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Hindhu Birth Ceremonies.

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Based on Hindu beliefs, the growth of a baby is accompanied by a ritual sequence from the time that the baby is in the mother's womb in order to prevent it from being influenced by negative powers, The ritual ceremonies begin when the fetus is about six months old, with the ceremonies at the actual birth constituting the second rite of passage. The latter are mainly directed toward the four invisible brothers (in Balinese called the Kanda Empat) rather than toward the newborn child itself, and are mostly concerned with the placenta. Three ceremonies take place prior to birth: Pengerujakan ceremony, Pegedong Gedongan ceremony and Nglukat Bobotan ceremony. The Pengerujakan ceremony aims to strengthen the baby while in the mother's womb to avoid a miscarriage. Moreover, by conducting this ceremony, it is hoped that the embryo attains a definite human form and that the four invisible brothers (Kanda Empat) are already behind the baby to give it spiritual protection. This kind of ceremony is mostly held when the mother begins craving sour foods, which is locally called ngidam During the prenatal period of life there are two rites performed, which the parents participate in. ...read more.


"The plants of which heaven has been the father, earth the mother, ocean the root, let those herbs of the gods favour thee, in order to acquire a son." The Sutra period During the Grhyasutra period the Pumsavana Samskara was performed in the third or the fourthe month of pregnancy or even later, on the day when the moon was on a male constellation, on Tisya particularly. The pregnant woman was required to fast on that day. After bath she put on new clothes. Then in the night the sprout of the banyan tree were pounded and juice was inserted in to the right nostril of the woman with verses beginning with 'Hirnyagarbha etc. If the father desired that his son should be Viryavan or virile, he should place a dish of water on the lap of the mother and touching her stomach recited the verse "Suparnosi." The Proper Time The Smritis deal with the proper time when the Samskara should be performed. According to Manu and Yajnavalkya it should be performed before the fetus begins to move in the womb. ...read more.


In the opinion of Susruta the banyan tree has got the properties of removing all kinds of troubles during pregnancy, e.g. excess of bile, burning etc. He says, "Having pounded with milk any of these herbs, Sulaksmana Batasunga, Sahadevi and Visvadeva, one should insert three or four drops of juice in the (right) nostril of the pregnant woman for the birth of a son. She should not spit the juice out." Insertion of medicine into nostrils is a common thing in the Hindu system of treatment; therefore, it is evident that the ritual prescribing it was undoubtedly founded on the medical experience of the people. Putting a dish of water on the lap was a symbolical performance. A pot full of water denoted life and spirit in the would be child. Touching the womb emphasized the necessity of taking every care by the expectant mother, so that the fetus should be healthy and strong in the womb emphasized the necessity of taking every care by the expectant mother, so that the fetus should be healthy and strong in the womb and abortion may not take place. The hymn "Suparna etc." or "of beautiful wings" expressed the wish that a handsome child should be born. ...read more.

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