Yagnopavitam is worn by dwijas, it should be changed when it gets impure or during Upakarma, what gṛhya sūtrās or Dharma śāstrās discuss the situations or conditions under which we have to change the sacred thread(the situations when it becomes impure)?

Is it possible that the rules are different(slightly varying) for gṛhastās and Bramhachāris ?

  • In addition to the circumstances described by Shri Rickrossji and Shri Pandyaji : If you visit Cremation Ground, If you happen to touch a Dead Body ( Mortal remains), At the end of Achoucham ( be it of any duration - 10 days, 3 days, one day and a half ( PakshinyAchaucham) or one day, Yagjopavidam. ( I have given this on the basis of my understanding. Scholars may kindly adduce the Authority for or against this submission of mine ). Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 2:04

1 Answer 1


The Manu Smriti simply says to change the thread when its damaged.

Manu Smriti 2.64. His girdle, the skin (which serves as his upper garment), his staff, his sacrificial thread, (and) his water-pot he must throw into water, when they have been damaged, and take others, reciting sacred formulas.


Some further conditions when the sacred thread is needed to changed are given in the Hindi prayoga book called Nitya Karma Puja Prakash(Gita Press) :

enter image description here

VAmahaste Vyatite Tu Tath TwakthA DhArayeth Navam 1

Patitam Truthitam VApi Brahmasutram YadA Bhaveth Nutanam DhArayedhvipraha SnAtvA Sankalpa Purvakam 2

Malamutre Twajedh Vipra Vismritaiyvopavitadhruk Upavitam Taduthsrijya DadhyA Danyannavam TadhA 3


If the Yajnopavita slips from shoulder and falls below the level of left hand (1),if some of the threads are torn (2),if one forgets to place it on ear during soucha etc (3) ,then it should be replaced.

It further states that if an untouchable touches it then also it should be changed.

enter image description here

If the yajnopavita is touched by untouchables then a new upavita is to be worn.

The Nitya Karma Puja Prakash book , more often than not , quotes from Puranas,Smritis and other Shastras and it also gives the original sources for almost all the verses/mantras given in it.

However , in this particular case,it simply cites an Achara samhita book called Acharendu , as you can see from the images posted above.

Note: You can read/get Acharendu quoted in Nitya Karma Pooja Prakash from Internet Archive

  • I was about to answer the question from Nitya Karma Pooja Prakash and I find that you've already provided.
    – Pandya
    Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 11:39
  • Hmm .... okay ... @Pandya
    – Rickross
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 5:47

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