View Full Version : PAVITRAM - DARBHAI - HOW, WHAT & WHERE ?

15-03-2013, 03:10 PM
(The excerpts are taken from the book 'THE GREAT HINDU TRADITION' authored by Sarma Sastrigal.
A more detailed description about 'darbhai' can be found in this book.)

* How to wear the ‘Pavitram’
The darbhai Pavitram is to be worn on the ring finger of the right hand, in a circular formation, prior to starting any religious rite like homa, dana, yaga-yagna – in fact any deva or pitru karma. This ubiquitous adornment on the finger of the karta of any ritual is called a ‘pavitram’, and it is necessarily made of darbhai.

* Can Pavitram be worn permanently:
There is an opinion that one can permanently have the ‘pavitram’ on. Perhaps an extension of this thinking is the idea ascribed to sages like Katyayana and Harita that a pavitram could be made of gold and worn all the time.
Please note that a pavitram made of gold cannot substitute a darbhai. When a karma starts one has to necessarily have a darbhai pavitram on, even if one is already wearing a swarna pavitram. Any reference to pavitram means only darbhai.

* What is meant of tarjani and who can wear it?
Incidentally, when a swarna pavitram is worn on the ring finger, a ring called tarjani made of silver is to be simultaneously worn on the index finger. And only the eldest son can wear the tarjani (but not when his father is alive).

* Who has to prepare Pavitram?
Generally one does not prepare darbhai for oneself. It is either received from the family Purohit (Sastrigal) or a properly qualified elderly person. Of course if the pavitram is not available from these sources one can prepare it oneself. The darbhai has to be fresh and prepared just before the start of a ritual – it should not be stocked.

There are restrictions - Pavitram differes!

- Pavitram for all occasions are not same. There are restrictions in the number of darbha leaves used to prepare the pavitram.

* In Vedic recitations, meditation and for Deva puja it is prepared from 2 leaves of the grass.
* In all ancestral worship like Sraaddha or Amavasya libations we use 3 leaves.
* In death rites darbhai is prepared with one leaf of the grass.

Though the number of leaves may change, the shape, size and method of preparing it do not change.

* Varieties in the type darbhai:

As we have already seen, there are quite a few options for the leaf to be used as darbhai. The type known as viswamitra is available in plenty. Other grass leaves like that of paddy, wheat, yava, rundhura, and usiram (vlamicheri ver) can also be used.

* Regulations for wearing & discarding the pavitram :
The karta should first do, at least once, the aachamana while taking the pavitram from his acharya, preparatory to the start of the ritual. Likewise, the performance should end with an aachamana.

You know one has to do achamana twice at the time of discarding.

At the conclusion of the rite, he has remove the pavitram froebookm the finger and keep it over the right earlobe and do one Achaean. then he has to remove the pavitram from the ear, untie it and throw it in the niruriti (south-west) direction and do the aachamana again.

* Procedure for drinking water or do something different when the karma is on:
If the karta has to drink water or milk etc.,during the ritual, during the ceremony, he should not drink with the pavitram on. He should lodge it over the right earlobe and drink. The pavitram should not be kept elsewhere or handed over to anyone.

* Karpura Harathi & Pada prakshalana:
Similarly while accepting karpoora harathi during Deva puja, or doing paada prakshalana (a ritual of washing another person’s feet) the pavitram must be removed from the finger and placed above the right earlobe.

Ref: Sree Sarma Sastri's facebook post(Shared)

27-09-2013, 01:18 PM
Normally, a programme starts with Punyaha vachanam. The Darbai, i.e.
the holy grass, found in villages, has a very high value, when it touches
an object through its tip, while chanting mantras, which is a conductor,
for vibration transmission. It has no value if it has no tip. There is a
specific mantra for cutting the darbham, which I used to observe in my
school days when I go with the Sastrigal's son. I am told snake used to
be there within the darbham plants. So we are warned before going in
for that job. "Virinjena Sahotpanna Parameshtinisargaja, Nutha sarvani
papani darba swasthikaro bava" I have seen some using the darbam
for several times, stating that there is an exception. In case, it is used
for death ceremony, etc. repetition of its use is strictly prohibited.

30-10-2013, 05:51 PM

30-10-2013, 10:27 PM
Very Nice article. But I have two doubts. In cities like Chennai, we cannot get fresh Tharbai to make Pavitram and hence I think there is no other way than stocking it.

What is the difference between Korcham and pavitram.? or is it both are the same?

And finally can a kartha drink something in between the subham or apara karma. I think it is not permitted.

With Best regards

S. Sankara Narayanan

Balasubramanian NR
03-11-2013, 11:53 AM
Durbai plant is known as Kusha. It is found in damp marshy and low-lying areas.
It is also used for purification in all kinds of ceremonies. As mentioned earlier,
it grows to a height of about two to two and half feet and is pointed sharp at the top.
It is rather rough while touching, therefore one has to be very careful. If not
properly held, it may cut the skin. The word Kusha originates from Sanskrit
meaning sharp in the sense viz. keen intelligence; besides, it has a sharp
tip. This has to be collected only by brahmacharis as advised by the guru
who were taught in Gurukulam those days, and they used to be expert in
Adhyayanam. Kushala also means expert. As mentioned earlier, tharbai
grass is identified as Lord Vishnu and is believed to possess more power
to purify anything. In north India, there is a celebration known as
darbhastami sometime during Aug/Sep. If we go into its origin, it is
believed to have been produced from the churning of the ocean of milk.
Further, it is also said that has fallen on the earth from the pot of Amirtham,
which was produced while churning the ocean. It is also noted that it is equated
to that of the hairs of the body of Lord Varaha, an avatara of Lord Vishnu.
There is a mention to this effect in Bhagavata Purana. ( 3.13.35)

Above all, there is a belief that Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva
are co-existing in the tharbai and hence it remains unaffected particularly
during the period of Grahanam. One may notice that tharbai is used to be
placed on milk, curd, and other products in the house, while Grahanam
takes place, as per our ancestors.

Balasubramanian NR