Hindu - Samskaras
By R.K. Eashvar Pillai
Garbhadanam: or Conception:
This samskara ensures the conception. This samskara is said to do away with all the impurities related to conception and reproductive system of female so as to ensure the birth of a lucky and healthy child.
Conception should be done between fourth and sixteenth night from the day of menstruation. Conception on even nights is said to give male child and on odd nights gives female child.
Nakshatras: All fixed nakshatras, Mrigasira, Anuradha,Hasta, Swati,Shravanam, Dhanishta and Satabhisha are the best nakshatras for conception.
Tithis: 1,2,3,5,7,10,12 and 13 tithis are good. Rikta tithes, Amavasya, Poornima and Bhadra tithis are to be avoided. Days: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are good. Monday is medium.
Lagna: The lagna should have benefics in kendras and Trikonas. Malefices should be in 3,6,11 houses. Lagna should be aspected by male planets and Moon should be in odd navamsa.
Proper Chandra and Tara suddhi is to be ensured for both male and female.
Pumsavanam: (Making Potent)
Pumsavanam is the samskara performed with the objective of getting male progeny and preventing abortions. Generally it ia performed in the 2nd or 3rd month of the pregnancy.
- Lord of the month of pregnancy: The lord of the month of pregnancy should be strong in transit.
- 1st month → Venus
- 2nd month → Mars
- 3rd month → Jupiter
- 4th month → Sun
- 5th month → Moon
- 6th month → Saturn
- 7th month → Mercury
- 8th month → Lord of the conception lagna
- 9th month → Moon
- 10th month → Sun
- Naksatras: Mrigasira, Pushyami, Moola, Sravana, Punarvasu, Hasta and all fixed nakshatras (Uttara triam and Rohini) are good.
- Tithis: 1,2,3,5,7,10,11 and 13 tithis of both pakshas are good.
- Days: Male days, i.e., Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday are good.
- Lagna: Lagnas and Navamsa lagans of male signs (odd signs) with benefics in kendras and trikonas and malefics in 3,6,11 houses are auspicious.
- Tara bala and Chandra bala for the pregnant woman is required.
This Samskara is performed to protect the pregnant woman from evil forces and keep the lady in happy mood ( like by an act where the husband has to comb the hair of his wife) as it will have a favourable impact on the child in the womb.
Seemantha Samskara is performed in the 6th or 8th month of pregnancy, when the lord of the concerned month is strong in transit. The Nakshatras, tithes, days and lagans as prescribed in the case of Pumsavanam hold good in the case of Seemantam also.
There is a controversy about the three pre-natal samskaras. Some people say that these are the “ Kshetra Samskaras” ( samskaras for reproductive system of female) and should be performed at the time of first pregnancy only. Some other people say that the three pre-natal samskaras are “ Garbha Samskaras” ( samskaras of the child in the womb), and should be performed at the time of each pregnancy.
Samskaras of Childhood:
Jatakarma is performed before cutting the naval-chord ( i.e., before separating the child from mother) and such needs no muhurta. Only when this samskara is not performed at the time of Nabhi-bandhana, the need of choosing muhurta will arise and in that case it is generally performed with Namakarana.
The first act in the Jata karma samskara is Medha Janana ( producing intelligence) in which the father feeds the new born child honey and ghee with his Anamika finger.
In the second act the father pronounces the names of various long living objects, there by blessing the child with long life. Ultimately the naval chord is cut and the child is separated from the mother.
If Jatakarma is not performed in time, it should be performed with Namakaranam. Both Jatakarma and Namakaranam should be performed on 11th or 12th day of the birth or according to the family tradtions. If this is done no specific muhurta is needed. If the above samskaras are not performed in time, following considerations are necessary for choosing a proper muhurta.
Nakshatras: All fixed nakshatras (Uttara Triam and Rohini), all movable nakshatras (Swati, Punarvasu, Sravanam, Dhanishta and Satabhisham), all friendly nakshatras ( Mrigasira, Revati, Chitra and Anuradha) and all short nakshatras ( Hasta, Pushyami and Abhijit) are considered good for both Jatakarma and Namakaranam.
Days: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are good. Tithis: 1,2,3,5,7,10,11,12,13 are good Lagna: 2,5,8,11,3,6,7,9 signs are good. The lagna should be occupied or aspected by natural benefic planets. Proper Tara bala and chandra bala for the child should be ensured.
This Samskara is related to the time when the child first comes out of house in open. The time for performing this Samskara varies from 12th day to 4th month after birth. It is a common practice to perform this Samskara with Namakaranam. If it is not performed at that time, it can be done in 3rd or 4th month after birth, avoiding Tuesday, Saturday, Rikta tithes,Bhadra tithes and Amavasya.
