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16 Sankara as per Vedic scriptures

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16 Sankara as per Vedic scriptures

Our spiritual journey according to Sanatan proposes that one needs to follow Sixteen Sanskaras (Rituals) during its life in order to pinpoint the various stages of human life cycle. If the person follows these rituals with devotion, he can possess Asharam (the landmark of life). These sanskaras are considered a turning point and are celebrated as auspicious occasions. If practiced properly, they are effective in bringing out the best possible personality in a human. These 16 sanskaras have been mentioned in our Vedic religion, with their significance:

Here are the 16 Sanskaras and the ways to practice them.

The first Sanskara of the 16 is Garbhadhana, according to Sanatan. It comes from two different Sanskrit words: Garbha (Womb) and Dhana(Attain or Wealth). The literal meaning of Garbhadhana is attaining the womb's wealth. It is the initial Sanskara followed for a child''s well-being. Here, the sole responsibility of the child is accepted by the parents. To fulfill the child's duty, the procedure is mentioned according to the Shastras. If conception takes place when the mind, body, and soul are delighted, it results in a happy and intelligent child.

The second Sanskara is Pumsavana, which should be done by family members during the third or fourth month of conception. Diverse ways of performing this rite are present. Commonly, Vedic Hymns and prayers are recited while conducting a Yajna. Attaining health and good progeny is the motive of the ritual. It is worth mentioning that the alignment of planets is adventageous during conception. The diet and peace of mind of the mother should be maintained additionally.

Simantonayana Sanskaar is the third one, which is executed in the seventh month of pregnancy. For the protection of the child and the mother, the prayers are conducted. It also elevates the physical and the mental growth of the unborn. The environment gets purified and brings peace to the pregnant mother. It is a must that the thought process of the mother should be pious in order to deliver a peaceful and holy child. Positive changes in the lifestyle, eating habits, exercising, and sleeping are essential. A high risk of complications may occur during these months. According to medical science, precautions are a must during these months.

The sixth day from the birthday of the child is the perfect day to perform this sanskara. Purification of the atmosphere of the house for the child is aided by this sanakara. Goddess Shashti (protector of children) is pleased by the family members for protecting the child from physical and mental issues. The baby is welcomed by the father as he feeds the baby's lips with honey and ghee. It speeds up the growth of the child in a healthy manner. Breastfeeding begins after that. During this period, mother's milk is best for the baby.

It is the fifth Sanskara of 16 in which the name of the child is whispered in the baby's ear by the father. It is usually performed between 11 and 45 days after the child's birth. Here, the first letter is generated according to Hora Shastra. It should be noted that the planetary position and Nakshatras are also considered while conducting this ceremony.

The child gets exposed to Sun's and Moon's light, it is main acitivity of this rite. It is done in the fourth month of birth. This day onwards, the child starts getting the exposure of the external environment and the child gets awarness of the surroundings.

Annaprashan Sanskar performed in the sixth month of the child's life. The child consumes solid food. The food gets marked with various Gods and Goddesses before being given to the child. Sweet porridge or soft rice are mostly prepared as the meal for the child. 

The first hair removal from the baby's head is known as Chudakarna or Mundan. It should occur on a pious day, a year later than the birthday. This ritual assists in building strength, enhancing understanding, and extending the child's life. Any sacred place is chosen for disposing of the removed hair. 

This rite takes place in the third or fifth year in which piercing in the ears is performed. It begins with worshipping the Lord Sun. This ritual has a scientific base. The primary purpose is the protection of the child from health conditions.

This sanskara is solely for boys. It is the ritual of putting on a sacred thread known as Yajnopaveetam or Janeau. As the boy completes his seventh year, the sacred thread becomes part of his life. This sanskara is the child's second birth on the spiritual journey. From now on, the education of all rituals and Vedas begins with a Guru.

This sanskara is performed together with the Upanayana. In the Gurukula or Pathashala, the study of the Vedas and Upanishadas happens. The ceremony called Upakarm takes place at the beginning of each academic semester. While the ceremony known as Upasarjana occurs at the end of each semester. From here, the child actually begins the journey of the spiritual path. It contrasts with the normal life of eating, sleeping, and procreation, which is similar to that of animals.

Samavartanam ceremony is associated with the end of formal Vedic education in Gurukula. After learning and practicing the rules of life from the Ashram's master, the boy returns to the home. This ceremony provides him with the qualification to get married as he becomes a man and has the eligibility to enter the household chores.

Entrance to the second Ashram is observed through this sansakara. Life as a sole family takes up. It is observed as a sacred relationship that holds the lifelong commitment of a wife and husband, according to the Hindu-Vedic viewpoint. It is considered to be one of the strongest bonds between the couple, which is also witnessed by their parents, relatives and friends. The bride and groom walk around the fire after tying a knot. Grains are offered to the fire by the bride and Mantras are also chanted.

At the age of 50 or 60, this ceremony is performed. This ceremony is a realization for the man that he has completed his Grahastha Dharma and now is the time to enter the Vanaprastha Ashram. Here, the person quits all the materialistic attachments and prepares for Sanyas.

The sole purpose of this rite is to get rid of all responsibilities and relationships in order to find the joy of eternal truth. Giving up everything, doing meditation and living by charity becomes the way of life.

The last happens after the death of the person. Hindus believe in burning the dead and performing certain rituals, while the majority of the world burys them. It is the last sacrifice made by the person before leaving the present world. It is performed by the family members of the deceased. As per Sanatan, the person gets dissolved in the five elements of nature.



Narayan Soni

About Acharaya Ji

Acharya Sumedh Narayan Soni is Jyotish Praveen, Jyotish Visharad, Jyotish Acharya, Vaastu Ratan

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