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Is Poonal only ornamental?

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drsundaram

Well-known member
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.
 
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Sabesan Narayanaswami

Sabesan Narayanaswami

Active member
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...
 

SuryaKasyapa

Active member
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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Sabesan Narayanaswami

Sabesan Narayanaswami

Active member
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.
 

vidshankar

New member
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)
 

happyhindu

Well-known member
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.
 

sangom

Well-known member
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.
 

happyhindu

Well-known member
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..
 

sangom

Well-known member
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..
I am not aware what the practice among the Assamese is/was, but when we talk about the initial days of Hinduism or Vedism, we consider only up to the Doab.

In fact I don't claim that what I was given in my younger days must have been the skin of the krishNa mr^ga; it could as well have been that of a black goat or sheep!!
 
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nachi naga

Guest
i had a 'sambar deer skin' attached to my poonal,then in the late 70's.venison meat is also very nice.but tiger's skin is so rare as hunting is illegal now in india.anyway's poonal is symbolic representation just like 'thirumangalyam' which gives a visual display of dharma one is following.these are human made laws,which we call as shastras and sampradayas as traditions.the in-dweller in all of us is the divinity,which gets expressed in various forms.hara hara sankara jaya jaya sankara !
 

Brahmanyan

Well-known member
# Is Poonal only ornamental

Without going into merits or demerits of wearing Poonul, I wish to state, in today's context Poonul has only symbolic value for Brahmins, who have left their Varnasrama Dharma altogether. When we have left other symbols like Panchakacham, Udhariyam, Kudumi, even applying Vibhudi or Tirumann on the body, I do not understand why we stick on to Poonul alone.

Regards,
Brahmanyan.
 

sangom

Well-known member
Without going into merits or demerits of wearing Poonul, I wish to state, in today's context Poonul has only symbolic value for Brahmins, who have left their Varnasrama Dharma altogether. When we have left other symbols like Panchakacham, Udhariyam, Kudumi, even applying Vibhudi or Tirumann on the body, I do not understand why we stick on to Poonul alone.

Regards,
Brahmanyan.
Shri Brahmanyan Sir,

A very good point. I wear it simply out of habit.
 

Brahmanyan

Well-known member
Shri Brahmanyan Sir,

A very good point. I wear it simply out of habit.

Shri "Sangom",

Yes, I too continue to wear Poonul out of sentimental attachment to my father who performed my upanyanam when I was 13 and gave Brahmopadesam and initiated into Gayathri japam.

Thanks and Regards,
Brahmanyan,
Bangalore
 

Nara

Well-known member
...Yes, I too continue to wear Poonul out of sentimental attachment to my father who performed my upanyanam when I was 13 and gave Brahmopadesam and initiated into Gayathri japam.

Shri Brahmanyan and Sangom, I must confess as well, in spite of being an avowed free-thinker, I still wear the poonal. I change it off and on just like changing clothes. I don't want to break my father's heart more than what I have already done. Long time ago I saw a movie that ends with a boy removing his poonal and throwing it away. I can't see me doing that, not while my father is still around.

Cheers!
 
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?

I partially agree with Mr Swaminathan. It is the parents who have to guide their kids at formative years with right values and behaviour to ensure that these values are cherished by them for ever and passed on to next generation. The best way is to lead by example,i.e., to perform sandhyavandhanam himself so that children follow his path. Beyond teenage, once children realise the mportance of poonal and the sanctity attached to it, they will carry on the tradition.

It is here that forums like this can highlight the concern and address it. It is time we revisit and impress upon the children the right values.

Thanks for rekindling this debate and spreading the awareness.
 
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nachi naga

Guest
actually,i stopped wearing poonal untill my wife pointed out to me in a condescendig manner.i used to do japam ie gayathri mantram chanting minus the poonal.strange are the ways of god,now i am back like how i was in late 70's :) .but i admit,i realised matha pitha athithi daram guru deivam.'daram' as part of being a teacher was/is a new experiance which no one taught me as a upadesham,but life is itself a teacher and one's experiance is matchless.
 
Poonol= Yagnopaveetham=Brahma Sutram.

the middle knot brahma grandhi, the other possible can represent eda and the pingala nadis, and the middle thread the spinal chord or the sushmna, it was a great symbolization to make us always remember of the truth of the goal, the arising the kundalini and reaching the brahman,

Gayatri, is the supreme vidya because Gayatri's turiya pada is Sri Vidya Maha Panchadasi, thats what even sadasiva recites, well its all kali yuga and we all are happy to become sava and not siva,

regards,
rakesh
 

Nara

Well-known member
Dear rakesh, Greetings and welcome back to the forum....

....
Gayatri, is the supreme vidya because Gayatri's turiya pada is Sri Vidya Maha Panchadasi,
Why is Gayatri "supreme vidya"? I don't understand the reason you have given, namely, "Gayatri's turiya pada is Sri Vidya Maha Panchadasi". What does this mean and what is the significance? In what way does this make Gayatri into what you call, "supreme vidya"?

Full disclosure -- I consider myself a freethinking human, what some may like to call atheist/agnostic.

Cheers!
 
there are 4 levels of mind called jagrath, swapna, turiya, turiyatheetha, also can be called in modern psychology, conscious, sub-conscious, super-conscious/collective consciousness, now mantra is not just some word, there levels of sound as well, madhyama, vaikhari, pasyanthi, para pasyanti, now gayatri the one we recite can take us to the turiya state of mind, and gayatri mantra as we know has padams or words or stanzas i could not find an alternative for padam in english sorry :) now these padams are just a raw form if we go higher and higher and travel through our mind using this mantra we reach the crude and refined form called as bija akshar, bija is like a small letter or a combination of those eg: hreem, now this crude form of gayatri is what in Sri Vidya called as Panchadasi, this is available in Vari Vasya Rahasyam Text you can refer there.

