16 Sanskar / Solah Sanskar / १६ संस्कार

The culture of Sanatan or Hindu religion is based on rituals. Our sages and sages invented sacraments to make human life holy and dignified. These rites have special importance in our life not only from a religious point of view but also from a scientific point of view. These rites have a great contribution to the greatness of Indian culture.

In ancient times, every work of ours started with sanskar. The number of sacraments at that time was also about forty. As time changed and the busyness increased, some of the sanskars disappeared automatically. In this way, the number of sacraments got fixed after being modified from time to time. Forty types of sacraments are mentioned in Gautam Smriti. Maharishi Angira implied them in twenty-five sacraments. Sixteen rituals have been described in Vyas Smriti. Sixteen sacraments have been mainly explained in our Dharmashastras. The first of these is the conception rites and the funeral rites after death. After conception, Punsavan, Seemantonnayan, Jatkarma, Naamkaran, all these rites are performed to establish the relation of the newborn with the divine world.

After the naming ceremony, Chudakarma and Yagyopaveet ceremony take place. After this the marriage ceremony takes place. This is the most important ritual of household life. This is the biggest sacrament for both men and women in Hinduism, which takes place after birth.

There is a slight difference in the order of rites in different scriptures, but in the order of the prevailing rites, conception, punsavan, simantonnayan, jatkarma, naming, nishkraman, annaprashan, chudakarma, vidyarambh, karnavedha, yajnopaveet, vedarambh, keshant, samvartan, marriage and funeral Only valid.

The rites from conception to education are also called Garbh Sanskar. Of these, the first three (Garbhadhan, Punsavana, Seemantonnayana) are called Antargarbha Sanskar, and the last six are called Bahirgarbha Sanskar. Garbh Sanskar is also called Dosha Marjan or Shodhak Sanskar. Dosha Marjan Sanskar means that the rites are performed to remove the defects related to the dharma and karma from the previous births of the child and the deformities in the womb. The latter six samskaras are called gunadhan samskaras. These rites are performed for the enhancement of the dormant qualities of a person after the removal of defects.

Our sages have established these sanskars on the strength of their tireless efforts and research to make us cultured and social. Indian culture is unique because of these rituals. However, in recent years, due to the hustle and bustle of life, the followers of Sanatan Dharma have now started forgetting these values ​​and the results are also coming before us in the form of character degradation, insensitivity, anti-socialism, and disobedience or indiscipline of the teachers.

Change is necessary according to the times but it will never be better to deny the fundamental principles established by our sages.

  1. Conception
  2. Punsavan
  3. Simantonnayan
  4. Caste karma
  5. Naming
  6. Evacuation
  7. Annaprashan
  8. Chudakarma
  9. Vidyarambh
  10. Eardrum
  11. Sacrificial
  12. Vedarambh
  13. Keshant
  14. Rotation
  15. Marriage
  16. funeral

Conception

Conception is the first of the sixteen sacraments accepted in our scriptures. After entering the householder life, this sanskar has been recognized as the first duty. The main aim of a healthy life is the production of excellent children. Parents who wish to have a good child should perform this sanskar for the purity of their body and mind before conception. This rite was considered very important in the Vedic period.

Punsavan

This sanskar is considered useful from the point of view of the mental development of the fetus. There is a law to perform this sanskar in the second or third month of conception. Our sages have considered this sanskar to be done for the purpose of procreation. This sanskar related to the fetus is performed in the auspicious constellation. The purpose of Punsavan Sanskar is to give birth to healthy and perfect progeny. It is considered appropriate to conceive only on the basis of the particular date and the calculation of the planets.

Simantonnayan

Seemantonnayan is also called marginalization or marginal rituals. Seemantonanayan means being blessed with good fortune. Along with preventing abortion, the main purpose of this rite is to protect the fetus and its mother. Through this sanskar, to keep the mind of the pregnant woman happy, fortunate women fill the demand of pregnant women. This sanskar takes place in the sixth or eighth month of conception.

Caste Karma

There is a law to perform this sanskar before the umbilical cord of a newborn baby. A child coming in direct contact with this divine world is licked with honey and ghee from the golden block with the recitation of Vedic mantras for intelligence, strength, and longevity. This sanskar is performed with special mantras and rituals. After licking a mixture of two drops of ghee and six drops of honey, the father performs a yajna and after especially reciting nine mantras, prays for the child to be intelligent, strong, healthy, and long-lived. The mother then breastfeeds the child.

