Wednesday, 17th July 2019




 " upa उप " means near (near brahman or knowledge or a guru) and " nayana नयन " means guiding or leading.  So the word  " उपनयन upanayana" would mean guiding the child towards knowledge or the guru who imparts that knowledge.  Knowledge here means the vEdic knowledge.

"upanayana उपनयन "is the samskArA performed for a boy child.  In this samskArA, the boy attains an AchArya. He is invested for the first time with the sacred thread (yagyOpaveetam) and the girdle (maunjee) sanctified by vEdic mantrAs. Then he is initiated with the gAyatree mantrA (brhamOpadEsham) by his AchArya.  After this ceremony the boy is said to be born again; so he is called “twice born द्विज “.  He becomes fit to perform vEdic sacrifices only after this upanayana samskArA.  It marks his entry into vEdic studies under an AchArya. During his studentship, his AchArya is said to be the father and gAyatree is said to be the mother. 


यज्ञोपवीतम्  yagyOpaveetam

yagyOpaveetam is the name of the sacred thread that is worn by the boy accompanied by mantrAs in the upanayana samskArA.  “ yagya यज्ञ means sacrificial oblation” and "upaveetam उपवीतम् " means “that which is worn for the purpose”.   

According to manusmRuti 2.44,

कार्पासमुपवीतं स्याद्विप्रस्योर्ध्वं वृतं त्रिवृत् ।

शाणसूत्रमयं राज्ञो वैश्यस्याविकसूत्रकम्  ॥

The yagyOpaveetam should be made of cotton threads of 3 chords for a brahmaNA, hempen threads for kshatriyAs and woollen threads for vaishyAs. 

1. The thread for the yagyOpaveetam is spun by a virgin brAhmin girl and twisted by a brAhmin uttering special mantras.  Its length is 96 times that of the four fingers of a man kept together.  The thread is then arranged in 9 rows reciting the mantrAs for the 9 dEvatAs namely OmkAra,agni, bhaga, sOma, pitRus, prajApati, viShNu, dharma and all dEvatAs.  Then the thread is again re-arranged into 3 rows and a knot is made.  This knot is called brahmagranthi ब्रह्मग्रन्थि or just granthi ग्रन्थि.  

2. A brahmachAri or a bachelor wears one set of this yagyOpaveetam but a gRuhasta/householder wears two sets of this cord, one for himself and the other for his wife.

3. taittireeya samhitA says:


 " ÌlÉuÉÏþiÉÇ qÉlÉÑýwrÉÉþhÉÉÇ mÉëÉcÉÏlÉÉuÉÏýiÉÇ ÌmÉþiÉ×ýhÉÉqÉÑmÉþuÉÏiÉlSåýuÉÉlÉÉýqÉç "


  • While performing auspicious ceremonies, where the offerings are for dEvAs, the yagyOpaveetam is worn in the upaveetam उपवीतम् position (i.e) the cord should hang over the left shoulder and under the right arm.  This is the normal and usual position which should be used daily. When worn, the lower part of the yagyOpaveetam should be at par with the level of the navel , not less not more.
  • While performing ceremonies for the pitRus, like shrAddh, tarpaNam,etc. the yagyOpaveetam is worn in the prAcheenAveetam प्राचीनावीतम् position (i.e) the cord should hang over the right shoulder and under the left arm.
  • While offering sacrifices to the Rushis, the cord must hang around the neck like a garland and this position is called “niveetam”.निवीतम्


Synonyms for yagyOpaveetam

1. यज्ञोपवीतक yagyOpaveetaka   

2. सावित्रीसूत्र sAvitreesUtra  

3. सावित्र sAvitra

4. यागसूत्र / यज्ञसूत्र yAgasUtra

5. उपवीतक upaveetaka

6. उपवीत  upaveeta

7. वीतसूत्र  veetasUtra

8. ब्रह्मसूत्र brahmasootra




Upanayanam is a samskArA performed for a dvija (ie. brAhmaNa, Kshatriya or a vaishya boy).



Upanayanam should be performed by the child's father under the guidance of a brAhmin priest. The child's father is very important. The father who has performed all ceremonies starting from garbhAdhAnam and who provides food for the child is called a "guru".   If the father is not available for any reason, the following persons in due order of preference can be requested to do the ceremony for the boy. They should preferably be gRUhastas (married).

1. Paternal grandfather.

2. Paternal cousins of the father.

3. Elder brothers.

4. svasootrakArAs (persons belonging to the same sootra)

5. Whoever is ready to act in the capacity.


The priest:-

The priest is a brAhmaNa who conducts the upanayana samskAram.  

He may be an upAdhyAya उपाध्याय . An upAdhyAya is one who teaches a portion of the vEdAs or any of its angAs for his livelihood. 

The ceremony can also be conducted by an AchArya आचार्य .  A brAhmana who initiates the pupil and teaches the vedAs, upanishads, kalpa sootrAs and dharmashAstrAs. The AchAryA is preferred for the brahmOpadEsham (i.e.) the instruction on the gAyatree.


Who is an AchArya?

Apastamba Dharma sootram prashna1, sootram 12

वेदवेदिसम्बन्धे कुले जन्म अभिजन:षड्भिरङ्गैस्सहैव यथावदर्थज्ञानपर्यन्तमधीतो वेदो विद्या

सर्वासम्भवे वेद एव वा तस्मिन्नुपनयने कर्तव्ये ताभ्यां अभिजनविद्याभ्यां समुदेतं संपन्नम्,

समाहितं विहितप्रतिषिद्धेष्ववहितमनसम्,संस्कर्तारमाचार्यमीप्सेत्  इच्छया करणं लक्ष्यते


An AchArya for a upanayana samskAra should have been born in the family of vEda-adhyAyis (i.e) one who has been reciting the vEdAs regularly or/and one who has studied the vEdAs with its 6 angas and spends his time reading their meanings.  He must also be one who follows the rules laid down by his dharma and who refrains from those actions those are prohibited for him. A student should seek to approach such an Acharya.


#  At which age should the upanayanam be performed?

 1. The recommended age for upanayanam  {lower limit}

Apastamba Gruhya sootra (yajur vedis) says in Patala: 4, KhanDa 10 :

(Sage Manu has also expressed the same view)

गर्भाष्टमेषु ब्राह्मणमुपनयीत गर्भैकादशेषु राजन्यं गर्भद्वादशेषु वैश्यम् ।

·   A brAhmaNa is initiated in the eighth year from the time of conception in the womb.  This means once the child completes 7 years of age. (7+1).

·   A Kshatriya in the eleventh year (i.e; once the child completes 10 years) .

·    A Vaishya can be initiated in the twelvth year (i.e. once the child completes 11 years)


2.  The upper age limit for upanayanam:-

If upanayanam is not performed in the above recommended age, then the smRutis recommend an extended period called the " गौण काल: gauNa kAla" during which time it can be performed. 

AshvalAyana gRuhya sootra (followed by rig vEdis) ,Kandika 19 and The Apastamba sootra(followed by yajur vedis), 1.1.28 hold the same view regarding the maximum age for upanayanam.

आ षोडशाद्ब्राह्मणस्यानतीतः कालः आ द्वाविंशात् क्षत्रियस्या चतुर्विंशाद्वैश्यस्यात् ऊर्ध्वं

पतितसावित्रीका भवन्ति ।

A brAhmaNa can get initiated only until the 16th of age.

A Kshatriya can get initiated only until the 22nd year of age.

A Vaishya can get initiated only upto the 24th year of age.

The above age limits are called gauNa kAla . After that time they lose their right of learning the sAvitree.

** If you are doing in the above gauNa kAlA, you may consult your presiding priest/pandit regarding the proper date and time.


3.  kAmya upanayanam.

UpanayAnam may be performed in the following ages for acquiring specific results such a follows:-

3.a. Apastamba Dharma sootram, Prashna 1, PaTala 1, Verse 20 says:-

सप्तमे ब्रह्मवर्चसकामम्- in the 7th year to acquire divine energy.

अष्टम आयुष्कामम्- in the 8th year to acquire long life.

नवमे तेजस्कामम्- in the 9th year to acquire splendour

दशमेऽअन्नाद्यकामम्- in the 10th year to acquire abundant food.

एकादश इन्द्रियकामम्- in the 11th year to acquire strong body organs/senses.

द्वादशे पशुकामम्- in the 12th year to acquire the riches of cattle.


3.b  Sage Manu says; 2.37

ब्रह्मवर्चसकामस्य कार्यं विप्रस्य पञ्चमे

राज्ञो बलार्थिन: षष्ठे वैश्यस्येहार्थिनोऽष्टमे

The initiation can be done for a brAhmana desirous of sacred knowledge/energy in his 5th year from conception ; for a Kshatriya longing for power in his 6th year and for a vaishya longing for affluence in the 8th year.


#. In which month can the upanayanam be performed:-

Apastamba Dharma sootram, Prashna 1, PaTala 1, Verse 19 says:-

वसन्ते ब्राह्मणमुपनयीत् ग्रीष्मे राजन्यं शरदि वैश्यं

Apastamba Gruhya sootra says in Patala: 4, KhanDa 10 :

वसन्तो ग्रीष्मश्शरदित्यृतवो वर्णानुपूर्व्येण

Spring (vasanta Ruthu) is the fit season for the upanayanam of a brAhmaNa.  Summer (greeShma Ruthu) for a Kshatriya and Autumn (sharad Ruthu) for a Vaishya.

