A) Describe the main rites of passage in the life of a Hindu Man.
Hindu 'rites of passage are called samskaras, They serve to purify the soul and mark the various staged of life, They are considered essential for members of the three higher varnas (caste), Most traditions say there are a total of sixteen Samskaras, but four sets of rites are commonly practised they are:
1-initiation (the sacred-thread ceremony)
3-The rite of renunciation
4-funeral and rites for the dead.
Rites of passage vary in Hinduism as the religion is diverse, The rites of passages that are actually preform depend on a Hindu man's varna.
The first rite of passage is the initiation where only the top three caste, twice born 'dvija' boys may have a scared thread ceremony between the ages of 8-13. This marks the beginning of the student stage in life-Bramacharya. It marks the transition from childhood to religious status of vedic student. The Hindu boy will now begin a new kind of life, that of the Bramacharya, under the supervision of a guru or spiritual teacher. After the initiation the boy has certain obligations to be fulfilled daily:-
Reverence for holy men,
Helping the poor or holy men with food and shelter
Worshipping by offering food and flowers to the Gods.
Honouring the poor or holy men with food and shelter.
The ceremony itself is often held at home around the sacred fire. The priest or guru leads the ceremony, reciting from the scriptures. The will make a vow of celibacy and he receives the sacred thread. The thread rest of his left shoulder and hangs diagonally across the chest, although they will wear that for life there is a special ceremony is held each year, at which the sacred thread can be changed for a new one. The thread itself has three strands made of cotton or wool and dyed separately white, red and yellow, all the strands are tied together and the knot has a special name 'Brahma Granthi'...the know will remind the boy that he...