Sunday, 12 July 2015

Samavartana - 14th Shodasa Samskara

Graduation day when the students graduate from the university is a big and memorable occasion in the life of a student. Samāvartana is the Vedic Samskārā which marks the end of student life and the beginning of a new one. The ceremony symbolizes stepping into a new chapter in life.

The student, established in knowledge and wisdom, shining like a radiant sun seeks the blessings of the Guru to enter a householder’s life. The student offers Guru Dakshina to his Guru.

It was called Snana because bathing formed the most important of the Samskārā . A student had two choices after this, he could get married, live the life of a householder or live a detached life. Later on, when the Upanayana Samskārā lost its educational significance, the original purpose of this Samskārā was lost and it became a license for marriage. Before a student took his bath, he had to ask the permission of his master to end his student career and satisfy with Guru Dakshina. 

A survey of the ceremony shows how high was the respect in which scholars, who had completed their education, were held by society in ancient India. At present the ceremony is reduced to an absurd simplicity. It is performed with the Upanayana or Vivāha and the only remains of the detailed bath procedure are the bath and the decoration of the person, that too without proper Vedic Mantras.

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