Prācīnāvīta

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By Swami Harshananda

Prācīnāvīta literally means the sacred thread that is worn after taking it round’.

According to the dharmaśāstras[1] every ‘dvija’[2] must wear the yajñopavīta or the upavīta.[3] This is normally worn on the left shoulder, its right part hanging below the right arm. This mode of wearing, called the yajñopavīta-mode, is maintained for all the normal religious rites concerning the gods or the deities.

However, in the rites concerning the pitṛs or manes,[4] this mode of wearing is reversed. The thread is worn on right shoulder, the lower part hanging below the left arm. This is called ‘prācīnāvīta’ mode or ‘āvīta’ mode.


References[edit]

  1. Dharmaśāstras are the secondary scriptures dealing with the varṇaāśrama-dharmas and related topics.
  2. Dvija are ‘the twice-born’.
  3. Upavīta means the sacred thread.
  4. These rituals are śrāddha ceremonies.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore