After the child’s birth, this ritual marks the first time when baby & mother are taken out of the house with the aim to introduce the child to nature & various sounds. This is usually performed around the 4th month after birth. Read the article to learn about auspicious time to conduct it, method to be followed, science behind this ritual, etc.
This is the sixth ritual or samskara in the Hindu culture and is performed around the fourth month for a new-born child. The aim of this ritual is to seek blessings for the safety and good health of the baby, who would be going out and facing the external forces for the first time. Nowadays, however, there are various doctor’s appointments for the baby in the initial days itself. But try not to step out too much with the baby in the first 40 days, particularly. This is even recommended in the Hindu culture as the initial confinement period is beneficial for both mother and the newborn baby.
This ritual helps to develop a strong bond between mother and the baby. It makes the baby face the five elements of nature and exposes it to sunlight. The five elements are - earth (Prithvi), water (Jal), fire (Agni), air (Vayu), and sky (Akasha). You can chant Sun (Surya) mantra (sacred verses) while going out in the day with the child and Moon mantra during the night. Sun governs life force and Moon governs emotions. The ritual also generates respect for these deities and the five elements of nature, also known as ‘Pancha Bhoota’. You can then take the child to a temple for blessings. When one is less connected with the five elements, one faces adversities. This ritual helps increase the longevity of the child and facilitates a healthy life.
When the child turns four months old, they are taken to the temple to promote the child’s reflexes.
The procedure is conducted in the 4th month. The child is decorated and comfortably dressed, prayers are offered to the Gods and the child is brought out of the ward. One should carry the Fire God (fire) and Skanda God (idol) and walk ahead of the child. The father should lift the child and go inside the temple, offering prayers for their well-being.
In the 4th month, the child should be properly dressed up for the ceremony. You can dress the child traditionally or can make it wear any comfortable cloth. The baby should not be cranky so give proper feed and let it rest before going out. The child should be accompanied by the mother and the wet nurse or some other woman from the family. They should carry white mustard, honey and ghee and lead the way. In the temple, where they take the child, the sacred fire should be worshiped with ghee and mustard that they have carried. Different prayers can be offered to Lord Vishnu, Skanda, Matrikas (group of mother goddesses) and the clan deities using fragrances, flowers, fumigants and garlands, and many kinds of sweets can be offered as prashad. The mother and the women of the family along with the child should worship the priests, elders and teachers and thank them for making this ceremony a fruitful one.
The child is then brought back home and the mother or any woman form the family should sanctify the child by uttering sacred words that have the following meaning, ‘Oh child, being protected by the gods, blessed and sanctified by the brahmanas and being praised by the teachers and elders, live for hundred years!’
Yama Smriti is a sacred text and it says that the ceremony should be performed in the 3rd month after a child’s birth. The child should be made to see the Sun. In the 4th month, the child should be made to see the Moon. A square is marked in the courtyard of the house. The marked area is spread with cow dung (because of its spiritual significance) and clay. The child’s mother should spread grains of rice over the plaster. The wet nurse would bring the child out into the courtyard and hand it over to the father. The father should take the child in his arms and make it look at the sun, from the marked area. While doing this ritual, the sounds of the conch shell and chanting of Vedic mantras should be heard by the baby and sacred symbols should be shown to it.