वसन्त ऋतु; Spring; 2 months; March-April and April-May

ग्रीष्म ऋतु; Summer; 2 months;  May-June and June-July

शरद् ऋतु; Autumn; 2 months; September-October and October-November


3. In which nakshatra should the upanayanam be performed?

The family priest/pandit must be consulted for the proper day and time of the performance of the upanayana samskArA.

anupaneeta dharmA

Until the child is initiated he is called “ अनुपनीत anupaneeta ”.


daksha smriti 1.4 says:

जात मात्र: शिशुस्तावद्यावदष्टसमावया:|

सॊऽपि गर्भसमॊ ज्ञेयो व्यक्तिमात्रप्रकाशित: ||

भक्ष्याभक्ष्ये तथाऽपेये वाच्यावाच्ये तथाऽऽनृते |

तस्मिन्काले न दोष: स्यात् स यावन्नॊपनीतये ||

उपनीतस्य दोषोऽस्ति क्रियामाणैर्विगर्हितै: |

Until the age of 8, a boy is to be treated as an infant or an embryo though he is an individual.  During this period, he is not initiated with the sacred thread.  So he has no दोष dOshAs.  In other words, no sin accumulates to him through eating solid foods and liquid foods. No sin accumulates to him by his words spoken or not spoken.  But if he does these forbidden deeds after being invested with the sacred thread, he commits a sin.


Smruti ChandrikA says:

‘ न त्वे वैनमग्निहवनबलिहरणयोर्नियुञ्ज्यातिति‘

‘तस्य मन्त्रहीनत्वादित्यभिप्राय:

‘ न् च मन्त्रान् ग्राहयित्वा विनियोग इत्याह ‘

An anupaneeta should not participate in aupAsana homa, vaishvadeva or baliharaNa homAs.  An anupaneeta  is said to be devoid of mantrAs.  So he should not be told to repeat any mantrA even during the above hOmAs.


SmRuti MuktAphalam says quoting vashiShTha:

‘ अन्यत्रोदककर्मस्वधापितृसंयुक्तेभ्य इति ’

An anupaneeta can utter mantrAs only in rare ceremonies such as udakadAnam, prEtakarmA and pitRukAryAs.  In all other places, he should not utter mantrAs.


The upanayanam procedure being elaborate can be performed in 2 parts. 

First part on the previous dayपूर्वाङ्गम्

1. udakashAnti

2. nAndee shrAddham

Second part on the upanayanam day:

1. yagyOpaveeta dhAraNam

2. kumAra bhOjanam

3. chaulam/vapanam (chaulam has to be done just before upanayanam again)

4. vastra ,maunjee dhAraNam

5. brahmOpadEsham

6. daNDa dhARaNam

7. Teaching of sandhyAvandanam/mAdhyAhnikam and samidAdhanam.

8. bhikshAcharaNam

9. akshada AsheervAdam, bruhaspati/AchArya sambhAvana

(After reading the procedures given in the sootrAs, one may realise that the  upanayana samskArA was originally meant for attaining an AchArya for vEdic education and to accept a life of a brahmachAree until marriage. So AchAryA here would mean a qualified teacher who accepts to take the child into brahmacharya Ashram for imparting education and discipline. )

Procedure generally followed for yajur vEdis.  Here both (AGS)Apastamba sootra paTala: 4, khaNDa 10 and (BGS) bOdhAyana sootra prashna 2 adhyAya 5 are followed complimenting each other.

AGS-सू। 5 ब्राह्मणान्भोजयित्वा, आशिषोवाचयित्वा,कुमारं भोजयित्वा,अनुवाकस्य प्रथमेन

यजुषाऽपःसंसृज्योष्णाश्शीतास्वानीयोत्तरया शिर उनत्ति ।

1.  nAndee shrAddham नान्दी श्राद्धम्:-   After the regular nitya karmAnuShThAnam, sankalpam, udakashAnti /pratisara bandhanam, etc. the boy’s father serves food to brAhmaNAs. He then seeks words of blessings from the brAhmaNAs.  This is also called abhyudayam. (Refer samskAram no.1 garbhAdhAna tab for more details). All these can be performed on the previous day.


2. yagyOpaveeta dhAraNam: -यज्ञोपवीत धारनम्   

On the day of the upanayanam, a sankalpam is made. A punyAhavAchanam is performed for purifying the sacred thread. The child is made to wear the sacred thread called the yagyOpaveetam accompanied by many mantrAs.  The main mantra for wearing the yagyOpaveetam is  according to bOdhAyana gRuhya sootram prashna 2 adhyAya 5 verse 7.


rÉý¥ÉÉåýmÉýuÉÏýiÉÇ mÉþUqÉÇý mÉýÌuɧÉÇþ mÉëýeÉÉþmÉiÉåýrÉïiÉç xÉþWûýeÉÇ mÉÑýUxiÉÉÿiÉç |


AÉýrÉÑýwrÉþqÉýaêrÉqÉç mÉëÌiÉþqÉÑgcÉ zÉÑýpÉëÇ rÉþ¥ÉÉåmÉuÉÏýiÉÇ oÉsÉþqÉxiÉÑý iÉåeÉþÈ ||


Meaning:- This yagyOpaveetam is very very pure/sacred.  Its origin is as old as prajApati. It bestows long life. It is very superior. May this white thread give me strength and vital power/brilliance.

3. kumAra bhOjanam  कुमार भोजनम्:-  The mother serves food for the boy. One or more brahmachAris with the sacred thread are also made to sit with the boy to eat. They are gifted with clothes.  (vastra dAnam pleases all dEvatAs and grants long life to the child).   It is to be noted that simple food should be served without salt and chillies here.  Food made with milk and ghee is recommended.  The father teaches the pariShEchanam procedure to the boy but the father himself utters the related mantrAs as the boy is not yet initiated with the gAyatree.

4. vapanam or  chaulam वपनम् चौलम्:- Whether chaulam has been performed in the 3rd year or not, it has to be anyway performed again just before upanayanam.  Please refer samskAram no.9 for the chaulam procedure and the meanings. The teacher or the AchAryan pours warm water into cold water and moistens the boy’s head chanting the first verses of anuvAkam 1 of taittireeya brAhmaNam.

सू।.6 त्रींस्त्रीन् दर्भानन्तर्धायोत्तराभिश्चतसृभिः प्रतिमन्त्रं प्रतिदिशं प्रवपति।

 He puts three darbha blades on his hair in each of the four directions. The teacher or father cuts little of his hair in each of the four directions saying four different verses.

सू। 7 & 8 वपन्तमुत्तरयानुमन्त्रयते दक्षिणतो माता ब्रह्मचारी वा

आनडुहे शकृत्पिण्डे यवान्निधाय तस्मिन्केशानुपयम्योत्तरयोदुम्बरमूले दर्भस्तम्बे वा निदधाति ।

While the father cuts the childs hair, the mother or a brahmachArin strews barley-grains towards the south, on a lump of bull’s dung. She takes the cut hair from the father on the dung everytime and then in the end puts down everything at the root of an udumbara tree or in a tuft of darbhA grass with mantrAs.


5. Bath and oblations:-

सू।9. स्नातमग्नेरुपसमाधानाद्याज्यभागान्ते पालाशीं समिधमुत्तरयाधाप्योत्तरेणाग्निं दक्षिणेन पदाऽश्मानमास्थापयत्यातिष्ठेति

The boy takes a bath and does the agni pratishTA and performs all karmA upto AjyabhAga oblations.  He then takes a palAsha samidh in his hand and offers it into the fire repeating the following mantrAs after the priest:-

EkAgni kANDam, prashnam 2, anuvAkam 2, Rucha 1


AÉýrÉÑýSÉï SåþuÉ eÉýUxÉþÇ aÉ×hÉÉýlÉÉå bÉ×ýiÉmÉëþiÉÏMüÉå bÉ×ýiÉmÉ×þ¸Éå AlÉå ।


bÉ×ýiÉÇ ÌmÉoÉþ³ÉýqÉ×iÉýgcÉÉÂý aÉurÉþÇ ÌmÉýiÉåuÉþ mÉÑý³ÉgeÉýUxÉåþ lÉrÉåýqÉqÉç ।


Meaning:-. Oh dEvA, you are the one who gives long life.  You glow in all sides brilliantly.  Please drink this ghee accompanied with mantra I offer.  Ghee comes from cow. Its tasty like the divine nectar.  May the Ahuti of this samidh  grant me long life. May the relationship be like father-son.


6. AshmArOhaNam आश्मारॊहणं:-The AchArya then lifts the child's right foot and places it on a flat grinding stone kept to the north of the fire saying the following verses:-

EkAgni kANDam, prashna 2, anuvAkam 2, Rucha 2


AÉÌiÉþ¸ãýqÉqÉzqÉÉþlÉýqÉzqÉåþuÉ iuÉò ÎxjÉýUÉå pÉþuÉ. AýÍpÉÌiÉþ¸ mÉ×iÉlrÉýiÉxxÉWûþxuÉ mÉ×iÉlÉÉrÉýiÉ:


Meaning:- Dear child, stand on this stone.  Stand unshaken like the stone.  Stand strong against your enemies and face them courageously. May you be blessed with such power.


