Upanayanam is a simple ceremony performed by people belonging to Brahmin community in Tamilnadu and nearby states like Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh in India.
Normally anybody who is witnessing the ceremony sill simply come to a conclusion that it is a simple garlanding the shoulders with thread.
In fact that as per the customs and culture followed in the community, the ceremony is performed on young adults between five to any age groups and it is restricted to only male members. The ceremony has to be conducted before he marries any girl. It proves that he is a strict bachelor following the strict rules and regulations stipulated in the four Vedas and strictly follows his brahmacharya vridham till he marries a girl.
Brahmacharya means keeping the virility. The virility which is kept in the body not wasted or misused in any form strengthens the body, mind and the soul apart from converting the person pure and pious.
Following are some of the different kinds of Upanayanams performed:
NAANDHIMUKHA CEREMONY: A ceremony performed to obtain the blessings of the ancestors of the family before the festive occasion of the Upanayanam
MATHRUBHOJANAM: The boy is fed along with mother and a brahmachari which indicate the boy’s transition from childhood to Brahmachariyam
CHOWLA HOMAM: By praying to the God of fire, agni, the child is blessed with long life, intellect, courage etc
UPANAYANAM: The father teaches his son the Gayathri mandra which is believed to the basis of all mantras. It is the essence of Rigveda, smaveda and YTajurveda. He is then declared a Brahmachari and ready to learn Vedas and scriptures
BRAHMOPADESAM: The Gayathri Manthira is a supreme manthra and protects those who recite it. The boy’s father becomes his guru and whispers into his ears this powerful “Gayathri Manthra”
BHIKSHAKARANAM: The boy symbolically asks for aims of rice from his mother and other women. Bhikshakaranam was done to make one humble and control the ego. It enables the young Vatu to control the senses, which is absolutely essential for receiving Vedic Knowledge
ABIVATHANAM: After Upanayanam the boy seeks the blessings of all the elders present by saluting them on their feet with sastaanga namaskaram. After namaskaram, the child introduces himself by his rishi, parampara, gothram, suthiram and name step by step. The first person chosen for abivathanam is ones own mother – one who has introduced him into this world.