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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Myths and Religious Importance of Kusha/Kansilu, Halfa Grass in Uttarakhan

Plant Myths, Religious Importance, and Traditions in Uttarakhand (Himalaya) -22
By: Bhishma Kukreti, M.Sc. (Botany) (Mythology, Culture Research Scholar)
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Common English name –Halfa Grass
Botanical name –Desmostachya bipinnata
Local name –Kusha or Kansilu
Hindi Name – Kusha
Sanskrit Name –Darbha, Darbhah
Economic benefits –it was used as folk medicine and medical uses in dysentery, menorrhagia. Is used as fodder 
                   Myths, Religious Importance and Traditions
  There are mentions of Kusha ,  Halfa Grass/ Kush in Rig Veda, Mahabharata and Buddhist literature as sacred plant. In Rig Veda, it is mentioned that in special ceremony, priests and scholars use Kusha seat. In Bhagvat Geeta , Krihna advices for Kusha seat for mediation. Early Buddha accounts also mention that Buddha used Kusha Asan or Kusha seat for meditation (3).
 Kusha pen was supposed to be auspicious pen for writing on leaves
    Still, many mediators use Kusha Asan / Halfa Grass seat for meditation.
           Uses of Kusha /Halfa Gras in Various Shradha Tarpan  (tribute to forefathers) etc
  Priests use Kusha , Halfa Grass in various Shradha rituals as follows –
1-Darbha or Kusha Chat – 10 numbers each of five inch wide bundled in 10 tags
2- 3 Kusha of 8 inches each bundled by ‘klava’ for Tarpan
4- 3 Kusha of 8 inches each for base for Pind
5- Kusha ring used at Tarpan processes
6- One Tied Kusha for Marjan ritual
7- 15 Kusha of 3 inches for putting/using at various times and places.

  Kusha as Blessing Medium
 Priests use Kusha for blessing the jajman too by putting Kusha Grass on Jajman’s heads
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References-
1-Griffit, 1896,Hymes of Rigveda , Vol1 p.4
2-BhagvatGita VI:11
3-Williams P., 2006,Buddhism,Vol.1  page 4
Copyright@ Bhishma KukretiMumbai 2017
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Plant Myths  , Religious Importance, Traditions , Garhwal, Uttarakhand ; Plant Myths , Religious Importance, Traditions , Kumaon, Uttarakhand ;Plant Myths , Religious Importance, Traditions , Uttarakhand; Plant Myths , Religious Importance, Traditions , Uttarakhand, Himalaya; Plant Myths , Religious Importance, Traditions , Uttarakhand, North India; Plant Myths , Religious Importance, Traditions , Uttarakhand, South Asia