The sacred thread is a white or yellow cotton thread that is generally worn by brahmins. This is worn in a ceremony when a boy child is seen fit to start his intellectual journey. There are three strand of cotton with which the child promise to honor knowledge, parents and society. This is also called yajnopavita or janaeu. It is worn from the left shoulder across the chest to the right waist. In Previous times sages, scholars and saints wore the yajnopavita. Kshatriyas and Vaishyas also wore the holy thread. Only the people wearing the holy thread were allowed to perform the yangna. With passage of time as the caste system became more and more rigid, the thread was worn by the brahmins.
This holy thread is worn in a ceremony called the apanayana. In this ceremony, the holy thread is first worshipped, then the father helps the child wear it by chanting Gayatri mantra. In this ceremony the presence of parents of the pupils is required. Shiva a swayambhu. He is self born and so he does not have parents thus he has been born with the holy thread.
The holy thread is the connection between the soul and supreme powers. Janeu is the through of purity. The wearer of this thread is bound to me pure-in thoughts. One should not have thoughts of corruption and dross. One should not speak ill of others. Words that can harm a person of people’s image in the society or mental or physical health is strictly prohibited for the wearer of this holy thread. Wearer of the yajnopavita is not supposed to harm anyone in any manner. The wearer is considered a pure soul and deed or thought of in-purity will harm the sacredness of the thread. The reason being, that this thread is the symbolization of chastity. These standards are set by the first bearer of the holy thread, the swayambhu. By wearing or by offering the sacred thread or the almighty lord we surrender ourselves to the supreme authority. In doing so, we become one with the universe.
Janeu represents knowledge. Wearer of the janeu, is starting his journey in the field of art and knowledge. The all knowledgeable lord who is born with the yajnopavita, guides the soul towards intellectuality. The parents put their children in the hands of the guru and supreme reality.
The thread of the yajnopavita is very delicate. It is made of soft cotton and can be easily broken. The question arises that if the thread has to be worn for the entire life, then why is it so delicate? The reason is that, when a person wears the thread he needs to understand that, an intellect is a very delicate aspect and it can be easily contaminated by worldly matters. It is the responsibility of the individual to handle this delicacy and move ahead of the impurities of materialistic world.
In this act as far as the person is true to himself lord Natraj helps him in every phase of his journey.