Janeu, also known as Yagnopaveetham, is a thin thread worn by Hindu Brahmins in India. This thread consists of three threads representing the Goddesses: Gayatri (thought), Saraswati (word), and Savitri (deed). In the center, there is also a knot, which represents the unending Brahman. Wearing Janeu is considered as one of the most important rites of Hindu tradition. In addition, Brahmin Vaishyas and Kshatriyas also wear this sacred thread.
According to Holy Scriptures, there are 16 Sanskars of Life that are stated and practiced in our tradition; Yagnopavit is the tenth Sanskaar of the Sanatana Dharma of the Hindu religion that involves wearing sacred Janeu by the Brahmin boys after they reach the age of 7-12. The holy thread is given to the child as a reminder of the commitment that the child will stay completely committed to education and learning and avoid all distractions. During this ceremony, the child learns to recite the "Gayatri Mantra" for the first time from his father, who serves as his first teacher, or Guru.
How to Wear Janeu Properly
Janeu is a sacred thread, and because of that, it has to be worn with the utmost care.
Month to Wear a Janeu-A Janeu is required to be worn throughout the Maha month according to the Hindu calendar.
Ideal days to wear a Janeu-The most auspicious days to wear the Janeu are Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
Yagya Ceremony for Janeau Wearing - In the morning, the child should take a turmeric and sandalwood bath. The Mundan ceremony comes next (the head of the child is shaved). The Yagya is performed by a Pandit. While performing the puja, the child should wear unstitched clothing. It is worn from the left shoulder with a yellow cloth wrapped around the neck and turmeric applied to the Janeu strands.
Mantras to Recite-There are two main Janeu Mantras that must be recited at various stages of the Yagya. The Yagyopaveet mantra is recited first, followed by the Gayatri mantra.
Janeu Rules To Follow:
When a boy dons a janeu, he becomes a man and, more importantly, a true Brahmin. Some janeu rules must be followed once the Janeu is worn. They are listed below.
- Do not take the Janeu off after wearing it.
- If the Janeu breaks, perform puja to create a new one and immerse the broken Janeu in a running river.
- It is necessary to pray every day in the evening after wearing a janeu.
- The Vedas forbid eating non-veg food and drinking alcohol after wearing a Janeu.
- The Janeu should be worn from the right shoulder when attending an unfortunate ceremony.
The Scientific Significance of Wearing Janeu:
A scientifically proven study shows that wearing a Janeu on one's ears improves memory, prevents constipation, and keeps the stomach disease-free. It also proves that those who wear a Janeu have fewer blood pressure-related illnesses than those who do not.
The thread strands also represent the purity of the wearer's words, thoughts, and actions. Through the Upanayanam Ceremony, the boy is introduced to the concept of Brahman and thus qualifies to live the life of a Brahmachari according to the rules of the Manusmriti.
The Social Significance of Wearing Janeu
Its purpose was to serve as a reminder of God. A person is reminded of religion and customs when he wears a Janeu and applies a tilak to his forehead. The person wearing it was supposed to be a role model.