Jatakarma Sanskar (Make the Baby taste something sweet)
According to Acharya Charaka, it is to be performed after the cutting of the umbilical cord. On the first day of birth, the child should be given first feeding of honey and Ghrita consecrated with Mantra as given for this purpose. Thereafter, milk from the right breast should be offered to the child.
This ceremony was done to examine the baby to rule out anomalies such as cleft palate, hare lips, tracheoesophageal fistula, fissured tongue etc.
The first feed was to initiate gastrointestinal movements and activate the gut.
The benefits of breastfeeding for the mum were to initiate the contraction of the uterus, reduce involution, reduce chances of postpartum haemorrhage and it is nature’s amazing way to offer protection against getting pregnant again.
It is said that the Rooting and Sucking reflex that led to Swallowing coordination was assessed while offering honey and ghee.
In current times, it is best to check with your doctor if you should follow this practice.
Mantras (Holy words to whisper in the baby’s ears)
(Holy words to whisper in baby’s ears)In the mantras of Jatakarma, it is prayed that the newborn child should grow with a strong body, long life, unlimited wealth, undying fame, sharp intellect and so on.
यावन्न चछिद्याते नालम तवन्नाप्नोती सुतका छिन्ने नाले ततः पश्चात सुतकम तु विधीयते॥
"Yavanna chchidyathe naalam tavannapnoti sutakaChinne naale tatah: paschat sutakam tu vidhiyate॥”
As soon as a child is born, Jaathakarma should be commenced after bath and dressing. If possible, clean the baby properly and proceed.
11 mantras are chanted and it is generally Agnideva (God of fire) who is praised.
Agnideva’s grace is essential to the newborn child. Agnideva graces us in many ways being Jaatharagni (Agni in the stomach for digestion), he bestows good health, he carries Havirbhaga from us to Devas and helps in getting their grace to us, he generates clouds for making the land fertile through rains. Hence Agnideva is specially praised for obtaining his grace for the newborn child.
- जातम वातसप्रेनाभिमरिस्या आपऽग्रुसुत्र।
“Jaatham vaatsaprenaabhimrisya aapa-gru-sutra”
This mantra should be chanted first and then the newborn child should be touched.
- उत्तरेण यजुषा उपस्थ आधयाऽग्रु।
“Uttarena Yajusha upastha aadhaya-Aa-gru”
Chanting the Yajur mantra, the father should keep the child in his lap.
- अस्मिन्नाहम सहस्रम पुष्यामयेधामनः स्वे वसे।
“Asminnaham sahasram pushyamyedhamanah:sve vase”
“Being independent, I should get my thousands of wishes fulfilled through this child in due course.”
It is prayed here that without affecting the independence of parents, the child should be of special help to them. With this mantra, smelling the head of the baby and chanting in the baby’s right ear should be done.
- अंगादांगाद संभवसी ह्रद्यादधिजयसे।
आत्मा वै पुत्राणमासि स जीव सारादस्सथाम॥
“Angaadangaat sambhavasi hridayaadadhijayase|
Atma vai putranamaasi sa jiva saradassatham||”
“You are born from each of my limbs. Heart is the abode of desire called “Putra”, you are indeed my Atma (form). May you live a hundred years.”
For a girl child:
सर्वस्मादतमनः सम्भरीतासि सऽजीव सारादस्सथाम
“Sarvasmaadatmanah: sambhritaasi saajiva saradassatham||”
“You are created out of my entire body. May you live a hundred years.”
- अस्म भाव परसुर भाव हिरण्यमसत्रुतम भाव।
पसुनम त्व हिंकरेनाभिजीघ्रम्यसौ॥
“Asma bhava parasur bhava hiranyamastrutam bhava|
Pasunam tva hinkarenaabhijighramyasou||”
“Son! I smell you like cows smell calves with the sound of ‘him’. Be strong like a stone; Conquer others like an axe; Be handsome like unblemished gold.”
- मेधाम ते देवस्सवित मेधाम देवी सरस्वती।
मेधाम ते अस्विनौ देव वधत्तामम पुष्करास्राजः॥
“Medham te Devassavita medham Devi Saraswati|
Medham te Asvinou deva vadhattamam pushkarasraja||”
“May Saraswati Devi and Aswini Devas wearing lotus garlands bless you with Medha (power of retentive memory).”
