शास्त्रीय शिक्षण कॆन्द्र

Upanayana

In the life of a Hindu boy of belonging to Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, and Vysyas, Upanayana marks the beginning of Brahmacharya ?šrama which is set apart for the study of Vĕd?s and this stage is said to be the second birth for him. Mere wearing of a sacred thread initiated on the Upanayana day does not make him a real Brahmacharin. It is rather the study of Vĕdas, learning and chanting Vĕdic Mantras including Gayatri and Sandhyavandana which will qualify him to be a true Brahmacharin In modern education, there is no place for Hindu Scriptures and very few study Vedas after Upanayana. The least that is expected to be done after this ceremony is to recite the Gayatri Mantra and do Sandhyavandana. In the present day no attempt is made by the parents or the religious preceptors to educate the youngsters on the importance of this ceremony and its spiritual values. The ceremonies are done in a routine manner and the wards take this sacred religious ritual with least seriousness.
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The best explanation and thoughts on Upanayana are available in the book on Hindu Dharma published by the Bharatĭya Vidya Bhavan which contains the English translations of lectures given by the Maha Swami of Kanchi Kamakŏti peetam. Upanayana means to take or lead the child to a Guru. Upanayana is initiation into the Brahmacharyašrama and is the Poorvangam of student bachelor-hood. For students of Krišna-Yajurvĕda there are four “Vratas” between Pũrvanga called Upanayana and Uttaranga called Samavartana These are Prajapatya,Soumya, agnĕya and Vĕdavrata Other Vĕdas has its own Vratas When we perform Upakarma we must start learning a new part of Vĕdas. Later at the time of Utsarjana it must be discontinued and the study of Vĕdanga taken up. The Vĕdas must be studied during the six months of Šravaņa to Tišhya (Pushya) The next six months must be devoted to Vĕdangas.
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To master the Mantras, the student must strictly observe the rules pertaining to Brahmacharya and to the particular part of the Vĕdas that is being studied. The importance of the Upanayana ceremony lies in this: it makes a person fit to receive instruction in the Vĕdas and spread their divine power through out the world. Parents must realize this fact and perform their son’s Upanayana at the right time.
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The Upanayana Samskara must not be postponed on any pretext whatsoever. Some wrong beliefs which have no sastric validity are: 1. The Upanayana of a son must not be performed if he has an elder sister yet to be married. 2. Three Brahmacharis must not stay together in a family at the same time. These customs have originated as a matter of convenience or for some sentimental reasons. There is no valid excuse for failure to perform the Upanayana at the right time.
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A Brahmaņa child’s Upanayana must be performed when he is eight years old from conception, that is when he is seven years and two months old from birth. A Kshatriya’s is to be performed at the age of twelve. According to Šastras, the lower limit for a Brahmaņa youngster is eight years and the upper limit sixteen which means a grace of eight years.”
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Uŧarayaņa is the right period to perform Upanayana Uŧarayana and Vasanta Ŗutu (chitra and vaiskha ) is particularly auspicious. The month of Magha (mid-Feb to mid March) is specially favoured. Unlike marriages, Upanayana should never be performed in Dakshinayana.
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It is the duty of parents to make sure that, after they are invested with the sacred thread, their sons chant the Gayatri every day without fail along with Sandhyavandana If Gayathri Mantra is learnt in childhood itself it would be retained like a nail driven into a tender tree. Gayathri imparts a great measure of mental strength, luster and health. It will increase the childs power of concentration, sharpen his intelligence, make him physically strong. Gayathri japa is essential to all rites performed according to the Šastras. Gayathri contains in itself the spirit and energy of all the Vĕdic Mantras. Indeed it imparts power to other Mantras. Gayathri is the hypnotic means of liberating ourselves from worldly existence as well as controlling desires by acting as a protective shield and to realizing the goal of our birth.
