The sacred thread (Janeva or Yajñopavītam) consists of three cords which are tied together by a knot called Brahma-granthi. What is the importance of this knot?
The sacred thread ceremony or ‘Upanayanam’ is a ceremony where a boy is initiated into the study of Brahman or God. The sacred thread has three strands which are held together by a knot known as the Brahma Granthi or the knot of Brahman. The three strands signify the three instruments through which we perform our actions — thought, word and body. By tying these three karanams or instruments together with a knot signifies that we are tying these three instruments to the Brahman. Thus, through thought, word and body, we will be working for the attainment of the goal of life which is to unite with the Brahman. We will be studying the Vedas and other scriptures so as to understand life and dharma and practise them as a life of dharma is essential for the attainment of the goal. It means that we will lead a life of discipline by which our actions through thought, word and deed will be in accordance with dharma. Only such actions based on dharma shown by the scriptures will purify our mind and life and make us fit of acquiring spiritual knowledge at a later stage. This is the stage of ‘Brahmacharya ashrama’ which is the student life.