Classification of Dhurbha grass and its use in rituals. Dhurbha (Desmotachya bipinnata) is a tropical grass considered a sacred material in Vedic scriptures and is said to purify the offerings during such rituals. Traditional tropical grass, Darbha, has been identified as an eco-friendly food preservative. Though I have have been studying about different Hindu rituals , I was not aware of the classification of Dhurbha grass and its suitability for various rituals. This was given in Tamil by Sri Vasudevan Srinivas. Thanks to him.
As a young lad , my elders informed me that Lord Brahma used to arrange marriages by two Dhubha plants. I used to ask, which Dhurbha is male and which female. After a long time I have got the answer.)
1. Viswamithra kusoseeraa shali monunjeecha Dharbhaka,
Dhoorvaa sreshtaa muni prokthaa saptha Dharbha prakeerthitha.
The great sages have told that Dharbha is of seven types ,
Viswamithra , Kusa, Ucheera , Saalee. Mounjee Dharbha and Dhurvaa.
2. Agra sthoola bhaven naari , moola sthoolam napoomsakaam,
Moolagra samam vaapi puman nithya abhidheeyathe
If the tip is stout it is feminine, if base is stout it is eunuch,
And if tip and base are stout it is Male
3. Vivahe purusha Dhurbhaa, Sthree Dharbhaa Pumsavane Thadhaa,
Napumsakam thwadhanya karmasu . yesha Dharbhasya nirnaya
For marriages male Dhurbha is used, for Pumsavana female Dhurbha is used,
And for all other rituals the eunuch dharbha can be used.
4. Archanam Japa Homam cha , dhanam cha pithru thrpanam,
Apavithranu paanimcha thath sarvam cha vInasyathi
Archana , Japa , homa , Dhana and Pithru tharpana,
If done without pavithram, then everything would be destroyed
5. Pavithram yeka dharbhena, pretha karmani dharayeth,
Nithya karmani dharbhaayaam dhwabhyameva chathurmukha
For rituals involving Pretha(dead body) only one dharbha is used,
And for all daily rituals two dharbhas with 4 tips are used
6. Pithru karyam thribhir durbhai , chathurbhir deva poojane,
Panchabhi poshitike Dharbhai shadbhi saanthyaam pavithrakam
Bhojana valayam kuryaatu , sapthabhi sarva karmasu.
In case of rituals of pithrus three dharbhas are used and
For rituals involving Devas , four dharbhas are used,
In rituals like yaga five are used and for doing parihara six are used.
In case of meals and all other rituals seven have to be used as knot.
7. Dwiyangulam valayam brahmanukramathi rekhaam kulaa mathaa,
Chathurangulamaayaamaa pancha mushti smruthaa kusaa
For a two inches knot five fist length of Dharbha is needed
And its height should be four inches.
8. Viseernaa vigalaa hruswaa , vakraa sthoolaa krusaa dwithaa,
Krumi dashtaascha deergaascha varjayeth samithoo budha.
Those which are spilt , broken, small , curved , thick , thin ,
Spread out , eaten by worms and too long are rejected by the wise.
9. Yethe vitha vinasinaa , sthoolaa raja bhayankari,
Dwidhaa chaora bhayankari viseernaa sukha maahareth,
Agni daham bhaved deergham krusaa kanthaa sukham hanyaathu.
All these would destoy your wealth , very thick would invite Government punishment,
Split one would lead to fear of theft, that which has splits would reduce pleasure,
Very long one would lead to fear of fire and very then would lead to sickness.
10. Aswastha vata , palasaa , plaksha ,
Dumbara , sambhavaa samyaparkka thiraa ,
Kuchena samitho nava
Sacred fig, Banyan , Palasaa tree , holy fig, fig tree,
Vahnni tree , chaff flower , Karumgali and Dharbha ,
Provide sacred offerings to fire and are called Samith