UPANAYANA: The Sacred Thread Ceremonies and Beliefs in the Vedic Texts and Thai Society
The objectives of this academic article were: 1) to study the Upanayana ritual in the Vedas and 2) to study the sacred thread ritual related to the belief in the Vedas and Thai society. From this study it was found that: Upanayana is a sacred thread ritual or investiture with the sacred thread which is performed when young people of the first three castes are passed over to a teacher to learn various forms of knowledge.This ritual originated in the Vedic period and continues to the present day. Another name for this ritual is “Yajyopavita.” The colors of the sacred threads are different, depending on the castes and their gods. The sacred thread ceremonies in Thai society differ from the ceremonies in the Vedas in various ways. There are 2 kinds of threads according to Thai beliefs: 1) the Sai-siñcana has 2 colors; white and multicolored—both are used in auspicious ceremonies only—and 2) Sai-yong; which is used only in funeral rites. All classes of Thais can use all kinds of sacred threads for they are not limited to some castes like in the Indian rituals. Although the two nations have different beliefs, they still use the threads to establish stability and unity for the people in society. Therefore, the sacred threads used in the Vedas and Thai society are a meaningful symbol in the two cultures to connect differences and create unity in the two nations perfectly.
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