Nivita

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By Swami Harshananda

nivita (‘hanging below’)

Men of the dvija group (the ‘twice born’ class, the men of the first three castes) were expected to wear the yajñopa-vīta (sacred thread) always, after undergoing the sacrament of upanayana.

There are three ways of wearing the yajñopavīta. They are:

1) upavīta; 2) prācīnāvīta and 3) nivīta.

In the first mode, the thread rests on the left shoulder, but hangs below the right arm. This is the most common fashion of wearing it.

In the second, it is exactly the reverse —the thread is supported on the right shoulder, but hangs below the left arm. This mode is used while conducting the rites for the pitṛs or manes (as in a śrāddha or obsequial ceremony).

In the third mode (the nivīta) it hangs from the neck like a necklace or a garland.

However, it should be held in such a way that it is above the navel.

This nivīta mode is adopted in rites like ṛṣitarpaṇa (offering oblations to the sages), conducting certain sacraments for one’s children, carrying the dead body of a deceased person and other rites connected with human beings only.


References

  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

OLD CONTENT

nivita (‘hanging below’) Men of the dvija group (the ‘twice born’ class, the men of the first three castes) were expected to wear the yajñopa- vīta (sacred thread) always, after under¬going the sacrament of upanayana. There are three ways of wearing the yajñopavīta. They are: 1) upavīta; 2) prācīnāvīta and 3) nivīta. In the first mode, the thread rests on the left shoulder, but hangs below the right arm. This is the most common fashion of wearing it. In the second, it is exactly the reverse —the thread is supported on the right shoulder, but hangs below the left arm. This mode is used while conducting the rites for the pitṛs or manes (as in a śrāddha or obsequial ceremony). In the third mode (the nivīta) it hangs from the neck like a necklace or a garland. However, it should be held in such a way that it is above the navel. This nivīta mode is adopted in rites like ṛṣitarpaṇa (offering oblations to the sages), conducting certain sacraments for one’s children, carrying the dead body of a deceased person and other rites connected with human beings only.