Difference between revisions of "Pumsavana"

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<small>By Swami Harshananda</small>
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pumsavana (‘extraction [for the sake of a] male child’)
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Pumsavana is one of the minor rites included in the group of ṣoḍaśasamskāras (sixteen purificatory rites). It is a rite performed on the pregnant wife to ensure the birth of a male offspring.
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The desire for male children and prayers for the same seem to have been quite common in ancient India as in other countries of the world. The Atharvaveda (3.23.3.3) and the Sāmaveda-mantra-brāhmana (1.4.8 and 9) contain such prayers.
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The time for the performance varied from the third to the eighth month of pregnancy.
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As regards its performance—whether to be done only for the first pregnancy or for every one—there seem to be differences of opinion.
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The actual rite is as follows: The wife has to fast for three days and then partake
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a meal of curds mixed with two beans and barley, given by her husband.
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Another aspect of the rite is inserting three or four drops of a juice prepared out of a banyan shoot, crushed with milk in the right nostril. This is supposed to prevent abortion, and also ensure the birth of a male child. Generally the mantras chanted during this rite are from the Rgveda (1.1.3; 3.4.9; 9.3.9). They express a desire to have a good and great son.
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Sometimes, a homa is also performed during this rite.
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See also SAMSKĀRAS and SODAŚA-SAMSKĀRAS.
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==References==
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{{reflist}}
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* The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore
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== OLD CONTENT ==
 
pumsavana (‘extraction [for the sake of
 
pumsavana (‘extraction [for the sake of
 
a] male child’)
 
a] male child’)

Revision as of 09:20, 12 October 2014

By Swami Harshananda

pumsavana (‘extraction [for the sake of a] male child’)

Pumsavana is one of the minor rites included in the group of ṣoḍaśasamskāras (sixteen purificatory rites). It is a rite performed on the pregnant wife to ensure the birth of a male offspring.

The desire for male children and prayers for the same seem to have been quite common in ancient India as in other countries of the world. The Atharvaveda (3.23.3.3) and the Sāmaveda-mantra-brāhmana (1.4.8 and 9) contain such prayers.

The time for the performance varied from the third to the eighth month of pregnancy.

As regards its performance—whether to be done only for the first pregnancy or for every one—there seem to be differences of opinion.

The actual rite is as follows: The wife has to fast for three days and then partake

a meal of curds mixed with two beans and barley, given by her husband.

Another aspect of the rite is inserting three or four drops of a juice prepared out of a banyan shoot, crushed with milk in the right nostril. This is supposed to prevent abortion, and also ensure the birth of a male child. Generally the mantras chanted during this rite are from the Rgveda (1.1.3; 3.4.9; 9.3.9). They express a desire to have a good and great son.

Sometimes, a homa is also performed during this rite.

See also SAMSKĀRAS and SODAŚA-SAMSKĀRAS.


References

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

OLD CONTENT

pumsavana (‘extraction [for the sake of a] male child’) Puihsavana is one of the minor rites included in the group of ṣoḍaśasamskāras (sixteen purificatory rites). It is a rite performed on the pregnant wife to ensure the birth of a male offspring. The desire for male children and prayers for the same seem to have been quite common in ancient India as in other countries of the world. The Atharvaveda (3.23.3.3) and the Sāmaveda-mantra- brāhmana (1.4.8 and 9) contain such prayers. The time for the performance varied from the third to the eighth month of pregnancy. As regards its performance—whether to be done only for the first pregnancy or for every one—there seem to be differences of opinion. The actual rite is as follows: The wife has to fast for three days and then partake a meal of curds mixed with two beans and barley, given by her husband. Another aspect of the rite is inserting three or four drops of a juice prepared out of a banyan shoot, crushed with milk in the right nostril. This is supposed to prevent abortion, and also ensure the birth of a male child. Generally the mantras chanted during this rite are from the Rgveda (1.1.3; 3.4.9; 9.3.9). They express a desire to have a good and great son. Sometimes, a homa is also performed during this rite. See also SAMSKĀRAS and SODAŚA- SAMSKĀRAS.