Janeo: The Hindu student admission ceremony
Indo-Caribbean Divali Publication Ltd. (IDP) wishes to announce the publication of its latest souvenir magazine – Divali 2015, Trinidad and Tobago. The theme of this edition of its annual magazine is “Janeo: The Hindu student admission ceremony.”
Also known as the upnayana samskara, this ceremony is one of the lesser known expressions of Hinduism in Trinidad since it was initially observed only by the upper caste Brahmins. The janeo ceremony is also part of an ancient tradition which has survived over generations in Trinidad, far away from ancestral India. The ceremony represents the 10th of 16th samskaras or rites of passage in the life of a Hindu.
The janeo ceremony is significant because it emphasizes the importance of teaching and learning in one’s life, particularly spiritual education. The ritual of the granting of the sacred thread marks the coming of age of a male child at about the age of twelve who is believed to be sufficiently developed to enter into the brahmacharya or student stage of life. At this stage, the initiate becomes “twice-born.” Traditionally, he would leave his natal home for his teacher’s ashram or gurukula where he would live without luxury or sense-gratification to keep his mind pure and focused. Under the strict guidance of a guru [teacher], the young boy would begin to study the Vedas and learn to recite the sacred Gayatri Mantra. The auspicious ceremony, which lasts for three days, is celebrated lavishly in Trinidad.