This is continuation of the previous post. This post is about the happenings on day two when the actual Upanayanam takes place and my niece's son Yash gets to wear his Yajnopavitham or Sacred Thread and enters Brahmacharyam:
|Beginning of Day 2 - starting with a prayer|
|The mama (uncle) smearing kumkumam and chandanam (sandalwood paste) on the boy's forehead|
|The boy being garlanded by the mama|
|The boy is now ready to be initiated|
|Aajyabhaagaantha homam..it is a prayer to the God of Fire, Agni for the child's long life, intellect, courage|
|Boy reciting the Mantras - above & below|
|Yagnopaveetha Dharanam...The father places the sacred thread across the child's left shoulder under the advice of the Head Priest. The sacred thread consists of three strands signifying Brahmma, Vishnu, and Shiva.|
|The young boy is now wearing his Yajnopavitham or Sacred Thread|
|Boy posing for a photo with his newly acquired "Yajnopavitham"|
|Kumara Bhojanam - The boy is fed along with one or two other Brahmachari, a symbol that he too has now become a Brahmachari|
|Next a girdle made out the mooja grass (dharbai grass) is tied around the waist of the child. This is to protect his purity and to keep evils away.|
|Boy carried by his proud and beaming father - all are very happy|
|Boy washing his fathers feet thus accepting him as a Guru|
The Gayatri Mantra has been chronicled in the Rig Veda, which was written in Sanskrit about 2500 to 3500 years ago, and the mantra may have been chanted for many centuries before that. The ancient Hindu scriptures describe how the sage Vishwamitra was given the Gayatri mantra by the Supreme Being as a reward for his many years of deep penance and meditation. This was to be a gift for all humanity.
No photographs are available of the following rituals which also form an important part of the Sacred Thread Ceremony:
1.Soorya Dharshan...The boy to be taken outside and shown the Surya, the sun god. This assumption here is that he will be protected by Surya. The palms are clasped in such a way that it makes a peep hole to the Sun God.
2. Bhikshakaranam...The boy symbolically asks for alms of rice from his mother and other married women. This is an important event and is done to make one humble, polite, and egoless. Also this makes the young boy to control his senses, which is absolutely essential for receiving Vedic knowledge.
3. Abhivathanam..After upanayanam, the boy seeks the blessings of the all the elders present by saluting them on their feet with shashtanga namaskar. During this this abhivathanam, the boy introduces himself by his rishi, parampara, gothram, suthram and name step by step.