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Important steps of Upanayana
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The novice undergoing Upanayana is called Vaŧu. The prescribe age-limit for the Vaŧu is between 7 and 12 years. it is best to perform Upanayanam in the spring season around February – April. गर्भाष्टमॆषु भ्राह्मणमुपनयीत।गर्भैकादशॆषुराजन्यम्।गर्भद्वादशेषुवैश्यं।वसंतॊग्रीष्मश्श्रदित्यृतवॊ वर्णानुपूर्व्यॆण
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On the day prior to Upanayana, the parents of Vaŧu should perform the worship of Ganeša Pũja. On the day of the Upanayana the Vaŧu and his mother are to eat from the same leaf – plat. (Its avoided in the šrŏtriyas house. instead of mother sister has to sit here). Its for the last time, that they can eat like this. It is signifies the end of the childhood days of the Vaŧu and a life of unbridled conduct. Hereafter he cannot act and behave as he likes, but should subject himself to socio-religious norms conduct. ब्राह्म्णान्भॊजयित्वा आशिषॊवाचयित्वा कुमारंभॊजयित्वा अनुवाकस्य प्रथमॆनयजुषापस्स्ग्ंसृज्य
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Then, he has get his head to shaven, leaving a Sikha (a tuft of hair) at the appropriate place, take bath and wear a new set of dress comprising Koupĭna (loin-cloth), Dhothi and Uttariyam (Upper cloth). A gridle made of Munja grass also should be worn round the waist. It is this that is technically called Mounjibandhana. This indicates the beginning of a life of Brahmacharya or self-control, of which celibacy is the most important aspect.मौंजीम् मॆखलांत्रिवृतां त्रिःप्रदिक्षिणमुत्तराभ्यां परिवीयाजिनमुत्तरमुत्तरया
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Next comes the wearing of the Yajńŏpavĭta or the sacred thread. The acharya (chief priest) makes the Vaŧu wear it with appropriate Mantras so that it hangs from the left shoulder to right loin.
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This sacred thread comprises three strands of strings and the knot resembles a cow in the sitting posture. At the time of the Upanayana a small piese of Krishņajina (skin of a black antelope) is also tied to this sacred thread.
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In the ancient days people used to wear the skin of a black antelope or an upper cloth during Yajńyas or the sacrifices. The Yajńŏpavĭta is a remnant of that practice. When the Vaŧu wears it, he should think, ‘From today my life is like a Yajńya or sacrifice. I will dedicate it to the welfare and service of the society!’ The three strands stand for the three Vĕdas thereby reminding him that he has to study them and incorporate their message in his life. They may also represent purity and control of body, speech and mind, which again should be dedicated to the service of the society.
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The next step is holding the Danda or the staff made of Palasa wood (Butea Frondoza). Actually the Vaŧu is expected to keep it throughout his student-life as an inseparable companion. It stands for Dama or control of the sense-organs at the psychological level. In his day-to-day life at the Gurukula, it helps him to take care of the cows of the household and also comes in handy in times of dangers as a weapon for self-protection. पालशॊदंडोब्राह्मणस्य।नैयग्रॊधस्कन्दजॊऽवाञ्ङ्ग्रॊराजनयस्य।बादर औदुंबरोवा वैश्यस्य।
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After the Vaŧu circumambulates the sacred fire and offers sacrificial fuel into it, the acharya administers him certain vows. They are: performing achamana (ceremonial sipping of water with certain Mantras) before any religious rite, control of speech, avoiding sleep during the day and offering fuel sticks into the sacred fire and so on.
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Then somes ‘Savitri Upadĕsa’, the heart of whole sacrament. It means imparting the Gayatrimantra . ‘Savitri’ or ‘Savita’ means god the creator. He is identified with the sun. he is the supreme lord residing in the heat of the sun. Hence the real name of the Mantra is ‘Savitrimantra.’ Since it was revealed to the sage Viswamitra, for the first time in the Vedic Mantra known as the Gayatri, the Mantra itself has been identified with it and has popularly come to be known as the Gayatrimantra. The acharya has to teach it to the Vaŧu, little, with proper intonation until he picks it up completely. पुरस्तात् प्रत्यञ्ङासीनः कुमारो दक्षिणॆणपाणिना दक्षिणंपादमन्वारभ्य सावित्रीं भॊ अनुब्रूहि
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Next comes the offering of the fuel sticks into the duly consecrated fire (the has already been prepared by the acharya) with proper Mantras signifying prayers for long life, brilliance, intellectual acumen, general competence, name and fame as also (in course of time) good offspring.
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Last comes the begging of food by the Vaŧu from his own mother and other elderly ladies of the family. Since he has to beg his food as long as he lives in the Gurukula, this ritual begging is a trail run as it were, for it. The food got by begging is to be offered to the acharya first and consume only that given to him as his share. भवती भिक्षां दॆहि। भवान्भिक्षांददातु
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Daily important
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Sandhyavandanam must be done every day three times. Not doing, unable to do and neglecting there will not be consequence of Upanayanam. Who will perform Sandhyavandana along with Gayatri japa they will be a real “Dwija”