Niṣkramaṇa

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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Niskramana, NiSkramaNa, Nishkramana


niṣkramaṇa (‘going out,’ ‘taking [the baby] outside the house’)

The entire life of a Hindu is closely connected with religious rites and ceremonies, in some form or the other. The Soḍaśa-samskāras (sixteen sacraments) reflect this basic attitude.

The niṣkramaṇa (or upaniṣkramaṇa) is one of the minor sarhskāras 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.

Worshipping 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 (Rgveda 1.50.1) 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 (showing the moon on a full-moon day) to the baby is mentioned.

niṣpatti-avasthā (‘state of consummation [of prāṇāyāma]’)

Prāṇāyāma is a part of yogic practices. It helps in controlling the mind and restoring the humours 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.

See also PRĀNĀYĀMA.


References

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

OLD CONTENT

niṣkramaṇa (‘going out,’ ‘taking [the baby] outside the house’) The entire life of a Hindu is closely connected with religious rites and cere¬monies, in some form or the other. The Soḍaśa-saihskāras (sixteen sacraments) reflect this basic attitude. The niṣkramaṇa (or upaniṣkramaṇa) is one of the minor sarhskāras 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. Worshipping 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 (Rgveda 1.50.1) is an important part of this ritual. Some gṛhyasṅtras prescribe the per-formance of a homa also. In some works like those of Gobhila and Khādira, only candradarśana (showing the moon on a full-moon day) to the baby is mentioned.