Upakarma -1

Hear I am giving a step by step procedure for atharva veda.Upakarma prayog for othere 3 veda will be published after.
Upakarma (/upaakarma/) means beginning or “Arambham”, i.e. to begin the study of the your shakha belonging to your own Veda (Veda Adhyayanam).Atharva Upakarma means to begin the study of the Atharvan  Veda. Upakarma, means “Beginning”  and it is historically, the day was considered auspicious for beginning the Vedic studies.  O this day one has to start study of Vedas after doing samarpana of what he has studied in the earlier years.   Hear I am describing  it with some specific points
       (1) Importance :
To expiate the sins of wrong intonation,  lack of devotion during the chanting of mantras & not being seated properly during the chanting of mantra,  this upakarma is performed.  The mantras lose their potency & do not fetch any merit if upakarma is not performed.  It is a compulsory ritual.  All brahmins must perform this ritual .  In  atharvan upakarma,  gratitude is offered to Atharvan and  Angiras clans ,to whom Atharva-Vedic mantras were revealed & to the devathas who are the abhimanidevathas of those mantras.  Then the yajnopavita is worn. We can call it annual atonement for misconducts.
 
   (2)  Timing and thithi :

Atharvan upakarma is performed on Shravan Sukla Purnima ( Purnima should  be udayavayapini  thithi ) in Sravan nakshatra.
Some bramhanas ( from  Maharashtra &  Gujrat ) perform upakarma on  Abhijita nakshtra  in sravan month.
Due to some reason if you are unable to perform upakarma on shravan  purnima you may perform it on Ashadha/ Bhadrapada purnima .
Only for those who are having Soothaka or Vrudhi during the said period, they need not do Upakarma on that day.  However, after the soothaka or vrudhi is completed,they must do the Upakarma homa and have the yagnopaveetha changed.

   (3)  Kamokarshita japam :

Kamokarshita japam is performed as an atonement  for not performing  Utsarjan ( discontinuing study of samhita and bramhana portion ) ceremony  on  Paushya  purnima. The mantra for the kAmo’kArshIt japam is “kAmo’kArshIt………and manyur akArshIt”…….. .Some people also change their yajnopavItam before the kAmo’kArshIt japam, in addition to the changing done for upAkarma itself. It should be remembered that the changing before upAkarma is the more important one, and if one only wants to change once, the upAkarma changing is  preferred. The utsarjana has unfortunately fallen into disuse for quite a while, so what remains is the meager prAyaScittam for not having done it.  Therefore, the important yajnopavItam changing is for the upAkarma.

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Pujya Chandrashekhrendra saraswati mahaswamingal known  as Paramacharya, Mahaswami or Maha Periyavaal wrote in “Hindu dharma”
-“Today we perform upakarma as a one-day ceremony without keeping up the study of the Vedas. We do not go through the utsarjana at all. For our failure to do it we mutter a mantra in expiation, the mantra called “Kamokarsit”which says, “I did not sin. Kama (desire) did it. Anger did it. . . “There is no need to repeat this mantra if we perform the utsarjana. Everybody must learn his own Veda [the Veda that is his by birth] and other subjects in addition. When we perform upakarma we must start learning a new part of the Vedas. Later, at the time of utsarjana, it must be discontinued and the study of the Vedangas taken up. The Vedas, to repeat, must be studied during the six months roughly of Daksinayana, from the south of Sravana to Taisya. The next six months must be devoted to the Vedangas. ”

(4) Samidha adhanam:

  Samidhaadhanam is a part of  daily conduct of a bramhachari. Today yet it is not irrelevent but rarely bramhacharis perform it on ragular basis. Kaushika sutra mentions proper atonement for it and vicchinagni sandhan for a bramhachari.

(5) Bramhachari prayachitta : 
Gopatha- bramhana mentions several sins that a bramhachari  may have, and gives prayachhita for them. In todays life style possibility of these sins are more , so a bramhachari should perform atonement to get out of the sins.

   (6)Upakarma prayoga :

In upakarama prayog  gana snana ( ritualistic bath ) , yagyopavita dharan ( changing yagyopavita in which old is discarded and a new yagyopavita is put on ) , anuvaka rishi tarpan ( offering of gratitude to rishis ) , upakarma homa and veda- arambha is performed .
It is often erroneously thought that upAkarma is primarily the changing the yajnopavItam . This cannot be further from the truth. Changing the poonool happens very often, whenever a significant vedic karma is performed. UpAkarma, however, is a rededication of oneself to the study of one’s Veda, along with salutations to the rishis who perceived and revealed the Vedic mantras to the world. This is the significance of the angirasadi anuvaka tarpaNam and the anuvAka recitation.

(7) Gayatri homam/ japam :

Better is let me qoute maha periyavaal “If a brahmacarin makes any mistake in chanting the Vedas, in matter of tone or enunciation, he must do penance for the same on upakarma day. On this occasion he eats no more than a few sesame seeds; otherwise he fasts the whole day; and on the following day he offers 1,008 sticks of the palasa in the sacred fire chanting the Gayatri. He should do this every year. Nowadays brahmacarins perform this rite only on the day following the first upakarma following the upanayana. Actually this a rite all Brahmins are expected to perform, though we find today householders doing only Gayatri-japa. When you merely mutter the mantra you feel sleepy and you may go wrong in the japa. But such will not be the case if you also perform a homa as you chant the Gayatri. Sticks offered in the fire must be those of palasa, if not of the asvattha; darbha grass may be used if the other two are not available.”

(8) Fasting on upakarma day:

On the UpAkarma day, strictly speaking, the rule is to eat only after upakarma . If done properly this lasts well into  the afternoon. Because of the length of the procedure, young brahmacharis  and those others who are absolutely unable to bear their hunger are permitted  to eat before the homam itself. The typical meal consists of phalaharam. Complete fasting is observed after this  through the night, in preparation for the next day’s gAyatrI japam/homam In some traditions one meal is eaten during the day and phalAhAram  is observed at night.

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