7. vastra dhAraNam वस्त्रधारणम्:-

सू।10. वासः सद्यः कृत्तोतमुत्तराभ्यामभिमन्त्र्योत्तराभिस्तिसृभिः परिधाप्य

A garment/dhOti spun and woven on one day is taken and purified by the following 2 mantrAs.

EkAgni kANDam, prashna 2, anuvAkam 2, Rucha 3 and 4.


1. UåýuÉiÉÏÿxiuÉÉý urÉþ¤hÉýlM×ų̈ÉþMüÉý¶ÉÉM×üþliÉóñxiuÉÉ ।


ÍkÉrÉÉåþÅuÉrÉý³ÉuÉýalÉÉ AþuÉ×geÉljxÉýWûxÉëýqÉliÉÉóèþAýÍpÉiÉÉåþ ArÉcNû³Éç ।।


2. SåýuÉÏSåïýuÉÉrÉþ mÉËUýkÉÏxÉþýÌuɧÉå । qÉWû¨ÉSÉþxÉÉqÉpÉuÉlqÉÌWûiuÉýlÉqÉç ।।


Meaning:- 1. Hey vastra(garment) . rEvatee the goddess picked you up when you were cotton in the plant. Goddess kRutikA spun you into threads. Goddess dhiya weaved you into a garment.  Goddess gnA removed the garment from the weaving machine. And thousands of other goddesses completed both sides of the garment. 

2. So, all the goddesses became a garment for the ever shining sun God, savitA.  In the same way may you be the garment for this child (giving him the brilliance of the sun)

Then the garment/dhOti is wrapped and tied around the waste of the boy tucking the ends inside properly.  The AchArya utters the following 3 mantrAs of the anuvAkam and the child repeats them.


1. rÉÉ AM×üþliÉý³ÉuÉþrÉýlÉçý rÉÉ AiÉþluÉiÉý rÉɶÉþ SåýuÉÏUliÉÉþlÉýÍpÉiÉÉåþÅSSliÉ ।


iÉÉxiuÉÉþ SåýuÉÏeÉïýUxÉåý xÉÇurÉþrÉýliuÉÉrÉÑþwqÉÉÌlÉýSÇ mÉËUþkÉjxuÉý uÉÉxÉþ:।।


2. mÉËUþkÉ¨É kɨÉý uÉÉxÉþxÉælÉóè zÉýiÉÉrÉÑþwÉÇ M×ühÉÑiÉ SÏýbÉïqÉÉrÉÑþ: ।


oÉ×WûýxmÉÌiÉý: mÉëÉrÉþcNûý²ÉxÉþ LýiÉjxÉÉåqÉÉþrÉ UÉ¥Éåý mÉËUþkÉÉiÉýuÉÉ Eþ ।।


3. eÉýUÉÇ aÉþcNûÉÍxÉý mÉËUþkÉjxuÉý uÉÉxÉÉåý pÉuÉÉþM×ü¹ÏýlÉÉqÉþÍpÉzÉÎxiÉýmÉÉuÉÉÿ ।


zÉýiÉgcÉþ eÉÏuÉ zÉýUSþxxÉÑýuÉcÉÉïþ UÉýrɶÉý mÉÉåwÉýqÉÑmÉý xÉÇurÉþrÉxuÉ ।।


Meaning:- 1. May all those goddesses responsible for making the garment encircle you and protect you until you become old.  2.  May those goddesses cover him with garments and make him live long for a 100 years. Was this not the same garment which bRuhaspati gave sOmarAjA (the moon) to gain longevity?  3. Hey child, wear this dhoti/garment living a long life, protecting and taking care of your relatives and friends.  I tie this garment blessing you to live for a hundred splendorous and healthy years.

Then the boy is sanctified by the following next verses:-




zÉýiÉgcÉþ eÉÏuÉ zÉýUSþ: mÉÑÃýcÉÏuÉïxÉÔþÌlÉ cÉÉýrÉÉåï ÌuÉþpÉeÉÉÍxÉý eÉÏuɳÉçþ.


Hey child, You have worn this garment for attaining goodness.  May you live long protecting people around you.


8. maunjee , ajina dhAraNam  मौञ्जी अजिन धारणम्


सू11.मौञ्जीं मेखलां त्रिवृतां त्रिः प्रदक्षिणमुत्तराभ्यां परिवीयाजिनमुत्तरमुत्तरया ।

 A twisted chord made of 3 strings of munja grass (मौञ्जis taken and tied around the girdle ( mEkhalA मेखला) of the boy three times from left to right (clockwise) while he chants the next two verses after the AchArya. (A single chord of dharba grass can be used if munja grass is not available)

CýrÉÇ SÒÂþ£üÉimÉËUýoÉÉkÉþqÉÉlÉÉý zÉqÉïý uÉÃþjÉÇ mÉÑlÉýiÉÏlÉý AÉaÉÉÿiÉç |


mÉëÉýhÉÉý mÉÉýlÉÉprÉÉýÇ oÉsÉþqÉÉýpÉUþliÉÏ ÌmÉëýrÉÉ SåýuÉÉlÉÉþÇ xÉÑýpÉaÉÉý qÉåZÉþsÉãýrÉqÉç ||


GýiÉxrÉþ aÉÉåým§ÉÏ iÉmÉþxÉ: mÉýUxuÉÏblÉýiÉÏ U¤Éý:  xÉWûþqÉÉlÉÉýAþUÉiÉÏ: |


xÉÉlÉþxxÉqÉýliÉqÉlÉÑý mÉUÏþWûÏ pÉýSìrÉÉþ pÉýiÉÉïUþxiÉå qÉåZÉsÉåý qÉÉ ËUþwÉÉqÉ||


Meaning: This maunjee has reached us after fighting against the troublesome elements with a desire to purify us.  This maunjee has always been the strength of the prANa and apAna vAyus; so beautiful;  thereby becoming the favourite of the dEvAs.  Moreover this mEkhalA protects and preserves truth and sacrifice (yagyAs).  It protects tapas (meditation) thereby killing the demons. May this mEkhalA surround us to protect us from troubles and bring prosperity.

Then a piece of skin (ajina अजिनम्) is worn as an upper garment repeating the following verses after the priest:-


ÍqÉý§ÉxrÉý cɤÉÑýkÉïÂþhÉÇý oÉsÉÏþrÉýxiÉåeÉÉåþ  rÉzÉýÎxuÉxjÉÌuÉþUýóèýxÉÍqÉþ®qÉç|


AýlÉÉýWûýlÉýxrÉÇ uÉxÉþlÉÇ eÉËUýwhÉÑ mÉUÏýSÇ uÉÉýerÉÎeÉlÉÇþ SkÉåýÅWûqÉç ||


Meaning:- hey ajina, you are the eyes of the sun.  You bestow strength, splendour , brilliance and nourishment.  I wear you ajina.


9. anjali-prOkShaNam अञ्जलि - प्रोक्षणम्


सू12. उत्तरेणाग्निं दर्भान्संस्तीर्य तेष्वेनमुत्तरयावस्थाप्योदकाञ्जलिमस्मा अञ्जलावानी योत्तरया त्रिः

प्रोक्ष्योत्तरैर्दक्षिणे हस्ते गृहीत्वोत्तरैर्देवताभ्यः परीदायोत्तरेण यजुषोपनीय सुप्रजा इति दक्षिणे कर्णे


darbha grass is spread by the teacher to the north of the fire. The boy is made to stand on it facing west with palms joined together like a cup. The teacher stands facing east.  He also keeps his hands in anjali posture and makes the boy utter the verse:-


AÉýaÉýl§ÉÉ xÉqÉþaÉlqÉÌWûý mÉëxÉÑþ qÉ×irÉÑÇ rÉÑþrÉÉåiÉlÉ ।


AËUþ¹ÉýxxÉgcÉËUqÉÌWû xuÉýÎxiÉ cÉþUiÉÉÌSýWû xuÉýxirÉÉaÉ×ýWåûprÉþ: ।।


Meaning:- I attained this AchArya who stands in front of me.  With his grace I have chased death away; I will cross all hurdles.  May good things happen to my AchArya.  May my stay here bring goodness until I get married. (reach gRuhastAshrama)

Another person fills the joined hands of the teacher with water.  The teacher then pours it into the boy’s joined hands and makes him sprinkle it on himself three times with the verse:-


xÉýqÉÑýSìÉSÕýÍqÉïqÉïkÉÑþqÉÉóè ESÉþUSÒmÉÉýóèýzÉÑlÉÉ ý xÉqÉþqÉ×iÉýiuÉqÉþzrÉÉqÉç ।


CýqÉå lÉÑ iÉå UýzqÉrÉýxxÉÔrÉïþxrÉý rÉåÍpÉþxxÉÌmÉýiuÉÇ ÌmÉýiuÉÇ ÌmÉiÉUÉåþ lÉý AÉrɳÉçþ ।।


Meaning:- This water mixes with those rays (rashmi) with which my pitRus, the angeerasas drank/made honey, and the drops fall on me.  I shall be blessed with amRuta (divine nectar) by these drops.


