SHALINI K BHATT
After the birth of the child, the father should have his bath, take the baby in his hands, and make the baby lick gold along with honey and ghee using ring finger, along with the chanting of प्रते ददामि, मेधान्ते देवस्सविता and few other mantras in the ears of the new born. This has to be done prior to the first breast feed, even before the naval cord is cut, But care has to be taken that honey and ghee are not to be mixed in equal proportions. Honey has to be in greater proportion than ghee!
It awakens the child’s intellect, gives strength, and promotes longevity of the child. So it can be considered as both shareera and buddhi samskara!
But in the present day, it is performed after the naval cord is cut because the situations do not permit them to do!
In post delivery period Shushruta and Kashyapa advise to give gold for मेधाजनन.
जातकर्मणि कृते मधुसर्पिरनन्त चूर्णं अङ्गुल्या अनामिकया लेहयेत्। (सु.शा.10.1)5
(सुवर्णस्य गुञ्जाप्रमाणेन मिश्रम्)
सौवर्णं सुकृतं चूर्णं कुष्टं मधुघृतं वचा । मत्याक्षः शङ्खपुष्पी मधुसर्पिः सकाञ्चनम्
अर्कपुष्पी मधुघृतं चूर्णितं कनकं वचा । हेम चूर्णानि कैडर्यं श्वेतदूर्वा घृतं मधु ।।
चत्वारोभिहिता प्राशः श्लोकार्धेषु चतुर्ष्वपि | (सु.शा.10.68-69)
According to Sushrutha, gold has to be mixed with Madhu(honey) -Gritha(ghee) along with (Kushta + vacha) / (Bramhi + Shankha pushpi) / (Vacha+ Arka pushpi) / (White doorva + Kaidarya) either of them can be given.
By doing this child will get high level of intelligence, digestive strength, long life, happiness, physical strength, complexion, avoids ill effects. In one month child will become very intelligent(मेधावी),
Gets good immunity towards diseases and in six months, gets capacity to remember whatever is heard.
Lets just try to know a few properties and uses of the materials used here in brief so that we can understand the importance of the ingredients used here!
Action of honey on doshas:
Kaphahara(alleviator of kapha),alpa vatalam(mild wind aggravator)
Specific actions of honey:
Grahi(constipative), lekhana(depleting or scraping), chakshushya(promoter of eye sight), deepana(digestive stimulant), swarya(promoter of voice), saukumarya karam(giving tenderness to the body parts), hlaadi(which gives freshness), prasadajanaka, varnya(good for complexion), medhakara(promoter of intellect), vrishya(aphrodisiac), rochana(promoter of taste), srotovishodhaka(good for clearing the obstructions in the channels), vrana shodhana ropanam(good for cleaning and healing the wounds), yogavahi(which enhances the efficacy of other drugs when mixed).
The pH of honey is commonly between 3.2 and 4.5.This relatively acidic pH level prevents the growth of many bacteria Antioxidants in honey have even been associated with reducing the damage done to the colon in colitis Honey has also been used for centuries as a treatment for sore throats and coughs and, according to recent research, may be an effective soothing agent for coughs. It also has antibiotic activities.
(for kapha, use more honey than ghee, and for vata and pitta, use more ghee than honey.)
Specific actions of ghee:
Chakshushya(promoter of eye sight), vrishay(aphrodisiac), agnikrith(digestive stimulant), medha(promoter of intellect), laavanya(beauty), kanti(complexion), ojovardhaka(promoter of ojas), tejovardhaka( brilliance), alakshmighnam(good to remove the inauspiciousness), paapaghnam(good for reducing papa karma), rakshoghnam(good one to prevent evil spirits), vayasthapaka(restores the age), balya(promoter of strength), pavithra(clean), aayushyam(promoter of lifespan), mangala(auspicious), rasayanam(good for the channels), sugandham(sweet smelling), rochanam(promoter of taste), and it the best among the ghee category.
Sushruta says mothers milk starts only after 3rd or 4th day, till then honey and ghee along with gold should to be given three times per day.
(In Sayana bhashya of Atharvaveda it is adviced to give Shankha nabhi (dakshinaavarta) , Vacha and Gold during उपनयन for मेधाजनन so that the child will be able to retain, recite, reproduce Veda mantra without stress.)
So we can now guess why the use of gold, honey and ghee was mentioned in the jatakarma samskara!
Really great are our ancestors! The level of love and care they had for the future generations!
They never wished to take a chance too in the well being of mankind! Every stage of our growth was monitored and purified! Hats off to those great souls who always gave us a better life in this birth!
This is the second post natal sacrament and literally the naming ceremony of the new born. It is generally performed on the eleventh, first day of the third month or second year. While some are of the opinion that it has performed along with the jaatakarma samskara, as soon as the birth of the child.
Every activity of a person starts from the name itself. He is recognised by his name only. Since a very early age itself, he is made known of his responsibilities for the society in future through his name itself and this name always keeps reminding him of his duties and responsibilities he needs to bring into practice, there by contributing a lot to the well being of himself and the society where he dwells! This is supposed to be the main aim of the Namakarana samskara!
Some of our sutrakaras have mentioned a few rules, to be followed while selecting name.
Females are generally soft spoken, lovable, kind hearted and gentle by nature!
So it is advised to choose those names with such letters which define femininity in pronunciation too.It is advised to select names with odd number of syllables, with a taddhita pratyaya, long vowels mainly at the end, and mostly with the letters which are not harsh to hear or which represent softness in pronunciation, for females. Also Manu says, there should be no names of stars, rivers, plants or trees, birds, serpents, servants and frightful names, while selecting names for a female child
Males are generally rough and tough, strong and brave enough! So it is advised to select such letters, names which exhibit these characteristics. For example: Bhadrasena, Subhaga,Bheema, Yaajnyavalkya, etc. Just if we spell these names itself we feel some toughness, strength in it because of the letters in those names.
There are some opinions that male names should contain even number of syllables, with short vowels, having visarga in the end. Ashwalayanacharya says “One who is desirous of fame, his name should consist of two syllables, one who desires holy lustre, his name should contain four syllables.
In a nutshell, selection of names has to be done carefully such that they easily differentiate male and female natures. Names remind duties and responsibilities of a person and make him work according to it. For example, Subhaga. Here su means good, Bhaga means fortune, wealth, luck, etc. Wealth has several meanings. Not only richness, health, education, long life, character,etc are also wealth! So Subhaga would means one who has all these.
Also, Subhaga means an ascetic, one who will get liberated, one who has good desires, one whose efforts are good, one who is virtuous or righteous, one with good knowledge, glorious, handsome,etc., So when he is called by that name, will not it work at least a little bit on him? Doesn’t it remind him of his responsibilities (both self and social) and aims of his birth? Will it not help him to work on it? If he tries to be at least any one of these will that not be something great ?? This has to be the main intention while selecting names and not just naming a child without understanding its actual intention.
It is a proved fact that sound is the source of everything in this universe. Thoughts are subtler forms of vibrations that have an effect on our environment. It is an important reminder to us that we should be careful in what we think too. So if there is a strong intention of spreading peace around us, then purer our thoughts should be. So, obviously while naming a child all these factors have to be kept in mind. Today we come across many such names where it would be difficult to even find out if its the name of a male or a female. And, many a times meaningless too! This is really ridiculous! A name is not just a name, its an indicator of our responsibility, a representative of our ‘self’!
By now, it would be clear why namakaraNa is considered to be a sacrament! Every action of our ancestors teaches us our responsibilities in this life.
(The details regarding rituals are not mentioned in detail here. Its just an attempt to give a short note on the importance of 16 sacraments)