Silk is worn by many in Hindu rituals and ceremonies. Is it neccesary to wear it? Do scriptures talk about silk? Is there any alternative from wearing silk in rituals and ceremonies? Since, silk production results in mass killing of silkworms, why is it used?

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Sri Krishna mentions silk in Bhagavad Gita 6.11

देशे प्रतिष्ठाप्य स्थिरमासनमात्मन:
नात्युच्छ्रितं नातिनीचं चैलाजिनकुशोत्तरम्

chaila-ajina-kusha: When doing ashtanga yoga's asana , place kusha grass on floor, then deerskin on top of it, then silk cloth on top of that, then sit on top of that.

Silk is also considered 'madi' or 'aachar' - that is it does not get tainted by touching humans. It is used in rituals and ceremonies. The most important first 'koora' saree worn by a bride is made of silk. Even the groom's dhoti is only made of cotton washed in turmeric.

Whereas cotton does get tainted and has to be washed before it gets clean again. Silk is cleaned by drying it out in sun, not drenching in water.

Olden day silk production probably did not involve killing cocoons by boiling them in water. There is a brand of Ahimsa Silk, which claims to let moths emerge from cocoons before using the cocoon threads. But another site says it's not completely cruelty-free.

This ahimsa silk is costlier and also limited quantity since mass production is not easy.

Anyways it is better to restrict the purchase/usage of silk clothes to important vedic rituals and functions, and convince mothers/wives/sisters not to be enamored by silk saree advertisements on TV.

  • 1
    Is the Bhagvat Gita verse specifically talking about Silk Cloth? Jan 4, 2018 at 10:19

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