Sravanam, Mrigasira, Hasta, Anuradha, Pushya, Punarvasu, Aswani, Revati are considered to be auspicious stars. As it is the first journey to the child, all considerations relating to muhurta for journey are also applicable here.
This Samskara is related to the time when the child is to be given solid food apart from the mother’s milk. Time: In the 6th or 8th or 10th month for male child and 5th or 7th or 9th or 11th month for the female child.
Nakshatras: All fixed, all movable, all friendly and all short nakshatras are considered auspicious. Tithis: All tithes except Rikta, Nanda, Ashtami, Dwadasi and Amavasya are good. Days: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are auspicious.
Lagna: Avoid Aries, Scorpio and Pisces as lagna. Also avoid lagna of 8th rasi from natal Moon.
There should not be any planet in the 10th house and Moon should not be in 1,6,8 houses. Benefic planets in 1,3,4,5,7,9 houses and malefic planets in 3,6,11 houses are good. Proper Tara Bala and Chandra Bala for the child are necessary.
Karna Vedha (Ear Boring):
Karna Vedha or ear boaring is done to facilitate wearing of ornaments. Moreover Karna vedha is said to prevent the child from diseases relating to intestines and from swelling of testicles.
Time: Karna vedha should be done either on 10th ,12th or 16th day; or in 6th or 7th or 8th month or in odd years from the child birth.
Nakshatras: All friendly stars (Mrigasira, Revati,Chitra and Anuradha), all short nakshatras ( Hasta, Aswani, Pushyami and Abhijit), Sravanam, Dhanishta and Punarvasu are good.
Days: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are good.
Tithis: All tithes except Rikta tithes and Amavasya are good.
Karnavedha lagna should have benefics in kendras and Tikonas. Malefics should be in 3,6,11 houses. 8th house should be vacant and should not be aspected by any planet. The lagna sign should be preferably belonging to Jupiter or Venus with Jupiter in lagna.
Proper Chandra bala and Tarabala should be seen for the child. For male child karnavedha should start with right ear first and then left ear. For female child it starts with left ear first and then right ear.
Chudakaranam or Choulam or Mundana or Tonsure:
The basic aim of this smaskara is to cut the hair for the first time for getting pleasant personality, good fortune and long life. After cutting the hair is either mixed with cow dung and buried in Gosala or thrown in a river as these hair is prone to Abhichara or black magic.
Mundana is considered auspicious in 3rd or 5th year. It can also be performed in 7th year or with Upanayana samskara. Even years should be avoided.
Chudakarana or Mundana should not be performed to the eldest son or daughter when Sun is in Taurus. If mother is having pregnancy of more than 5 months, then mundane for the child of less than 5 years age should not be done.
Solar months of Makara, Kumbha, Mesha, Vrishabha and Mithuna are considered auspicious.
Nakshatras: All Movable nakshatras (Swati, Punarvasu, Sravanam, Dhanishta and Satabhisha), all short nakshatras (Hasta, Aswini and Pushyami), Mrigasira, Revati, Chitra and Jyeshta are considered good.
Tithis: 2,3,5,7,10,11,13 tithis are auspipcious. Days: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are good. Lagna: Avoid lagna of Janma rasi and 8th from janma rasi. Consider lagnas and navamsa lagna of benefic planets with benefics in Kendra & Konas and malefics in 3,6,11 houses.
The 8th house should be vacant. Proper Tara bala and Chandra bala for the child is to be seen.
This Samskara is the introduction of Alphabets (Akshara) to the child. After worshiping Lord Ganesha, Guru, Saraswati and family diety, the child is introduced to alphabets. The Guru sits facing east and the child sits facing the west.
Time: Aksharabhyasa can be done in 5th year and in Uttarayana. Nakshatras: All short nakshatras ( Hasta, Aswini, Pushyami and Abhijit), Swati, Punarvasu, Sravanam, Revati, Chitra, anuradha and Jyesta are good. Tithis: 2,3,5,6,10,11,12 tithis are good. Days: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are good. Lagna: Lagnas of benefics leaving movable rasis (2,3,6,9,12) with benefics strongly placed in 7th or 10th and 8th house being vacant. Proper Chandra Bala and Tara bala should be seen for the child.
In this Samskara the bachelor is given “ Gayatri Upadesha” by the Acharya and the teacher teaches the bachelor about Vedas and behavioral code of conduct and disciplines of Brahmacharya Ashrama. After Upanayana the person is called Dwija or reborn. He is said to have taken rebirth from the womb of Acharya. After this samskara the person wears a sacred thread called Yagnopaveetham.
