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  1. #1
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    Is Poonal only ornamental?

    It has become a fashion these days among youngsters not to wear the Yagnopaveedam(poonal).I dont know how it started but many boys think it is unnecessary as they are not doing sandhyavandanam.It has become ornamental only and many wear only on their wedding day.
    It is a sad state of affairs.
    Any views Please?
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    Definitely the awarenes and importance of poonal is not inculcated by parents. Because in most cases the parents themselves are not conscious about poonal and also do not perform regularly sandhyavandhanam. In a matter where they are not serious about how can they impose on children or how the boy will listen/follow it . Moreover from society view points also more credentials are given to a boy who has scored good marks , performs well in some Fine Arts etc etc than to see whether he is peforming basic requirments of daily sandhyavandhan, doing parisheshanam before eating etc have taken a far back seat. In many instances Upanayanam is just performed just to satisfy some elders or to meet some family obligation and with no underlying faith. It is , the parents who should held responsible for this state of affairs, boys, I THINK.. After all what we preach and practise, that will be so with offsprings.
    A good friend of mine who has a a daughter working in MNC as software engineer hailing from from orthodox religious respecting family; he is looking for a boy who does thrilkala sandhyavandhanam. Myself with others have been advising him to loosen his regidity looking for thrikala but once a day atleast. He is still getting such a boy despite one and half years search. Now with pain he has understod he has to compromise his standards.
    Last edited by drsundaram; 03-11-2009 at 07:05 AM.
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  4. #3
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    Thanks Mr. Swaminatha sarma and Dr Sundaram for your views.Elsewhere in another thread I saw the meaning of Poonal
    > Customs and Traditions > Rituals, Ceremonies and Pujas » the meaning of Sacred thread
    Hope others will continue with their inputs...
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  6. #4
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    Namaskaarams,

    (First I offer my apologies in writing something personal.But I thought that is the best way to explain the point).

    My son's upanayanam was conducted in the 8th-9 th yr of age ( vaadhyaar said that was the right time).

    I sourced out possible material on Upanayanam . and made available copies at the reception(entrance) desk,explaining all the rituals with their significance in sequntial order of occurrence and the spirit behind Upanayanam. As there were NBs and NHs attending the ceremony, it was welcomed by everybody,and spurred some interest in then recently -had-upanayanam boys also. as well as next-in-line s .
    This is only a small hint from personal experience.


    Greetings.
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  8. #5
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    I must compliment you Shri Suryakasyapa for the way you conducted the Upanayanam.Nowadays good literature is available for all types of Religious functions/Ceremonies.It is a good effort worthy of emulation.Keep it up.
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  10. #6
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    Do you have a copy of that book with you?
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    i agree, lots of rituals and customs remain unexplained...am trying to find the significance of wearing a Poonal, ...some of the othe communities also wear the sacred thread like for e.g., the parsis where in both men and women wear a thread...so, there must be a scientific reason for lots of the customs we do...some borrowed from other cultures while some may be a response specific to a condition like when we do "achamanyam" before eating a meal, the water drops around the " Vazhai ilay" is supposed to prevent ants from entering food ( it could be 'coz our condition is we sit on ground and eat food in a leaf)
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  14. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by vidshankar View Post
    i agree, lots of rituals and customs remain unexplained...am trying to find the significance of wearing a Poonal, ...some of the othe communities also wear the sacred thread like for e.g., the parsis where in both men and women wear a thread...so, there must be a scientific reason for lots of the customs we do...some borrowed from other cultures while some may be a response specific to a condition like when we do "achamanyam" before eating a meal, the water drops around the " Vazhai ilay" is supposed to prevent ants from entering food ( it could be 'coz our condition is we sit on ground and eat food in a leaf)
    Me too wonder how and why did threads come to be used for religious purposes. Threads are used for upanayanam, kankanam (during wedding), raksha-bandhan, threads are worn around the waist and so on..All pics of baby Krishna portray him with a thread around his wait -- the zorasthrians too use a sacred thread girdle (kusti) around waist -- but i have not heard of north indians putting threads around a baby boy's waist.

    Regards.
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  16. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyhindu View Post
    Me too wonder how and why did threads come to be used for religious purposes. Threads are used for upanayanam, kankanam (during wedding), raksha-bandhan, threads are worn around the waist and so on..All pics of baby Krishna portray him with a thread around his wait -- the zorasthrians too use a sacred thread girdle (kusti) around waist -- but i have not heard of north indians putting threads around a baby boy's waist.

    Regards.
    I have read, quite some time ago, that in the very early stages of Hinduism, poonal was not there. The child was taken by one the authorized guardians to a guru (teacher) whom the guardians considered best and the guru accepted the child as Sishya. This is what in essence is upanayanam. After being taught all the vidyas which, in the opinion of the guru the sishya had aptitude and capability to absorb, the guru advised him to return to his family. This brahmacari was given a special welcome at the entrance of the village with "madhuparkam" served to him. Thereafter a brahmin brahmacari used to be given a krishnAjina skin to be worn over his left shoulder as a mark of a qualified brahmin (something like the convocation dress of modern times). All people wore krishnAjina (a similar custom is reported to be prevalent among some African tribes also, but they use skins of animals which they consider meritorious to wear).

    In the course of time krishNAjina became scarce and hence the practice of wearing it got restricted to essential ritual occasions and wearing of a cotton cloth (in the case of brahmins). Subsequently even getting one full krishNAjina skin for one family became difficult and then a piece of krishNAjina skin was tied to the cotton cloth in the case of unmarried men. This also changed subsequently and instead of cotton cloth, a set of three cotton threads called "yajnopaveetam" (upper covering for yajna or sacrificial rites) with the piece of the krishNAjina tied to it, became the norm. BTW, this was the practice during my younger days and at each AvaNi aviTTam day the bachelors used to be given a smal bit of (supposed) krishNAjina to be tied to the poonal with the chanting of mantra.

    The cotton poonal with the number of poonals, the presence or absence of krishNAjina served as a ready-made bar code for any one to identify the caste and marital status of the man.

    The kshatriyas and vaisyas were supposed to wear poonals of hemp wool etc.
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  18. #10
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    Dear Sir,

    From what i hear (hearsay only), attaching the krishNAjina skin to the thread was started by the atharva-vedis. Is that true?

    Also the geographic outlay of the Krishna Deer / Blackbuck did not extend to northeast india apparently. So wonder what are the brahmins of assam, and those areas using today..
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