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Shree Ghanshyam Maraj’s Yagnopavit Anniversary
Shri Hari’s thread ceremony; instructions to an avowed celibate.
That Brahmin was keen and intent on conducting his son’s sacred-thread ceremony, for which he began to gather required materials even from distant states. 1.
Then he called on the astrologer and honoured him with saffron, flowers, clothes and money. He offered him fruits and jewels and enquired about the auspicious time of his son’s thread ceremony. 2.
The astrologer advised that he may perform the ceremony in the 8th year from his birth, in the month of Phalguna on the tenth day of the first half of the month, Monday, when there is Pushya star and Mesha Lagna. 3.
When he heard the astrologer’s opinion, he accepted it fully and then wrote auspicious invitations to his relatives, friends and companions. 4.
Following the invitation, they came there with gifts brought in by carts, horses and other means of transportation. With an eagerness to see Krishna they arrived there with their kin and retinue. 5.
Welcoming and honouring the guests deservedly, he gifted away new clothing and ornaments to his relatives, on the happy occasion of his son’s thread ceremony. 6.
He sent forth noble messengers with honourable gifts to distant places, to invite Vedic scholar Brahmins, virtuous people and those well versed in Puranas and Shastras, and even poets. 7.
Great Brahmins as lustrous as the sun due to their learning, the native Brahmins and Brahmins who were experts in the Vedas and Agamas headed by the family priests began to perform the ritual in accordance with Gobhila School. 8.
Day and night the musical instruments were played in the house of Dharmadeva, along with the groups of ladies singing melodious songs. 9.
O King, Dharma gave three cows to compensate the three Kuchera vow to be observed to enable himself to perform the ritual of his son’s thread ceremony. The three Kruchhra vows were reputed to pacify the blemishes done by lustfully eating, speaking and behaving, by his son. Hence to get rid of these defaults, father gave away three more cows as gifts. 10-11.
The proceeding day of the ceremony, Dharma performed supplementary rituals, like Matru Puja, Nandimukha, Svastyayan and Grahashanti. Then he offered delicious pure food to Brahmins and pleased them. 12.
Then he, on the day of Dashami (tenth day of the month) early in the morning, washed and cleaned the front portion of his house and placed a platform there. Then he placed the fire named ‘Samudbhava’ in it and worshipped it. 13.
Knowing all the required rituals to be performed, as per his branch of the Vedas, and family tradition, Dharma performed all the rituals, according to instructions of Brahmins who were well-versed in those rituals. 14.
First taking bath, then, food, Shri Hari, again took bath after the tonsuring rite. Then he was well ornamented by his mother. Father made Shri Hari ready for further rites, who sat humbly to his right. 15.
An auspicious girdle was tied around his waist and dressed up with a small strip of cloth. Then he was given the ‘sacred thread’ having three thin strings made by the new pure cotton. 16.
Then the priest reciting the hymns ‘Agne Vratapate -Ajyahuti and others, put offerings into the sacrificial fire and touching his body-parts like navel’ told him `From today you have become a celibate here’. 17.
Dharmadev preaches the commandments of BrahmacShri Haris.
The instructions given by the preceptor in the form of hymns were explained to Shri Hari by his father, in detail accordingly. ‘O My son, you do enkindle the sacred fire by offering sacred wood sticks in mornings and evenings, but without fail in the evening. ‘You do Aposhan’ always before and after the meal. (Aposhan- taking water in the right palm, three times and drinking it). Do not sleep during day time and try to be at the service of your guru always. 18-19.
Thus explained by his father, Shri Shri Hari, with a smile replied loudly ‘I will obey all these instructions’ At that time Dharma and his wife and relatives were very pleased. 20.
The ritualistic priest tied a thin girdle of Munja grass, encircling thrice around his waist. Shri Hariprasad (Dharma) put three knots on the girdle to represent three generations of his ancestors (Pravara). 21.
Preaching of Gayatri Mantra.
