Nimbu-Mirchi totka: To ward off evil eye and frighten evil spirits
Ancient India has a wide range of traditions and old wives tales that are carried generation to generation. There are fast track remedies for all ailments, like how to banish fear, fear of dearth, common colds, coughs in children, evil eye and frighten evil spirits. The Evil Eye Warder also known as “NAZAR BATTU” is used to keep home and businesses safe from all the evil spirits and let all the happiness be yours for always. This Battu or the “Nimbu-Mirchi Totka” as it is called, traditionally has “seven mirchis” (chilies) and “one nimbu” (lemon) to protect your home from all the bad and evil spirits.
At home it is dangled at the main door, in business establishments it is hung at the entrance-sometime changed daily, weekly or fortnightly. Once removed, it is thrown on the open roads away from the establishment. Care is taken that the ‘Nazar Battu‘ or Nimbu-Mirchi totka is not stepped on while walking for it is believed that the one who steps on it will invite all the bad influences that the Battu has gathered.
Mythological belief behind the tradition:
Lemon and green chillies tied on the doorways of shops, business establishments and houses is a common sight in India. Lemon and green chilly tied on a thread are hung outside the door to keep Alakshmi, or Jyestha, who is considered inauspicious.
Alakshmi is the sister of Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of fortune and prosperity. Alakshmi brings poverty and misery.
Alakshmi likes sour, pungent and hot things. Therefore shopkeepers, merchants and people tie lemons and green chillies on the doorways of their shops and homes so that Alakshmi will only come up to the door and eat her favorite food and satisfy her hunger and leave without entering the shop or house.
It is believed that after consuming lemon and green chillies, Alakshmi loses her urge to enter the house or shop. She will turn around without casting her malevolent eye.
Method of making a Nazar Battu (Nimbu-Mirchi Totka)
Take 7 green chillies and one ripe yellow lemon. Take a needle and thread, preferably black thread, tie a thick knot at the end or tie a black stone or charcoal. Now pierce it through the lemon first and then the 7 green chillies. The whole thing should look like I have illustrated in the picture here.
Now on a Saturday Morning preferably, tie this to the top, center of the main door of your house or your establishment. Take care that it does not interfere with the opening of the door and other movements of people.
Now take it down on Monday morning and throw it away from the house or office somewhere close to the road side. Generally in thick market places it is thrown on the roads, which is not such a good practice. So when you visit crowded market places, keep a watch out before stepping on to a Nazar Battu.