This post was written by Bhasmank Mehta, Posted on 24th January 2016,Updated on 19th August 2016
ACCORDING to Sanatan Dharma, (Hindu Religion as otherwise or more commonly known!) there are SIXTEEN Sanskars (Processes of Purification). These Sixteen Sanskars are the primary reasons to seek spiritual guidance from a Hindu Priest. Inevitably they help lead you – or to be precise, your child – to a prosperous and lead a peaceful life. In short, these were created to help resolve many, if not ALL the events or situations that occur in one’s life.
Surprisingly, this statement applies even to this day. Yes, even in the 21st Century and it will continue to do so for many more centuries, if not millennia or even aeons to come.
According to Manu Smruti (2/27), initially, there were 12 Sanskars. Needless to say, a number of them have been broken down. (Not Added, as one may otherwise want to perceive!). This has helped simplify the structure for the younger generation that found the older version a bit overwhelming. Obviously, there is that most important of all, the time-factor, to be taken into account as well. People on the whole are after ceremonies lasting only a few hours rather than days on end. Instead of stipulating the changes, over what period and why, I will try and incorporate all the alterations &/or amendments as I write on each of the Sanskar ceremonies.
Of course, there are additional rituals or ceremonies on the periphery. These are to enhance one’s mind and they can also contribute to creating a positive atmosphere not only in the household but also in one’s surrounding environment. I will discuss them in other parts of this website as well. You can search the website or visit this page for further ‘Links’ if, as or when available.
Just think of those small but bitter tussles a couple undergoes that lead, or possibly could lead to bigger arguments. Sometimes silence or even the lack of communication between couples ensues. Or to take another situation, a project at hand that may not be going as planned or according to the planner’s wishes. Most of these Sanskars or ceremonies are designed to assist in avoiding such scenarios.
As I have stated many times before, I, your very own Sanatan Hindu Priest, Bhasmank Mehta has taken time to study these subjects so as to be of assistance. After all, in the ‘Modern World’, does one not pay for such life changing classes? These can be training courses at work; attitude changing courses, motivational classes, negotiating skills and so on. Do you not spend time, effort and money? But then, those courses seldom have any follow ups, do they? These do!
The sixteen Sanskars that we will be focusing on are as follows. You will note that some points have been further broken down to accommodate the latest trend to separate any given ceremony. Again, this is purely due to shortening of times as mentioned above.
|No.||Manu Smruti||Modern Times||Literal Meaning|
|01||Garbhadhan||Garbhadhan||Gifting the womb/ conception|
|02||Poo(n)savan||Poo(n)savan||Engendering a Male Issue|
|03||Seemant||Seemant||Parting of Hair|
|04||Jaat Karma||Jaat Karma||Natal Rites|
|05||Naam Karan||Naam Karan||Naming of Child|
|06||Nishkraman||Nishkraman||Child’s First Outing|
|07||Anna Praashan||Anna Praashan||Child’s First Solid Food Feeding|
|08||Chaul (Chooda Karma)||Chaul/ Choodaa Karma||Child’s First Hair Cut|
|09||Praishartha/ Vidyaarambh||Commence Studies|
|10||Upnayan||Upnayan/ Yagyopavit||Wearing a Sacred Thread|
|11||Keshant||Keshanta||Remove All Hair (Boys@16)|
|11.1||Ritusiddhi||First Menstruation (Girls)|
|11.2||Vedaarambh||Ved Aarambh||Start of Ved Learning|
|13.1||Pithi/ Grah Shanti||Pre-Wedding Ceremony|
|14||Grahastha Ashram||Grahastha Ashram||The 1st Anniversary|
|15.1||Vaanaprasth Ashram||Vaanaprasthashram||Tulsi Vivaah/ Retirement|
|16||Antyesht||Agni/ Antyeshtha||Last Rites|
|16.1||Cremation||End of Soul’s Journey|
|16.2||Sarav’voo||12th, 13th 14th day Ceremony||End of Mourning Period|
Various names are available in many text books as well as on the internet for the ‘Modern Day’ versions. The version herein is likely to be the most comprehensive one that I am aware of and the one that I will be working from. Do please let me know if your prescribed version is different to the one herein.
The main part of this site will be devoted to each of the Sanskars mentioned herein. Most will be in chronological order. Some, however, will have their own pages and sections (including sub-sections) as these are much more involved. As always, do please assist by rating this section before moving on.
Please search this site for what you are looking for. If you are unable to find the information you want, please also search in the FAQ section. In the event that you do not find the relevant information you are looking for – most likely in the earlier days of this site being live – please do not hesitate to communicate with me. It will be my pleasure to find an adequate response to your query. In turn, helping us enhance our knowledge as well. As always, I am Bhasmank Mehta, your very own Sanatan Hindu Priest from London. Do help by rating this article and also adding any comments you feel appropriate for our forthcoming generations.
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God Bless & I Look Forward To Hearing From You
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