Posted by: satramana | November 1, 2014

Rites of Passage: Samskaras

 

Om Namah Sivaya

Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya

 

Samskaras are a series of rituals that serve as rites of passage and mark the various stages of human life.

On October 19, 2014, devotees held a small ceremony for Scott and Prema and their unborn child who is due to arrive in December.

baby 06

baby 05

The necessary implements are procured and an altar is made by Ganesh and Dhanya. The ceremony is given by Ganesh. First, Scott and Prema are moved to the proper position…he is on the right and she is on the left.

baby 02

This form of samskara is typically done after the seventh month of pregnancy when the child in the womb is believed to have developed hearing capacity. At this point the child should be hearing sattvic sounds in the form of discourses and chants from holy texts, sacred stories and songs, all of which should be recited in a holy, peaceful and joyful atmosphere. 

The event begins with a traditional sixteen step gaṇeśa pūja for this auspicious occasion to be obstacle-free, followed by obeisance to Guru – guru vandanaṃ (brahmanandam, apara-saccid).

baby 04

Above, the form of Sri Ganapti is made of turmeric.

baby 07

baby 09

baby 10

baby 08

baby 15

Once blessings are received from Sri Ganapti and the Guru, the following chants were sung for the well being and protection of the mother-to-be and her unborn child.

____________________________________________________________________

garbha-rakṣā gayatri

oṃ garbha-rakṣāmbikāyai ca vidmahe maṅgala-devatāyai ca dhīmahi tanno devi pracodayāt

OM, to that  Goddess who protects pregnancy we know and to that auspicious Goddess, may we direct our minds (meditate). May that Goddess inspire (impel) us.

 

garbha-rakṣā-stotraṃ

ehyāhi bhagavan brahman prajākarttā prajāpate
pragṛhṇīśva balim caimāṃ sāpatyaṃ rakṣa garbhiṇīm

O Lord Brahma, Who creates people, the lord of the people. Be pleased to accept this offering, please protect this pregnant woman along with her unborn baby, from all dangers.

 

aśvinī-devadevesau pragṛhṇīdaṃ baliṃ dvimāṃ
sāpatyaṃ garbhiṇīṃ caimāṃ rakṣatāṃ  pūjayānaya

O Ashvini Devas (physician), the ones to be honored, be pleased to accept this offering, please protect this pregnant woman along with her unborn baby, from all dangers.

 

rudreśaikādaśa proktaḥ pragṛhṇantu baliṃ dvimāṃ
yuṣmākam prītaye vṛttam nityaṃ rakṣatu garbhiṇīm

O Rudras who are eleven, Please accept this offering, to make us happy,  please protect this pregnant woman along with her unborn baby daily.

 

āditya dvādaśa proktaḥ pragṛhṇītvaṃ baliṃ dvimāṃ
yuṣmākaṃ tejasām vṛddhya nityam rakṣatu garbhiṇīm

O Sun Gods who are twelve, Please accept this offering, By increasing your luster, please protect this pregnant woman along with her unborn baby daily.

 

vināyaka gaṇādhyakṣa śiva-putra mahābala
pragṛhṇīśva baliṃ caimām sāpatyaṃ rakṣa garbhiṇīm

O Vinayaka, the Lord of gana-s, the son of Shiva, one with great strength, Please accept this offering, please protect this pregnant woman along with her unborn baby from all dangers.

 

skanda ṣaṇmukha deveśa putraprītivivardhana
pragṛṇīśva baliṃ caimām sāpatyaṃ rakṣa garbhiṇīm

O Skanda, with six heads, the Lord of gods, who increases the love for our children, Please accept this sacred offering, please protect this pregnant woman along with her unborn baby from all dangers.

 

prabhāsa prabhava-śyāma pratyūṣo marutonala
dhruvo dhara dhuraścaiva vasavo’ṣṭau prakīrttita
pragṛhṇītvaṃ baliṃ caimāṃ nityaṃ rakṣatu garbhiṇīm

O Prabhasa, Prabhava, Shyama, Pratyusha, Marutha, Anala, Dhruva, Dhara Dhura, who are praised as the eight Vasus, Please accept this sacred offering,  please protect this pregnant woman along with her unborn baby daily.

