By Swami Harshananda
Nivita literally means ‘hanging below’.
Modes of Wearing Yajñopavīta
There are three ways of wearing the yajñopavīta. They are:
- Upavīta - In this the thread rests on the left shoulder, but hangs below the right arm. This is the most common fashion of wearing it.
- Prācīnāvīta - 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 obsequal ceremony.
- Nivīta - In this 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.
Reasons of Wearing Nivīta
The nivīta mode is adopted in rites like ṛṣitarpaṇa, conducting certain sacraments for one’s children, carrying the dead body of a deceased person and other rites connected with human beings only.
- Dvija means the ‘twice born’ class, the men of the first three castes.
- Yajñopavīta means the sacred thread.
- Rṣitarpaṇa means offering oblations to the sages.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore