Significance of Sutta Punav (Avani Avittam)

BrahminSutta Punav (Rigveda Upakarma or Avani Avittam) on 20th August 2013 is celebrated by the renewal of the Sacred Thread or Janwa.

Hindus wear a new holy thread and offer libations of water to the ancient Rishis on this day. The day is auspicious because as per Indian mythology Vishnu was incarnated as Hayagriva, the god of knowledge, the one who restored the Vedas to Brahma.

The “yajno pavitam” (the sacred thread) of the Hindu, is the outward and visible mark that the wearer is a Dvija, or twice-born. It is a very much prized and a very sacred badge and commands respect and even adoration. The Sutra (Sutta) (another name for the sacred thread) is worn on the shoulder, usually hanging over the left shoulder and down across the chest around the right hip. This is given to an individual after the sacrament or initiation of upnayana or thread-ceremony.

Contrary to popular misconception, the sacred thread is not confined to Brahmins. So every wearer of the sacred thread must not necessarily be a Brahmin. Kshatriyas and Vysyas wear it. The goldsmiths, the weavers, certain classes of fishermen and others wear it.

Ancient scriptures say: “The sacrificial thread of a Brahmin must be made of cotton, so as to be put on over his head in three strings; that of a Kshatriya of sana thread only; that of a Vaisya of woollen…

(Excerpts from my book: MANTRAS and RITUALS: THE LOGIC OF HINDU SCIENCE. For further reading: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B093Z2M52M ) You may visit Amazon site of your respective country and search “B093Z2M52M”

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Udaylal Pai

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