 

pitṛdevi pituśśreṣṭe bahuputri mahābale
bhūta śreṣṭe niśā-vāse nirvṛtte śaunaka priye
pragṛhṇīśva balim caimāṃ sāpatyaṃ rakṣa garbhiṇīm

O Goddess of forefathers, the excellent among forefathers, the one with great strength,  the excellent among elements, the inward turned, the one dear to Shaunaka, Please accept this sacred offering,  please protect this pregnant woman along with her unborn baby from all dangers.

 

rakṣa rakṣa mahādeva bhaktānugraha kāraka
pakṣi-vāhana govinda sāpatyaṃ rakṣa garbhiṇīm

Please protect O great God, who blesses His devotees, O Govinda, who has bird as vehicle, please protect this pregnant woman along with her unborn baby.

___________________________________________________________________

Following the above recitations female relatives and friends place glass bangles on the wrists of the mother-to-be (the same number of bangles are applied to each wrist). It is believed that the movement and tinkling sound of the glass bangles is good for the fetus. Sandal and Kumkum are also placed on the mothers cheeks. Devotees sing while each female relative or friend applies these.

 

baby 16

baby 17

baby 18

baby 05a

baby 19

baby 21

baby 22

 

baby 20

Above, Advait sings and all quietly listen.

baby 23

Next, Ganesh reads from śrimadbhāgavataṃ kriṣṇāvatāram

10th Canto chapter 3.

A brief summary of this chapter: At the auspicous time when the planets and stars were in a mutually peaceful position, the quarters were pleased, the sky filled with groups of blemishless stars, rivers flowing with clear water,  deep water bodies beautiful with blooming lotuses, forests filled with sweet sound of bees and birds, wind with a soothing touch carrying sacred smell, the sacrifical fires of brahmins flaming brilliant, the mind of sadhu-s tormented by asura-s pleased, dundhubhi-s resounding in the heaven, kinnara-s gandharva-s singing happily, siddah-s and carana-s praising God happily, vidyadhara-s and apsara-s dancing together happily, gods and muni-s showering flowers happily, the clouds began to sound slowly following the sea. Like the full moon that rises in the east to destroy the darkness spread by the midnight, the essence of all the secret, the completely full Vishnu, incarnated from Devaki, of the nature of god.

Seeing this wonderful child with four arms with conch, disc, club, lotus, with auspicious marks, with yellow robes and beautiful as dense water bearing clouds, Vasudeva said thus: O Lord you are known to be the real Purusa, superior to prakriti, of the nature of the experience of Bliss alone,  the seer of all the intellect. 

Devaki seeing her son with the characteristics of a great Purusa, though afraid of Kamsa, smilingly said thus: Whose nature that is described as inconceivable, primeval, the light of Brahman, devoid of guna-s, unchangeable, composed of only Existence, without distinction, motionless, that you are, the real Visnu, the lamp of Supreme Spirit.

baby 11a

Aarti is offered and Prema, Scott, Nome and all present partake of it.

baby 12

baby 11

baby 13

After readings, songs and aarti the couple seek blessings from Nome.

baby 24

baby 25

At the end of the ceremony, prasadam is served. Dhanya first offers her beautiful cake to Nome.

baby 26

The cake displays baby Krishna resting inside of a lotus flower.

baby 27a

baby 26a

baby 28a

Scott and Prema cut the first slice and take turns offering mouthfuls to each other.

baby 29

baby 30

baby 31

baby 32

All present partake of cake and joyfully share with one another.

baby 33

Another joyous event at the SAT Temple!

Om Namah Sivaya

Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya

 

www.satramana.org


Responses

  1. Reblogged this on Living in the Embrace of Arunachala and commented:
    Here is a wonderful Rites of Passage ceremony for two friends from SAT, in Santa Cruz, CA.

  2. Thgis is so wonderful to see. Thank you for posting it! I appreciate that you also show the chant from the ceremony.

  3. Thank you to all who performed, explained, recorded, and shared this ever so beautiful, precious ceremony. The cake with Krishna snoozing in a lotus flower is very dear. With Love to All, Chris Mair


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: