Janeu is a sacred thread which is worn by Hindu Brahmin, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas. The holy thread of 'Janeu' suggests the development of a young boy to a man. According to the religious scriptures, a boy cannot be surmised as "Dvija" (twice born) until he wears the janeu. There are different types of Janeu for different caste, groups or sects. Brahmins wear Brahmgandh Janeu which has 5 knots or 3 knots. Vishnugandh Janeu has 1 knot which is wear by other classes. If a Brahmin must wear janeu at the age of 5 if he desires to become scholarly in the Vedas. Kshatriya should wear janeu at the age 6, if he wants to gain strength and a Vaishya must wear the Janeu at the age of 8 if he desires success. Janeu is basically made of cotton thread. Vaishya and Kshatriya wear janeu made out of wool and hempen respectively.
Janeu (Thread) Ceremony celebrates the development of a boy through "Upanayanam Samskara" or sacred thread ceremony. The ceremony is performed between the ages of seven and thirteen. If janeu ceremony could not take place in this age period, then it should be done before the marriage. The purpose of thread ceremony is to make a young man realize about his responsibilities. The thread is worn amidst the chant of 'Gayatri' mantra. Janeu thread is twisted in upward direction to ensure that 'Sattvaguna' or good quality prevails. The ceremony also suggests that the 'Janeu' wearer can take part in the family rituals,henceforth.
Janeu Puja Ritual: Wearing Janeu transforms a young boy into men who have the permission to recite the Gayatri Mantra. These young Brahmin boys can also perform Sandhyavandanam after wearing Janeu. Janeu puja ceremony has to be done during the teenage years of a Brahmin boy or before marriage. It is possible to perform Janeu pooja at home by following the proper rituals.
Janeu Pujaja Vidhi involves
1. Chanting of Gayatri Mantra by priests.
2. Havan or fire ritual.
3. Oath taking ceremony and wearing of Janeu by the Brahmin child.
Significance of Janeu Puja:
As per the ancient Hindu texts, every Brahmin boy should wear a Janeu to become the ideal man. Usually, brahmin wears 'Janeu' thread with three strands. According to Vedas, these three strands of 'Janeu' stand for the Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Mahesh. Some interpreted it as symbol of Goddess Mahasarasvati, Goddess Mahalakshmi and Goddess Mahakali. Others relate it to past, present and future. For several it is a representative of rajas, sattva and tamas qualities. A few consider the three strands as three states of mind i.e. wakefulness, dream and deep sleep. Some of them elaborated it as three dimensions of Heaven (swarga), Earth (mrityuloka) and Netherworld (pataloka). The most logical representation is janeu's account with Ida, pingala and susumna nadi, through which the hidden energy reveals in 'prana'.
Benefis of Janeu Puja
1. Purifies the thoughts and intentions of the boy.
2. Increases the ability to absorb knowledge.
3. Permits the Brahmin to take part in family pujas and rituals.
4. Keeps away bad luck and misfortune
5. Keeps away diseases and ailments.
6. Helps to attain salvation or moksha.