Annaprashan for Sia
June 6, 2015
(Samskaras are, in one context, the diverse rites of passage of a human being from conception to cremation, signifying milestones in an individual’s journey of life in Hinduism. Annaprashan samskara is celebrating a baby’s first taste of solid food.
In Hinduism, the samskaras vary in number and details according to regional traditions. They range from the list of 48 samskaras in the Gautama Dharmasutras from about the middle of 1st millennium BCE, to 16 samskaras in the Gryhasutras texts from centuries later. The list of samskaras in Hinduism include both external rituals such as those marking a baby’s birth and a baby’s name giving ceremony, as well as inner rites of resolutions and ethics such as compassion towards all living beings and positive attitude. – Wikipedia)
Some Hindus will perform all the samskaras, while others will perform only a few that are meaningful and significant to them.
Below we share Sia’s Annaprashan in images.
The day begins early in the Lotus Room with the children.
Jyothi, Sangeeta, and Shermilla assist Prema preparing prasadam for the event.
Scott and Prema, Sia’s parents, present the prasadam in the Lotus Room.
Scott prepares Sia’s banana leaf plate with her first food, rice custard, and other items that will be served.
First, the food is offered to Siva in the Sadisvara Mandiram.
Below, Ganesh recites a prayer for offering food to Lord Sadisvara:
AUM the earth, the atmosphere, the heaven. O Lord Savita ! give me permission to do this.I sprinkle water around the truth, the right also. You be the spreading nectar. Oblations to the five vital airs (prana, apana, vyana, udana, samana). Oblation to Brahman.To Sadisvara I offer, cooked rice, the great naivedyam (food offering). In between food I offer sweet water. You be the covering nectar for food. After naivedyam I offer water for purifying.
Sia and her mother are beautifully dressed for the occasion.
Saeesha, Janani, and Sia wait while preparations for the event are made.
Sangeeta and Sia engage in play time while waiting.
Oh! Sangeeta! Hold on to your nose!
Ganesh and Scott prepare a small area in the Lotus Room.
Devotees gather and Nome reads from the Taittiriya Upanshad
All beings that rest on the earth are born verily from food. Besides, they live on food, and at the end, they get merged in food. Food was verily born before all creatures; therefore it is called the medicine for all. Those who worship food as Brahman acquire all the food. Food was verily born before all creatures; therefore it is called the medicine for all. Creatures are born of food; being born, they grow by food, Since it is eaten and it eats the creatures, it is called food.
He who knows thus, attains, after desisting from this world, this self made of food. After attaining this self made of food, then attaining this self made of vital force, then attaining this self made of mind, then attaining this self made of intelligence, then attaining this self made of bliss, and roaming over these worlds with command over food at will and command over all forms at will, he continues singing this sama song: Oh! Oh! Oh! I am the food, I am the food, I am the food; I am the eater, I am the eater, I am the eater; I am the unifier, I am the unifier, I am the unifier; I am the first born of this world consisting of the formed and the formless, I am earlier than the gods. I am the navel of immortality. He who offers me thus, protects me just as I am. I, food as I am, eat him up who eats food without offering. I engulf the entire universe. Our effulgence is like that of the sun. This is the Upanishad.
After the reading, Scott places Sia’s food near Nome along with Sia’s gift offering.
Scott and Prema requested Nome to give Sia her first solid food. Sasvati assists Nome.
Sia examines the food.
Sia is not altogether sure about this solid food. But she continues to take the food from Nome.
Are you sure about this?!
Sia looks to Nome for reassurance.
Hmm. Sia looks very suspicious about this solid food and is wondering where the real food is—mothers food.
Sia’s first solid food feeding is complete. Now other devotees take prasadam.
The special silver vessel given by Sia and to be used during puja is placed on the Siva lingam altar.
“I am the first born of this world consisting of the formed and the formless, I am earlier than the gods. I am the navel of immortality. He who offers me thus,
protects me just as I am.