Rigveda Upakarma: A Vedic ritual observed by Brahmins
As per the Hindu sect, there are four varnas or castes and the Brahmin is the leading cast of the social arrangement. The Brahmins, therefore have to keep a number of rituals in mind and ons of such important ritual is changing of their sacred thread known as Yagnopavit. On the day of Rigveda Upakarma, Brahmins will change their sacred thread which is known as Upanayana thread. The meaning of the word Upakarma means beginning. It is mainly observed in the month of Shravanna. This year Rigveda Upakarma was on August 28th.The rituals and procedures of Upakarma varies from state to state. In Tamil Nadu this day is known as Avani Avittam. The following day Gayatri Japam is observed. On this day the children are provided with the right of wearing the Yagnopavit that he has to wear from then onwards till the death. With the completion of this Upakarma the Brahmin boy is considered as Brahmin from batuk and he gets right to perform the pujas at home as well as temples.
Importance of the sacred thread
Upakarma is an important day to all the Brahmins including Rig, Yajur, Sama and Vedic. This is observed by a group of Brahmins together mostly by the side of the lake or a river. By changing the sacred thread they are also removing the sins of the past year. When they remove the old thread they chant mantra which means that they are removing old dirty thread and accepting new thread which gives intelligence and long life. They take a holy dip and then will wear the new sacred thread. This is called Yajnopavit or Janeyu .This scared thread represents inseparable connection towards God. By wearing this thread gives a Brahmin strength, dignity and prolonging life .This thread is considered very pure and sacred.