Upanayanam is a Sanskrit word is made of Upa and Nayanam (vision through knowledge). Literally it is identified as second vision known as Wisdom and Knowledge. Also, Dwijan as we call the boy to whom the ceremony is being performed, is known to get second birth – first being born on the earth with physical body and second being “taking one near to wisdom” though this ceremony. The youngster is taught during the ceremony the secret of life through Brahmopadesham (revealing the nature of Brahman, the Ultimate Reality) or the Gayatri manthram. The hallmark of having gone through the Upanayanam ceremony is the wearing of the Yajñopavītam (Sacred Thread) on the body. Yajñopavītam has three threads (actually only one thread, folded three times and tied together) each consisting of three strands. These threads represent:
Goddess Gayatri (Goddess of mind)
Goddess Saraswati (Goddess of word) and
Goddess Savitri (Goddess of deed)
The initiation is done by the Upadesam of the Gayathri manthram. The manthram is a universal prayer that can be used by men of all climes and creeds, for, it calls upon the Glorious Power that pervades the Sun and the three words to arouse, awaken and strengthen the Intelligence, so that it may lead to intense Sadhana and eventually success.