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A Fathers Guide to Gayatri Upadesh in Upanayana/Brahmopadesh

As the season of Brahmopadesha (Upanayana) starts, which of the following is the

biggest plans/preparation for this day by the boys parents?
Deciding menu
Settling past accounts with friends and family via gifts
Shopping dazzling Sarees and mens wear
Deciding Silver/Gold shri-mudra and Gold/diamond/Platinum ring for Bhiksha
Deciding which DJ to use for entertainment?
Actually it is none of these. It is Gayatri Upadesha by the father. But wait why is
it such a big deal? After all, it takes 5 minutes during the function. What
preparation does it take after all?
To be truthful, it takes the longest preparation of all. It takes time to chant 24,000
Gayatri (or atleast 12,000) as a pre-requisite by the boys father!!!
Whoaaa That much Gayatri ? Most fathers would not have chanted that much in
their entire life. And now they need to chant that much as a pre-requisite and
eligibility criteria for giving Gayatri to their sons? Cant they just outsource it to
some Bhat maam? After all, one can get anything done if they can shell some
money. So, why not ask some Bhat maam to chant them instead of the father?
Fathers are busy working and saving money for this important event after all.
Actually none of the other symbolic gestures make any difference. Neither the
pomp and show, nor the silver/gold/platinum taTTe-chippuT. Those fancy items
are heading to the showcase or bank locker anyway right after the function. It is
Gayatri, just plain old Gayatri upadesha that makes the difference.
People spend so much on Brahmopadesha, but then spend a large part of their
childrens student life telling them to be honest, ethical, brilliant, hard working
etc. etc. and good citizens in their life.

What if, just WHAT IF, our children get all that as side-benefits from chanting
Gayatri as part of their Sandhyavandan with a upadesha by the parent that has
met his own benchmark for the same? Sounds like a good deal isnt it? Most
parents would trade a life time of howling and advising (and getting throat hoarse
as a result) for this 24,000 Gayatri in a heartbeat.
We all strive hard to give good education, best seats in professional education to
children because we think it is our duty to help them prosper. This sincere and
correct Gayatri upadesha can be a cornerstone for all that.
Ladies and Gentlemen.Well, Thats that..
Now that I have grabbed your attention, please read carefully :-D
When to do Upanayana

The GarbhasTama is when a brahmana is to get upanayana and start adhyayana.

11 for kShatriya. 12 for vaishyA.
{ garbhAsTamE






GarbhAsTama is the age calculated by including the time in the womb. For
example, if son is 7 years and 3 months upto 8 years 3 months, then it is
considered GarbhAsTama.
Those children that show interest in vedA adhyayana from a smaller age can even
get it earlier - at 5 or 6 !!
{brahmavarchasakAmasya kAryaM viprasya panchamE }
GarbhAsTama is parama-mukya kAla. 9 upto 11, 12 is mukhya kAla. 13 to 16 is
gauNa. There is NO POINT in getting upanayana after 16!!
All ages above are calculated including the time in womb.
If GarbhAsTama is missed then period when gurubala becomes available is to be

But in GarbhAsTama, presence or absence of gurubala does not matter. Even if

Guru is in anishta stana, upanayana is to be done in GarbhAsTama.

a) By vaTu and upanayana kartRu (father)

kRuchhra trayaM cha upanEta trIn kRuchrAm cha vaTuH cha AcharEt" - Both by
giver and recipient of Gayatri should do 3 kracha vrata/upavasa
kRuchhra is a difficult vrata. There are two type of kRuchhra - prAjApatya
kRuchhra and kRuchhra-sAntapana.
prAjApatya kRuchhra is a 12 day upavasa vrata. kRuchhra-sAntapana is slightly
easier. 2 day vrata. First day by consuming panchagavya only. Seconda day full
NOTE: This is not much in vogue. Instead brahmana dakshine is given and they say
adhikAra sampadastu
b) By and upanayana kartRu (father)/giver of Gayatri

This is more important

The giver of Gayatri (usually father) should have done 12000 japa minimum. {
Gururdvadasha sAhsraM gAyatriM cha japEt tathA}
It is said 24,000 is best. This gives the father the capability to give Gayatri because
he himself gets to the level from where he can give it. Only the one that has seen
into Gayatri more than the recipient can tell the Gayatri and its meaning to the
recipient (son).
NOTE: This Gayatri Japa is apart from the usual Gayatri that one does during his
own sandhyavandane.

How/When to do the pre-requisite Gayatri (father)

Give the birth star of the father, mother and the son to a purohit to identify
sadhaka tara. It is best for a parent to start the pre-requisite japa on a day with
sadhaka tara for his son.
The japa can be done after finishing ones own morning and evening
1. One or two achamana,
2. prAnAyAma with deEsha-kAla Sankalpa (end part) is as "upanEtRutva adhikAra
siddhyarthaM gAyatri japaM karishyE".
3. Then start with the Gayatri Japa Unit and follow it with Narayana Ashtakashara
Japa Unit.
4. Finally nyunAtirikta dosha parihAra namatraya japa - achyuta ananta govinda
vishNavE namah
PS: Some say all the Japa is to be completed before noon. It may be a
sampradaya, but it is not known if such a pramAna exists. Whatever it is, at least
one should try to do at least 12,000 or worst case, as much as possible and then
give the upadesha.


1. Upanayana Ondu KaipiDi A book in Kannada by Satyanarayana Acharya,

published by Poornaprajna Vidyapeeta.