The Inter-Link of Darbhai with the Pithrus and Japa Yajna

It is said that when appropriate manthras are recited, the pithrus are said said to receive the offerings.

Darbhai's  Role in Manthras-Japam-Pithrus
The sacred grass called darbhai is used as supreme seat for the departed souls and also as a means to attract them to the seat.

To understand how recitals and darbhai go together in producing results, we must know how japa yajna  is done.

Darbhai has an important role in all yajnas, particularly in Japa yajna.

Darbhai in  Japa Yajna
Japa yajna is considered as the supreme yajgya [BG 10-25 “ yajgyaanaam japa yajgyah”]

Manu smrithi describes its supreme nature in this way: [2-85]

“Of all the types of yajgyas sanctioned by Vedas, the best is japa yajgya which is done by utterance.
This is 10 times greater than all the other yajgyas.
The japa yajgya done by the lips is 100 times greater than the one done by uttering.
But the japa done at mind without utterance is 1000 times greater than the one done at lips.”

 There are rules for doing this japa yajgya which when followed meticulously, leads the doer to Brahma dyaanam and ultimately Brahma gyaanam and Release.

The kramam and Anushtaanam [methods] of doing japa are narrated by Bheeshma to Yudhistra
in chapter 194 of Shanthi parvam of Mahabharatha.
[It should be noted here that Yama deva, Kaala deva and Mruthyu deva have
specific roles and are not the same]

These details were originally discussed by a Brahmin, Yama Dharmarajan [he who determines the fruits of paapam and punyam for the jivas], Kaala devan [he who determines the number years for a person],
Mruthyu devan [he who removes the praana vayu from the body] and the king Ikshvahu.

All these dignitaries come to the conclusion that japam must be done seated in the midst of darbhai, with darbhai in hand, darbahi at the head, surrounded by darbhai on all four sides and hidden from sight of others by being enclosed by darbhai bushes.  For such a person who does the japa in such a way, Brahma gyanam will occur.

A similar way of japa was done by Sri Rama when he wanted the oceans to part ways for him to cross it.

Darbhasayanam of Ramar
The place where he did this Darbhaaranyamwas a forest of darbhai.  This kind of complete enclosure by darbhai can have two effects.

[It is said that the kushasdweepa, the present day Africa, derived its name from the abundance of Kusha grass or darbhai growing in that land.]

Darbhai  Grass used  for Tarpanam
Kusha or darbhai is generally associated with japam and control of senses or concentration and meditation on a specific form or view.

The God worshipped by the people of this place was HrishikEsha, who is the controller of Indriyas.

The doer is protected from the doshams of various kinds –t means nothing from outside can touch him or reach him -and also this means that nothing escapes from inside too, which is,  the doer is helped in retaining whatever energy is within himself or generated by his japa.

It is perhaps to the pithrus not to lose their energy or disturb their rupam [form],
while coming down to earthly plane to accept tarpanam, they are seated on darbhai during tarpanam.

Like the manthras of Sandhya vandhanam,
the tarpanam manthras are also derived from the Vedas.

 In Rig veda hymn 15 on Pithrus, it is said,

“They who enjoy pressed juices with oblation seated on sacred grass, come oftenest hither.
Fathers who sit on sacred grass, come, help us:
these offerings have we made for you; accept them.”

The ends of the darbhai act as antennas or conductors.
The way pavithram is made and Koorchcham is made for tarpanam show that it is to attract something and release something once the need is over.  To attract something is agreeable.  But does it release is the question here.

The use of koorcham in tarpanam clarifies this question.

Arrangement of Koorcham

The out-stretched ends of koorchcham attract or 'conduct' the pithrus into the aasanam of darbhai [this is made out from the manthras uttered then]
and they are sent back to their yadhaasthaanam [original abode] through it only.
It acts as both way transport – to attract and to release.

The direction also matters in placing them.

The koorcham is placed in such a way that its ends face the south, the land of pithrus.

The pavithram is also worn in such a way that it attracts and returns that which reaches the wearer from different sides.

The movement of the right hand in any karma around his body
at regular intervals shows that the protection is constantly happening around the doer.  

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