There are two symbols of Hindu Dharma, one is Shikha (distinctive lock of hair on the crown of the head) and the other is sootra. Sootra means Yogyopaveet or sacred thread. Just as in the context of devotion for one's own country there is a national flag, so also, Shikha is like a flag of divine culture on the fortress of human brain. Religious communities have their respective flags. The idol of Lord Shiva can be installed merely by placing a circular stone on a platform. Shikha is like a banner of Gayatri Mata installed on the top of the head, so that it may always be kept in mind that the entry of evil thoughts is panned in this area and only righteous thoughts are welcome.
In Hindu Dharma, Mundan, in which the hairs on the head of a child are shaved, is regarded as an important ceremony. In fact, this is a celebration of installation of Shikha which is formed by removing other hair on the head. Human body is regarded as a temple on which Shikha is established like a banner.
Yagyopaveet, an Image of Gayatri
Yagyopaveet is also called Brahma-sootra. Thread is also called sootra. The authors of Vyakran, darshan, religious scriptures and several other ancient treatises have tried to express their purport in very brief, concise sentences in Sanskrit. Detailed commentaries, annotations have been written on these sootras which explain the meaning underlying them. Although, there are no letters in Brahma-sootra, much has been indicated with the help of images, marks, signs, pictures etc. The Brahma-sootras of yagyopaveet also, even without speech and script incorporate within them meanings of deep import. Gayatri is known as Guru-Mantra. Yagyopaveet ceremony is performed with the chanting of Gayatri Mantra and other Veda-Mantras. It is as much necessary for a dwij to know Gayatri as it is to put on Yagyopaveet. Gayatri and Yagyopaveet constitute one pair as do the words Lakshyami-Narayan, Sita-Rama, Radhe-Shyam, Prakriti-Brahma, and Gauri-Shankar. Their union forms one single unit. Just as husband and wife living together constitute a family, dwijatva is a union of Gayatri and Yagyopaveet. Yagyopaveet is sootra and Gayatri its interpretation. They are inter-linked.
There are three threads in Yagyopaveet, so also Gayatri has three phases. The first phase is "tatsavitur varenyam", second is "bhargo devasasya dhee mahi", and third one is "dhiyo yon aha prachodayat". To understand the principle underlying three threads of Yagyopaveet, one should thoroughly understand the afore-said three phases of Gayatri. There are three Granthis (knots) and one Brahma Granthi in Yagyopaveet. In Gayatri there are three vyahritis, namely Bhooha, Bhuvaha, Swaha and one pranav (Om). Onkar (Om) and three vyahritis of Gayatri Mantra symbolize respectively the Brahma Granthi and three knots of Yagyopaveet. The first, second and third phases of Gayatri symbolize the first, second and third threads of Yagyopaveet respectively.
Let us now examine in detail what is the meaning and philosophy underlying this interpretation of Gayatri and Yagyopaveet. The message of pranav is that God pervades all living beings and so a Sadhak should devote himself selflessly and quietly in the service of humanity. Bhooba implies that the human body is just a transient instrument. A seeker of truth should not get attached to it but should enhance his inner spiritual awareness, pursue the righteous path and do selfless service. Buvaha means a person who struggles valiantly against evils attains self-realization. He alone is wise who follows high ideals with pure means. Swaha implies that truth should be pursued through discriminating wisdom and pure intellect and thus inspire others by example to lead a life of austerity, devotion, self-inquiry, self-restraint and sacrifice.
continue on Shikha and Sootra, Symbol of Hindu Dharma1…….