Second Birth!!

By | November 18, 2012

Upanayana or the second birth ceremony was a great rite performed whereby a Hindu boy in ancient times became a full member of his class and of the society. This was a very elaborate ceremony. This rite was performed by only three upper castes namely Brahmins, Ksatriyas and vaisyas. The ceremony was not strictly performed as the time passed because of the elaborate nature. Also, during this ceremony, Gayatri mantra was whispered in the ear of the initiate by the Brahman performing the ceremony.

It is verse from a hymn of Rg. Veda addressed to old solar God Savitr and is still looked on as the most holy passage of that most holy text. It is repeated in all religious ceremonies and rites and has a position in Hinduism rather like the Lord’s Prayer in Christianity except that it may be uttered by the higher three castes.
Tat Savitur vareniam,
bhargo devasya dhimahi,
dhiyo yo nah pracodayat.

Let us think on the lovely splendor,
of the God Savitr,
that he may inspire our minds
All these rites also indicate that caste system was very strongly practised and people belonging to the lowest strata were sidelined and kept aside from the mainstream. They were supposed to do only menial jobs. Although the caste and creed has been done away with in the modern democratic set up of our country, but even the political parties keep these things alive to earn the votes.

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