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Dvija - Twice Born In Hinduism

In Hinduism, the term "Dvija" translates to "twice-born" and refers to the initiation ceremony undergone by an individual in the upper three varnas (social classes) – Brahmins, Kshatriyas, and Vaishyas. The concept of Dwija or being twice-born is deeply rooted in the Vedic traditions and signifies a spiritual rebirth.

The Dvija ceremony, also known as Upanayana, is a significant rite of passage for young males belonging to the above-mentioned varnas. It is typically performed between the ages of 8 and 16, depending on the specific community and regional traditions.

The first birth is considered to be the physical birth, and the second birth occurs through the Upanayana ceremony. During this ritual, the young initiate receives a sacred thread known as "yajnopavita," symbolizing his commitment to the study of the Vedas and adherence to a disciplined life.

The three strands of the sacred thread are said to represent the three debts a person owes: to the sages and teachers (Rishis), to the ancestors (Pitris), and to the gods (Devas). The initiate is expected to wear the sacred thread across his left shoulder and under the right arm, symbolizing his acceptance of these responsibilities.

After undergoing the Upanayana ceremony, the individual is expected to engage in the study of the Vedas and other sacred texts under the guidance of a guru. This period of study and discipline is crucial for the spiritual and intellectual development of the person.

It's important to note that the concept of Dvija is specific to certain Hindu traditions, and its practices can vary among different communities and regions within Hinduism. The ceremony is not performed for individuals in the Shudra varna, and there are other regional variations in the rituals associated with the Dvija ceremony.