[Advaita-l] Gurubala in Upanayana

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Tue Mar 31 11:23:21 CDT 2015

>but what about the Braahmana boy who is 10 years of age or older?

As upanayana is such a significant event where arguably the most important
mantra in the Veda is revealed to a brahmachArin boy, it is necessary for
favorable conditions to prevail during the event. Guru or Brihaspati is the
Graha that is generally auspicious and benevolent, governs learning in
general, and Vedic learning in particular. So it becomes important to
ensure this Graha is favorable towards the boy who is about to receive the
Gayatri mantra upadesha. This is the reason why our dharmashAstra texts
stress the need for Gurubala in upanayana. However, as is usually the case,
they also suggest a remedy if Gurubala is absent. And this remedy is the
Guru or Brihaspati shAnti, which consists of Brihaspati pUjA and homa. As
outlined in the dharmasindhu, the Guru shAnti has to be done once, twice,
or thrice, depending on the intensity of unfavorable position of Guru. To
clarify, as this was not clear in my last message, if Guru is the 1st, 3rd,
6th, or 10th position in transit, Guru shAnti is to be done once, if Guru
is the 4th or 12th, GurushAnti must be done twice, and if in the 8th, Guru
shAnti must be done thrice. Obviously, one will resort to this kind of
extraordinary effort only if one is compelled to complete the upanayana due
to some difficult situation, where postponing the upanayana is not an
option.  For example, Guru in the 4th this year will move to the 5th next
year, and if in the 8th, he will move to the 9th next year, obviating the
need for shAnti. Finally, there is also an opinion cited by the
nirNayasindhu (and dharmasindhu too) that Guru becomes favorable,
regardless of the presence or absence of Gurubala, when he (the planet
Jupiter) is in mIna, dhanus, or  karka (KarkaTaka). dharmasindhu:
karkadhanurmInarAshiShu chaturthAdisthAne api na doShaH. In fact, right now
Guru is in Karka and will be there until July 14, 2015.

Coming to the upanayana in the eighth year of the boy, there are varying
opinions regarding the situation when the boy does not have Gurubala. One
is that Gurubala is not important and even in its absence the upanayana may
be performed, since the eighth year is the mukhya kAla, the primary or
perfect time for the upanayana. The second opinion says it should be
performed in the chaitra-mAsa when sUrya is in the mIna rAshi (roughly
March 14 to April 14). The third opinion is that it may be performed with
Guru shAnti.

If the boy is older than 8 years, then all the rules regarding Gurubala
apply and GurushAnti has to be done in the case where he does not have
Gurubala, as outlined in the dharmasindhu.


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