Naming

This ceremony takes place on the eleventh day after birth. Our Dharmacharyas have considered asaucha (sutak) for ten days after birth. Therefore, it is a law to perform this sanskar on the eleventh day. Maharishi Yagyavalkya also has the same opinion, but many ritualistic scholars consider it appropriate to perform this sanskar is an auspicious constellation or on an auspicious day.The naming ceremony has more importance in Sanatan Dharma. Our sages have told the effect of a name more because it helps in the development of personality. That is why it has been said that the name of Ram is bigger than Ram, our theologians, after doing a lot of research, invented the naming ceremony. The science of astrology prepares the outline of the future on the basis of the name itself.

Evacuation

The child's intensity from the divine world should increase and after becoming well acquainted with the creation of Brahmaji, he should enjoy this world for a long time while protecting religion and dignity. In this ceremony, there is a law to show the child the light of the sun and the moon. Its purpose is to make the child aware of the radiance of Lord Bhaskar and the coolness of the moon. Behind this, the sages will have the vision to make the child bright and humble. On that day, the darshan of the deities and blessings are taken from them for the long and successful life of the child. There is a law to perform this sanskar in the fourth month of birth. For three months, the body of the baby is not adapted to the external environment like strong sunlight, strong wind, etc., so for three months, it should be kept very carefully in the house. After this, gradually he should be allowed to come in contact with the external environment. The meaning of this sanskar is that the child should come in contact with society and become aware of the social conditions.

Annaprashan

The purpose of this sanskar is to focus on the physical and mental development of the child. The clear meaning of Annaprashan is that the infant, which was based on drinks, especially milk, until now, by taking food, which is called life in the scriptures, make himself physically and mentally strong and enlightened. Food plays a major role in strengthening the body and mind. The body remains healthy only by a pure, sattvik, and nutritious diet, and a healthy mind resides in a healthy body. Only when the food is pure, the conscience become pure and the mind, intellect, and soul are all nourished. That is why this ritual has special importance in our life.Our religious leaders have considered the sixth month from birth to be suitable for Annaprashan. In the sixth month, seeing the auspicious constellation and auspicious day, this sanskar should be performed. Feeding a baby with kheer and sweets is considered auspicious. Amrit: Kshirbhojanam In our scriptures, Kheer is considered as good as nectar.

Chudakarma

Chudakarma is also called the Mundan ceremony. Our teachers have told the law to perform this sanskar in the first, third, or fifth year of the child. The concept of purity and intellectual development behind this sanskar will be in the mind of our sages. The meaning of the Mundan ceremony is to make the child strong by removing the impure hair generated at the time of birth. After being in the womb for nine months, many contaminated germs remain in her hair. These defects are eliminated by the Mundan ceremony. According to astrology, there is a law to perform this sanskar is an auspicious time. The ceremony ends with Vedic chanting.

Vidyarambh

There is a difference of opinion among our teachers regarding the order of Vidyarambha Sanskar. Some Acharyas are of the opinion that Vidyarambh sanskar should be done after Annaprashan, while some consider this rite to be appropriate after Chudakarma. In my opinion, at the time of annaprashan, the baby does not even start speaking and till the time of Chudakarma, the tendency of learning starts in children. That is why Vidyarambh ceremony seems appropriate only after Chudakarma. The purpose of Vidyarambh is to introduce the child to the elementary level of education. In ancient times, when there was a tradition of Gurukul, before sending the child to the study of Vedas, the alphabet was taught in the house. Earlier, parents and teachers used to make him practice verses, mythological stories, etc. orally so that there would be no difficulty in Gurukul. Our scripture is knowledgeable. The saying of the scriptures is Sa Vidya or Vimuktaye, that is, knowledge is that which can lead to liberation. Vidya or knowledge is the means of the spiritual progress of man. Vidyarambh sanskar should be performed only at inauspicious times.

Eardrum

Our sages have started all the sacraments only after tightening them on a scientific basis. The basis of Karnavedha Sanskar is absolutely scientific. The main purpose of this sanskar is to protect the child from physical ailments. All the parts of this body given by nature are important. Ears are our hearing gates. Ear piercing cures diseases and increases hearing power. Along with this, jewelry in the ears is also a sign of our beauty sense.

