Thought on the Thread (Janeau) Ceremony
The janeu is also called the Upanayana ceremony. The object of this ceremony is to prepare the young man to shoulder the burden of the elders. He is initiated into the Gayatri mantra and will hence forth be called A ‘Dwija’ or a ‘twice born’. The three strands that the young man is made to wear represent the three gunas (qualities) ie Satya (Truth) Rajas (action) and tamas (inertia). The twist of the thread must be upwards to ensure that the Sattwaguna or the good quality of truth predominates. The three strands also remind the wearer that he has to pay off his debt to the ancient seers, his ancestors and the gods. He is to honour his parents and elders and is now in a position to participate in the family rituals and prayers.