Niṣkramaṇa

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Niskramana, NiSkramaNa, Nishkramana


Niṣkramaṇa literally means ‘going out,’ ‘taking the baby outside the house’.

The entire life of a person is closely connected with religious rites and ceremonies in some form or the other. The Soḍaśa-sanskāras[1] reflect this basic attitude. The niṣkramaṇa or upaniṣkramaṇa is one of the minor sanskāras and is performed by taking the new-born baby out of the house in the open and exposing it to the sunlight. It may be done either on the twelfth day or in the fourth month.

Worshiping the sun by the father of the baby with an offering prepared out of milk and presenting the baby to the sun with some Vedic mantras[2] is an important part of this ritual. Some gṛhyasutras prescribe the performance of a homa also. In some works like those of Gobhila and Khādira, only candradarśana[3] to the baby is mentioned.


References

  1. Soḍaśa-sanskāras means sixteen sacraments.
  2. Ṛgveda 1.50.1
  3. Candradarśana means showing the moon on a full-moon day.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore


By Swami Harshananda

Niṣpatti-avasthā literally means ‘state of consummation of prāṇāyāma’.

Prāṇāyāma is a part of yogic practices. It helps in controlling the mind and restoring the humors to a balanced state to regain health, by a systematic control of breath. It has four states out of which the niṣpatti-avasthā is the last. It is the consummation of prāṇāyāma coinciding with the jīvanmukti state. The actual methods have to be learnt from a competent teacher.


References

  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore