Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Garbhaadhaana - A Prime Samskaara (Embedding seeds of Supreme Truth)

 Kannada Article by: Tarodi Suresha

English Rendering by: Padmini Shrinivasan

Respond to (lekhana@ayvm.in)

Samskaara may be interpreted as a ritual which washes away accumulated dirt and restores the original sheen. A cleansing process, carrying an inherent Vijnaana, through which the path emanating from its original roots is retraced to the original purity. Scriptures enumerate sixteen important Samskaaras. Among them Garbhaadhaana is the first and foremost too. Garbhaadhaana is a process of sowing the seed of Purusha in Prakruti with conception resulting in the womb.

Sriranga Mahaaguru used to refer to this as "Reto-yajnaa" (bringing the inner divinity outwards, into another life). Unlike animals, it is just not for sensual pleasure. A Yajnaa means a sacrifice, performed to please the Gods. In this Samskaara, a lamp is to be lighted as a representative of the Supreme Light.

Even within the bounds of a Vivaaha (wedlock), the spirit in its backdrop should be 'Dharma-prajaartham vruneemahe'- (to beget a righteous progeny). The couple wish for a virtuous offspring. Such genuine wishes form the life-line of living. The groom (Brahmachaari) after getting spiritual education at his Guru's residence and with his blessings marries a similarly spiritually-educated bride, to lead the life of a householder. The responsibility of carrying, nurturing and upbringing the progeny of a Brahmishta (one who is eternally soaked in thoughts of the Supreme), without degrading his inner divine vision, rests with the wife. As the Garbhaadhaana chain continues, wise citizens grow, bubbling with qualities of inner purity or immaculate spiritual traits (Atmagunas). Cascading its positive impact, it paves way to build a never ending healthy society. 

Chaste and unsullied (internally and externally purified) couple are eligible to perform Reto-yajnaa. Philosophically speaking, the Effulgent Light shining at the root of creation represents the foremost couple as Lakshmi-Naaraayana (Siva–Shakti). Their value system propagates with purity, only when their intentions of evolution are honoured. An associated responsibility is to comply with all the do's and don'ts within a restrained living. Garbhaadhaana Samskaara offers the requisite purity to the seed (male sperm) and the place where it is sown (Kshetra – feminine womb carrying a mature ovum).

Like all other Samskaaras, Garbhaadhaana too includes rituals, with chanting of hymns (Mantras), exacting procedures (Tantra), appropriate time (Kaala), usage of auspicious materials (Dravya) etc. For example: The importance of timing is wonderfully upheld in the ancient and sacred sciences viz. Dharmashaatra (law-codes), Ayurveda and Jyotisha (celestial time-keeping). Only a summary is possible in this short article.

The transition intervals in a day (Sandhyaa) are forbidden for Garbhaadhaana as these are earmarked for meditation. Demons Hiranyaaksha and Hiranyakashipu were born, when Sage Kashyapa was forcefully dragged into procreation by his wife, during this forbidden interval of time. This story is well known. Out of the 16 nights occurring after the day of commencement of a woman's menstrual cycle, 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 15th and 16th are considered conducive. The first four days, Ekadasi, Dvaadasi, Trayodashi (11th, 12th, 13th day after full/new moon); festive days meaning - full/new moon, Ashtami (8th phase of moon), birthday, day with birth star; daytime, twilight are all forbidden; exceptions have also been specified in scriptures. It has to be performed in the latter part of the night only.

There exist predetermined calculations which enlist the character of the progeny, if the couple unite on those specific days. For example: if conception occurs on the night of the 14th day, a child knowledgeable in right conduct and way of living (Dharmajna) with good personal traits and leadership qualities will be born. It has been identified that a male/female child will be born, if the respiration is through right/left nostril respectively, at that time.

Starting with the purity of the seed and the womb where it is sown, the Garbhaadhaana Samskaara designed by Rshis, is very important to beget a progeny, capable of balancing mundane as well as spiritual lives. It lays the foundations for later Samskaaras.

Note: The Kannada version of this article can be viewed at AYVM blogs.