Sunday, February 20, 2011

Durva Grass

Shri Ganesha is often worshipped with ‘durva’ grass (Cynodon dactylon). According to Hindu mythology, Shri Ganesha once defeated a fire-emitting demon by assuming an immense form and swallowing his opponent, but so fiery was the demon’s body that Shri Ganesha started to overheat inside. A group of sages passing by offered a bunch of cooling durva grass. When the grass was placed over his head, Shri Ganesha experienced instant relief from the heat within him. Ever since, durva has been used to worship Ganesha. The tender new tips, with three or five blades, are offered after being dipped in water. 21 tips can be offered.

According to Ayurveda, the traditional medicinal lore of India, durva has powerful healing and purifying properties. Studies at the University of Allahabad in India, found that it has antimicrobial and antiviral properties, and may be useful for the treatment of urinary tract infections, prostatitis, syphilis, and dysentery. Shri Ganesha rules the Mooladhara Chakra, the subtle centre which maintains the reproductive organs and urinary tract.

Cynodon dactylon is native to India and Australia. In Australia it is called couch (pronounced 'kooch'), and is used for lawns.

Photos from The University of Queensland, Australia, website

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