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  Upanayana    

Upanayana is a Vedic ritual of Hinduism. It is an important religious ritual in our society. Upanayana is performed only for Brahmin boys. According to Vedic culture it is a second birth for them. Upanayan marks the beginning of Bramhacharya. The bramhin child shaves his hair to worship Brahma and to recite Gayetri Mantra. Gayetri Mantra plays an important role in Vedas. According to the sashtras if one regularly performs "jap"or chants this mantra one gains an inner strength.

 
 
 

Religious oblation is an important feature of Upanayan. Ghee(butter) is poured over the sacrificial fire,the ritual which is popularly known as "Homn". "Samabartan Homn"and "Sabitri Homn" are performed. After becoming a Bramhachari, the Brahmin boy has to follow some rules. He has to live with the Acharya, or teacher for three days and has to serve him all these days, thus learning the first lesson of humility. During this period the boy begs for food as a Bramhachari does.

 

During performances of "Homn"the young bramhachari learn "Gayetri
Mantra" from the acharya. A sacred thread which carries immense significance is given to the Brahmin boy to wear. The sacred thread is commonly called "yagnapabit". This spiritual thread which is said to connect the young bramhachari with the Divine helps him to perform all spiritual activities or yagna in future. According to the Vedas this sacred thread is a kind of "Uttariya". There are nine threads each of which carries its own significance. According to the Vedas a Brahmin boy, after wearing the sacred thread, should maintain 'ekadashi' through out his whole life. Ekadashi is an auspicious day in a month when he should restrain from indulgence in food and eat simple food.

The modern day scenario remains a bit changed though. Apart from the fanfare and festivity the ritual stands more of a social recognition. The three day ritual has been reduced to a single day and ekadashi is not performed by the bramhachari through out the year anymore.The idea of confering lessons of humility, service, love and respect for the guru and restrain from worldly pleasures, important for an individual in his journey through life are the basic truths behind the performance of Upanayan.

   
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