Now why this is called supreme vidya, you can take any great soul of India, even the devas including Krishna the great avatar himself, they all have obtained this Sri Vidya, because this is the secret of this whole Universe, even Gandhi he himself got it from BotBhole Maharaj, and this Sri Vidya's starting can be from Gayatri, that is the reason why it is the most important mantra and called as veda mata.

if you need more information I can recommend you some books on mantra sastra I am not a good writer probably :)
 

Nara

Well-known member
Dear rakesh, greetings!

there are 4 levels of mind called jagrath, swapna, turiya, turiyatheetha, also can be called in modern psychology, conscious, sub-conscious, super-conscious/collective consciousness,
Is this a widely accepted theory, like say the germ theory of decease, etc., or do we have just your word for it?

now mantra is not just some word, there levels of sound as well, madhyama, vaikhari, pasyanthi, para pasyanti, now gayatri the one we recite can take us to the turiya state of mind,
All this seems to be based on faith. Faith is belief in something that ain't so. In the realm of faith, anything can be claimed, nobody can question.

Now why this is called supreme vidya, you can take any great soul of India, even the devas including Krishna the great avatar himself, they all have obtained this Sri Vidya, because this is the secret of this whole Universe, even Gandhi he himself got it from BotBhole Maharaj, and this Sri Vidya's starting can be from Gayatri, that is the reason why it is the most important mantra and called as veda mata.
All this sounds like self-serving mumbo jumbo. The secret of the universe is still to be unraveled. With due respects to the Mahatma himself, all this talk about supreme vidya contained in a trivial verse that pays obeisance to a mundane star, is lame.

Cheers!
 
I cannot help you on the matter of faith, this is a science, you are welcome to experiment it and see the results just like you follow science, now with regards to your first question I thought atleast you will google for those terms, since you did not find I found a good link for you,
read about this guy Carl Jung - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
and also abraham masloe's theories of hieararchy of human needs which says the 4th need is self-actualization converted to sanskrit is atma sakshatkaram,

it is very pathetic to see that when one quote the rishis of India our grandsons of the same rishis today say they were faith and not truthful but if they listen to einstein or schrodinger they are happy to listen to whatever they say without any verification because that is scientific and rational., now rishi is also scientific and rational, just that our great grand sons did not catch his rational since you require like western science, here is the substratum of modern science, modern science thought matter was the basis of universe then came matter is condensed form of energy, and then question arised where did energy came from?? now MR. stephen hawkins has explained in the latest articles may be energy came from consciousness, and thats what our poor rishis in forest without any laboratory equipment discovered as bodham or atma bodham, so i thought MR. Naren has got some insight into moder psychology and modern science, I think you need to go back to 10th class chemistry and study the basic of thermodynamics about entropy as well Best of Luck :)



Dear rakesh, greetings!

Is this a widely accepted theory, like say the germ theory of decease, etc., or do we have just your word for it?

All this seems to be based on faith. Faith is belief in something that ain't so. In the realm of faith, anything can be claimed, nobody can question.

All this sounds like self-serving mumbo jumbo. The secret of the universe is still to be unraveled. With due respects to the Mahatma himself, all this talk about supreme vidya contained in a trivial verse that pays obeisance to a mundane star, is lame.

Cheers!
 
Now you can also argue that mine is subjective and not objective, now thats basic argument against faith, since faith is subjective and not objective, and then i will also have to inform you that modern physics is subjective and not objective, the physics of objective was classical physics after quantum physics it is all subjective, there is a famous paradox in quantum workd called as EPR paradox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia which was developed to counter the heisenbergh's principle but in the end of the experiment somehow 2 photons emitted from 2 different locations A and B communicate with each other and they still can only measure either the velocity or the position of both of them together and not in seperate scientist called in paradox the answer for non answerable questions and from the experiment it is clear science also subjective and not objective.

regards,
rakesh
 

Nara

Well-known member
.... but in the end of the experiment somehow 2 photons emitted from 2 different locations A and B communicate with each other and they still can only measure either the velocity or the position of both of them together and not in seperate scientist called in paradox the answer for non answerable questions and from the experiment it is clear science also subjective and not objective.
Folks, If this isn't a classic example of conflating the issue, constructing straw man and arguing about it, then there is none.

Apparent paradoxes that seem to have no rational explanation are at least consistently observable. Here is a book by Richard Feynman "QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter" that gives a glimpse into a whole slew of apparent paradoxes. But, the effect of Vedic manthras are just claimed, it is not observable, consistently or otherwise. No attempt has been made to study these effects systematically. But all the same, fantastic claims are thrown about with gay abandon.

Let me state it as clearly as I can, these two, (i) claimed effect of Vedic Manthras, and (ii) paradoxes for which no rational explanation exists today, are completely unrelated, have nothing to do with each other.

Our hoary rishis did not speak in one voice. There were plenty of rishis who rejected Vedas and the claims of efficacy of Vedic manthra/Vedic rituals outright. Also, science is just science, there is no western science and eastern science. Some of our "grandfathers" were great scientists and made crucial contribution to scientific knowledge in all kinds of fields such as mathematics, astronomy, medicine, etc. We won't be what we are today but for these advancements.

But, leaving all this aside, Rakesh made a grand declaration that Gayatri is the (emphasis mine) supreme vidya. Now he says it is a matter of faith and so on. Faith is believing in something that is not so.

Cheers!
 
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