10. devatA paridAnam देवता परिदानम्

The teacher then takes hold of the boy’s right hand and prays to the Gods to take possession of the boy.  The next 10 verses are chanted by the teacher :-


1.AýÎalɹåý WûxiÉþqÉaÉëpÉÏýiÉç ।


2.xÉÉåqÉþxiÉåý WûxiÉþqÉaÉëpÉÏýiÉç ।


3.xÉÌuÉýiÉÉ iÉåý WûxiÉþqÉaÉëpÉÏýiÉç।


4.xÉUþxuÉiÉÏ iÉåý WûxiÉþqÉaÉëpÉÏýiÉç ।


5.mÉÔýwÉÉ iÉåý WûxiÉþqÉaÉëpÉÏýiÉç ।


6.ArÉïýqÉÉ iÉåý WûxiÉþqÉaÉëpÉÏýiÉç ।


7.AóèzÉÑþxiÉåý WûxiÉþqÉaÉëpÉÏýiÉç ।


8.pÉaÉþxiÉåý WûxiÉþqÉaÉëpÉÏýiÉç ।


9.ÍqÉý§ÉxiÉåý WûxiÉþqÉaÉëpÉÏýiÉç ।


10.ÍqÉý§ÉxiuÉqÉþÍxÉ kÉqÉïþhÉÉÅÎalÉUÉþcÉÉýrÉïxiÉuÉþ ।


Meaning:- Lord agni himself holds your hand.  May the Gods sOmA, savitA, pooShA, aryamA, agumshur, bhaga and mitra hold your hand.  You are equal to mitra because of dharmA.  May agni himself be your teacher.

He then gives him in charge to the deities mentioning the nAmadheya name of the boy in the next 11 verses. While saying sharman evertyime, the teacher holds the hand tightly symbolic of the dEvatA holding the child.


1. AýalÉrÉåÿ iuÉÉý mÉËUþSSÉÍqÉ ....zÉqÉïlÉç 


2. xÉÉåqÉÉþrÉ iuÉÉý mÉËUþSSÉÍqÉ ....zÉqÉïlÉç 


3. xÉÌuÉý§Éå iuÉÉý mÉËUþSSÉÍqÉ ....zÉqÉïlÉç 


4. xÉUþxuÉirÉæ iuÉÉý mÉËUþSSÉÍqÉ ....zÉqÉïlÉç 


5. qÉ×ýirÉuÉåÿ iuÉÉý mÉËUþSSÉÍqÉ ....zÉqÉïlÉç 


6. rÉýqÉÉrÉþ iuÉÉý mÉËUþSSÉÍqÉ ....zÉqÉïlÉç 


7. aÉýSÉrÉþ iuÉÉý mÉËUþSSÉÍqÉ ....zÉqÉïlÉç 


8. AýliÉþMüÉrÉ iuÉÉý mÉËUþSSÉÍqÉ ....zÉqÉïlÉç 


9. AýSèprÉxiuÉÉý iuÉÉý mÉËUþSSÉÍqÉ ....zÉqÉïlÉç 


10. AÉåwÉþkÉÏprÉxiuÉÉý mÉËUþSSÉÍqÉ ....zÉqÉïlÉç 


11. mÉ×ÍjÉýurÉæ iuÉÉý xÉuÉæÿµÉÉlÉýUÉrÉæý mÉËUþSSÉÍqÉ.... zÉqÉïlÉç 


Meaning:- Dear child, I entrust you to Lord agni so that he protects you.  May savitA, saraswatee, mRutyu, yama, gada, antaka, jala dEvatA, OShadee, vaishvAnara and pRuthvee take care of you. 


11. upanayanam EmÉlÉrÉlÉqÉç

The teacher then accepts him as a student reciting the next yajus.


SåýuÉxrÉþ iuÉÉ xÉÌuÉýiÉÑ: mÉëþxÉýuÉ EmÉþlÉrÉåý ....zÉqÉïlÉç 


Meaning:- Dear child, I take you as a student into brahmacharya under the permission of Lord SavitA. (Or I take you near the vEdAs or brahman)

He then embraces the student and brings him near agni and makes him sit to his right and murmurs into his right ear the following mantra


xÉÑýmÉëýeÉÉ: mÉëýeÉrÉÉþ pÉÔrÉÉxxÉÑýuÉÏUÉåþ uÉÏýUæxxÉÑýuÉcÉÉïýuÉþcÉïxÉÉ xÉÑýmÉÉåwÉý: mÉÉåwÉæÿ: 


Meaning:- Dear student, May you be blessed with good offspring/children, strength, splendour, health and vigour.


Continued in Apastamba sootram paTala 4 khaNDa 11


सू.1. ब्रह्मचर्यमागामिति कुमार आह  

Then the boy says :


oÉëý¼ýcÉrÉïýqÉÉaÉÉýqÉÑmÉ qÉÉ lÉþrÉxuÉ SåýuÉålÉþ xÉÌuÉý§ÉÉ mÉëxÉÔþiÉ: 


Meaning:- Oh guru, Please accept my studentship under the auspices of Lord savitA. I am ready to enter the brahmacharya Ashramam to learn.

सू.2. प्रष्टं परस्य प्रतिवचनं कुमारस्य  सू.3 शेषं परो जपति । सू.4 प्रत्यगाशिषं चैनं वाचयति  

The teacher asks the boy:

MüÉå lÉÉqÉÉÿÍxÉ?

What is your name?

The boy tells his nAmakaraNa name.

.....zÉqÉÉï lÉÉqÉÉÿÎxqÉý ……..sharmA nAmAsmi

The teacher then asks,


MüxrÉþ oÉë¼cÉÉýrÉïþÍxÉ .....zÉqÉïlÉç?

“Whose brahmachAri are you?”

The student answers:

mÉëÉýhÉxrÉþ oÉë¼cÉÉýUÏ AÎxqÉ 

I am the brahmachAree of prANa.

Then the rest of the anuvaka is chanted.  The following mantras that contain good wishes are told by the teacher and repeated by the student.


......zÉqÉÉï, LýwÉiÉåþ SåuÉ xÉÔrÉï oÉë¼cÉÉýUÏ iÉÇ aÉÉåþmÉÉrÉ xÉýqÉÉqÉ×þiÉæýwÉ iÉåþ xÉÔrÉïmÉÑý§ÉxxÉSÏÿbÉÉïýrÉÑxxÉýqÉÉqÉ×þiÉ 


 rÉÉóè xuÉÎxiÉqÉÎalÉuÉÉïrÉÑxxÉÔrÉï¶ÉlSìqÉÉ AÉmÉÉåÅlÉÑ xÉgcÉUÎliÉ iÉÉóè  xuÉÎxiÉqÉlÉÑ xÉgcÉU ....zÉqÉïlÉç 


ASèkuÉþlÉÉqÉSèkuÉmÉiÉçýL ´Éå¸ýxrÉÉSèkuÉþlÉ: mÉÉýUqÉþzÉÏrÉ


Meaning:- Oh soorya dEvA, This student is your brahmachAree. He is your son.  He should not die prematurely.  Let him have long life.  May this student enjoy all the riches provided by agni(fire), vAyu(air), soorya(sun), Chandra(moon), and Apa(water). Oh sooryA, Give your best wishes for this student to fulfil the brahmacharya without any obstacles.


12. upanayana pradhAna hOmam उपनयन प्रधान होम:

सू.5 उक्तमाज्यभागान्तम् । सू.6 अत्रैनमुत्तरा आहुतीर्हावयित्वा जयादि प्रतिपद्यते -परिषेचनान्तं


The rites till AjyabhAga oblations are prescribed. The student then performs 11 important oblations with 11 mantrAs from EkAgni kANda prashnam.II, anuvAkam 4, 1-11. He then performs “jayAdi hOmam” under the guidance of the teacher.  The teacher holds his hand and the student performs all the above oblations repeating after the teacher.  All rites upto parishEchanam ; i.e. sprinkling of water around the fire are performed.  In all these hOmAs, prayers are offered to the dEvatAs to bless the student, protect him from ailments and strengthen him to be an austere student. 


13. brahmOpadEsham ब्रह्मोपदेशम्

सू. 7. अपरेणाग्निमुदगग्रं कूर्चं निधाय तस्मिन्नुत्तरेण यजुषोपनेतोपविशति । सू. 8. पुरस्तात्

प्रत्यङ्ङासीनः कुमारो दक्षिणेन पाणिनादक्षिणं पादमन्वारभ्याह सावित्रीं भो अनुबूहि इति 

The teacher says the sankalpa for the brahmOpadEsham.  anugyai(permission/blessings) is obtained from brAhmaNas. The teacher sits to the West of the agni (fire).  The student gives him a koorcham (a tied bunch of darbha grass) saying “ayam koorcha:”  The teacher puts the koorcham on the ground pointing northward to the west of the fire. On that seat, the teacher who is to perform the initiation sits down and chants the next yajus. M.II, 4,12.  (Sometimes there can be another AchArya who initiates the child with the sAvitri also called gAyatree. He is called the “ upanEtA उपनॆता ”.  Otherwise it may also be the same AchArya who did all the above rites.)


UÉý¹íýpÉ×SþxrÉÉcÉÉrÉÉïxÉýlSÏ qÉÉ iuɱÉåþwÉqÉç


Meaning:-Oh koorcha who is capable of bearing a whole kingdom;  May you be the seat for this AchArya. The student sits opposite to the upanEtA. 

He holds the upanEtA's right foot with his right hand and says: (S.E.A. He also holds his left foot with his left hand)

श्रीमन्. सावित्रीं भो अनुब्रूहि 

Meaning:-Respected Sir, Please recite the sAvitri.

