us leave aside the question of child being inspired by Sarasvati
before he is imbued with Gayatri. The more important thing is
that before Kama takes hold of a boy he must be inspired by
Gayatri. That is why the age of upanayana is fixed at eight. When
one is possessed by Kama one would be dragged away from one's
ideal, that of acquiring the power of mantras. Even the power
already acquired would be destroyed. That is the upanayana
ceremony is performed early so that the boy is helped to become
perfect by constant repetition of Gayatri Mantra. After 16, he
will not be able to do the same. If he somehow ascends one span
spirituality, he will the next moment descend by one cubit. That
is why the upanayana samaskara must performed early.
do not take such samaskaras seriously nowadays. We do things to
no purpose, and at the same time we do not have the courage to
give up such rites altogether. So we go through them
"somehow " for a false sense of satisfaction. Far
better it would be, instead, to have the courage to be an
atheist. The atheist at least has some convictions, so it seems to
the Gayatri mantra is learned in childhood itself it would be
retained like a nail driven into a tender tree. Gayatri imparts
in great measure mental strength, lustre and health. It will
increase the child's power of concentration, sharpen his
intelligence, make him physically strong. Later in life, when he
feels the urge of Kama, Gayatri will prevent him from being
dragged downward and be a protective shield for his body and
intelligence. When one learns to meditate on the Gayatri in
childhood itself, it would be a great help, as one grows up, in
not wasting one's seed, in acquiring Brahmic lustre and qualities
like studiousness, humility, devotion to God and interest in
matters of the Self.
nowadays deny their children the opportunity of being afforded
such great benefits and for no reason.
student spends the years of his gurukulavasa in Gayatri-japa;
study of the Vedas and the Vedangas, begging for his food,
serving his guru, observing various religious vows. When he
completes his education thus, he will have become a young man
ready for his samavartana. Later he must go to Kasi and, on his
return home, take a wife. He is called a "snataka"
between his samavartana and his return from his journey to Kasi.
Samavartana is equivalent to today's convocation ceremony. In
present-day marriages there is a farcical procedure called "Kasi-yatra"
is one of the forty samskaras.
"Hindu Dharma" is a book
which contains English translation of certain invaluable and
engrossing speeches of Sri Sri Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi MahaSwamiji (at
various times during the years 1907 to 1994).
For a general background, please see here