” vEdArAmbham वेदारम्भं ” means commencing the vEdic studies. Once the upanayanam is performed, the student stays in his preceptor’s house or in a vEda pATashALa. He performs sandhyAvandanam and samidAdhAnam daily. He also performs brahma yagyam by reciting the sAvitree mantra daily. But for the commencement of the vEdic mantrAs, he has to wait until his preceptor chooses an auspicious day. The usual practice is to start the vedic lessons on the adhyAyOpAkarmA day otherwise called the upAkarmA day.
vEdArambham has been mentioned as a samskArA only by Sage vyAsa.
vyAsa smRuti 1.24 says:-
पुण्येऽह्नि गुर्वनुज्ञात: कृतमन्त्राहुतिक्रिय:
puNyE ahni gurvanugyAta: kRutamantrAhutikriya:
smRutva OmkArancha gAyatreemArabhed vEdamAdita: .
On an auspiscious day, after having obtained the permission of his preceptor, he should give oblations into the sacred fire (agni) with mantras and commence the study of the vEdAs by reciting the OmkAra followed by the gAyatree.
But it has been a practice to start the vEdic lessons on the upakarmA/adhyAyOpAkarmA day. Infact the upAkarmA is an annual ritual performed for the beginning of the new semester of vEdic lessons. For the newly initiated child it will be the “prathamOpAkarmA प्रथमोपाकर्मा “. Please read related article under upAkarmA under nityakarmA section for more info.
vEdArambam is performed once the child has been initiated with the yagyOpaveeta. He starts his vedic lessons under a Guru/AchArya who has qualified under a vedic pAThashAlA.
The students’ AcharyA or a guru conducts the prathamOpAkarmA. (first upAkarmA) A general procedure is given below:-
- snAnam, sandhyAvandhanam.
- vapanam/chaulam, snAnam, mAdhyAhnikam, brahma yagyam.
- yagyOpaveeta dhAraNam.
- maunjee, ajina, daNDa dhAraNam.
- Rushi/devaTA/pitRu tarpaNam.
- adhyayana hOmam with Ajya bhAga Ahutis.
- vEdArambham (The AchArya teaches the first verses form the vEdAs)