The Sacred Grass called Darbhai or Kusha Grass

Darbha or Kusha grass is a special type of grass which is used in Hindu rituals for purificatory process. This grass is wore as the ring in the ring finger of the person who is performing the rituals. There are legends as well as scientific explorations on this grass. Read on to know more about Kusha grass. 

Darbha or Kusha grass is special element in the paraphernalia of Hindu rituals. It is scientifically known as Panic grass and of genus borage species. It can grow up to 2 feet and it appears pointed at the top. There are several references in Hindu books regardings the grass and its utilities. In this article we shall illustrate some of the main utilities of this grass in Hindu way of life.

Sacred Dharbai or Kusha Grass
Kusha grass in Hindu books:

Puranas and Upnishads describe that this grass came into existence after Samudra Manthan, the churning of cosmic ocean. When demigods and demons got ready to churn the cosmic ocean of milk, there was no one to support the base of Madhara mountain. Lord Vishu took the form of Tortoise [Kurma Avatar] and gave the needed support. During the churning, the hairs of the tortoise came out and washed away to the shore. These hairs turned to Kusha grass.
When the Amrita, the nectar was finally achieved, due to improper handling of the nectar, few drops of nectar fell on the grass. This further sanctified the grass giving it more healing properties.
In Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says in Chapter 6 entitled Dhayan Yoga:
Bg 6.11 To practice Dhyan yoga, one should go to a secluded place and should lay Kusha grass on the gorund and then cover it with a deerskin and a soft cloth……
Science says about Darbha:
It is given in few websites that there was a scientific study of Kusha grass. They found that this grass can absorb about 60% of radiation. It is proof that this grass has power to absorb all negative radiations in the environment.
Significance of Darbha:
Kusha grass is meant to have Lord Vishnu’s potency. It is believed that this grass has immense purifying properties. It is worshipped by Vaishnavas on the special day in Bhadrapada month (August – September) called Darbhashtami.
The significance of Darbha grass is also found in Buddhist culture. It is believed that Sakyamuni Buddha sat on a Darbha mat to meditate and got enlightened under the Bodhi tree. The capital city of Malla kingdom of Buddhist is named Kushinagara, just to honor Kusha grass. It was in this city Lord Buddha was cremated.
Darbha Grass in Hindu Rituals
For Purification: Kusha grass is known to be the purifying object. In Kumbha poojas the grass is used to purify different objects of worship by sprinkling holy waters using the grass. Brahmins put this grass always in their houses and use for any purificatory ritual they perform.
Eclipse: Kusha grass is put on every eatable in the kitchen to keep away the harmful radiation in the environment during the eclipse. Any food without kusha grass after the eclipse is considered contaminated and thrown away for good.
Kusha Mats: The mats made of Kusha grass are used to sit while doing meditation. During any yagnas or ceremonies pandits sit on these mats to perform the ritual.
Kushandika: The sacrificial fire or yagna called Kushandika, these grass are used as sacrifice.
Kusha ropes: Ropes made of this grass are used to encircle deities to purify them. Bhramacharinis or sacred women are given these ropes for their protection.
Essence and Oil: This grass is ground up to make several items like essence and oil. The oil is known as Kusha oil which can be used in summers to get cooling effect.
Drinks: The extract of grass is used to make cool drinks called Sharabhat. These drinks are known for their cooling effect on the body.
There are many more utilities of Kush grass. The word ‘Kushala’ or expert is derived from Kusha grass which infers that usage of Kusha grass makes one expert personality.

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