सू.9.तस्मा अन्वाह तत्सवितुरिति  सू.10 पच्छोऽर्धर्चशस्ततस्सर्वाम् । सू.11. व्याहृतीर्विहृताः  पादादिष्वन्तेषु वा तथार्धर्चयोरुत्तमां कृष्स्नायाम् । सू.12. कुमार उत्तरेण मन्त्रेणोत्तरमोष्टमुपस्पृशते

सू.13 कर्णावुत्तरेण 

The teacher recites that glorious sAvitri mantra to the boy from Taitt samh I,5,6,4; EkAgni kAnDam 2,4,13. The whole verse of SAvitri is recited pAda by pAda. While repeating the SAvitri pAda by pAda, the vyAhRutees are chanted singly at the beginning or at the end of the pAdas.Similarly he says the first and second VyAhrutee at the beginning or at the end and then repeats the whole verse.

(***shAnkhAyana gRuhya sootram adhyAya 2, khaNDa 5 says:)

सू ४. गायत्रीं ब्राह्माणायानुब्रूयात्

सू ५. त्रिष्टुभं क्षत्रियाय

सू ६. जगतीं वैश्याय 

सू ७. सावित्रीं त्वे वा


Let the sAvitree mantra with the gAyatree metre be recited/taught to a brAhmaNa student.

Let the sAvitree mantra with the triShTubh metre be recited to a kshatriya student.

Let the sAvitree mantra with the jagatee metre be recited to a vaishya student.

But let it be a verse sacred to sAvitree.

Then chanting the following mantra M.II,4,14, the boy touches his upper lip.


AuÉ×þkÉqÉýxÉÉæ xÉÉæÿqrÉ mÉëÉýhÉ xuÉÇ qÉåþ aÉÉåmÉÉrÉ


Meaning:- I have been elevated due to this gAyatree mantra.  Dear inner soul/prANA, preserve/guard/protect this wealth.

Then he turns to the north, does one Achamanam and again faces the upanEtA chanting the mantra II,4,15 while touching both his ears.


oÉë¼þhÉ AÉýhÉÏ xjÉþ:

Meaning:-Dear ears, Be like a linchpin protecting the gAyatree.


14. daNDa dhAraNam दण्ड धारणम्

सू.14 दण्डमुत्तरेणाऽऽदत्ते सू.15. पालाशो दण्डो ब्राह्मणस्य नैय्यग्रोधस्स्कन्धजोऽवाङ्ग्रो राजन्यस्य

 बादर औदुम्बरो वा वैश्यस्य  सू.16. वार्क्षो दण्ड इत्यवर्णसंयोगेनैक उपदिशन्ति 

Chanting mantra II,5, 1 he takes up the staff/daNDa in his hand.


xÉÑý´ÉuÉþxxÉÑý´ÉuÉþxÉÇ qÉÉ MÑüÂý rÉjÉÉý iuÉóè xÉÑý´ÉuÉþÈ xÉÑý´ÉuÉÉþ |


AxrÉåýuÉqÉýWûóè xÉÑý´ÉuÉþxxÉÑý´ÉuÉÉþ pÉÔrÉÉxÉýÇ


rÉýjÉÉ iuÉóè xÉÑý´ÉuÉþxxÉÑý´ÉuÉÉåþ SåýuÉÉlÉÉÿÇ ÌlÉÍkÉaÉÉåýmÉÉåÿxÉç 


rÉåýuÉqÉýWÇû oÉëÉÿ¼ýhÉÉlÉÉýÇ oÉë¼þhÉÉå ÌlÉÍkÉaÉÉåýmÉÉå pÉÔþrÉÉxÉqÉç ||


Meaning:- The word "sushravas" means abundant in glory.  This palAsha tree was credited with the name "sushravas" as result of a debate among the dEvAs once upon a time.  Oh such daNDa, I shall also be credited with such name.  Just like you protect the treasure of the dEvAs, I shall also protect the treasure of the brAhmaNAs; the vEdAs.

The brAhmaNA’s staff is made of palAsha tree (flame of the forest), a rAjanya’s is made of a bunch of naiyyagrODha नैयग्रोध(indian fig tree/banyan) tree such that the downward-turned end of the branch forms the tip of the staff. A vaishyA’s staff is made of bAdara or udumbara wood औदुम्बर (cluster fig tree).  There are some who say without referring to any caste that the staff should be made of the wood of a tree. (S.E.A:- not bamboo)


सू. 17. स्मृतं च म इत्येतद्वाचयित्वा गुरवे वरं दत्त्वोदायुषेत्युत्थाप्योत्तरैरादित्यमुपतिष्ठते 

The upanEtA then  makes the student repeat the following verses (M.II, 5, 2).:-


1.xqÉ×þiÉgcÉý qÉåÅxqÉ×þiÉgcÉ qÉåý iÉlqÉþ EpÉrÉþÇ uÉëýiÉÇ 


2.ÌlÉýlSÉ cÉý qÉåÅÌlÉþlSÉ cÉ qÉåý iÉlqÉþ EýpÉrÉþÇ uÉëiÉóñ 


3.´Éý®É cÉý qÉåÅ´Éþ®É cÉ qÉåý iÉlqÉþ EýpÉrÉþÇ uÉëýiÉÇ 


4.ÌuÉý±É cÉý qÉåÅÌuÉþ±É cÉ qÉåý iÉlqÉþ EýpÉrÉþÇ uÉëýiÉóñ


5.´ÉÑýiÉgcÉý  qÉåÅ´ÉÑþiÉgcÉ qÉåý iÉlqÉþ EýpÉrÉþÇ uÉëýiÉóè 


6.xÉýirÉgcÉý qÉåÅlÉ×þiÉgcÉ qÉåý iÉlqÉþ EýpÉrÉþÇ uÉëýiÉÇ 


7.iÉmÉþ¶Éý qÉåÅiÉþmÉ¶É qÉåý iÉlqÉþ EýpÉrÉþÇ uÉëýiÉÇ 


8.uÉëýiÉgcÉý qÉåÅuÉëþiÉgcÉ qÉåý iÉlqÉþ EýpÉrÉþÇ uÉëýiÉÇ 


9.rÉSèoÉëÉÿ¼ýhÉÉlÉÉýÇ oÉë¼þÍhÉ uÉëýiÉqÉç |


10.rÉSýalÉåxxÉålSìþxrÉ xÉmÉëþeÉÉmÉÌiÉMüxrÉý xÉSåþuÉxrÉý xÉSåþuÉUÉeÉxrÉý xÉqÉþlÉÑwrÉxrÉý xÉqÉþlÉÑwrÉUÉeÉxrÉý xÉÌmÉþiÉ×MüxrÉý |


xÉÌmÉþiÉ×UÉeÉxrÉý xÉaÉþlkÉuÉÉïÄnxÉUýxMüxrÉþ . rÉlqÉþ AÉýiqÉlÉþ AÉýiqÉÌlÉþ uÉëýiÉliÉålÉÉýWûóè xÉuÉïþuÉëiÉÉå pÉÔrÉÉxÉqÉç ||


Meaning:- The student takes all the following dualities as his vow/vrata.

1.  I shall remember what is important.  I shall forget what I should not retain.  

2. I shall praise what is good.  I shall not praise what is not good.

3. I shall concentrate on good things.  I shall move away from bad things.

4. I shall learn only good things.  I shall shun knowledge of the wrong things.

5. I shall hear good things.  I shall not hear the bad things.

6. I shall abide by truth.  I shall not be false.

7. I shall meditate (do tapas) when I am fit.  I shall not when I am unfit.

8. I shall be austere when I should and I shall not be when I should not.

9. I shall recite my lessons when told to.  I shall withdraw when told not to.

10. The vratas of the brAhmaNAs regarding the vEdAs, of IndrA, of agni, of prajApati, of dEvAs, and the dEvarAjAs,  of manuShyAs, of the kings, of the pitRus, and the pitRurAjAs, of the gandharvas, of the apsaras shall be regarded by me as my vratAs. I shall as a brahmachAri undertake all these vratAs and complete them successfully.

After repeating the above verses, the student offers “दक्षिणा dakShiNA” i.e gift to the upanEtA. (The dakShiNA is a cow or an amount equal to a cow).   The upanEtA accepts the gift and makes him get up asking him to repeat the verses M.II,5,3.


ESÉrÉÑþwÉÉ xuÉÉýrÉÑwÉÉåSÉåwÉþkÉÏlÉÉýóèý UxÉåýlÉÉåimÉýeÉïlrÉþxrÉý zÉÑwqÉåýhÉÉåSþxjÉÉqÉýqÉ×iÉÉýóèý AlÉÑþ |


Meaning:- Oh dEvA, I stand up praying that I live up strong for a 100 years with the blessings of 100 medicines (full of health) and vigour/courage.


15. soorya-upasthAnam/soorya darshanam सूर्योपस्थानम्/सूर्यदर्शनम्

The student then worships the sun.  He is taught to view the sun repeating the mantra M.II, 5,4.


iÉicɤÉÑþSåïýuÉÌWûþiÉÇ mÉÑýUxiÉÉÿiNÒûý¢üqÉÑýcÉçUþiÉç. mÉzrÉåþqÉ zÉýUSþzzÉýiÉÇ eÉÏuÉåþqÉ zÉýUSþzzÉýiÉÇ lÉlSÉþqÉ zÉýUSþzzÉýiÉÇ qÉÉåSÉþqÉ zÉýUSþzzÉýiÉÇ


pÉuÉÉþqÉ zÉýUSþzzÉýiÉÇ zÉ×ýhÉuÉÉþqÉ zÉýUSþzzÉýiÉÇ mÉëoÉëþuÉÉqÉ zÉýUSþzzÉýiÉÇ AeÉÏþiÉxrÉÉqÉ zÉýUSþzzÉýiÉÇ erÉÉåYcÉý xÉÔrÉïlÉçþSØýzÉå.


