As most of you are aware there are Four Vedas.
Rig,Yajur Sama and Atharva,
In addition to this there are Vedangas , which contain other Sciences like Archery, Astronomy and the like.
Based on the station of Life of an individual. the Life of an Individual was divided into four parts.
Brahmacharyam, Period of Study,
Gruhastham ,period of Married Life,
Vanaprastham ,Preparatory Period for Renunciation and handing over of family responsibilities and
Sanyasa, Period of Renunciation.
Please read my posts on this under ‘Hinduism/Indian Philosophy).
Normally the child is sent for learning at the age of Five after Yagnayopaveeda ceremony to the teacher where the child stays and learns.
The period of study:
Nine years, called Adhama, not very auspicious,
Twelve Years,Madhyaman, Acceptable,
Eighteen Years,Uthamam, The best.
There were also people who were doing the Adyayana, or the learning of the Vedas, for thirty-six years or through out their Life.
One can remain a Brahmachari, without marrying through out Life learning the Vedas.
There were Two Terms in a year.
The First Term is called ‘Upakarma‘ Months.
The Second Term is for Seven moths called ‘Uthsarjanam or ‘Uthsargam’
One is reminded of Upakarma.
This is when the Upakarma term begins.
For Rig Vedis,Upakarma falls on the Sravana Nakshatra during th Sravan Month.
This period is between the Amavasya of Adi and Avani.
For Yajur Vedis. the Upakarma falls on the Full Moon , Poornima of Sravana month.
During the Mahabharata battle Lord Krishna artificially created an Eclipse to ensure the ‘Ritual Killing of a Prince(Arjuna’s son, Aravan)
The Rig Vedis and the Yajur Vedis were performing the Upakarma on the Poornima Day..
This resulted in the change of days in Thithis, the waxing and waning of the moon.
The next Nakshatra is Avitta.
So, the Upakarma was performed in Avitta with Poornima by the Yajur Vedis.
But Rig Vedis stick to Sravana nakshtra.
Sama Vedis perform this Upakarma in the Pathrapad(Purattasi) in Hastha Nakshatra.
Mostly this falls on Ganesh Chaturthi day.
The Veda teaching begins on the Upakarma Day.
Students will be taught Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads,
This shall continue till Pushya Monh, ‘Thai’ in Tamil.
The Term will end here by performing ‘Uthsarjan karma’
This will be performed on the Poornma or the Rohini Nakshatra that occurs before this Poornima.
Rig Vedis and Yajur Vedis follow this.
Sama Vedis end the term in Maaka Month Ppornima.
Uthsarjanam means’ leaving out’
The term ends here.
Next term begins from the Upakarma Day.
Here the Vedangas,the other Sciences will be taught, Astrology,Astronomy,Linguistics, etc,
Veda will not be taught in this period.
List of Holidays for the students,
Every moth, Full Moon Day, New Moon,Two Ashtamis,(eighth day from Full New Moon/New Moon), Two Chaturdasi (Fouteenth Day from new Moon/Full Month)
The there are three Holidays following the conclusion of each term.
So a student gets 12 Holidays in a year.
Remind me of casual Leave in offices!
In addition to this for unusual circumstances, like Forest fire, Storm’ heavy rains holidays were declared.
During Grahana (Eclipse) Veda is not taught, but one has to recite what has been learnt,
Deivathin Kural , Kanchi Periyavar.
Rig and Yajur Upakarma 2014 falls on August 11th.
Krishna Yajur Upakarma Mantars download.
Krishna Yajur Upakarma 20 August, Tuesday, mantras Download.
Rig Upakarma Mantra Download.