Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Kusha Grass mat

Buddha took  austerities to seek the highest truth and in the process he wandered for 5 long years  in and around the Pragbodhi hills. After eating the Milk Gruel offered by Sujata, the daughter of local village head, Siddhartha  made a fresh quest to attain  enlightenment .  On his way to the Pipal tree on the west bank of Niranjana he was offered 8 handfulls of Kush grass by a grasscutter Sottiya. He made them into a seat and mediating under the Pipal tree (considered to have religious significance), Siddhartha became the Buddha, the enlightened one.  
Kusha grass has religious connotation in Hindu rituals. Yagna are performed sitting on kusha carpet. Brahman priests collect the yearly needs of Kusha Grass in the auspicious month of September.  The Grass collected is washed and purified in sacred river or pond. and thus this collection is used for all pious rituals throughout the following year.
A Brahman priest purifying  his collection of sacred Kusha grass
in Sacred Sun temple, Bargaon
Kusha grass grows in abundance in Nalanda and it surroundings. Nalanda was once charika of Luminaries like the Buddha and Mahavira; both spiritual teacher visited this place often and had many disciples in the vicinity.
Taking into account the underlying connections of importance of Kusha grass with many religious practices provides us opportunity to weave special Kusha grass carpet weaved from the grass that founds its roots in Nalanda. 
Kusha Grass fields in Nalanda

Lemu Manghi preparing the Kusha carpet
The Kusha grass collected from the fields are  dressed in appropriate size and weaved in the area. Local Manjhi community is involved in the first stage of kusha grass carpet making.

Members of the Nalanda Women Cooperative
The the grass carpet is then made comfortable enough for the meditationers who sit for long meditations sittings.  the artisans from the Women cooperative do the next work of putting cushion and cover.

The Kusha Carpets finally ready for the Sale

Hang Tag  designed to go with the Carpet
Kusha Carpet in Carry bag, ready for the meditationers to pick


cloutiy said...

Hi, how can I purchase on of these mats for sending to Canada?

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