Upanayanam is one of the most important Samskārās in a person’s life. “Upa” means ‘close’ and “Nayana” means ‘to bring’. Upanayana means to bring closer to the Guru or Divine.Upanayana also called the ‘sacred thread ceremony’ is a ceremony performed to mark the point at which children began their formal education in the Vedic tradition. Upanayana is traditionally seen as getting a new birth in the spiritual world towards the higher knowledge of the Self. It is an initiation process to learning the sacred chants and mantras according to the Vedic tradition. Upanayanam ceremony is complete with the wearing of the Yajnopavitam (Sacred Thread) on the body.The child is initiated into the most sacred Gayatri mantra in the Brahmopadesham ceremony. He is taught the Sandhyāvandanam. The Gayatri mantra is a prayer to invoke brilliance and purity in our intellect and consciousness. The three threads in the Yagnopaveetam represent the responsibility towards the one self, family and society. During Upanayana, the great Gayatri Mantra is imparted to the participant as it is considered as the greatest of all upadesams and is called “Brahmopadesam”.
What Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says
Gayatri Japa means – Let my intellect be inspired by the Divine.
It is our intellect which blocks the vast Divinity from expressing itself fully in life. So, the prayer is, ‘May the Divine inspire my intellect. May the Supreme Energy manifest in my life and in my intellect.’
And in Upanayanam, they usually put a thread on you and the thread is to signify that you have a responsibility towards the knowledge, towards your parents and towards society. So it signifies carrying our responsibilities.
A young boy, before he goes to study, they make him realize that, ‘You have the responsibility.’ And then the child studies and comes back.
If you are a recluse, then you don’t have the thread. This is a system that has been followed from a long time.
International Upanayanam: Oct 2 to Oct 6, 2017
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