We Indians know that it is an age old custom to wear an upper garment, Uttariyam, over left shoulder by Priests while conducting sacred religious rituals. This upper garment is called Uttariyam. If we look at the Priest King statuette at Picture 4.1, we will find that he is wearing an upper garment over his left shoulder, and the right shoulder is left uncovered. Now, let us see what is really told in our scriptures about this custom of wearing upper garment,
(This is an extract from Chapter 4 titled ' The Priest King' in author's Book, " A Tribute to the Ancient world of India ", ©)
आग्न्यगारॆ गवां गॊष्ठॆ ब्राह्मणानां च सन्निधौ
स्वाध्यायॆ भॊजनॆ चैव दक्षिणं पाणिमुद्धरॆत
aagnyagaarE gavaaM gOShThE braahmaNaanaaM cha sannidhou
svaadhyaayE bhOjanE chaiva dakShiNaM paaNimuddharEt
- Manu smriti
Meaning: "One should wear his Uttariyam in such a way that his right shoulder is kept uncovered during Yajna rituals, and also while rearing cattle, in cattle shed, in the presence of Brahmanas, while learning Vedas and of course while taking meals also." And the following is another hymn from Manu Smriti about wearing of Uttariyam,
. . .
Then why wearing of Uttariyam is so important for ancient people ? Does this carry any scientific reason for this practice or it is simply a superstitious and ritualistic custom ? .........