What Are the Child-Bearing Sacraments?

Lesson of the Day
The Master Course by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

Sloka 94 from Dancing with Siva
What Are the Child-Bearing Sacraments?

The essential child-bearing samskaras are the garbhadhana, rite of conception; the punsavana, third-month blessing; the simantonnaya, hair-parting ceremony; and the jatakarma, welcoming the new-born child. Aum.

Conception, pregnancy’s crucial stages and birth itself are all sanctified through sacred ceremonies performed privately by the husband. In the rite of conception, garbhadhana, physical union is consecrated through prayer, mantra and invocation with the conscious purpose of bringing a high soul into physical birth. At the first stirring of life in the womb, in the rite called punsavana, special prayers are intoned for the protection and safe development of child and mother. Between the fourth and seventh months, in the simantonnaya, or hair-parting sacrament, the husband lovingly combs his wife’s hair, whispers sweet words praising her beauty and offers gifts of jewelry to express his affection and support. Through the jatakarma samskara, the father welcomes the newborn child into the world, feeding it a taste of honey and clarified butter and praying for its long life, intelligence and well-being. The Vedas proclaim, “That in which the prayers, the songs and formulas are fixed firm like spokes in the hub of a cartwheel, in which are interwoven the hearts of all beings–may that spirit be graciously disposed toward me!” Aum Namah Sivaya.
Lesson 249 from Living with Siva
The Joy of Pilgrimage

In our religious life, one of the most fulfilling aspects is pilgrimage. We have a joy in looking forward to a spiritual journey, and we experience a contentment while on our pilgrimage and later bask in the glowing aftermath of the pujas. It is like going to see a great friend, a devotee’s most loved friend–the Ishta Devata. We travel to the far-off temple where this great friend is eminently present. At that particular temple, this personal God performs a certain function, offers a specific type of blessing to pilgrims who make the pilgrimage to that home. In this way, different temples become famous for answering certain types of prayers, such as requests for financial help, or prayers for the right mate in marriage, prayers to be entrusted with the raising of high-souled children, or help in matters of yoga, or help in inspiring bhakti and love. …PLEASE CLICK TO READ MORE