The betel nut is an integral part of the daily or ritualistic Pooja. It is also popularly used in the age old-custom of Indian eating. The supari is symbolic of the nut of the ego that must be offered on the altar of God. It represents the hard, coarse qualities that must be surrendered to God, leaving only the soft, pure qualities.
Mostly symbolic the Supari is many a times traditionally represented as the Nine planets (in the Navgrah Pooja) and takes the form of Deities like Brahma, Surya and others during different Poojas. The betel nut can also represent a human being. In Maharashtra, the wife’s presence is must at important religious rituals. But if she is away or dead, a betel nut wrapped in a cloth can represent her. In Bengal, betel nut is believed to carry magical properties. it is placed under the pillow at night so that the sleeping person can see his future in dreams.
Betel nuts are believed to increase prosperity and they are tied to the pandal, the grinder, the pounding stone, large utensils and the bridegroom’s clothes. In North-West India, milk and cooked rice is offered to the village deity when betel nut trees are planted. This is called Deonar pooja. In Vikrampur, Goddess Bhagawati is worshipped as a mark of respect for the betel nut.
Compiled by Advaita