Samskaras are used for purification as well as for protection of the body and mind. During the ceremony, beneficent
powers are called upon. This implies that samskaras do not only play a purely psychological role, even though this is an important
aspect. They also ward off evil influences both subtle and gross.
According to Gautama-dharma-sutra
(8.4.26) Samskaras help to build and develop
the personality on the physical, psychic, and spiritual levels. Circumstances in life that would otherwise be considered mundane
become sacred, and at the same time the object is protected and secured. (Sandipani Muni)
"We were delighted to have Krishna Swarup (Shastriji) come and do the blessing
for our new home. It felt sanctified, cleansed, and uplifted. He is a rare soul."
***John and Kosa Ely
"Before spending our first night in our newly constructed home Shastriji
(Krishna Swarup) purified the atmosphere with a beautifully and spiritually surcharged house blessing ceremony. We got started
off on the right foot and we are very grateful."
***Dr. David and Nirmala Eldredge
|The religious ceremony purifying the body
as well as mind and the process of subduing the effects of destiny or unknown factors is called as Samskara.|
Samskara in other words are
basically motives of different attitudes present in human beings. Every new activity of a child as well as an adult is initiated
with religious ceremony, for begetting the blessings of gods, priests and elders.
|Types of Samskara |
|There are 16 Samskara described in scriptures.|
|1) Garbhadhana Samskara
|Wishing for a child by a man of appropriate
age and then going to his wife of appropriate age on an auspicious day with the same intentions, is called as Garbhadhana
To beget the child having desired qualities and for successful conception, this samskara is necessary.
|2) Punsavan Samskara
|This ceremony is carried out in the second
or third month of pregnancy, with the intention of having a male child. At this moment, the pregnant woman in advised to have
appropriate food. |
This samskara is necessary to beget the child of desired sex, either male or female.
|3) Simantonayan Samskara
|This ceremony is carried out during the
fourth month of pregnancy in Shukla Paksha on an auspicious day when the moon is accompanied by planetary objects (nakshatras).
This samskar is carried out with the intention of increasing the intellectual
level of the child. During this Samskara, various things are carried out that keeps the pregnant woman fresh and active.
|4) Jatakarma Samskara
|This ceremony is carried out after the
birth of child to keep him active and fit and is called as Jatakarma Samskara.|
|5) Namakaran Samskara
|This ceremony is performed on the 11th
day after birth and on any auspicious day and at an auspicious time. The baby is given a name, by which he/she is known to
|6) Nishkramana Samskara
|This ceremony is conducted during the 4th
month of the child. After giving bath to the baby, the baby is dressed up with new clothes and ornaments and is taken to the
family temple i.e. taken out of the house for the first time. |
|7) Annaprashana Samskara
|This samskara is also known as Phalaprashan
samskara according to Rishi Kashyap. The child is on mother's milk from his birth till 6th or 8th month, but later he requires
other vitamins and minerals which the child cannot get from mother's milk.|
Phalaprashan samskara is advised during
the 6th month by Rishi Kashyap so that the child can get Vitamin C.
After the eruption of teeth during the 8th
month, the child can be given food which is termed as Annaprashana Samskar. As the child grows his requirements increases
and he requires solid food for his proper growth.
|8) Chudakarma Samskara
|In this religious ceremony the hair is
cut for the first time, during the first or third year or according to the family tradition. This samskara is followed for
maintaining good hygiene and improve the growth of hair of the child.|
|9) Karna Vedhana Samskar
|The healthy infants ears should be pricked
in the beginning of winter or during the third or fifth year, at an auspicious time. It is advised in winter season because
then the wound heals faster without any complications. It also enhances antigen antibody reactions and boosts the immunity
of the body.|
Pricking the ears of the baby is a religious custom and apart from wearing earrings, it helps to
protect the body from supernatural powers.
|10) Upanayan and Vedarambha
|This ceremony is carried out during the
8th, 11th or 12th year and is common among Brahmins, Ksatriyas and Vaisyas respectively. This helps to build the spiritual
part of the child which needs to be followed by him throughout his life.|
In this ceremony, the child
is taught Sandhya, including Gayatri mantra, i.e. methodical worship and prayer.
|Vedarambha ceremony is carried out on the
same day of Upanayana Samskara or within one year after it. The child is sent to Gurukul where he acquires education.
This is called as Vedarambha Samskar.|
This samskara is done so that the child can attain education to be successful
in his life.
|11) Samavartan Samskar
|Following brahmacharya till the age of
25 years, when the child completes his education from Gurukul, the send-off ceremony is called as Samavartan Samskar.|
is synonymous to convocation degree given by modern universities.
|12) Vivaha Samskar
|When the bridegroom and bride of proper
age and different lineage (gotra) get married, it is called Vivaha Samskar.|
This samskara is followed inorder
to produce a progeny who will run the family lineage and spread the family tradition. According to Ayurveda a man without
progeny is regarded to be not well established, bare, like a void and posessing only one sense and as having lived a purposeless
*Sri Ganapati Pujan *Sri Laksmi Pujan
*Sri Shivaratri Pujan
*Navaratri Durga Pujan
*Bhumi & Vastu Pujan
*House Entering Ceremony
*Giving a Name to the Child
*Feeding the First Grains
*Hair Cutting Ceremony
*Learning the Alphabet
*Gayatri Mantra Ceremony
*Vedic Wedding Ceremony
*Sri Gopal Sahasra Nama
What is Puja?
Puja is the act of showing reverence to a
god, a spirit, or another aspect of the divine through invocations, prayers, songs, and rituals. An essential part of puja
for the folowers of Vedic Tradition is making a spiritual connection with the divine. Most often that contact is facilitated
through an object: an element of nature, a sculpture, a vessel, a painting, or a print. It is possible to reduce the suffering
due to the unfavorable position of planets through sincere reliance on God, the One who controls the planets.
During Puja an image or other symbol of the god serves as a means of gaining access
to the divine. This icon is not the deity itself; rather, it is believed to be filled with the deity's cosmic energy. It is
a focal point for honoring and communicating with the god. For the folowers of Vedic Tradition icon's artistic merit is important,
but is secondary to its spiritual content. The objects are created as receptacles for spiritual energy that allow the devotee
to experience direct communication with his or her gods.
There are several Pujas which people can peform for specific events, such as
the starting of a business, or the beginning of a journey. The benefit of this type of Puja is to remove obstacles. The Pujas
are performed by Vedic Priest on behalf of the sponsor or the benefactor.
Benefits of a Puja
According to our sacred texts, Puja -
Puja establishes a bridge between the worshipper (the lover) and the deity (the loved).
It facilitates flow of love-energy in both ways. This energy not only sanctifies the self but also re-vitalizes the body's
resources, making one experience, what is called HOLY BLISS. Thus both the worshipped and the worshipper benefit from Puja.
How Puja is Performed?
A worshipper is required to be pure of body and mind. The Puranas lay more stress
on the quality of devotion and good behaviour than on rigid puja procedures. Puja originated as a substitute to homa and other
Vedic sacrifices which women and Shudras could not perform and which required animal sacrifices. Due to Dravidian, Buddhist
and Jain influences that preached non-violence, the killing or sacrifice of animals was discontinued and with the development
of iconography, deity worship took the place of sacrifice. It was also recognized that worship was essential for all,
whatever the gender or caste and therefore puja was formalized as a universal option instead of the exclusive homam.