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Advanced Yoga Study ( By Swami Dharmananda
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many children grow up into adults with inferiority complexes connected with how they look physically. 

Karnabheda (Ear piercing) 
This is done along with the mundan ceremony. The ear lobe is pierced. This has certain medical benefits. Any hereditary defect that arises from defect of semen and the embryo is removed. 

Vidyarambha (Beginning of education) 
At the age of five the child begins his education. The teacher helps the child to write the mantra, ‘ Om Swasti Namah Shivaya'. Shiva is invoked to bless the child before he begins his education in life so that the education becomes beneficial and auspicious to him in adult life. The above rituals pertains to the child stage of life. 

Upanayana (Thread ceremony) 
This is a very important ritual that marks the beginning of the next stage of life, the youth. This stage is considered his second or spiritual birth. The first being the physical given to him by his parents. The word upanayana means bringing near. The child is brought near the Guru his spiritual teacher. This ritual marks the beginning of the practice of brahmacharya (celibacy) by the child. The ritual is conducted by the Guru when the child is eight or nine years of age. The Guru chanting specific mantras invests the child with the sacred thread called ‘Janeyu' or ‘Yagnyopavita' and initiates him into the Gayatri mantra. The sacred thread consists of the three threads knotted together. The three threads represent the well known triads which exists in the world. Sat, Chit, Ananda; Waking, Dreaming and Deep sleep states of consciousness; Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas; Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva; Time, Space and Causation. Three fold debt to the Rishis, Deities and the Ancestors. The child is instructed as to his duties and responsibilities towards his parents, teachers and society. Also at this time the child begins his study of the Vedas. The student is made to worship Goddess Saraswati to invoke her blessings as She is the Goddess of learning. On this occasion the Guru conducts Havan to propitiate the Deities and other nature forces. 
In the west the sacred thread may not be invested but the child should be initiated into yoga, meditation, mantra chanting, silence, devotional music, classical dancing or any other form of spiritual practices. In the absence of these practices the child's mind and energy moves into the lower chakras and their connected activities. These practices lifts the energy to the higher chakras and brings about a better emotional stability and spiritual growth. The child should be carefully instructed that his sexual energy is the most powerful and creative energy in his body and that it should not be unnecessarily wasted. One drop of semen is produced from forty drops of blood. One drop of semen contains thousands of sperms. One sperm is needed to produce a child, that means it contains all the energy, intelligence and consciousness needed for the purpose. Loss of so many sperms is a big drain for the body specially when it is in a developing stage. On the contrary preserving this energy and transforming this energy into spiritual energy brings about a better all round development of body, mind and spirit. 


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