Meaning:- Oh glorious and brilliant sun! You are the eyes of the world; created by IndrA; rising pure in the East; May we look at this divine light for a 100 years; May we live happily for a 100 years; May we live with children and grandchildren for a 100 years; May we enjoy the riches of life for a 100 years; May we hear good for a 100 years; May we preach good for a 100 years; May we live undisturbed (successfully) for a 100 years.


16. samidAdhAnam समिदाधानम्

A sankalpam for samidAdhAnam is made.  Then the following mantra is recited.

1.mÉËUþiuÉÉ AalÉãý mÉËUþqÉ×eÉÉýÍqÉ AÉrÉÑþwÉÉ cÉý kÉlÉåþlÉ cÉ |
2.xÉÑýmÉëýeÉÉ: mÉëýeÉrÉÉþ pÉÔrÉÉxÉÇ xÉÑýuÉÏUÉåþuÉÏýUæ: xÉÑýuÉcÉÉïý uÉcÉïþxÉÉ xÉÑýmÉÉãwÉý: mÉÉãwÉæÿ:xÉÑýaÉ×WûÉåþ aÉ×ýWæû: xÉÑýmÉÌiÉý: mÉirÉÉþ xÉÑqÉåýkÉÉ qÉåýkÉrÉÉþ 
xÉÑýoÉë¼Éÿ oÉë¼cÉÉýËUÍpÉþ:|

Meaning:-parimArjanam/parisamoohanam (cleaning of the fire) and parishEchanam (encircling the fire with water) of the agni is done by the student requesting the fire to bless him with long life(Ayush), wealth (dhanam), children, grandchildren (suprajA), courage (veera), health (pOsha), good home (sugRuham),good householderhood (supati), intelligence (mEdhA), and with the ability follow brahmacharya properly. (subrahmachAree).

He puts twelve pieces of samidh sticks in the fire with the 12 mantras II, 6,2-13. The AchAryA teaches him the entire procedure of samidAdhAnam. He recites after the AchArya.

1. AýalÉrÉãþ xÉýÍqÉkÉýqÉÉWûÉþwÉïÇ oÉ×WûýiÉã eÉÉýiÉuÉåþSxÉã | rÉjÉÉý iuÉqÉþalÉã xÉýÍqÉkÉÉþ xÉÍqÉýkrÉxÉþ LýuÉÇ qÉÉqÉÉrÉÑþwÉÉý uÉcÉïþxÉÉ xÉýlrÉÉ qÉãýkÉrÉÉÿ
mÉëýeÉrÉÉþ mÉýzÉÑÍpÉþ: oÉë¼uÉcÉïýxÉãlÉ Aý³ÉɱåþlÉý xÉqÉåþkÉrÉý xuÉÉWûÉÿ |
2.LkÉÉåÿÍxÉ LÍkÉwÉÏýqÉÌWûý xuÉÉWûÉÿ |
3.xÉýÍqÉSþÍxÉ xÉqÉåÍkÉwÉÏýqÉÌWûý xuÉÉWûÉÿ |
4.iÉåeÉÉåþÍxÉý iÉåeÉÉåýqÉÌrÉþ kÉåÌWûý xuÉÉWûÉÿ |
5.AmÉÉåþ Aý±É AluÉþcÉÉËUýwÉÇý UxÉåþlÉý xÉqÉþxÉפqÉÌWû | mÉrÉþxuÉÉlÉç AalÉý AÉaÉþqÉÇý iÉÇqÉÉý xÉóè xÉ×þeÉý uÉcÉïþxÉÉý xuÉÉWûÉÿ||
6.xÉÇ qÉÉÿÅalÉãý uÉcÉïþxÉÉ xÉ×eÉ mÉëýeÉrÉÉþ cÉý kÉlÉåþlÉ cÉý xuÉÉWûÉÿ |
7.ÌuÉý±ÑlqÉåþ AxrÉ SåýuÉÉ ClSìÉãþ ÌuÉý±ÉjxÉýWûGÌwÉþÍpÉý: xuÉÉWûÉÿ |
8.AýalÉrÉãþ oÉ×WûýiÉã lÉÉMüÉþrÉý xuÉÉWûÉÿ |
9.±ÉuÉÉþmÉ×ÍjÉýuÉÏprÉÉýóèý xuÉÉWûÉÿ |
10. LýwÉÉ iÉåþ AalÉå xÉýÍqɨÉrÉÉý uÉ®ïþxuÉý cÉ AÉmrÉÉþrÉxuÉ cÉý iÉrÉÉýÅWÇû uÉ®ïþqÉÉlÉÉå pÉÔrÉÉxÉqÉÉýmrÉÉrÉþqÉÉlɶÉý xuÉÉWûÉÿ |
11.rÉÉã qÉÉÿÅalÉã pÉÉýÌaÉlÉóèþ xÉýliÉqÉjÉÉþpÉÉýaÉÇ ÍcÉMüÐþwÉïÌiÉ | ApÉÉýaÉqÉþalÉãý iÉÇ MÑüþÂý qÉÉqÉþalÉã pÉÉýÌaÉlÉÇþ MÑüÂý xuÉÉWûÉÿ |
12. xÉýÍqÉkÉþqÉÉýkÉÉrÉÉÿalÉãý xÉuÉïþuÉëiÉÉã pÉÔrÉÉxÉýòý xuÉÉWûÉÿ |

The meaning of the12 mantrAs are:-

1. Oh agni! You possess esteem, wealth and intelligence.  To you I bring this samidh sticks.  Just as you glow with brilliance due to this samidh, may you also bless me with brilliance, wealth, strength, cattle, children and divinity.

2. Oh samidh! Its you who causes agni to glow.  I pray unto you to bless me with prosperity.

3. Oh samidh! You possess such innate powers. Please bless me.

4. You are the reason for the tejas.  Please bless me also with tejas (power)

5. I do this karmA today.  Please grant me the strength to offer samidh sticks daily.  May you bring glory to me.

6. Oh agni! May I acquire by virtue of the above fame, children, wealth.

7. This brilliant fire is being witnessed by the dEvAs and IndrA along with the Rushis.

8. Oh agni who is called nAka (the heaven).  Hail thee.

9. I offer samidh to you who is in the form of the earth and in the form of the sky.

10. Oh agni!  I offer this samidh to you.  Grow up big and in the same way bless me also to grow like you.

11. Help me in attaining the good riches of the world.  May none be able to stop such fortunes.

12.On my doing this karmA regularly, May I become one who has fulfilled all his vows. Hail thee. 

After this the samidAdhAnam is completed with parishEchanam and upasthAnam of agni. 


सू. 22.एवमन्यस्मिन्नपि सदारण्यादेधानाहृत्य ।

If the upanayana - agni ceases then a fresh agni can be used to offer samidh. Samidh sticks should be brought from the forest regularly.


17. shAsanaM शासनं

सू.23. उत्तरया सँशास्ति 

The teacher instructs the student about his duties and the student accepts to follow them. (verses M.II,6,14.)


AÉcÉÉrÉï: oÉëý¼ýcÉÉýrÉïþÍxÉ

Teacher: You have attained brahmacharyAshrama


Boy: Yes / I accept.



Teacher: You should eat when I allow but you can drink water at any  time.


Boy: Yes/As you please.


AÉcÉÉrÉï: MüqÉïþ MÑüÂý

Teacher: You must do your karma i.e work (like bringing sticks for samidh,etc.)


Boy: Yes/I shall do them.


AÉcÉÉrÉï: qÉÉ xÉÑwÉÑþmjÉÉ:

Teacher: Don’t sleep during the day.


Boy: Yes/I shall not.


AÉcÉÉrÉï: ÍpÉý¤ÉÉýcÉýrÉïþgcÉU

Teacher: You will go around asking for alms


Boy: Yes/I shall do so.



Teacher: Be respectful (subordinate) to your AchAryA.


Boy: Yes/I shall be.


18. bhikshAcharaNam भिक्षाचरणम्

(** bOdhAyana gRuhya sootram prashna 2.5. 47 &48 says:)

सू ४७.soo47. अथास्मा अरिक्तं पात्रं प्रयच्चन्नाह मातरमेवाग्रे भिक्षस्व इति 

सू.  ४८.soo.48  स मातरमेवाग्रे भिक्षेत् .

The student then prostrates his mother and says the abhivAdanam.  Then he carries a bowl in his hand and first asks alms i.e. भिक्षा bhikshA from his mother saying:

भवती ! भिक्षां देहि!

Meaning:-Oh! venerable mother! Please give alms (rice,etc.).

He then goes around asking alms from the wife of his upanEtA, AchAryA, after doing namaskAram and abhivAdanam.  Next he goes around asking alms from the other ladies present there without abhivAdanam.  Then he gives all the rice received to his AchAryA/father.  The AchAryA accepts it saying तत्सुभिक्षं. May this cause abundance/prosperity.

