Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Jatakarma (Birth rituals) - 4th Shodasa Samskara

These rituals are performed at the birth of the child. It is believed that the moon has a special effect on the newly born. In addition, the constellation of the planets - nakshatras - also determine the degree of auspiciousness. If birth occurs during an inauspicious arrangement, the jatakarmas are performed to ward off their detrimental effects on the child. The father would also request the Brahmanishtha Satpurush for blessings.

The main objective of these actions is to inculcate some values in the child even while he is ignorant about their importance. The child lives in a different environment in the mother’s womb. It does not take food from the mouth and breathe through the nose. Its food is carried through the umbilical cord. The child is inside a pouch during pregnancy, which is filled with water. The child’s mouth and eyes are closed with phlegmatic substance to avoid the entry of water in the mouth and eyes. After taking birth, its mouth and nose have to be cleaned. The child looses the physical attachment with the mother and hence its mouth, ears, nose and lungs have to be cleaned to facilitate the child drink mother’s milk and breathe properly. When the child is inside the watery pouch then a type of oily pack covers the body so the watery pouch does not harm the skin in any way. After coming out of the pouch, the child is bathed to remove the oily pack from the body. All the necessary actions have to be performed after the birth of the child in order to arouse its five sensory organs. The main objective of birth ceremony is to arouse all the sensory organs. Sushrut has advised to place a little amount of ghee on the child’s tongue. Applying ghee or oil on the child’s head protects it from cold and catarrh.

In this ceremony the child is made to lick ghee and honey however the quantity should not be equal. Honey should be three times the ghee; this child should be made to lick with the help of a golden spike. Write Om on the tongue with the help of spike. This has been said in the process of ceremony. The psychologists believe that whatever the child learns till five years of his birth remains with him throughout the life. The main purpose of writing Om on his tongue is that whatever he utters will take him on the path of spirituality. The father of the child whispers in his ears -‘Vedosi’, which means you are a knowledgeable person. The birth ceremony has a spiritual and scientific importance but nowadays people are under the influence of material comforts and forgetting the importance of ceremonies. We should get back to the traditions of sages and perform all the ceremonies so that our future generation gets good qualities and values.


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