Importance of the Thread Ceremony
Many of you haven’t heard of the term “ Upanayana” “Janoi” “ Thread Ceremony ” before, Upanayam Ceremony is a traditional Hinduism rite of passage that was celebrated to mark the acceptance of a student by the teacher (Guru) and also an individual’s entrance to the school. Literally, Upanayana implies the act of leading one thing to or close to another thing. This tradition is based on the fact that, when a child joined the school, it was taken that the teacher was drawing the child towards treasures of knowledge. Hence, the teacher initiated the “second birth” in
the child’s mind and spirit.
The tradition has a lot of popularity in the ancient Sanskrit literature of INDIA. However, it varies depending on the region.
The sacred thread is a thin string that is composed of three cotton strands. These three strands have varying significance in different regions.
For example, among the Tamil Hindus, the strands represent the Trinity GODDESSES.
The importance of the thread ceremony includes:
- The ceremony is conducted to purify both the mind and the body of the child by pouring the holy water over the child during Uthakashanthi
- The ceremony is performed so as to receive the blessings from the ancestors just before the festivities of Upanayanam begin
- The ceremony also ensures that the child has long life and wisdom from the GOD of fire
- The ceremony ensures that the child’s purity is protected and that they are protected from evil
- The ceremony is also performed to instill humbleness, politeness and ego control. These three are believed to be crucial in attaining Vedic knowledge.
Names Given To the Ceremony in Different Regions
|Language||Name of the Ceremony||Word for “Sacred Thread”|
|Tulu||Brahmopadesha, Upanayana, Noola Madimme||Yagnopaveeta|
|Tamil||pūṇūl / Upanayanam||Pūnūl|
The first Hindu temples were built in America by the Hindu Temple societies.
The society was formed in 1990. In America, temples serve a crucial role in the preservation of the Hindu religious and also the cultural heritage. Rituals such as Upanayana, (commonly known as the thread ceremony) and wedding ceremonies are performed in the temples.
The thread ceremonies in States look more like the marriage rather than a mere ceremony. The
ceremony is conducted in a large, highly decorated hall, where the guests are ushered in by ladies arranged by the caterer holding haldi, kumkum and flowers. Firstly, the guests are served with breakfast consisting of Therittipal with dry fruits in it, Uttappam, Pongal and Idli. Besides, CripsyVada with Sambhar and Chutney and Milagapodi is also served.
Afterwards, coffee is served. Surprisingly, the ladies carry the Paruppu Thenga and goes to the entry point, which is in total contrast to what is done in marriages, where they take the Paruppu Thenga when the bridegroom is taken outside for Kasi Yatra. The boy is then brought inside by his mother carrying him.
The boy is adorned with a crown with some lights on it. Then after the Muhurtham, the boy is given biksha by all the ladies.
The menu for the lunch is usually sambhar and rasam with rice, where they are served separately, that is, payasam, morkuzambu, sambhar and rasam are served in separate cups. Then there is also the nimbu rice, paruppu vada, dahi raita, avail, pachadi, potato kara curry, pickle,puli inji, burfi and papad. Afterwards, icecream together with pan are served. For the sake of the ladies, there is a tray accompanied by vethilai pakku, thengai, murukku and laddu that is put in a very nice bag.
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