(** bOdhAyana gRuhya sootram prashna 2.5. 49-51 says:)

soo.49 भवति भिक्षां देहि इति ब्राह्मणो भिक्षेत्

A brAhmaNa begs saying "bhavati bhikshAm dEhi"

soo50. भिक्षां भवति देहि इति राजन्य:
A kshatriyA begs saying "bhikshAm bhavati dEhi"
soo.51. देहि भिक्षां भवति इति वैश्य:
A vaishya begs saying "dEhi bhikshAm bhavati"

19. AsheervAdam आशीर्वादम्

Then the ceremony is concluded with the akShata (unbroken rice wetted with turmeric paste) blessings of all the elders.

20. AchArya/bRuhaspati sambhAvanA आचार्य/ब्रुहस्पति सम्भावन

The AchAryA i.e. the priest who conducted the ceremony should be duly honoured with gifts.

With this the upanayana samskArA for the day is over.


21. trirAtra vratam त्रिरात्र व्रतं

सू. 19.त्र्यहमेतमग्निं धारयन्ति । सू. 20. क्षारलवणवर्जनं च 

The fire used at the upanayana (upanayana agni) is maintained for three days.  During this period, salted and pungent food is avoided.  Daily he should do sandhyAvandanam three times and samidAdhAnam two times in the upanayana fire according to the procedure taught to him by his AchArya.

सू.24. वासश्चतुर्थीमुत्तरयादत्तेऽन्यत्परिधाप्य ।

On the fourth day, he does snAnam, sandhyAvandanam, samidAdhanam.  The teacher makes the child wear a new dhoti (vastram).  The child then  hands over his deekShA vastram SϤÉÉ uÉx§ÉÇ (upanayana vastram) to his AchArya along some dakShiNa (gift) saying:-

Wåû aÉÑUÉå uÉÉxÉxiÉå SSÉÍqÉ 

Meaning:- Hey guru, I hereby give my vastram.

The Acharya/guru accepts the old deekshAvastram saying the mantra:


rÉxrÉþ iÉå mÉëjÉqÉuÉÉýxrÉþÇ WûUÉþqÉýxiÉÇ iuÉÉý ÌuɵÉåý AuÉliÉÑ SåýuÉÉ 
iÉÇ iuÉÉý pÉëÉiÉþUxxÉÑýuÉ×kÉÉåý uÉ®ïþqÉÉlÉýqÉlÉÑþeÉÉrÉliÉÉÇ oÉýWûuÉýxxÉÑeÉÉþiÉqÉç 


Meaning:- I take the first deekshAvastram worn by you.  May the vishvEdEvAs protect you. You have been born again into a new life.  May you have more brothers.  May all of you then live with prosperity. 

After the child takes the blessings from all the elders.  With this the upanayana samskArA comes to an end.

brahmacharya Ashramam

After the upanayana samskAram is over, the student leaves his parents' home and  begins his vEdic studies in the guru's house also called guru kulam or vEda pAThashAlA.  It takes 12 years to complete one vEda shAkhA, 24 years to complete two vEdAs and 36 years to complete three vEdAs. He can decide how many shAkhAs he wants to study.  After this period he enters into the gRuhastAshrama i.e. married life. This period during which he studies in the guru's house is called "brahmacharya Ashrama" and the student is called a brahmachAree.  The student follows strict codes of conduct during the period. A few basic and important duties of a brahmachAree have been highlighted here.


                        ब्रह्मचारी धर्म brahmachAree dharma                                                       हारीत स्मृति hAreeta smRuti chapter 3 verses 1 - 9.

उपनीतो माणवको वसेद्गुरुकुलेषु च ।

गुरो: कुले प्रियं कुर्यात् कर्म्मणा मनसा गिरा।।

upaneetO mANavakO vasEdgurukulEShu cha.
gurO: kulE priyaM kuryAt karmmaNA manasA girA.

#  Having been invested with the sacred thread, a student should live in his preceptor's(guru) house (gurukulam).  He must be good in his action, words and mind.

ब्रह्मचर्यमध:शय्या तथा वह्नेरुपासना।

उदकुम्भान् गुरोर्दद्याद्गोग्रासञ्चेन्धनानि च ।।

brahmacharyamadha:shayyA tathA vahnErupAsanA.
udakumbhAn gurOrdadyAd gOgrAsanchEndhanAni cha .

# He should lead  a life of celibacy, sleep on the ground and worship the fire (samidAdhAnam).  He should, for his preceptor, fill pots with water, bring sacrificial fuels like samidh sticks,darbha,etc. and grass for the cow. 


कुर्यादध्ययनञ्चैव ब्रह्मचरी यथाविधि ।

विधि त्यक्त्वा प्रकुर्वाणो न स्वाध्यायफलं लभेत् ।।

kuryAdadhyayananchaiva brahmachAree yathAvidhi
vidhi tyaktvA prakurvANO na svAdhyAyaphalaM labhEt.
# A brahmachAree should study the vEdAs religiously and do brahma yagyam (svAdhyAyam) daily.  If he ignores or fails to follow the rules, he will not attain the fruits of the brahmayagyam.
य: कश्चित् कुरुते धर्मं विधि हित्वा दुरात्मवान्

न तत्फलमवाप्नोति कुर्वाणोऽपि विधिच्युत: ।।

ya: kashchit kurutE dharmaM vidhi hitvA durAtmavAn.
na tatphalamavApnOti kurvANOapi vidhichyuta:

# A wicked minded student who performs righteous deeds but surpasses the codes of discipline does not attain the fruits of his studies.  


तस्माद्वेदव्रतानीह चरेत् स्वाध्यायसिद्धये

शौचाचारमशेषन्तु शिक्षयेद्गुरुसन्निधौ ।।

tasmAdvEdavratAneeha charEt svAdhyAyasiddhayE.

shauchAchAramashEShantu shikShayEdgurusannidhau.
# So to reap the benefits of the vEdic studies he must complete his vEda vratas properly  and learn from his preceptor (AchArya) the procedures for purification and austerity.


अजिनदण्डकाष्ठञ्च मेखलाञ्चोपवीतकम् 

धारयेदप्रमत्तश्च ब्रह्मचारी समाहित: ।।

ajinadaNDakAShThancha mEkhalAnchOpaveetakam.
dhArayEdapramattashcha brahmachAree samAhita:.

# A brahmachAree should always wear the ajina (deer skin), daNDa, mEkhalA (girdle) and the yagyOpaveetam (upaveetakam) consciously.


सायं प्रातश्चरेद्भैक्षं भोज्याथ संयतेन्द्रिय: 

आचम्य प्रयतॊ नित्यं न कुर्याद्दन्तधावनम्.

sAyaM prAtashcharEdbhaikShaM bhOjyAtha saMyatEndriya:

Achamya prayatO nityaM na kuryAddantadhAvanam.

# He must control his senses/organs to be fit enough to procure food by begging alms in the morning and evening.  He must always do Achamanam daily/always.  He should not brush his teeth. ( The sense to be understoodd here is that Achamanam is usually done so many times during the day which itself would keep the mouth sufficiently clean.  In the days of gurukula in the forests, food was mostly natural and taken only twice a day.  So brushing must have been limited to just cleaning the mouth and not elaborately with paste or powders.  This also hints that having a disciplined diet regime and rinsing the mouth  frequently keeps oral hygeine at its best.)


छत्रञ्चोपानहञ्चैवगन्धमाल्यादि वर्जयेत् 

नृत्यगीतमथालापं मैथुनञ्च विवर्जयेत् ।

chatranchOpAnahanchaivagandhamAlyAdi varjayEt
nRutyageetamathAlApaM maithunancha vivarjayEt.

# He should not use umbrella, shoes, perfumes and garlands.  He must not dance, sing or talk unnecessarily. He must abstain from carnal actions.


हस्त्यश्वारोहणञ्चैव सन्त्यजेत् संयतेन्द्रिय: 

सन्ध्योपास्ति प्रकुर्वीत ब्रह्मचारी व्रतस्थित: ।।

hastyashvArOhaNanjchaiva santyajEt saMyatEndriya:
sandhyOpAsti prakurveeta brahmachAree vratasthita:

# He must abstain from riding on horses and elephants.  Controlling his senses, he must be steady in his vows and perform his sandhyOpAsanA regularly (thrice a day).


