Power of Holy Durva Grass


Gramineae or Poaceae family has 11,000 plants including paddy and wheat. Human beings’ staple food comes from this family. It has got lot of grass varieties in this family. Hindus used several plants of medicinal properties in their daily puja or religious rituals. Two grasses known as Dharba (Kusa) and Durva ( Cynodon dactylon) are used in their main rituals.

Durva is the favourite plant of Lord Ganesh. He is praised as Durva priyaya Nama: In the Navagraha Homa, Ketu is propitiated with this grass in the Homa (fire). Lord Ganesh is the deity for planet Ketu.


Durva grass has many medicinal properties. People from olden times used it as medicine. It is good for lungs and skin. It can flush out the impurities from blood. There is a story about Durva grass. Lord Ganesh had to fight with a demon called Analasuran (Fire Demon). As soon as he swallowed the demon Vinayaka’s stomach started burning. When he ate Durva grass the fire subsided.


Dr R Nagasamy, historian and former vice chancellor of Kancheepuram University and Director of Archaeology gives some interesting detail about this Durva grass in his Tamil book ‘Yavarum Kelir’. This grass is considered the King of Grass. So the kings used it in their coronation ceremony. Hymns in Sanskrit are recited at the coronation: ‘’Oh, Durva grass. Like you are the best among the grasses, let me be the best among men’’.


The word for Durva in Tamil is Aruku, a synonym for Sun. Sanskrit word fro sun is also Arka.  Arka= Greek word Argos and Sanskrit word Bargo/Light are cognates.


Snake and Mongoose

Mongoose and snake are born enemies. The minute they meet they start the fight and one tries to kill the other. It is always a fight to death. In most cases the snake is killed. It is said that the mongoose will run back to grass land full of Durva grass and roll and come back with fresh energy. Such is the power of rejuvenation of Durva grass.


Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita (9-26):

Whoever offers to me with devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, that offering of love, of the pure of heart I accept.

So Hindus use grass, leaves, flowers and water to do puja.


A Tamil poet known as Kapila (another name of Lord Ganapathy) also said what Krishna said in Bhagavad Gita ( See Puranannuru verse 106). He used the words grass, flower and Erukku, a dry land bush.


Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus use this grass more in their ceremonies. When they send their children to school for the first time they dip the grass in milk and give it to the children. During wedding, they bless the couple with rice with this grass.


Tamil language has a phrase to bless any good deed: Let it spread like banyan tree and root like Aruku (Durva). This grass is a symbol of revival like the phoenix bird. It can grow anywhere anytime.


This grass is the favourite food of animals such as horse, elephant, rabbits and wild boars. They run very fast. This grass acts like petrol for those animals. Germans use the juice of grass in their breads. We can also use this grass in our food items and side dishes. In all the Ganesh temples of Tamil Nadu devotees bring garlands made of this grass.


Read my earlier articles on medicines: 1.Why Do Hindus Practise Homeopathy? 2.Copper Kills Bacteria 6.Amazing Medical Knowledge of Tamils 3.OM boosts Brain Power 4.Prayers Good for Hearts, says scientists 5.Tomatoes Prevent Cancer 6.Head towards North is Wrong 7.Miracles by the Blind and Oldest Organ Donation 8.The Tortoise Mystery: Can we live for 300 years? 9.Scientific Proof for Shamudrika Lakshnam 10.Bhishma: First man to practise Acupuncture 11.How did a Pandya King get a Golden Hand? 12. Indian Wonder: The Banyan Tree + 570 articles on other subjects.

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