The Yagnopaveetham contains three threads reminding the person that he has to pay his three debts called Pitru, Rishi and Deva runam. Timing: Counting the age from the birth or conception, the age prescribed is 5th to 8th year for Brahmins, 6th to 11th year for Kshatriyas and 8th to 12th year for Vaisyas. The maximum age limit is 16 years for Brahmins, 22 years for Kshatriyas and 24 years for Vaishyas. Solar months of Makara, Kumbha, Meena, Mesha, Vrishabha and Mithuna are considered good. Upanayana of eldest son should not be done when Sun is in Vrishabha.
Upanayana is to be performed during Uttarayana only.
All fixed nakshatras (Uttara triam, Rohini), all friendly nakshatras (Mrigasira, Revati, Chitra and Anuradha), Allshort nakshatras ( Hasta, Aswini, Pushyami and Abhijit) and all movable nakshatras( Swati, Punarvasu, Sravanam, Dhanishta and Satabhisham) are considered to be good. Punarvasu is not considered to be good for Brahmins.
Tithis: 2,3,5,10,11 and 12 tothis of both bright and dark half are auspicious. Days: All days except Tuesday and Saturday are good. For Samavedis, even Tuesday is good. Part of the day: Divide the length of the day in three parts. Upanayana is considered auspicious in first part of the day. Lagna: In Upanayana lagna, benefics placed in kendras and Trikonas and Malefics in 3,6,11 houses are considered good. Jupiter, Moon,
Venus and lagna lord should not be in Trik houses and should not be conjoined with malefic. Strength of Jupiter is an important condition in Upanayana. The 5th house should be strong and 8th house should be vacant. Proper Tarabala and Chandra bala should be seen for both Acharya and Vatu, i.e., teacher and student. As so many above-mentioned factors are to be observed, it is very difficult to fix a muhurta for Upanayana.
This Samskara is performed when a person starts learning Vedas. It can be performed with Upanayana or separately depending upon the age at which the Upanayana samskara is performed. Nakshatras: All fixed, movable, short, friendly nakshatras and Arudra are considered good. Tithis: 2,3,5,6,10,11 and 12 are good. Days: Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are good. Lagna: Benefics should be in kendras and Trikonas and Malefics should be in 3,6,11 houses. 8th house should be vacant. Proper Tarabala and Chandra bala is an important requirement.
Kesanta: (First Shaving):
This is also called “Godana”. This Samskara is performed at the age of 16 years and is indicative of entry into adulthood. After shaving, the hair is disposed off in the same manner in which it is done at the time of Chudakaranam or Choulam. On this occasion a cow is donated to the Guru. This Samskara can be performed in the same nakshatras, tithes, days and lagans as are mentioned in Choulam Samskara.
Samavartanam is also called Snataka vratam. This means return of student to his home from Gurukulam after completing his education. This smaskara is indicative of completion of education and bachelorhood and is like “No-objection certificate” for marriage. In this Samskara, the student after taking bath and giving Guru Dakshina, is introduced to all materialistic articles and all the symbols of Brahmacharya are disposed off in water.
Now a days people do not perform this samskara at proper time and in proper manner. This samskara, now a days is performed at the time of marriage. Proper Panchanga suddi, Tarabala and chandra bala are to be ensured.
Marriage is considered as one of the most important samskara without which a person cannot get fulfillment in Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Marriage is the only means through which a person can pay one’s Pitru Runam by giving birth to a child.
Muhurta for marriage:
The selection of proper muhurta for marriage is a comlex process and it is discussed in 5 stages.
10 malefic doshas are to be avoided. Other doshas like Ekavimsati maha doshas (21 doshas) are to be avoided. Panchanga suddi and lagna suddhi are to be verified. Tribala Suddhi of Sun, Moon and Jupiter are to be seen. Other considerations like Tarabala, Chandra bala and Panchaka suddhi, Jamitra suddhi are to be seen. Months: Marriages can be performed during Solar months of Vrischika, Makara, Kumbha, Mesha, Vrishabha and Mithusna. In Lunar months the Magha, Phalguna, Vaisakha, Jyehta are considered to be auspicious. Karteeka and Margasira also considered to be good. Nakshatras: All fixed nakshatras, Mrigasira, Revati, Anuradha, Moola, Swati, Magha and Hasta are considered to be auspicious. Tithis: 2,3,5,7,10,11 and 13 are good. Days: Days of benefic planets are the best and the others are medium. Lagna: Lagna suddhi is important. The 7th and 8th houses should be vacant. In marriage muhurta, Sun in 1/7 houses, Moon in 1/6/7/8/ houses, Mars in 1/7/8/10 houses, Mercury in 7/8/ houses, Jupiter in 7/8 houses, Venus in 3/6/7/8 houses, Saturn in 1/7/12 houses, Rahu/Ketu in 1/7 houses and lagna lord in 6/8 houses should be avoided. Preferably 7th and 8th houses should be vacant. Tara bala and Chandra bala for both bride and bride-groom should be ensured.