Father sitting to the north of the sacred fire, facing east, on the base of Kusha grass, its tips (of blades) pointed toward the north, taught Gayatri hymn to his son, who was sitting on the same base facing west. 22.
Then loud beatings of large drums were heard. Various musical instruments were played from all over the places. The words of blessing ‘Jaya Jaya’ (i.e. Victory…victory) of Brahmins were mixed with the songs, sung by the groups of women and the whole atmosphere had become ever auspicious. 23.
The preceptor gave a Mulberry (Palasha) staff of the length up to his head, with the recitation of hymns, then gave him an upper garment of deerskin, and taught him the ritual of offering prayers to the sun in the morning, noon and evening, to be followed daily. 24.
There was a difference of opinion among the learned Brahmins gathered there, as to what should be the prayers offered first, for the mid-day or the evening, by Shri Shri Hari on that day. Dharma told persistently that mid-day prayer should be offered at that instance. 25.
The ritual-orders given by the preceptor to Shri Shri Hari were explained again to him by Dharma who was very eager to obey them. 26.
He taught him accordingly ‘O My Son, avoid all sinful acts, be obedient to your teacher, avoids anger and lies, and the relation of eight sorts, with women. 27.
‘Do not listen to the songs, dances of bad taste and other music. Do not smear any perfumery substances like sandal-paste or oil onto your body, and avoid the use of collegiums. Do not wash your feet rubbing on each other. 28.
‘O, my son, in the presence of your preceptor or any elder person, do not sit on a high-seat. Do not pay much attention to cleaning your teeth and hair with combing etc. Without any reason do not cut your hair and do not make marks on the floor. 29.
‘Never touch wine or meat. Do not use the bullock-cart. Do not behave wishfully. Do not see in the mirror. Do not criticize others. Do not use footwear and umbrella. 30.
‘Do not resort to doing violence; even by words. Moreover, to get rid of the sorrows or pains, do not commit suicide. O, my son, don’t be in bad company. Do not eat food in bell- metal plate or on a plain floor. 31.
‘Avoid gambling, Tambul – intoxicating drugs, garlic and onion, and others. Never blame or condemn a cow, Brahmin, religious places, gods, saints, noble women and sacred books. 32.
‘O, my son, always wear the strip of cloth around your waist, the sacred girdle and have a rod and the sacred thread, the water pot, the deerskin and the utensil to have alms (Bhiksha). 33.
‘Do take bath, offer prayers to the sun, do the chanting, perform a sacrifice (Homa), do self-study, offer oblations to ancestors and gods, worship Vishnu to your ability, be devoted to the lord in nine ways like listening, praising and so on, always. 34.
Thus taught by the father, Shri Hari said ‘alright’. Paying tributes to the shining sun with raised hands, he then circumambulated the sacred fire. 35.
O, King! First Bhakti gave alms to her son, who himself had begged (her) than other lady friends of Bhakti, beginning with house-wives, gave alms to him with love. 36.
Shri Hari giving all those offerings (Bhikshu) to the preceptor then took from him what was offered. The all ritualistic Dharma concluded the ceremony in accordance with rituals. 37.
Being consecrated through all the rituals, Shri Shri Hari, in celibate attire, seemed like a gleaming sun. He was celibacy-personified among those noble Brahmins. 38.
At the end of the ceremony, the Brahmin Shri Hariprasad (Dharmadeva) earnestly gave golden coins, cows, clothing, ornaments, and vehicles to the Brahmins generously. Then the relatives and friends gave him clothes, wealth, and he in return gave those clothes and other things. 39.
He offered well prepared, various, pure delicious foods of their choice to the natives of the town, and Brahmins who had come to his house. He gratified them with great gifts and sends them. Being very happy, he commenced teaching the Vedas to his son with meanings as well. 40.
Thus ends the thirtieth chapter entitled ‘Narration of Shri Hari’s thread ceremony’ in the first Prakarana of Satsangi Jivan, the life story of Lord Narayan, also titled as ‘Dharmashastra’ (the rules of the code of conduct). 30