Upanayanam is also known as Sacred thread ceremony, Janeu, Poonal ceremony, Yajnopavita. It is routinely known for being a Hindu sanskar, rite passage ritual, where the concept of Brahmin taught to a young boy. Children's brain full functioning starts only from the age of seven. To prove to the family and relatives, that child has developed well in intelligence and to gain a further expansion of the spiritual process, a very special function is directed sacredly ritualism and magnificently for a male child.
The Age for The Upanayanam Ceremony
The Upanayanam ceremony can be directed at the age of seven. Normally our actions can be divided into excellent, good and very good. To improve the spiritual nature in the boy in an extraordinary manner then, the sacred thread ceremony is directed at the age of 7, 9, 11 can be considered as excellent, very good, good.
This ritual conducted at the age of seven, is considered as Uthamam, at the age of nine considered as Madyamam, at the of eleven is considered as Adhama and above eighteen age as Adhamam. These details are given in ancient Shastras if a boy crosses eleven age, then the rule of conducting this ceremony only at the single-digit age which is not applicable. Then till the age of 18 age, any age can be direct to this ceremony. If a boy crosses 16 age then even the auspicious days and dates are not important.
Sacred Thread Ceremony / Upanayanam Procedure
Naandi can be performed to get the blessings from the family ancestors. A very special feast can prepare for that day. In Sanskrit, Naandi means beginning, So with naandi begins the true rituals for the functions. Normally during the naandi before Upanayanam, the brahmins are fed and different upacharams are offered to them.
The mother is going to feed the boy or vatu or child along with the other four children. The Vatu sits along with his mother and other four children who have already done the sacred thread ceremony. Purohit will bless the child by chanting mantras.
By the guidance of a guru, the janue thread is placed by the father across the boy's left shoulder. Then, Munja grass is tied around the child’s waist to save the child’s purity and keeps away the evil eye.
The supreme mantra that is Gayathri mantra can whisper in the child’s ear by the father who becomes the guru for the child.
The child is taken out and asked to look the Lord Surya through a small hole formed by joining both the palms.
By saying Bhavathi Bikshamdehi the child asks for alms of rice from his mother and other women attending the ceremony. To control the ego, it can be done, which allows the young child to control his senses and then certainly receive Vedic knowledge.
Finishing of sacred thread ceremony the child seeks blessings from elders by doing namaskars. Then the child introduces himself by his name and Gothram.
Sandhya Vandanam is a combination of rituals and meditation. The principles of yoga are the base on which the observances of Sandhya Vandanam are designed.
Significance of Upanayanam
Upanayanam is traditionally contemplated as equal to new birth in the religious world. The sacred thread strands stand for the purity of thoughts, acts, and words of the wearer. Through the Upanayanam ceremony, the child is introduced to the concept of Brahman and thus becomes certified to the way the life of a Brahmachari according to the guidelines of the Manusmriti. In Hinduism wearing sacred thread is extremely significant as it denotes the starting of education for the child.