessing. But it was difficult to please Devi Durga. Hearing Bivisan’s suggestion Ramchandra decided to worship Devi with 108 blue lotuses and sends Hanumana to bring 108 blue lotuses from Debidaha (a lake, the only place where 108 lotuses were available). During Puja, Ramchandra found that one blue lotus was missing! Being hopeless he finally decided to dedicate one of his eyes which was known as ‘Padda Lochana’ (eyes look like lotus). Devi pleased and finally, He was able to kill Ravana in ‘Dashami Tithi’ which is known as Dussehra.
In Hindu Dharma, this ‘108’ number is very much significant. There are 108 names of the Devtas, we need 108 lotuses in Durga Puja, we need 108 ‘Pradeep’ ( a special kind of candle) and even in Yoga ‘108’ number is very much important. Ayurveda tells that there is a total of 108 points in our body. On the other hand, Jyotish Sastra says that there are 12 ‘Khanda’ (part) in the whole universe and 9 planets in the solar system. And these planets and Khandas control the happenings in the galaxy, as well as our fate. If we multiply them we get the number 108.
Another spiritual significance of lotus is that lotus blooms in the mud, but there is no sign of mud or scar in the flower. Hence, the lotus is the significance of the message that a man’s character is his identity, not his birthplace. A man’s duty is to grow up without being manipulated by the situation.