Written by Sri Swami Chandrashekarendra
The celibate-student must perform samidadhana every day, beg for his
food and take no salt. If he is a Brahmin he must keep a staff (danda)
palasa, if he is a ksatriya a staff of asvattha. The Vaisya brahmacarin
staff of udumbara. The staff helps the student to retain his learning.
similar to the lightening conductor or the aerial and is scientifically
as to "fix" these hymns. That is why it should be kept-to safeguard the
treasure called the Vedas that the student has acquired. The brahmacarin
must wear the skin of the black antelope (krsnajina) and must not wear
any upper cloth. There are rules the electrician has to observe for his
safety: he must stand on a rubber plank or wear rubber gloves during
work. Similarly there are rules prescribed by our great men of the past
protect the Atmic electricity, the Atmic energy.
Today we perform upakarma as a one-day ceremony without keeping up
the study of the Vedas. We do not go through the utsarjana at all. For
failure to do it we mutter a mantra in expiation, the mantra called
"Kamokarsit"which says, “I did not sin. Kama (desire) did it. Anger did
. “There is no need to repeat this mantra if we perform the utsarjana.
Brahmacarya implies adherence to a number of rules with regard to food,
the performance of rites and the observance of vratas. If a brahmacarin
makes any mistake in chanting the Vedas, in matter of tone or
enunciation, he must do penance for the same on upakarma day. On this
occasion he eats no more than a few sesame seeds; otherwise he fasts
the whole day; and on the following day he offers 1,008 sticks of the
palasa in the sacred fire chanting the Gayatri. He should do this every
year. Nowadays brahmacarins perform this rite only on the day following
the first upakarma following the upanayana. Actually this a rite all
Brahmins are expected to perform, though we find today householders
doing only Gayatri-japa. When you merely mutter the mantra you feel
sleepy and you may go wrong in the japa. But such will not be the case
you also perform a homa as you chant the Gayatri. Sticks offered in the
fire must be those of palasa, if not of the asvattha; darbha grass may
used if the other two are not available.
At mealtime the student can have his fill. The only restriction is that
must not give free rein to his appetite. He must beg for his food for
practice makes him humble. The sastras do not require him to fast. The
student must be nourished properly during his growing years. But he
must, at the same time, learn to develop sattvic qualities and there
be nothing rude or rough about him. It is by serving his guru that these
qualities are inculcated in him.
During the twelve years in the gurukula the student must learn his
recension of the Vedas and also the caturdasavidya.
On completion of
his stay in the gurukula he performs the samavartana, returns home and