[Advaita-l] Advaita-l Digest, Vol 70, Issue 10

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue May 11 04:50:38 CDT 2010


In some smriti, Manu (?) there is this verse:

purAkalpe kumArINAm maunjIbandhanam Iritam
sAvitreem cha gaayatreem.....  (it is very long since I heard this verse and
have since forgotten!!)

which says that in olden days, kalpa, girls were invested with the sacred
thread and the Gayatri initiation was also there.

However, in the present kalpa, times, that practice is not there.

Recently I heard in a discourse that in the Ramayana, Kausalya was
performing a homa when Rama came to tell her about his imminent departure to
the forest.  Someone familiar with the Valmiki Ramayana could confirm this
and the exact event.

An internet search for the word 'purAkalpe' yielded this result:


The Girls’ right to Upanayan: In the ancient times there was a practice of
performing the thread ceremony (Upanayan) in girls as well. A mention of
this made in the Kurma Puran as

*Purakalpe hi narinnam maujibandhanmeeritam I*
* *

Meaning: In ancient times (kalpa) thread ceremony for women was recommended.

The father, paternal uncle or brother would impart knowledge to the girl.
However, other men were prohibited from doing this task. A celibate girl
(brahmacharini) would ask for alms in her own household. Manu (2.66) states
that the thread ceremony on girls was performed without a mantra. From this,
it appears that since Manu’s times this custom slowly started declining.

In the succeeding age, the panigrahan sanskar (rite) performed by the
bridegroom on the girl was the main sanskar. The upanayana chapter of the
sanskar-Ratnamala mentions the following two types of women based on the
quotes from ‘Haritsmruti’: 1. Brahmavadini – the one who is desirous of
studying the Brahman principle. Her thread ceremony should be performed and
she should be allowed to study the Vedas. 2. Sadyovadhu – one who wants a
wordly life. Her marriage should be arranged soon after the thread ceremony
is performed. Even today followers of the Arya Samaj perform the thread
ceremony (Upanayan) on girls.


On Tue, May 11, 2010 at 10:04 AM, amith vikram <vikram.amith at gmail.com>wrote:

> namaste,
> can women chant gayatri mantra?
> and also pls tell the reasons and where its mentioned
> thanks,
> amith

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