What is the meaning of vatapatra sai
Vatapatra Sai means Lord sleeping on banyan tree leaf/ marri leaf. We find its presence in Markendeya maharshi charitra. Markendeya meditates for six manvantras(age of manu) , during seventh manvantra Lord Indra, in order to disturb his meditation, he sends beautiful ladies. But Markendeya will not get disturbed with this ladies dance performance.
After seeing his devoted meditation, Lord Vishnu appears and asks for boon. He asks a boon to see his Magic. After few days there will be nonstop rain and wind blows. All water streams were over flown and all areas were drowned. Markendeya was living in sadness. Once he will notice an incidence where a small boy was floating on banyan tree leaf/ marri leaf. Baby was sucking his foot by holding his legs with little hands. That small baby is only Vatapatra sai
With the order of Lord Vishnu, he will enter into the stomach of the baby. He was surprised to see the whole land and living beings sinking in the water. He got to know that there might be the formation of another new universe. According to Lord Vishnu's blessing markendeya was able to see his magic.
Is tamalapaku/ betel leaf sacred?
Yes tamalapaku/ betel leaf is also one of the sacred leaves that is the reason whenever there is any puja or any special occasion we use it.
It is also known as Nagavalli leaf or god leaf. It is said at the head part of the leaf, Godess Lakshmi devi resides and at middle part Lord Shiva along with Godess Parvathi, at end part Godess Sarasvathi resides. It is also said gods, Indra, Manmadha, Vishnu, Brahma always reside on tamalapaku. Also we should not use dried or torn leaf at any occasion