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What is Upanayan or Yajnopaveet Sanskar & Why is it important?


What is Upanayan or Yajnopaveet Sanskar & Why is it important?

Upanayan Sanskar is also known as yajnopaveet Sanskaar or Janeu Sanskar as known popularly today. Upanayan sanskar has been given great importance out of all 16 Sanskars, in a man’s life as per per our holy scriptures.

Now a days people do not understand the real importance of this ritual and some either do not do at all. Some other just get it done before the marriage as its necessitated by Brahmans performing the marriage. In that case it is actually just a ritual for them.

Upanayan , is made from two words, ‘Up=The other or alternate’ , ‘Nayan-Eyes‘. So it literally means ‘the Other eye’.  Or the person gone through Upanayan sanskar is having the other eye.  Apart from the two physical eyes that nature has provided to us; there is  more powerful ‘Third eye’ known as ‘Ajna chakra’. So person undergone Upanayan, has his third eye active.


In olden days we had Enlightened Gurus who used to open the third eye of the disciple before doing the Upanayan Sanskar and then as a symbol a 3 stranded Janeu ( Yajnopaveet sutra ) was given to them . This Janeu was the symbol that their third eye is open and they are formally receiving education at Gurkul. They were imparted with spiritual and other practical skills of those times.

This Upanayan sanskar was done at young age before the commencement of their formal education at Gurukul.

A person was allowed to participate in yajna only after he had undergone his Upanayan /Yajnopaveet sanskar.

Now lets see the meaning of Yajnopaveet. Yajnopaveet is made from tow words ‘Yajna-Holy homa ritual(or any Act of effort to associate with divinity)’,  &  ‘Upaveet= To Sit’. This means that person can take part in any Yajna only if he gone through the Upanayan Sanskar or Yajnopaveet. Otherwise he was not allowed to participate in Yajna.

Rightly so , the Marriage Sanskar is again a yajna; we ignite fire ; invoke devas to bless the couple. Therefore Yajnopaveet before marriage is considered must in Hindu custom.

Now days we do not find enlightened masters easily and Upanayan sanskar is done with mantras. Gayatri mantra is formally given to the native. He chants this regularly as advised by the priest, still he will get benefits in time adn due course.

Upanayan / Yajnopaveet Sanskaar are still very important and should be done early, after 7 years and before teenage, given the current situation.


Please also see following article related to Yajnopaveet:

यज्ञोपवीत की आवश्यकता और महत्व





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