(Last Updated on : 22-12-2008)
"Niskramana" is a ritual of Vedic sacrament, in which the child is first taken out of the house to enjoy the pure and fresh air. The parents generally do it in the fourth month of the child.
According to the Gobhil Grihyasutra, there are two alternative times of "Niskramana". The third full-mooned fortnight from the date of birth of the child is the first option. The second option is the 'birth tithi' of the child in the fourth month of the child.
On the day of "Niskramana", the parents bathe the child with clean water and that should be done in the early morning after sunrise. Then the child is dressed with new and nice clothes. Now, the mother brings the child to 'yajnashala'. This again should be done in such a way that the mother passes from the right side of her husband and comes in front of her to hand over the child to the father's hands. The father holds the child in a way that the head of the child remains in the north direction and chest straight upward. Now, the mother will sit on the left side of her husband returning from behind and faces eastward.
In the "Niskramana" ritual, now the father hands over the child to the mother again holding the child's head in the north and the feet in the south direction. While keeping silence, the father of the child then touches the head of his wife. Now, the turn of taking the child out comes. With the chanting of a mantra from 'Yajurveda', the child is taken out in the sun. The mantra, which is chanted on behalf of the child, is- "Om Tatchakshurdevahitam Purustaatshukramuccharat. Pashyema Sharadah Shatam Jeevema Sharadah Shatam Shrunuyaam Shradah Shatam Pra Bravaam Sharadha Shatamadeenaahaa syaama Sharadah Shatam Bhooyashcha Sharadah Shataat."
The meaning of the mantra is, O Benefactor of devotees! I concentrate on Thy pure energy. Grant me perfect health. May my eyes, ears, tongue and the other organs function in a strong and healthy way for a hundred years. May I not become helpless and dependent during this time. Grant me a hundred years of joyous life free from disease.
The child is brought back to 'Yajnashala' of "Niskramana" after exposing him to the sun and fresh air. Now, it's the turn of the invited people to bless the child with the following mantra, "Tvam Jeeva Sharadah Shatam Vardhamaanah", which means "May you be endowed with health and strength and live a life of hundred years."
The "Niskramana" ritual also involves exposing the child to moonlit night. The mother gives the child to her husband coming from the right side in a moonlit night. The child's head should be in the north direction. Now, the mother walks clockwise behind her husband and stands on his left side facing the moon. According the rule s of "Niskramana", the mother takes a little water in her right hand palm and offers prayer with the chanting of this mantra, "Om Yadadashchandramasi Krishnam Prithivyaa Hridayam Shritam Tadaham VidvaaGvam Statpashyanmaaham Pautramagham Rudam". Then, the mother sprinkles the water in hand the ground and walks anticlockwise from behind her husband and takes the child while facing the husband. Then, she walks again clockwise from behind the husband stands to the left side of him placing the child's head in the north and feet in the south direction. The "Niskramana" ritual now follows by the father taking a little water in his right-hand palm and recites the same mantra as the mother chanted earlier. The father now sprinkles the water to the ground and both the parents take the child back to the house.