Srivaishnavam Parambaryam, Traditions & The Culture that stands Class apart from othersEssence of Srivaishnavam Practices
Dharbham the Holy Grass
The Holy Grass known as Dharbham or Dharbai – Kush Grass, Kusa – Eragrostis cynosuroides
by TRS IyengarThis article is on one of the practices widely used by Indian Brahmins all over using a Holy Grass named Dharbham or Dharbai. The botonical name is Eragrostis cynosuroides and Hindi they call as Kus or Kusha. Brahmins in general and Srivaishnavites in particular use this Darbai grass in all functions, auspicious or inauspicious, a performing person needs to wear a ring made of this Dharbham. But many have lost the reason of why it is to be used in the first place.
What I learnt from my father is proved to be accurately correct by a Medicine Practitioner. A medical practitioner named Dr. Sadhashiv Rao, once visited my home. When the topic turned to many subjects, I needed to tell him about the Holy Grass named Dharbham. When I told him about the usage and the values, he could not just believe my words. So, he took out a bunch of the Dharbham from me, went straight to the clinic to take an x-ray of his palm, by covering his hand with the Dharbham. To his utter surprise, he found that the grass absorbed about 60% of the (x-ray) radiation! When the so powerful X-ray radiation can be absorbed by the Holy Grass, why can it not absorb the ill-radiations spread over the atmosphere? While chanting and reciting some Vedic phrases and versus, one needs to wear a ring made of Dharbham on his right hand ring finger. This is most essential, while performing all the rituals, such as Agni Santhanam, Thiru-Aaradhanam, all sorts of Havans known as Homam etc.
The count of leaves depends upon the function that is held viz.: for some functions related to death only Single leaf Dharbham is used; for Auspicious and daily routine a ring made of two leaves is used; for inauspicious but not death related functions, (i.e. AmavasyaTharppanam,Pithru Pooja etc) a three leaf Dharbham ring is used. And for the Temple Prayer and Pooja, a Four-leaf Dharbham ring is used.
Also, when a fire ritual known as Agni Santhana is performed, these Dharbham are spread all the four sides of the Agni Kundam. Also, during the Eclipse time, these Dharbham are used to cover all food items to protect them from the harmful ultra violet radiation.
Whenever any function is held, firstly they perform a site-cleansing act known as “Sudhhi Punyaahavachanam”. While reciting the selective versus, they hold the Dharbham bunch in their hand and placing the tip point of it over the vessel containing water. Thus the recited vibration values are absorbed by water in the vessel through the Dharbham.
They found that the Holy Grass known as Dharbham has the highest value in conducting the phonetic vibrations through its tip. Later, they sprinkle the Holy water at every nook and corner of the place, where the function is held. A Dharbham without the tip is considered of no value, as the conductor-type value is lost in it.
If dharbam is cut & collected on the Avani Amavasya day (falls during 15th August & 15th Sept) it can be retained for usage for one full year. Also, if cut on the Masi Amavasya day then also one can use it for full year. There is a specific slokha for cutting dharbam (the holy grass) that is to be recited while cutting it; I give below the same for readers to know. If Dharbam is obtained from a Brahmin who doesn’t know this slokam or versus, the Dharbam is useless, states the Vedic scripts!
My father, Late Shri Ramabathrachariar of Mukkur, fondly called by everyone as Sriraman, has taught me the immense values of Dharbham and its usage. With Sanskrit phonetic sound and vibration, using the Dharbham increases its value. The usage varies according to the functions. It is really a marvel, that in those days of Vedic Era, the Sages & Saints of Hindu land used to control the Magnetic path disturbances, just by simply using this Dharbham! One more important thing about the Dharbam is, which is not commonly known to many, that one case use the same Dharbam again and again for seven times, provided, it is washed and dried properly before reuse. This is permitted only when/where no fresh Kusa Grass the Dharbai is available for regular usage. However, the Dharbam used for any inauspicious ceremonies viz. Death and karma rituals, should never be used again!
While I was just preparing this article, I received an interesting E-mail from Sri. Vijay Narasimhan, which I give below without editing: Quote: Basically all our Vedas and Upanishads are written in Sanskrit, Which basically is a phonetic based language. So I have a feeling that it is not just the mantras being powerful but mainly due to the effects “Sound” has over a humans body. I feel that our ancestors had mastered the art of sound; yes, phonetics and acoustics as such. So when the Vedas was written and the tone set for its deliverance that had no effect whatsoever on a “Man’s” body but it should have definitely had a profound effect on a “Woman’s” body that would have been the reason why ladies are not allowed to chant mantra or the Vedas or Upanishads or for that matter any of the slokas that a man recites. When we do Paaraayanam, I feel that the reason why girls are not allowed to do that is basically their physique cannot take the tremendous changes effected due to sustained practice of known as Recital.
This is something that my grandpa’s younger brother told me about, when we perform the Kumbabhishekam in a temple, At least 20 learned Vedic scholars would stand near the “kumbajalam” (holy water kept in the copper or brass vessel) and holding a “Dharbam”,one end in their hand and other end in the water would recite all the slokas need or rather do the “Japam” – I think this is because “Dharbam” is a very good conductor of acoustic vibrations – When this happens you can surely find the difference in the water’s state before and after such a japam. The reason why i am saying this has reference to my stating that Sanskrit is a phonetic based language and “Sound and Acoustics” does really change things.
Our ancestors would have done lot of research into acoustics management resulting in they mastering the art of sound and acoustics and using them to both, their constructive and destructive benefits. Again this is purely my and only my own opinion. Keep up the good work. Thanks and Regards – Vijay Narasimham Unquote.
In addition to the above, I received the following text via email, in support of this article, from Mr. N. Venkatesh (PMP, Chennai): QUOTE: Our Sages, Rishis were indeed very scientifically advanced. They were experts in electricity and magnetism. According to me, the Pavithram is nothing but a modern : day mobius coil. When a mobius coil is pulsed with an electrical current, the forward and reverse electro-magnetic fields cancel out each other resulting in a scalar wave. When we chant mantras, the reverberation of aksharas cause a vibration / pranic current to flow in the body. When this passes through our ring finger, the Pavithram ( mobius coil) releases the scalar wave. This scalar wave is absorbed by the body. Imagine; when we do Pranayamam, the ring finger ( with the Pavithram on it) is close to our nose / forehead area. When the scalar wave is released, it is absorbed by the Aagya Chakra. The Agya Chakra / the third Eye is related to our Pineal Gland. When we provide small doses of scalar wave energy to our Pineal gland, we nourish it. This helps it to be very active and increase the intelligence of the human. The Brain / Pineal gland growth is maximum till the age of 11. That is also the reason why we perform Yagyopaveetham ceremony before this age. This will help the young boy attain a very great brain development and have a very high intelligence.
In olden days, the Rishis and Yogis used to have a very highly developed Pineal Gland. This helped them to perform complicated astrological / astronomical calculations etc.
It is a known fact that Pranayama when done properly keeps aging process at bay.
When we have to perform Aachamaneeyam, we remove the Pavithram and place it over the right ear for convinence!!!) because it should not get wet. If it is wet the mobius
coil will get short circuited and will not serve its desired purpose.
It would indeed be interesting to dive deeper to find out why we have different types of Pavithram for different occasions ( out of single, 2, 3, 4 blades of Dharbhai) on
scientific lines !!!
Apart from the above, Dharbham cannot be planted and grown everywhere. It only grows naturally at selective places and available almost in every state in India. Several persons at many occasions tried to cultivate this plant but failed to see its growth. Why, anyone can try this now if it is possible for them to plant & cultivate in their locations! Sorry, it will not grow as one might think. It has its potential soil selection, magnetic path locations and soil conditions that add value to its growth only in selective places! Some learned scholars name it after Saint Vishwaamitra – hence Dharbham is known and also called as “Vishwaamitra”.
If it is kept for a longer time, say for more than six months, (excepting the one cut during Masi & Avani Amavasya days.) then it loses it’s value and the power of absorbing the radiation or magnetic path control values. However, the same can be used even after six month, only if it is re-energized with specific counts of Gayatri Mantra and when the Gayatri Japa mantra water is sprinkled on it. There is a system and ritual to revibrate/renergize the Dharbam after its lapes of six month!
Dharbham cannot just be plucked straight or cut on any day; There is a specific Slokha given above, that is to be recited before cutting it; That too it can be cut only on the day next to Full Moon – known as Krishna Paksha Pradamai. A Dharbham without its tip portion is not to be used for making a Ring like item known as “Pavithram“.
A word of caution for the new users of this Dharbai / Dharbam. It is sharper than a blade! The edges are so sharp, it might even hurt & cut your palm if handled carelessly, that you’ll notice only when you find blood oozing from your palm! Yes, you’ll not feel the pain while injuring, but later one feels it. Only when it is wet, you can twist it to the form you need to make the so called Pavithram, koorcham or Bugnams, but to use it after it has dried! Usually Pavithram should not be prepared by the person who has to use it because the electro-magnetic fields in the grass gets lost if it is prepared and worn by the same person!
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Born on Makara Uthiradam star, native of Mukkur and brought up in Ladavaram village near Arcot and now well settled in Mumbai for over five decades. Presently, at 70, trying to run this website without any commercial expectations or profit motive, just for the sake of our future generations to understand about Sanatana Dharma & Srivaishnavam sampradayam.Within my limited knowledge that I put it here, what I learnt from the world.