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Aksharabhyasam in Hinduism - Initiating Children into Education - First Letter Written by Child

Aksharabhyasam in Hinduism is a ceremony in which children are initiated into the world of letters and learning. The ritual is usually performed when the child reaches three years old. It is usually performed in a temple.

Akshar means letter and Abhyas means learning.

In Andhra Pradesh, the Aksharabhyasam ceremony is performed by the maternal uncle (Mother’s brother) along with the family keeping the child in his lap. At the end he will hold the child’s right hand forefinger and write the Om symbol which is treated as a Beeja akshar (Beeja in Sanskrit means the ‘Origin’).

In Kerala, the ceremony is performed by grandfather or father or by a prominent personality.  The child writes ‘Hari Sri Ganapataye Namah’ in a plate filled with uncooked rice.

Vasant Panchami and Navratri are considered highly auspicious for performing the ritual.

Kollur Mookambika in Karnataka, Panchikadu Saraswati Temple near Kottayam in Kerala and Basara Gnana Saraswati Temple in Telangana are some of the most important temples where children are initiated into the world of learning.