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Yagyopaveet is made up of a few sacred threads in the shape of a round garland type. It is given at the time of Yagyopaveet Sanskaar, when a boy enters in adulthood. This is a cord of three threads, each of nine twisted strands. It is made of cotton for Braahman, hemp for Kshatriya, or wool for Vaishya. It is a great sin to remove it. While wearing it, Braahman whispers Gaayatree Mantra in the boy's ears. It should be known that Gaayatree Mantra can be spoken only by three higher Varn people. The wearer has several rules to follow. It can be changed only at certain times. After this ceremony the people are called "twice-born". It has some rules also to follow. If the person is unable to follow the rules, he may opt not to wear it, ut Sanskaar has to be performed.

The Yagyopaveet has three threads or three strands. One is called Kaayaa Dand, another is Vaag Dand, and the third is Mano Dand - that controller of body, speech and mind. They are also emblematic of the three Gun - Sat, Raj, and Tam.

Whatever Dharm act is done without tying Shikhaa and wearing Yagyopaveet, it is not methodical.

Yagyopaveet Dhaaran finds its place in Taittireeya Aaranyak, Shatapath Braahman, and Samhitaa Bhaag. According to these books, the total length of One Yagyopaveet should be the height of the man who is wearing it. Braahman are to wear the Yagyopaveet made from cotton by the wife or mother, or any Braahman woman. The Brahmchaaree will wear One Yagyopaveet and the Grihasth will wear two Yagyopaveet. Some wear three Yagyopaveet for Uttareeya sake. Grihasth should add while wearing the second Yagyopaveet "mama grihasthaashram yogyataa sidhyaartham" and while wearing the third Yagyopaveet should add and say " mama Uttareeyaarthe ". Braahman means the people who belong to the Gotra from Sapt Rishi. The following is the Mantra to recite while wearing it ---

"Shraut smaart vihit nitya-karmaa anushthaan sadaachar yogyataa siddhyaartham,
Brahm-tejas abhivrittyaartham, yagyopaveet dhaaranam karishye."

How to Wear It
According to [ Bhavishya Puraan, p 12], this thread is worn on right shoulder hanging down crosswise to left side under the left shoulder reaching just below the waistline, left arm over it and it should not reach lower than groins. When it is worn like this, the person is called Upaveetee and it should be worn like this. A Brahmchaaree should always wear it in this way only. But if it is worn otherwise, means over right shoulder and under left arm, he is called Praacheenaaveetee (Apasavya) and if it is worn like a garland he is called Niveetee.

According to [Padm Puraan, 3/4] this thread, when first wear as a garland, then take out his right hand, and keep it on his left shoulder, it is called "Upaveet". Yagyopaveet should always be kept like this. When it is worn like a garland, it is called "Niveet". And when it is worn over right shoulder, under left arm, it is called "Praacheenaaveet (Apasavya). One should wear it in this way in Pitar worship (Shraaddh, Tarpan etc). While being in Havan place, near Braahman and elderly people, at the time of Sandhyaa worship, one should wear Yagyopaveet as "Upaveet". This is Sanaatan method to wear it.

Thus proper way to wear it as follows --
(1) One is Upaveet, where the Yagyopaveet is worn over the left shoulder and under the right arm. This is for Gods.
(2) The Second is Niveet, where the Yagyopaveet is worn around the neck and over the chest. Niveet form is to be used during Rishi Tarpan, sexual intercourses, answering the calls of nature etc.
(3) The third, Pracheenaveet is where the Yagyopaveet is worn above the right shoulder and under the left arm. This is for Spirits


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 06/24/13