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What do the three strands of the sacred thread represent?

Every human being is born a Shūdra, that is he just learns how to clean himself physically. However, by performing rites (karma) he is reborn (dvij). ‘Dvi’ means two, that is second time and ‘j’ means to be born. Since due to the thread ceremony the boy has a kind of rebirth he is said to become twice born (dvij). The second birth of a celibate (brahmachārī) is marked by the rite of the thread ceremony. It is symbolized by wearing a girdle of munja grass. In this birth, Savitri is supposed to be his mother and Āchārya (the teacher) his father. (Manusmruti 2.170). Once he becomes twice born he becomes worthy of chanting the Gāyatrī-mantra, that is qualified to do spiritual practice; hence performing the thread ceremony is a must, while marriage is not. Click here to read more about What do the three strands of the sacred thread represent?

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