- त्वयि मेधाम त्वयि प्रजाम त्वयाग्निस्तेजो दधातु।
त्वयि मेधाम त्वयि प्रजाम त्वयेन्द्र इन्द्रियम दधातु॥
त्वयि मेधाम त्वयि प्रजाम त्वयि सुर्यो भ्राजो दधातु॥
“Tvayi medham tvayi prajam tvayyagnistejo dadhatu|
Tvayi medham tvayi prajam tvayeendra indriyam dadhatu|
Tvayi medham tvayi prajam tvayi Suryo bhrajo dadhatu||”
“May Agnideva bestow on you retentive memory, progeny and splendour and power. May Indra bestow on you retentive memory, progeny and power of Indriyas (sense organs). May Surya bestow on you retentive memory, progeny and brilliance.”
- क्षेत्रियै त्व निरुत्यै त्व द्रुहोमुंचमि वरुनस्य पसत।
अनगासम ब्राम्हणे त्व करोमी सिवे ते द्यावपृथ्वी उभे इमे॥
“Kshetriyai tva Nirrutyai tva druhomunchami Varunasya pasat|
Anagasam Brahmane tva karomi sive te dyavaprithvi ubhe ime||”
“I release you from incurable disease, from Nirruti, the goddess of destruction, from treacherous persons and from Varuna’s noose (disease called Mahodara, i.e. dropsy). I shall make you sinless and brahmana, fit to chant Vedas. May both Upper spheres and Earth be auspicious to you.”
- सम ते अग्निः सहदभिरस्तु सम द्यावपृथ्वी सहौषधहिभिः।
सम अन्तरिक्षाम सहःवतेन ते सम ते चतस्रहः प्रदिसो भवन्तु॥
“Sam te Agnih: sahaadbhirastu sam dyavaprithvi sahoushadhibhih|
Sam antariksham sahavatena te sam te chatasrah: pradiso bhavantu||”
“May Agni, Water, Upper spheres, Earth, Herbs, Intermediate sphere and the four Directions be propitious to you.”
- या दैविस चतस्रः प्रदिसो वातपत्निदभिः सुर्यो विचस्ते।
तासम त्वजरसा आदधमि प्रयक्ष्म येतु निरुतिम पराचैः॥
“Ya Daivis chatasrah: pradiso vatapatnidabhi Suryo vichashte|
Taasam tvajarasa aadadhami prayakshma yetu Nirrutim paraachaih||”
“Surya spreads his light in all directions. May you live as long as directions exist. May the isease ‘yakshma’ (consumptive disease) run away from you."
- Chanting the following mantra, the child should be placed on the lap of the mother.
माथे कुमारम रक्षावधिन्म धेनुरत्यासारीनी।
प्रिय धानस्य भुय एधामन स्वे ग्रीहे॥
“Mathe kumaram rakshovadhinma dhenuratyaasaarini|
Priya dhanasya bhuya edhamana sve grihe||”
“May the demon not kill your son. May animals like cows, running after its calf, do not harm your child. May you get wealth, receive kindness and grow further at your own home.”
Danam (A ceremonial gift)
It is believed that Devas and Pitrus (good souls) come towards the house in which the child is born. Hence that day is considered very good. Gold, land, cow, horse, chariot, umbrella, sheep, cloth, flower, bed, seat, house, food grains, cooked rice mixed with condiments, jaggery and ghee should be given in ‘danam’ throughout that day as per Ayurveda.
Karnavedha Sanskar (Piercing ears)
Pricking of the ears serves both ornamental purposes as well as protects the baby from diseases, as per Ayurveda. Many traditions follow this sankar on the 12th day after birth. Acharya charaka has recommended the sixth, seventh or eighth month for this rite in cold climates.
A fine small gold ornament is put in the pierced ear by the goldsmith. Nowadays, new machines and guns are there which can pierce an ear within seconds.
- Local inflammation, which occurs after Karnavedha is created by a wound which may act as a buffering mechanism for stimulation of the body's immune system. This Indian custom looks like the acupuncture method stimulation of adrenal glands intern reduces the respiratory infections.
- Ornaments worn after Karnavedhana exerts continuous pressure Injury can precipitate local.
- Lymph glands are stimulated to prevent Graha Rogas (microorganism).
- While piercing the ear usually baby cries and vocabulary of the child can be indirectly tested as by 7th, 8th, 9th month infants start verbalising words like ma, pa, da, ba etc.
- This is the time when primary dentition (formation of teeth) starts. That can also be assessed during this cry.
Sootika Shashthi (Worshipping Shashthi goddess)
Sutika Shashthi means the ‘sixth day’s ceremony after the birth of the child’.
There are some rituals which are followed on the 6th day or 6th night of the child’s birth. They are called Sootika Shashthi.
Shashthi Mata (Revati) goddess should be worshipped and the whole night should be spent in conducting prayers and singing hymns to please the goddess.
The goddess is said to shield the child from evil spirits, especially from Shashthi or Revati Graham (planets of the system) and also provide good health and happiness.
Mum and dad, hope you found these ancient Indian customs interesting and useful.