Monday, April 28, 2014




Photo Autar Mota

Wherever they be , Kashmiri Pandits have performed the Yonyaa or yagneopavit ceremony of their children without fail . Even those who moved out from the valley during the Dark days of Afghan rule , remained steadfast in performance of this SAMASKARA for their male children .

Yagneopavit or Mekhala or Yonyaa ( in Kashmiri ) is an important religious ceremony or samaskara for the male child in kashmiri Pandit families . It is a religious ceremony that traces its roots to Vedic period . Traditionally, the ceremony was performed to mark the point at which boy began his formal education or the study of Brahman or the Vedas. Once the Yagneopavit or sacred thread ceremony is completed , the person is supposed to wear the yonyaa or Janew till his death to remain conscious about six debts . Arya samaj endorses this ceremony for girl child as well.

A somewhat similar ceremony known as Kusti or Koshti is performed by Parsi Zoroastrians . Kusti or koshti is the sacred girdle worn by Zoroastrians around their waists. Kushti is part of the ritual dress of the Zoroastrians.

About the Debts of a man in this world , I need to add a brief anecdote .

I happened to know late Shri B N Kaul Nazir( 1920 – 1994 ) . He was also known as Baba Bhai Ji . Baba Baiji was a married man devoted to his family , A senior officer in CSIR ‘s Drug Research Laborotary Jammu , a thinker and philosopher as well. I knew him since 1990 when I worked as Assistant Manager at Canal Road branch of our Bank . Bearded with spectacles , a man with some spiritual aura , he would drop in for Banking work and come straight to me . He would talk less , look around , smile and put his hand over my Head while leaving .One day I put a question to him..

“ Capt C K Sharma , My Manager was telling me that you have told him something about the Debts of a man in this world. He appears to be disturbed since that day . What did you tell him ?”

“ Yes I went to him as you were on leave . I found him quite helpful to the people in distress especially people who have come to Jammu after the turmoil in Kashmir valley . I told him that every man needs to repay his debts in this world . By debts I do not mean the money or financial debts ”
“ What debts then ? ”
“Every person who is born in this world is under Debt . Till a man gets married , he has only three types of Debts that need to be constantly serviced . The Parental debt or PITRA RIN , the religious teacher’s debt or RISHI RIN and The teacher ‘s Debt or GURU RIN .”

“ Which is the greatest Debt ? ”

“ PITRA RIN or The Parental Debt . And out of this debt ,the mother’s debt or MATRA RIN is colossal . It can never be repaid . Nor is it to be repaid financially alone . I  also tried to  repay this ocean like debt with a simple bucket in my hand . How could  I fill up  the ocean ? Is  this life enough  to repay this debt ? I weep at this idea . Any failure in servicing this debt is like disgracing the creator . Those who ignore servicing this debt fall in the category of disgracers . May be they are servicing other debts . ”

“ What are other Debts ?”

“ I told you about other two debts that is the debt to the GURU ( Teacher who imparts Education ) and the debt to the RISHI ( Religious Saint ). There are three more debts that need to be serviced by a man once he gets married . The debt to his wife , the debt to the society and the debt to his children . All these add up to make total six debts . Do not marry if you can not service the debts to your wife and children . So is the debt to the society supreme .A man has to be conscious of these six Debts . That is why kashmiri Pandits  have remained steadfast in  performing
 the YONYAA or JANEW or YAGNEOPAVIT of Children .
 The three strands  (Truu  Lorr )  of  the Yonyaa that a child wears ,keep him reminded about servicing the three debts . And when he marries , he wears six strands ( Shuu Lorr ) to keep in mind the servicing of all the six debts ”.

"How many strands should a Janew or yonyaa have  ? "

"Apart from the basic common feature of conveying the Brahmupdesha (revealing the nature of Brahman, the Ultimate Reality) and initiation to the Gayatri Mantra through Yagneopavit or Upanayana ceremony of the child , the number of strands in the janew or yonyaa and the underlying interpretation of each strand varies according to the area and community culture in the country . Some communities wear a Yonyaa or janew made of six strands , some with nine and some wear a janew or yonyaa  of even thirteen strands . ”.

After the Death of Shri B N Kaul Nazir , I came to know that he had a dedicated group of friends and admirers in the state that included Ghulam Qadir Ganderbali .,Shri Hamid Raina , Dr Zargar , Shri Saif Ud Din Mirza , Kanwar Rajinder Singh Rana , Prof P N Dhar , Shri Satya Bhushan Aggarwal , Shri M L Sapru , Shri M L Munshi and many more.


Na Takhto Taaj mein Na lashkar o sipaah mein hai
Jo Baat Mard e Qalandhar ki Baar gaah mein hai

( Autar Mota 28.04.2014 )

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