Sacrificial

Yagyopaveet or Upanayana is the most important sacrament for intellectual development. Religious and spiritual advancement is completely included in this sanskar. Our sages have given a provision to assimilate Vedmata Gayatri through this sanskar. Even in the modern era, special research has been done on Gayatri Mantra. Gayatri is the most powerful mantra.

"Yagnopaveet Paramam Pavitam" which means Yajnopaveet, also known as Janeu, is very holy. Prajapati has naturally created it. It prolongs life, gives strength and radiance. There is a special mention about this sacrament in our scriptures. There is also a scientific significance of wearing Yagyopaveet. In ancient times, when there was a tradition of Gurukul, at that time, usually at the age of eight years, the sacrificial ceremony was completed. After this the child used to go to Gurukul for special study. The child was given initiation into celibacy from the Yagyopaveet, which was followed till he entered the householder. The purpose of this sanskar is to motivate the child to be engaged in spiritual development along with a restrained life.

Vedarambh

This sacrament is related to the acquisition of knowledge. Veda means knowledge and through Vedarambh the child should now start imbibing the knowledge in himself, that is the meaning of this sanskar. No other light has been understood in the scriptures than knowledge. It is clear that in ancient times this rite had special importance in the life of man. After the Yagyopaveet, the children were sent to the Gurukuls to the qualified Acharyas to study the Vedas and get acquainted with the specific knowledge. Before Vedarambh, the Acharya used to make his disciples promise to observe the fast of celibacy and lead a restrained life and only after taking his examination, he used to study Vedas. Those who lead an unrestrained life were not considered to be entitled to the study of Vedas. Our four Vedas are the intact storehouse of knowledge.

Keshant

After completing the study of Vedas in the Gurukul, this ceremony was performed in front of the Acharya. In fact, this sanskar is an undertaking to bid farewell to the Gurukul and enter the homestead. After being proficient in the Vedas and Puranas and various subjects, the hair was cleaned before the ceremonial rites of Brahmachari and he was given a bachelor's degree after taking a bath. Keshant Sanskar was performed inauspicious times.

Rotation

Before leaving the Gurukul, the disciple's Samavartan ceremony was performed. Before this sanskar, the celibate had to perform Keshant Sanskar and then he was given a bath. This bath was done under the Samavartan ceremony. In this, there is a law to bathe with eight pitchers of water in the north part of the altar filled with water containing aromatic substances and medicines. This bath was accompanied by special chanting. After this, the brahmachari used to leave the Mekhla and the punishment which was worn at the time of Yagyopaveet. After this ceremony, Acharya used to give him the degree of Bachelor of Education. By this title, he was considered to be proudly entitled to enter the householder's home. He used to wear beautiful clothes and ornaments and after taking blessings from teachers and gurus used to leave for his home.

Marriage

This is the most important sacrament for both men and women since ancient times. There is a law in our scriptures to observe celibacy fasting from Yagyopaveet to Samvartan Sanskar. After the study of Vedas, when the youth attained maturity and ability to maintain the social tradition, then he was admitted to Grihastha Dharma. After observing the fast of celibacy for about twenty-five years, the young man used to tie the knot.

Eight types of marriages are mentioned in our scriptures – Brahma, Daiva, Arsha, Prajapatya, Asura, Gandharva, Rakshasa and Paisha. All these practices were prevalent in the Vedic period. With the passage of time their form changed. Before the Vedic period, when our society was not organized, there was disorderly sexism at that time. Our sages tried to organize and organize society by establishing marriage rites to end this disorder. Today it is the result of his efforts that our society is civilized and cultured.

Funeral

The funeral ceremony is also called the last or the rite of passage of fire. The transfusion of fire into the soul is fire possession. According to religious scriptures, the unsatisfied desires of the living being are pacified by the proper action of the dead body. Shloka and Parloka have been envisaged in our scriptures very easily. So long as the living being takes a body and resides in the Ihloka, he is bound by various karmas. When he loses his life, he leaves this world. The subsequent hypothesis has the addition of various worlds to salvation or nirvana. Man enjoys the fruits according to his deeds. Under this hypothesis, the systematic action of the dead body takes place.

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