अभिवाद्य गुरो: पादौ सन्ध्याकर्मावसानत: 

तथा योगं प्रकुर्वीत मातापित्रोश्च भक्तित: ।।

abhivAdya gurO: pAdau sandhyAkarmAvasAnata:

tathA yOgaM prakurveeta mAtApitrOshcha bhaktita:
# After the sandhyOpAsana,  he should prostrate and do abhivAdanam at his preceptor's feet .  He must also meditate on his parents.
एतेषु त्रिषु नष्टेषु नष्टा: स्यु:सर्वदेवता: ।
एतेशां शासने तिष्ठेद्ब्रह्मचारी विमत्सर: । 
EtEShu triShu naShTEShu naShTA: syu:sarvadEvatA:
EtEshAM shAsanE tiShThEdbrahmachAree vimatsara:
# If these three i.e. the mother, father and the preceptor are lost, then all the dEvatAs are lost. So a brahmachAree should always carry out their commands.
 Sage YAgyavalkya  Chapter 1 verses 33, 49 and 50
भास्करालोकन-अश्लीलपरिवादादि वर्जयेत् । 
bhAskarAlokana-ashleelaparivAdAdi varjayEt.
# A student should always avoid honey, meat, collyrium and residue of food taken by someone else other than the preceptor.   He should avoid harsh words, women, injury to animals, looking at the sun in the morning and the evening, vulgar words and calumny.
ब्रह्मचारी तु वसेदाचार्य सन्निधौ 
तद्भावेऽस्य तनये पत्न्यां वैश्वानरेऽपि वा 
naiShThiko brahmachAree tu vasedAchArya sannidhau .
tadbhAve&sya tanaye patnyAM vaishvAnareapi vA.
# A religious student who does not want to marry lives in his preceptor's house perpetually maintaining abstinence and celibacy.  In the absence of the preceptor, he lives near his son; in the absence of his son, near his wife and in her absence near the sacred fire.  
(Such a perpetual student is called "naishThika brahmachAree")
अनेन विधिना देहं सादयन्विजितेन्द्रिय: 
ब्रह्मलोकमवाप्नोति न चेहाजायते पुन:  
anena vidhinA dEhaM sAdayanvijitendriya:
brahmalokamavApnoti na chEhAjAyate puna: 
# A religious student who has thus studied the vEdAs, followed all the rules and controlled his senses attains the region of brahmA and on his renouncing the body is never born agian in this world.









It would be just apt to read kANDa 11, Hymn 5 of the atharva vEdA which hails the fervent brahamachAree for his knowledge, sacrifice and  penance.


1. oÉëý¼ýcÉÉýUÏwhÉǶÉþUÌiÉý UÉåSþxÉÏ EýpÉå iÉÎxqÉþlSåýuÉÉ:xÉÇqÉþlÉxÉÉå pÉuÉÎliÉ xÉ SÉþkÉÉU mÉ×ÍjÉýuÉÏÇ ÌSuÉþÇ cÉý xÉ AÉþcÉÉýrÉïÇ1þý iÉmÉþxÉÉ ÌmÉmÉÌiÉï।                                                                                                                                                                                                 All  the dieties are one-minded in the brahmachAree who moves stirring the earth and the heaven.     He  establishes the earth and the heaven thereby  satisfying his AchArya.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               2. oÉëý¼ýcÉÉýËUhÉþÇ ÌmÉýiÉUÉåþ SåuÉeÉýlÉÉ: mÉ×jÉþaSåýuÉÉ AþlÉÑýxÉÇrÉþÎliÉý xÉuÉåïþ  aÉýlkÉýuÉÉï LþlÉýqÉluÉÉþrÉýl§ÉrÉþÎx§ÉÇzÉÎi§ÉzÉýiÉÉ: wÉþOèxÉWûýxÉëÉ: xÉuÉÉïýlixÉ                                                                                                                           SåýuÉÉÇxiÉmÉþxÉÉ ÌmÉmÉÌiÉï                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 All the pitRus, the dEvAs, the gandharvAs, the 33, 300 and 6000 dEvAs follow him in his                  journey.  He satisfies all the Gods with his asceticism.              

 3. AÉýcÉÉýrÉïý EmÉýlÉrÉþqÉÉlÉÉå oÉë¼cÉÉýËUhÉþÇ M×ühÉÑiÉåý aÉpÉïþqÉýliÉ: iÉÇ UɧÉÏþÎxiÉýxÉë EýSUåþ ÌoÉpÉÌiÉïý iÉÇ eÉÉýiÉÇ Sì¹ÒþqÉÍpÉýxÉÇrÉþÎliÉ SåýuÉÉ:।                                                                                                                                                                                                    The  AchArya welcomes the brahmachAree who has undergone upanayana and takes him into        his womb.  Three nights he bears him in his stomach and when he is born the dEvAs gather to          see  him.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     4. CýrÉÇ xÉýÍqÉimÉ×þÍjÉýuÉÏ ±Éæ̲ïýiÉÏrÉÉåýiÉÉliÉËUþ¤ÉÇ xÉýÍqÉkÉÉþ mÉ×hÉÉÌiÉ  oÉëý¼ýcÉÉýUÏ xÉýÍqÉkÉÉý qÉåZÉþsÉrÉÉý ´ÉqÉåþhÉ sÉÉåýMüÉÇxiÉmÉþxÉÉ ÌmÉmÉÌiÉï।                                                                                                                                                                                                 The earth is the first samidh (sacrificial stick), the heaven is the second samidh and the mid                region is  the third.  The brahmachAree who is initiated with the mEkhalA, learns the vEdAs and    performs  sacrifices with samidh.  With all these sincere toil and penance he satisfies all the three    worlds.       

 5. mÉÔuÉÉåïþ eÉÉýiÉÉå oÉë¼þhÉÉå oÉë¼cÉÉýUÏ kÉýqÉïÇ uÉxÉÉþlÉýxiÉmÉýxÉÉåSþÌiɸiÉç । iÉxqÉÉþ‹ÉýiÉÇ oÉëɼþhÉýÇ oÉë¼þ erÉåý¸Ç SåýuÉɶÉý xÉuÉåïþ AýqÉ×iÉåþlÉ xÉÉýMüqÉç ।                                                                                                                                                                                         The brahmachAree was born even before brahmA, out of vows of celibacy and self-control.               Through his  fervor and vEdic knowledge he begot amruta to all the gods, the life that lasts for          ever.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           6. oÉëý¼ýcÉÉýrÉåïýÌiÉ xÉýÍqÉkÉÉý xÉÍqÉþ®ý: MüÉwhÉïýÇ uÉxÉÉþlÉÉå SÏͤÉýiÉÉå SÏýbÉïzqÉþ´ÉÑ: ।  mÉÔuÉïþxqÉÉýSÒ¨ÉþUÇ xÉqÉÑýSìÇ sÉÉåýMüÉlixÉýÇaÉ×prÉý qÉWÒûþUÉýcÉËUþ¢üiÉç ।                                                                                                                                                                                          The brahmachAree clad in dark skin, long beared,  glowing with the brilliance by the oblations        of the samidAdhAnam  traverses the oceans thereby bringing the worlds near him or preaches        truth again and again to all men assembled to gether.   

 7. oÉëý¼ýcÉÉýUÏ eÉýlÉrÉýloÉë¼ÉýmÉÉå sÉÉåýMÇü mÉëýeÉÉmÉþÌiÉÇ mÉUqÉåý̸lÉþÇ ÌuÉýUÉeÉþqÉç । aÉpÉÉåïþ pÉÔýiuÉÉqÉ×iÉþxrÉý rÉÉålÉÉýÌuÉlSìÉåþ Wû pÉÔýiuÉÉxÉÑþUÉÇxiÉiÉWïû ।                                                                                                                                                                                                    The brahmachAree seated in the womb of immortal knowledge, along with his AchArya, his            AchArya's AchArya, the highest of all the Gods, becomes refulgent and destroys the evils like            Indra.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          8. AÉýcÉÉýrÉïýxiÉiɤÉý lÉpÉþxÉÏ EýpÉå CýqÉå EýuÉÏï aÉþqpÉÏýUå mÉ×þÍjÉýuÉÏÇ ÌSuÉþÇ cÉ  iÉå Uþ¤ÉÌiÉý iÉmÉþxÉÉ oÉë¼cÉÉýUÏ iÉÎxqÉþlSåýuÉÉ: xÉÇqÉþlÉxÉÉå pÉuÉÎliÉ ।                                                                                                                                                                                     God, the AchArya designed the earth and the heaven.  In the same way, the brahmachAree with     his penance preserves and protects the earth and the  heavenunder the guidance of his AchArya.     In him all the gods are one-minded or all the gods are  uniformally intent in supporting         and     blessing the brahmachAree. 

 9. CýqÉÉÇ pÉÔÍqÉþÇ mÉ×ÍjÉýuÉÏÇ oÉëþ¼cÉÉýUÏ ÍpÉý¤ÉÉqÉÉ eÉþpÉÉU mÉëjÉýqÉÉå ÌSuÉþÇ cÉ । iÉå M×üýiuÉÉ xÉýÍqÉkÉÉýuÉÑmÉÉþxiÉåý iÉrÉÉåýUÉÌmÉïþiÉÉý pÉÑuÉþlÉÉÌlÉý ÌuɵÉÉþ ।                                                                                                                                                                                             The brahmachAree first accepts this earth and the heaven as alms.  He then make these two as         samidh and worships God.  On this base do all living creatures reside.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             10. AýuÉÉïaÉýlrÉ: mÉýUÉå AýlrÉÉå ÌSýuÉxmÉ×ý¸ÉªÒWûÉþ ÌlÉýkÉÏ ÌlÉÌWûþiÉÉæý oÉëɼþhÉxrÉ । iÉÉæ Uþ¤ÉÌiÉý iÉmÉþxÉÉ oÉë¼cÉÉýUÏ iÉiMåüuÉþsÉÇ M×ühÉÑiÉåý oÉë¼þ ÌuÉý²ÉlÉç ।                                                                                                                                                                            Two treasures of knowledge are hidden; one here on the earth; the vEdAs and the other beyond      there; the God.  The brahmachAree guarding both of them with austerity and knowledge, attains    spiritual bliss.          




#1 V.NARAYANAN 2014-07-21 11:21
The technical details are fascinating. Thanks for the difficult work undertaken.
V.Narayanan//Nerul-Punit Park