Thread ceremony or Upanayana is one of the most important Hindu traditions which signifies the acceptance of a student by a teacher (guru) into the school of Hinduism. It symbolises an individual’s ‘spiritual birth’ as Hindus believe that every person is born twice – the first is the physical birth and the second is the spiritual birth. Just like weddings and birthdays, the sacred thread ceremony is an occasion of joy and deserves the best of celebrations with friends, family and relatives. Nowadays, the Hindu thread ceremony invitation card comes in a variety of designs and styles that not only lends a special touch to the celebration but can also be preserved as a fond memory.
A Brief History
In the ancient and the medieval ages, all the four castes of the Hindu society, namely, the Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Sudras observed this ritual, but within the age limit fixed by the society heads. The women could also undergo this sacred thread ceremony if they were not already married by that age. After the thread ceremony, the pupils were to leave their homes and study the Vedas under the able guidance of their Gurus at their ashrams called Gurukul. However, as time passed, Upanayana became the sole rights of the Brahmins and even the women are barred from undergoing this ceremony.
A Short Description of the Rituals
The rituals of the sacred thread ceremony begin quite early in the day. The date and time are previously fixed, according to the Hindu lunar calendar. On the specified day, guests start arriving to witness the ceremony.
Tonsuring of Head, Bath and New Clothes – The head of the boy undergoing Upanayana is tonsured. After the mandatory bath, the boy wears new clothes and gets ready for the main part of the ceremony.
Inviting the Gods – The priest chants mantras and prays to the Gods to be present in this pious ceremony.
Begging for Alms – After this, the boy begs for alms from his parents, relatives and neighbors which signifies the beginning of his life dedicated only to studies and knowledge.
Gayatri Mantra and the Spiritual Birth – The priest then chants the Gayatri mantra and gives him a spiritual name to signify his second birth, that is spiritual birth. However, this step is optional.
The Sacred Thread and Gurudakshina – The sacred thread or the ‘Upavita’ or ‘Yajnopavitam’ is draped on the boy’s left shoulder and is made to pass below the right shoulder. This thread is to be worn on the torso for the rest of his life. The boy takes a solemn vow to chant Gayatri mantra thrice a day, study the Vedas and respect his teachers. The ceremony concludes after the boy offers Gurudakshina (or gifts) to the priest.
Traditional is the Best for Upanayana
Upanayana is an age old custom and considered to be very sacred. Hence, it is not considered a very good idea to mess with the traditions. As inviting the Gods is considered to be the most important step in this occasion, Hindu Gods and Goddesses are mandatory in Hindu thread ceremony invitations. The Hindu deities of knowledge like Ganesha, Brahma and others are more commonly etched on the cards.
Varieties of Upanayana Invitation Cards
- The General Traditional Style – It consists of images of the Hindu deities in gold or silver with white or cream color background. The text is generally printed in red or orange which are considered to be holy.
- Bright Colored Cards – Bright background colors like maroon, red, orange, yellow, etc. are auspicious and look beautiful in invitation cards. The front pages of the cards depicting various rituals of the Upanayana ceremony has become quite popular.
- Scroll Type Cards – Scrolls are also quite preferred when it comes to Indian thread ceremony invites. Scroll is one of the most sought after ancient styles which look royal and aristocratic.
- Cards with Metallic Shimmer – Indian thread ceremony invitation card designs with gold and silver metallic shimmer look glamorous and easily catches the eye.
- Scented Cards – Indian thread ceremony invitations sprinkled with sandalwood or vanilla perfumes are also gaining popularity.
With so many splendid varieties of thread ceremony cards available, it indeed becomes difficult and confusing to choose the best one. Glancing through the catalog of designs more than once and consulting with the other family members really help. Check out the fantastic collection of Hindu thread ceremony invitation card at D’Or Invitations. If you are looking for great designs at moderate rates, this is the best destination. Get the best deals in the exclusive collection only at D’Or Invitations.