Smt SHALINI K BHATT
Seemantonnayanam is the third prenatal samskara. It can be termed as the samskara for the foetus mainly. But in present days, it is considered as only a Hindu ritual done for the pregnanat lady! It is ridiculous that instead of understanding the importance of this sacrament, its either neglected or not followed, saying its not a tradition in certain families! On the other hand, its just followed as a ritual where the mother-to be dresses in the new saree, green bangles and jewelry and it is called by the name valakappu or ‘shreemantha’. But no necessary procedures, of utmost importance, as said in our Grhyasutras , smrthis and ayurvedic texts, are followed!
Seemantonnayanam literally means parting the hair of the pregnant lady ceremoniously.
यस्मिन् कर्मणि गर्भिण्याः सीमान्तः उन्नेयते तत् सीमन्तोन्नयनं |
The line which runs amidst the head of women is called सीमान्तः and उन्नयनं means uplifting.
This line is created by separating the hair of the pregnant lady, with the help of a quill of porcupine. Attracting a nerve which surrounds the womb with the help of the quill of a porcupine, which has three white spots on it and uplifting it through this line and joining it with the sahasrara chakra is called seemanthonnayanam.
There are seven chakras in our body. The Chakras are considered the focal points for the reception and transmission of energies.
- Muladhara – मूलाधार Base or Root Chakra (ovaries/prostate)
- Swadhisthana – स्वाधिष्ठान, Sacral Chakra (last bone in spinal cord, the coccyx)
- Manipura -मणिपूर, (Solar Plexus Chakra (navel area)
- Anahata – अनाहत,(Heart Chakra (heart area)
- Vishuddha – विशुद्ध, (Throat Chakra (throat and neck area)
- Ajna – आज्ञा, (Brow or Third Eye Chakra (pineal gland or third eye)
- Sahasrara – सहस्रार, Crown Chakra (top of the head; ‘soft spot’ of a newborn)
Since the quill of the porcupine is capable of attracting most of the minute, delicate nerves just like a magnet, it is called as nAdIkAnta(नाडीकान्त)
By doing this samskara, a clear connection is created between the mother and the child in the womb, so that what ever she grasps from the outer world is directly passed on to the foetus very easily since the Ajna chakra and the sahasrAra chakra are now activated to an extent and a direct link is created between the child’s and the mother’s brain!
According to our GrhyasUtrAs, the right time for performing this samskara is fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth month of pregnancy. In case the child is born before this samskara is done, an option is given to do it along with jatakarma.
Its a known fact that the brain of the foetus develops after the fourth month and its capacity to grasp issues, contents from the outer environment increases. We all know about Abhimanyu, Prahlada and many others learnt many things when they were in mother’s womb itself!
Many nerves surround the foetus in the womb which may interrupt the flow of knowledge from the outer world through mother. So, the intention of the seemantonnayana samskara is to activate all the chakras from muladhara to sahasrara chakra with the help of the nAdIkAnta(quill of the porcupine) by pulling one such nerve named seemanta which surrounds the womb, through all these chakras and finally connect it to the sahasrara chakra so that the flow of knowledge stays uninterrupted! This process is completely protected by the ultrasonic waves created by the hymns(mantras)chanted during the process of parting the hair with the help of the quill, which means activation of the chakras(Mantra therapy)
During the process of seemantonnayanam, the pregnant lady is made to sit facing east, and the husband himself parts her hair upwards from the forehead three times, with a bunch containing an even number of unripe audumbara (Ficus racemosa) fruits and three bunches of darbha grass, tied to the nAdIkAnta along with the chanting of mantras. Also a garland of audumbara fruits is tied around her neck. This indicates that just like the audumbara tree is rich in sap, let the pregnant lady also be fruitful). But according to Baudhayana barley-sprouts instead of udumbara branch are used.
As soon as this is done, few hymns are chanted and also played on veena which is one of the most important phases of seemantonnayanam! It can be considered that this is done in order to pass on the knowledge to the tuned brain of the baby in the womb with the Supreme, immediately after it is activated so as to trigger the entry of the evil forces! Also, it is believed to pave way for the entry of right jeevatma, which is eagerly waiting to select such a body which suits its samskaras!
Here, one important thing about which we need to think is, why only veena is advised here and not other instruments! It can be considered that this body can be compared to the veena in many aspects. Veena has 24 houses(swara sthAnAs) so as the body has 24 tatvas! Many other issues which would be a lengthy topic to explain here. Just like the veena originates sound waves melodiously when played, the seemanta naadi also generates good vibrations when drawn and joined with sahasrara.chakra. Its just like the string played to generate vibrations! More research has to be done on this aspect.
Here, another point to be noted is why mantras addressing the rivers nearby is chanted!
We can consider that, the passing of genes from one generation to another and so on is just like the flow of the river which finally unites with the ocean, the final union of all these generations has to be with the Supreme! Also just like the whole world is covered with 75% water, our body also constitutes almost 75% water. and the embryo is also covered with water, for the protection of the embryo. To just represent this, the address is made to the river saying that just like the river carries with it many medicines and herbs with medicinal properties, let the generations carry with them all the good which help them to unite with the Supreme!
All these clearly show us that the foundation of the philosophical values has to be laid when the child is still in the womb of his mother, from where actually initial learning starts, since no other foundation is better than this to build a strong future of the kid!
Some people also follow a tradition of playing any song in ‘Shree ragam” since it is also considered as ‘mrutasanjeevini’. It is believed that it can prevent the foetus from death causing ailments if any, when this ‘mrutasanjeevini ragam is played!
It has to be noted that the pregnant lady has to be kept happy always since she is in the process of creating a ‘satprajaa‘ for the bright future of this manukula. Especially after the fourth month since the brain development of the embryo begins! If in case she is unhappy, there are chances of giving birth to unhealthy kid too, many a times, physically or mentally handicapped! So utmost care is taken for the well being of the pregnant lady. She is advised not to strain herself with too much work, physically or mentally. She is supposed to stay calm by keeping her mind engaged in some work which keeps her happy always and is advised to stay away from those things which provokes her emotions! It is really a great opportunity which only a woman can get, to become the kid’s first Guru! This is the main reason a woman is worshiped like a Goddess and is supposed to be respected at all time! At the same time her husband is also advised to not have an intercourse with his pregnant wife(especially after seventh month), take care of her with great care and affection since he is also responsible in shaping up the bright future of the child, and his family.
He is advised not to shave, not to cut his nails, hair, and many more restrictions. But it is not clear why all these are imposed on him, since no acharya or smrthikara has explained about it!