Upanayanam Samskara - Sacred Thread Ceremony
Sacred Thread Ceremony
Gayatri Japa means let my Intellect be inspired by the Divine.
It is our intellect which blocks the vast Divinity from expressing itself fully in life. So, the prayer is, May the Divine inspire my intellect.
May the Supreme Energy manifest in my life and in my intellect."
– GURUDEV SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR
Upanayanam is one of the most important Samskārās. “Upa” means ‘close’ and “Nayanam” means ‘to bring’. Upanayanam means to bring closer to the Guru or Divine. Upanayanam also known as the ‘sacred thread ceremony’ is performed to mark the commencement of formal education in the Vaidic tradition. It is an initiation process to learn the sacred Gayatri Mantra. Upanayanam ceremony includes the wearing of Yajnopavitam (sacred thread) on the body.
The Gayatri mantra is one of the greatest prayers mankind has.
Gayatri Japa means – let my intellect be inspired by the Divine. It is our intellect which blocks the vast Divinity from expressing itself fully in life. So, the prayer is - may the Divine inspire my intellect; may the Supreme Energy manifest in my life and in my intellect.” During Upanayanam three threads are placed across the shoulder and the threads signify that one has the responsibility towards knowledge, parents and society. So it signifies carrying our responsibilities.
-Sri Sri Ravishankar
We have three types of bodies - gross, subtle and causal body. There are three types of miseries in all the levels. To cross-over all three miseries, we take refuge in Gayatri. One, who chants Gayatri Mantra, sails over the ocean of misery and obtains bliss.
What does this Mantra imply? It implies – “Let me soak in the Divine, and let the Divine destroy all my sins. Let me adore and soak in that Divine light that burns all sins. It is our intellect which blocks the vast Divinity from expressing itself fully in life. So, the prayer is, May the Divine inspire my intellect.”
All our actions our inspired by intellect. Thoughts arise and then we act accordingly on them. So we pray to the Divine to generate good thoughts in our mind. We pray to the Divine - take over my intellect; inspire my intellect – ‘dhiyo yonah prachodayat’. ‘Dhi’’ means intellect. May my intellect be guided by, kindled by and inspired by Divinity.
When right thoughts come, your action will also be right; when intuitive thoughts come, your actions will be fruitful. So we pray for the best thought. “Let my mind, my whole life energy be soaked in Divinity. That is the significance of Gayatri Mantra”.
Why chant 108 times?
There are nine planets and twelve constellations. When nine planets revolve around the twelve constellations, it brings 108 kinds of changes. If these changes cause any malefic effect, it can be rectified with the positive energy of the Gayatri Mantra.
Can women chant the Gayatri Mantra?
Yes. Nowhere it is mentioned that women cannot chant. It is unfortunate that somewhere in the middle ages, this freedom from women was taken away. It was a male dominated society. The men thought that if the ladies will chant Gayatri Mantra, it will make them more powerful with healing power and sankalpa shakti. Whatever they strive for, will bring success. So, the men did not permit women to learn this sacred chant to uphold their authority. The Art of Living has reinstated this back for the spiritual growth of women. Several women are enjoying the sattvic joy of Upanayanam.
Upanayanam that we conduct
We conduct upanayanam ceremonies in our Ashrams and other locations in India. Learn more details about it.
Every month we have one Samoohik Upanayanam program at The Art of Living International Center, Bangalore. It is a five days program. On the first day aspirant is initiated to Gayatri Mantra in a traditional ceremony followed by four days practice of Sandhyaavandanam and Agnikarya.
Vaidic Dharama Sansthan also provides facilities to organize upanayanam ceremony for an individual so that family can exclusively enjoy the ceremony and can celebrate it as a special occasion. We help you to organize this event at your location or at ashram.
Other State Upanayanam
Vaidic Dharma Sansthan has been actively organizing Samoohik Upanayanam all across India. Our coordinators have been organizing Upanayanam in various cities. On the first day aspirant is initiated to Gayatri Mantra in a traditional ceremony followed by four days practice of Sandhyaavandanam and Agnikarya.