By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Samavartana, SamAvartana, Samaavartana
Samāvartana literally means ‘return’.
Definition of Samāvartana
Samāvartana means returning from the house of the teacher to one’s own house after duly completing Vedic studies. Since a ceremonial bath was a necessary part of it, it was also known as snāna and āplavana.
Rewards of Samāvartana
Rituals of Samāvartana
- For the samāvartana rite, an auspicious day had to be fixed.
- Permission of the guru or preceptor had to be sought after offering him suitable dakṣiṇā.
- He should then take the ceremonial bath by taking water from eight vessels full of water kept in the eight directions, chanting the prescribed mantras.
- After bath, he has to cast off his old outfit completely and put on new clothes more comfortable and suitable for a householder’s life.
- He could also accept ornaments, turban, umbrella, shoes, flower garlands and everything which had been forbidden till now.
- Dressed in his new attire, the snātaka was expected to go to an assembly of the learned and prove his competence as a scholar.
- A snātaka commanded great respect and there was a strict code of conduct prescribed for him.
Samāvartana of Present Times
In the modern days, the rite of samāvartana is observed just before marriage, as a formal ritual shorn of its meaning and seriousness as Kāśiyātrā.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore