[Advaita-l] UpanayanaRe: Places to buy Sanskrit books/puja items in Mumbai?

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 31 14:38:46 CST 2015

If I can share the discussions I have the following understanding.
The boy should be 7 years old (i.e., he he is past his 7th birthday). Alternatively he should be 7 years and 3 months old (i.e., he is past 8 years from the time of conception). In exceptional cases the time can be relaxed to 5 years, as was the case of Adi Shankaracharya. The upper limit of age is 11 years and after that upanayana can be performed only by doing prayachhitta.

There has to be auspicious time too and particularly the drishti of "Brihaspati" should be there at the time of the Upanayana and an astrologer / priest gives that advice. According to some, the "Shukra" should also have dristi, as Shukra is the knower of all the Shastras (refer  to the Navagraha-mantra). Shukra was even a guru of Brihaspati's son.
As regards the Gayatri japa, what I understand is that 1,000 (1,008) japas is for purification of this birth and another 1,000 (1,008) japas for purification of the past birth. Gayatri japa of 100,000 times is, of course, very special. It issaid that Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya succeeded in his efforts to establish the Benares Hindu University, only after he did 100,000 times Gayatri japa on the bank of Ganga.
Regards,Sunil KB

     On Saturday, January 31, 2015 11:37 AM, Jaldhar H. Vyas via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

 [was: Places to buy Sanskrit books/puja items in Mumbai?]

On Sat, 10 Jan 2015, Animesh via Advaita-l wrote:

> Another thing I want to ask ( I'm sorry if it is personal ) will you
> perform upanayan of you son in Orthodox manner . I mean to say strictly
> according to pAraskara grihya sutra or in accordance with current
> practices ( I mean to say is including lokAchara of Gujaratis where
> several folk practices { family ritual etc } are included.  I have herd
> of several practices like processions of boy whose is to be initiated {
> if I'm not wrong it is called varaghodA } , haridra snAna of boy ( haldi
> ) .

Dharma is based on shruti, smrti, and shistachara.  To strictly follow the 
sUtra without current practices would actually be the _opposite_ of 
orthodox.  And Maharshi Paraskara would be the first to agree.  For 
instance in discussing the appropriate age for Upanayana, the sutra says:

aShTavarShaM brAhmaNamupanayediti | garbhA.aShTame vA |  ...  yathA 
ma~NgalaM vA sarveShAm |

"A Brahmana should receive upanayana at 8 years.  Or eight from 
conception.[1] [Then after giving the ages for Kshatriyas and Vaishyas] 
Or for all[2] whenever it is auspicious."

[1] i.e. the nine months of pregnancy can be counted as one year making 
seven the right age.

[2] All the traivarnikas that is.

In the last sutra "whenever it is auspicious" is understood to mean 
"according to Shistachara." This is just one example to show there is 
quite a bit of flexibility (though hardly anything goes.)  My son is ten 
years old.  When he was younger he had a speech impediment that would have 
left him unable to pronounce the mantras correctly.  The doctors said that 
it would clear up by itself so we decided to wait until it did and I don't 
believe we violated any norms by doing so.  Still, in the main, the vidhi 
will follow the sUtra.  One notable exception is that the brahmachAris' 
upavastra is supposed to be a kR^iSNAjIna or skin of a black antelope. 
Quite apart from finding such a thing, contemporary Hindu norms are dead 
set against leather items being allowed into sacred areas.  This is 
another example of why we have to look at tradition and consult elders not 
just read books.

"pIThI choLwu" or haridra snana is considered an integral part of this 
ceremony nowadays so we will be doing that.  The varghoDA procession is 
more to do with marriage not janoi.  There are some other "folk" 
traditions which will be done as well.

> Another thing I would like to mentioned , while in previous discussion
> on tarpan , I have mentioned of difference between current practices and
> authentic pratices of sukla yajurveda , In shukla yajurvediya
> bramhakarma I have found a pAraskarokta prayoga of sandhyavandan of
> sukla yajurveda.  I have checked the prayoga, it is authentic and
> strictly follows pAraskara's trikandikA snAna sutraM.

Yes the prayoga books describe this as "sUtrokta trikAlasandhyA" and this 
is usually the way I do sandhyavandana.  My guruji said most of the other 
stuff that is added today is to do with the upasana of Gayatri Devi and is 
of tantric origin.  Nevertheless he taught me the full way too.  I don't
regard one as being more "authentic" than the other as both are supported by

> I would like to hear your reply and if you want then I will mail you the
> prayoga text's pdf

Yes please do (to my personal address not the list.  The list server will 
reject it.)

On Mon, 12 Jan 2015, Anand Hudli via Advaita-l wrote:

> An important preparation for the upanayana, to be done by the father of the
> Vatu, is that he must do a large number of Gayatri mantra japas before he
> does the mantra upadesha to his son, during the ceremony. I myself did
> about two lakh japas before my son's upanayana. If one does 1008 japas in
> every sitting for SandhyA, it is not hard to cross the two lakh figure in
> 100 days, or at least one lakh in 50 days, assuming 2 SandhyAvandanas per
> day. I heard the one lakh as the minimum number, so I guess it is fine to
> exceed it.

According to the prayoga books I have, the minimum is 12,000.  (About 111 

> I realize this requirement could be of modern origin, because many people
> or fathers-of-vatu-to-be are not even doing the sandhyA regularly, or even
> if they do it they might not be doing the standard 108 japas.

The samkalpa for this vidhi suggests that doing this japa absolves the 
father of defects in their dvijatva and confers the adhikara to perform 
upanayana for their son.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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