Education plays a vital role in the overall development of the kids and defines the future of the nation. Life is all about learning and the right education exposes the kids to various sources from whom they can imbibe immense knowledge that’s instrumental for their upliftment and development.
In general, education of any type forms the foundation of society. It is responsible for the economic, social, and political growth and development of society. The quality of education defines the growth of society.
What is Aksharabyasam?
The term Aksharabyasam is a combination of two words “Akshara” meaning letters/alphabets and “Abhyasam” meaning practice. Combined, the word Aksharabyasam meaning in English indicates the study of practical letters.
It’s a ritual that is widely celebrated and common in the Hindu families living in the states of the South region like Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. It’s a traditional religious function in which your kid is given the initiation of the education so that he/she is ready to receive a formal education.
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The Significance of Aksharabyasam
Education is the most important thing in every human being’s life. Stepping into the world of education means that the vast world of knowledge and wisdom opens to you. So, you can celebrate the day by worshipping Goddess Saraswati.
The celebration of Aksharabyasam is the child’s first introduction to the world of reading and writing. In the initial days when Sanskrit was the spoken language, the Upanayanam marked the beginning of primary education. It involved the concept of memorizing the sacred hymns without any reading or writing.
The function was traditionally performed around the age of five. However, today, parents believe in the concept of early education, and thus learning begins even before the age of three.
The entire ceremony is performed by the maternal uncle/Father/Paternal uncle wherein they keep the child in their lap, hold the child’s right-hand forefinger and make him/her write the auspicious symbol “OM” followed by the “Namah Shivaya” or “Harishree Ganapataye Namah” mantra.
Auspicious Days for Performing Aksharabyasam
In general, Aksharabyasam can be performed on any auspicious day/time. However, if you’re on the lookout for a good day for Aksharabyasam, you can perform the ceremony on any of the following days listed below:
- Basant Panchami / Siri Panchami Day
- Guru Purnima Day
- Vijaya Dashami,
- Saraswati Pooja during Dussehra Navratri
- Ugadi Gudi Padwa Day
- Raksha Bandhan Day [also known as Sravana Pournami Day]
Auspicious time to Start Education
- Days ruled by the constellations of Mrigasira, Aridra, Punarvasu, Pushya, Hasta, Chitra, Swati, Sravana, Dhanishta and Satabhisha are auspicious for starting education. Some astrologers consider Aswini as the best asterism for starting education.
- Tuesdays and Saturdays are inauspicious for starting education.
- For added luck, ensure that the day is governed by one of the following asterisms – Aswini, Rohini, Punarvasu, Pushyami, Uttara, Hasta, Chitra, Swati, Vishakha, Dhanishta, and Revati.
- Among the lunar days (Tithi), the fourth, eighth, ninth, fourteenth, and new and full moon days should be avoided.
Aksharabyasam Pooja Vidhanam
The ceremony can be held both at home or in a temple. Depending on the location, you need to have the following items to ensure Aksharabyasam pooja is done properly:
- Turmeric Powder and Kumkum (not required if the pooja is being done in a temple)
- Flowers and Coconuts
- Incense Sticks (Agarbatti) and camphor
- Betel-leaves and Betel nuts
- Rice (not required if the pooja is in a temple)
- Fruits and Prasadam
- Navadhanvam (not required for temple)
- Saffron and Elaichi powder (in small quantities – avoid in the case of a temple)
- Mango leaves
- Slate, Chalk, Books, and Pen
- Kalasa (not needed in case of a temple)
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How to Perform the Ritual
- To perform the ritual, dress up your child in the traditional attire and ask him/her to sit in the lap of his maternal uncle/father/paternal uncle
- Light up the lamp in the mandir and chant the mantras as directed by the priest
- Hold the right hand of the child and help him/her write his/her first letters (on the slate or the plate) which could be either “OM”, or “Om Namah Shivaya” using the rice grains
- Once the pooja is complete, offer prasad to everyone