It was in the Sūtra period that the upanayana saṃskāra seems to have been fully established. Most of the details of the ceremony are laid out in the gṛhya-sūtras. The Dharma-sūtras and Smṛtis have nothing new to say about the ritualistic aspects apart from what has already been said earlier; they primarily develop the social side of the saṃskāra. It was also perhaps during this period that the Upanayana became compulsory for men from the first three varṇas.
Upanayana in the Saṃhitās
Before we embark on a study of our traditional literature—what we call śruti and smṛti—with our modern conception of history, seeking the absolute chronology of a certain treatise and the relative chronologies of a set of treatises, we must acquaint ourselves with both the Indian conception of history as well as the traditional accounts of our history.
The word ‘upanayana’ means ‘leading closer’ or ‘taking nearer.’ It could mean ‘leading closer to wisdom’ or ‘taking near the ācārya for the sake of learning.’ Another meaning of the word ‘upanayana’ is ‘additional eye’ or ‘the eye of knowledge.’ It is variously called ‘upayana,’ ‘brahmopadeśa,’ ‘upānaya,’ ‘mauñjī-bandhana,’ and ‘baṭu-karaṇa,’ ‘vrata-bandha.’[
The word ‘saṃskāra’ has no single-word equivalent in English; it has many meanings including ‘refinement,’ ‘cultivation,’ ‘perfection,’ ‘embellishment,’ ‘consecration,’ ‘education,’ ‘positive transformation,’ ‘effect of past deeds,’ etc. In general, it refers to ‘doing something well’ or ‘improving upon something while removing what is undesirable.’
Every society will have its own view of what is a significant event in the life of a person living in that geographical region and in that period in time. What remains true for all time and for all people is the fact that our life spreads from before our physical birth all the way to the future after our physical death.
You and I are constantly changing.
Throughout our lives, we change in many ways: at the level of the body, in the emotional sphere, in the mental realm, in our various relationships with people, the roles that we play in society, and in many other ways.
For a person who has lived in the Indian main land and has experienced sanatanic lifestyle to the fullest, a mere visit to the Cambodian monuments will convince beyond doubt, the connection this far off settlement must have had with India. It is also evident through the sculptures found in the country that the roots of both the form and the content lie in India. Thus, a few pointers and examples will suffice to reaffirm the thesis.
In the concluding words of his work “Kambuja Desha”, RC Majumdar points out the following
There were two major social conventions that took place within eight years spanning between 1920–28: (i) Prajamitra Mandali or the unrest in favour of non-brahmin sections, Miller Committee, etc. belong to this group and (ii) Progressive Party.
I’ve said everything that I could about the first group. The second one, was specifically a result of Krishna Rao’s efforts. Commemoration of the Late Hosakoppa Krishna Rao is bound to be a part of the history of Mysore’s public life.
I’ve mentioned elsewhere about a couple of other incidents under the tenure of V P Madhava Rao that stirred up people’s minds. The government bringing down the compound wall of Bangalore’s Janopakari Doddanna Shettaru convention hall was one such similar incident. There arose a lot of opposition to this event too. People felt that the government had targeted Doddanna Shetty charitable trust because D Venkataramayya was its trustee and a patron. Overall, V P Madhava Rao’s tenure was unnecessarily an era of commotion.