Sunday, 26 February 2012

It was HIS day

To be born as a human being is a very special gift of GOD because it is we who can relate ourselves and our relationship with HIM. And if the realisation of HIS presence and power is strong in us, then the path to liberation becomes more easy because when we realise that eveything is because of his iccha and than we are just puppet dolls in HIS hands, he comes down to lift us to his abode.

For a brahmin, specially a boy child, the upanayanam is a very important milestone in his life. He is called "dwija or twice born" as his bramhopadeshan is considered to be his second birth. Elders say that the right age is between 8 to 16. It is said that before kamam (desire) creeps in, one should have his upanayama conducted so that his thoughts become pure and his mind is trained in the right direction.

For me personally, I consider the transition of a boy from kumara to bramhachari as a very very special one. He becomes eligible to know bramha gyanam. A child who does his nitya karma with shraddha and bhakti is considered to be next to the sun god.

Shriram our first son is blessed to have this anugraham and to have his upanayanam done at the tender age of 8. Not all get this bhagyam. We are happy that he has been chosen to take this bramhacharya vratam early in life. We only hope that he lives upto it.

We decided to have this fucntion at home. It is recommended that all functions be undertaken at home because of this auspiciousness and goodness to the people at home. So, we decided to have this function at home with selected people attending it. Both, me and sundar were very excited about this. It is hard to believe that the kid who use to hold my dress and cry while going to his kinder garden, the kutti boy who used to play imaginary games like "auto-auto" and train games is going to have a huge responsibility of his shoulders. That kid for whom 24 hours is not sufficient for his playtime is going to be eligible for great studies. But shriram right from childhood has a good interest in listening to mythological stories and slokas. He has a good clarity in his pronounciation and an interest in learning. touch wood!!! This is the reason that triggered me and sundar to have his upanayam done early.

Since, we decided that the poonool kalyanam be done at home, it was a big job of co-ordinating everything. The catering, the  flower decoration, the video, the invtiations etc etc. The preparations started well in advance , I think, from the month of December. My parents took care of all purchases like silver puchase, the veshtis for the bramins, the gifts for badil maryadai, the gold/silver poonool for shriram and bakshanam.

At this point, I will be failing in my duties if I don't express my gratitude to my parents. They have been amazing source of strength and moral support to me right from the beginning. If not for them, I would not have been so confident in doing things. My father, an extremely disciplined man who has a never-say-no attitude. Even if it is lifting a mountain, he would do it in spite of his age of 68. A person of amazing positive attitude, I have never seen him using words like"cannot", "will not", "difficult" etc. There is a lot to be learnt from this man.

And my mother - she is an embodiment of patience. An equal match for my dad, always positive in her approach, a pious and a great hearted lady. Even a golden statue made like her will not have as much patience as herself and this is surely not an exaggeration.

My in-laws also have been a  great source of support to me and sundar. Pious and spiritual in their out look - I am happy that my children have the right environment to grow in. Encouraging and appreciative in whatever we do, I am blessed to get in-laws like them.

The function was conducted for two days. The first one called Naandhi and the actual upanayanam on the second day.Naandhi for fixed for 25th february, 2012 and the upanayanam was sheduled for 26th feb. As days were nearing it was getting all the more hectic and tiring and tense. As I have mentioned before,the local arrangement were completely taken care of by me and sundar. It was an enjoyable experience when you do things for your child all by yourself. I don't quote this with a sense of pride but with a feeling of happiness.  After all, whatever we do is GOD initiated and GOD executed. So, I have nothing to be proud of.

Naandhi is like a vratam where nine bramhanas chant vedic mantras and tie a sacred thread on the boy's hand. We have to honour each of the bramhanas as they signify the gods, the nine planets, the nine directions (I am not very sure of the exact significance)

The upanayanam is important in the sense that the bramhopadesham is done on this day. I will not elaborate on the rituals done as it is a known one and the sastrigal will direct accordingly. The gayathri mantram is taught to the boy in secrecy. This being a very very sacred mantra should not at any cost be told in public. These days people play the mantra as a song, teach these is schools which a very very great sin. One who doesn't not know the significance of any mantra should not chant them as it will show its ill-effect on the person who chants and on the one who teaches also. So, whoever reads this blog - you may or may not know it. Please spread the word that gayathri mantra should not be told in public, cannot be taught by anyone to anyone. Spead this meaage even if it comes to being a bit harsh. It is better to get a few rude words onto you rather than have wrong vibrations around you.

The biksha is another important and enjoyable sight to see. Shriram has to ask for bhiksha from people. In those days, boys were supposed to go from house to house and beg for alms and live only on them. Today the world is changed. It was a very cute sight to see when shriram said "bhavati biksham dehi".

The tiredness set in when all people left. The work of all those one week's of hard work was taking its toll on me and sundar. The task is not yet over, there is another one now to get shriram sit and do his daily duties.

People feel proud that their children do well in studies, in music, in dance, in sports etc etc., but when it comes to reciting daily prayers, it always takes a back seat and is compromised. If a child sings well or is good at any sport, it is easily recognized because this is something that gives you a material benefit like name, fame, money etc. But when it comes to chanting slokas or doing your daily duties, parents also compromise. Since these things don't give a direct visible material benefit, we do not know the impact of these in our lives. The name and fame we get is only for this life but the prayers that we do is going to save us for all our future births.

The very purpose of dividng the society into 4 sets of people is that the everyone is benefitted from this.  All people in the world be happy.

So, as a bramhin, one is supposed to do his nitya karma. One is not a bramhin just by birth but by his karma. He has to follow the rules laid out for him. He has to somehow do his duties in spite of his busy schedule. That is the commitment one has to show towards the almightly. Only if bramhins do their nitya karma and their duties, will the world be more happier place to live in. Like mentioned before, he is one who is entitled to get bramhagyanam. So, he has to make use of this opportunity and use it to the best of society.

I hope shriram realises this and lives upto what he is supposed to be.

Ram Ram

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