Rituals performed before the Birth
Many rituals are also performed before the birth of the child. Ceremonies like Conception, Simanotanayan and Punsavan performed when the child is in the mother's womb. These three rituals are called pre-birth rituals and those performed after birth of the child are called post-birth rituals. In the pre-birth rituals the values of mother and hereditary values are given predominance. The main aim of these rituals is to improve the life of the child before and after its birth.
Rituals performed after the Birth
The actions, which are done after the birth of the child, are known as birth (Jatakarma) rituals. The child lives in a different environment in the mother's womb. It doesn't take food from the mouth and breathe through the nose. Its food is carried through the umbilical cord. The child stays inside a pouch during pregnancy, which is filled with water. The child's mouth and eyes are closed with phlegmatic substance that avoids the entry of water in the mouth and eyes. Thus after taking birth, its mouth and nose needs to be cleaned.
After its birth the child loses its physical attachment with the mother, hence its mouth, ears, nose and lungs needs to be cleaned to facilitate the child's milk drinking process as well as the breathing process. When the child is inside the watery pouch then a type of oily pack covers the body so the watery pouch doesn't harm the skin in any way. After coming out of the pouch, the child needs to be bathed to remove the oily pack from the body. To arouse the five sensory organs of the child all the necessary actions and ceremonies needs to be performed. It is also advised to put some ghee on the child's tongue. Applying ghee or oil protects it from cold.
One of the birth ceremonies consists of giving ghee and honey to the child for licking. However, the quantity should not be equal. Honey should be three times the ghee. The child is made to lick this lick with the help of a golden spike. The word Om is also written on the tongue with the help of spike. According to the psychologists this ceremony helps the child to remember whatever he learns till five years of his birth. The main objective of writing Om on his tongue is that whatever he utters will take him on the path of spirituality. The father of the child whispers in his ears -'Vedosi', which means 'you are a knowledgeable person.' Thus the birth ceremony has divine and scientific importance attached to it and needs to be performed.
|More Articles in Jain Customs (4)|