Upanayana – Initiating with scared thread and teaching him Gayathri mantra
When Govinda was the right age, as was instructed by his father shivahar started the arrangements for the sacred thread ceremony. Sacred thread initiation is done as a ceremony, like marriage. And sometimes is also referred to as sacred thread marriage. This is karma which mages the boy eligible to study the Vedas, and to perform the karmas. Even to utter the mantras. As it is prescribed, the Brahmin should be invested with the sacred thread from 8 to 16. for the kshatriyas it is from 11 to 22. and for the vaishyas it is from 12 to 24. If one desires they can do it even after the age of 5, but neve late then the prescribed age. Because after the age he becomes a pathitha – fallen from the ashram, ie., anashrami – one who does not belong to any ashram. And because of this he will not be able to perform any vedic rituals. But, here some accept that after the above said age, after performing a prayaschitta – purificatory karma, one will be eligible to be initiated with sacred thread. But, the purificatory rites said for the karma is very torturous.
Like the age period, the time period for performing the samskara is vasantha rtu – spring for Brahmins. Greeshma rtu – summer for the kshatriya. sharad rtu – autumn for the vaishyas.
Accordingly, a very nice muhurta – auspicious time was fixed in a very auspicious day in the month of February, and that day the ceremony was performed.
The previous day of the samskara, the boy was bathed with water charged with sacred mantras, followed by some karmas. Govinda was very eager for the next day to come. In the early morning he took bath, and after that, in the stage which was set for the function he was seated next to his parents. Shivahari and rajeshwari were sitting in front of the sacred fire, and to its sides were the Brahmins, who are performing the karma.
After the karma of washing the feet of the father, who is now the guru. He was initiated with the sacred thread, and followed by the brahmopadesa – the instruction of brahma, the gayatri mantra. During which shivahari, rajeshwari and govinda were covered by a cloth, so that it is done as a upadesa – initiation. After which he was given a staff. And was asked to prostrate every elder in the crowd. Then the woman took turns to give him bhiksha – alms. During which govinda chanted “bhavati bhiksham dehi” – madam, please give me alms.
Performing the daily rituals, sandya samidadhana etc.
Going to school and learning the Vedas from father.
While staying in the fathers house, learns about the different varnas, and its real meaning.
Details of brahmana, kshatriya, vaishya and shudra.
And the different ashramas.
Pa, people in the school are making fun of me calling manuvadi – follower of munu. I asked them what that means, and they said, this is what their fathers say when they refer to the Brahmins. What does it mean.
Son, ignorant people who do not have the knowledge or understanding of the sananata system, use these kinds of words. That is because of their complex. Bu the truth is, Manu is a great seer, whose smrti quotes many disciplines that needs to followed in the day-to-day life.
What is a smriti.
Smiriti means that portion of the shruti text that is lost to the mankind, and which are still remembered by the seers. And, for the benefit of mankind these seers collect it from their memory and have written texts called smriti.
Shruti? what is that.
Vedas are reffered to by this name, shruti. Because Vedas are not recorded in writing, it is learnt through listening only from the guru directly, they get this name. they are the foremost of all pramanas.
Yes, pramanas. Like to see the pot the eyes are the pramana, this is called pratyaksha pramana – direct perception. In the same way to understand the fire in the mountain the smoke is the pointer through which we infer the fire. Here the pramana is anumana – inference. The Vedas are the pramanas for the knowledge that we cannot gain from any other pramanas. The definition for pramana is the means of right knowledge.
But why should you say right knowledge.
Because, the knowledge can be of two types. Right or wrong knowledge. Vedas particularly, and other pramanas generally are the means of right knowledge.
Ok, but we started with smriti.
Yes. So the smriti is that portion of the Vedas which is lost to the human race, and because of the compassion of the great seers, they were recorded for posterity. There are many smritis like this. For example, Apastamba smriti, Vishnu smriti, Ashwalayana smriti, Yaghyavalkya smriti etc. They treat things in different manner.
What if the smritis differ from shruti.
Then, the shruti should be taken as the ultimate pramana. And, before you ask, if the smritis differ from each other, we should take the smriti according to ones lineage. And there is differnce in what we practice and that said in the smriti, then we should follow our own method. This is the view of all the seers.
Ok, I understand, shrutis are ultimate pramana, smritis are pramana when ther is no contradiction with smriti and our own achara – the general practice, according to ones lineage is also pramana.
Yes, correct. Since Brahmins are the one who practice and see to these pramanas as their means for the right knowledge, they are sometime called as manuvadis.
Then why did you call them ignorant.
See, they think the smritis of manu etc, give more importance to the Brahmins, Since, they are written by Brahmins, for brahmins.
Is it not true.
No. the code of conduct is for everyone to follow. And infact, the shruti or smriti does not differenciate between the varnas. That is, they don’t see one varna to be greater than the other. So, there is no inferirority or superiority here.