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Hindu Yagnopavit Sanskar, Gujarat, India : Stock Photo
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Hindu Yagnopavit Sanskar, Gujarat, India - stock photo

Yagnopavit is one of the most important religious rites of Hindus. The ceremony is also called Upanayana, which means to bring (the pupil) near the teacher for initiation. In ancient times, the Upanayana ceremony was conducted for both boys and girls. It was a custom in Hindu tradition that when a child went to school (Gurukul or boarding-school in those days) to obtain education from his teacher, the first ritual done by his teacher was Yagnopavit sanskar. This meant that the child has obtained the right to education and performing rituals like Yagna, described as the noblest of deeds. The sacred thread or Janue is a symbol of purity and is a constant reminder to the person wearing it to follow the principles of a spiritual life. A Yagna or Havan is performed where offerings are made through Agni or fire to all the Gods and Goddesses who are invoked to bless the boy. Ancient Hindu texts specified an age for the Upanayana ceremony based on the caste. For Brahmins it is supposed to be eight. In some regions of modern India the ceremony is often conducted as an immediate precursor to wedding instead of during adolescence.
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