User talk:JAMMALAMADAKA SRINIVAS
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In our day to day life everyone will start the day with brushing one’s tooth. The Sanskrit word for brushing tooth is ‘Dantadhāvanaṃ’. In dharma sastra there is an elaborated description of how to perform dantadhāvanaṃ. According to sanatana dharma performing dantadhāvanaṃ in the prescribed manner does not only maintain the peripheral hygiene of one’s self, but also lead to inner/spiritual hygiene.
According to atri smṛti one should perform dantadhāvanaṃ everyday, sans, is subject to harm. Every day in the morning after waking up, one should rinse the mouth with water and then take a succulent piece of wood/branch or a dry piece of wood/branch (of the prescribed tree) and perform dantadhāvanaṃ.
According to Bharadwaja (another smṛti karta), after cleaning hands and legs with water and rinsing the mouth with water, one should perform ācamanaṃ facing to the east and then perform dantadhāvanaṃ.
There is a prescribed way to collect the piece of wood/branch through which dantadhāvanaṃ is to be performed. One should utter the said shloka/mantra while collecting the ‘dantadhāvana stick’. The shloka/mantra follows as below –
asyaāyurutyādi mantrasya | prajāpatiṛrshiḥ | anuṣṭup chandaḥ | vanaspatirdēvatā | vanaspati sangrahē viniyōgaḥ |
"āyurbalaṃ yaśōvarcaḥ prajāṃ paśu vasūni ca | brahmaprajṇāṃ ca mēdhāṃ ca tvaṃ nō dēhi vanaspatē! ||"
O lord of the trees! I pray thee to bestow me with long healthy life, fame, vigour, good descendents, cattle, prosperity, brahma vidya and knowledge.
How to clean tooth
After obtaining the wood/stick for dantadhāvanaṃ, one should chew the stick/wood thoroughly till it turns into soft hair like substance. And then tooth is to be cleaned by moving up and down from left to right side.
In Vyasa smṛti, a specific posture has been stated for dantadhāvanaṃ, i.e. sitting on knees and hands in between the folded legs. And facing towards east is also prescribed.
According to Śānḍlya smṛti kukkuṭāsanaṃ is the prescribed posture.
After cleaning the tooth one should clean the tongue with the other end of the stick/wood.
Size of ‘dantadhāvana stick’
According to vyāsa smṛti and viṣṇu smṛti, the size of the stick/wood which is to be used for dantadhāvana is to be 12-4-6 or 4 inches respectively. According to harītaṃ the size of the stick/wood is 8 inches.
The description of the ‘dantadhāvana stick’
The stick/wood which is to be used for dantadhāvanaṃ should be with its bark/outer layer. It should be straight (without any curves), it should not have any foul smell. The stick/wood should belong to any famous species of tree.
Here are some of the types of trees, which are prescribed for dantadhāvanaṃ -
1. Khādira - Acacia Catechu
2. Kadaṃba - Kaim/Stephegyme Parilora Korth
3. Karanja - Jatropa/Galedupa Arborea
4. Jaṃbu - Java Plum/Engenia Jambolana
5. Niṃba - Neem/Azadirachta
6. Bilwa - Aegle Marmelos
7. Arka - Calotropis Gigentea
8. Uduṃbara - Fig Tree/Ficus Glomirata
9. Apāmārga - Chaff Flower/Achyranthes Aspera
Not all types of wood/sticks are preferred for dantadhāvanaṃ. There is a separate list of trees which are said not to be used for dantadhāvanaṃ. The list follows as below –
1. Śalmalī - Silk Cotton/Bombax Cebia Linn
2. Aśwattha - Holy Fig Tree/Ficus Religiosa/peepal tree
3. Bhavya - Arerhoa Calambola
4. Dhava - Anogeissns latifolia
5. Kiṃśuka - Butea Monosperma
6. Kōvidāra - Bauhinia variegate/a species of ebony
7. Śamī - Prosopis spicigera/Mimosa suma
8. Pīlu - Careya arborea/Salvadora Persia
9. Ślōṣmāṣtaka - Cordia latifolia
10. Vibhītaka - Terminalia bellerica
11. Guggulu - Bdellion
12. Pālaśa - Butea frondesa
13. Kārpāsa - Cotton Plant/Gossypium hirsntum
14. Kuśa - Grass/Poa cynosurodides
15. Kāśa - Shinning white grass/Saccharum spontaneum
16. Śiṃśupā - (Bot) dalbergia sissoo
17. Aśvatthaka - Peatels of Arabian Jasmine
In the sanatana tradition there is tradition of performing certain rituals at different stages of life which are call as ‘saṃskāra’s.
The etymological meaning of the word saṃskāra is ‘the means of refining’. In the present context it means the rituals which are meant for refining the body and soul. Angira, a sage saṃskāras are like the colors in a painting (art work). Colors in a painting make the painting gradually beautiful and complete. In the same way saṃskāras refine a person peripherally and internally i.e. in the seen and un-seen arena.
“chitrakarma yathānekai raṃgairunmīlyate śanaiḥ| brāmhhaṇyamapi tadvatsyāt saṃskārairvidhipūrvakaiḥ||”
According to Gautama there are 48 saṃskāras. They are –
(9-12) 4 vedavratas
(15-19) Deva-pitṛ-manuṣya-bhūta-brāmhaṇa yajnas
(20-26) 7 Pākayajnas
(27-33) 7 Haviryajna saṃsthas
(34-40) 7 sōma saṃsthas
(41-48) 8 Ātma guṇas (dayā-kṣānti-anasūyā-śauchaṃ-anāyāsa-mangalaṃ-akārpanyam-aspṛhā)
But popularly the first fourteen of the above saṃskāras are performed in the present times. Deva-pitṛ-manuṣya-bhūta-brāmhaṇa yajnas, 7 Pākayajnas, 7 Haviryajna saṃsthas, 7 sōma saṃsthas are rarely performed by selective people. 8 Ātma guṇas are normally imparted by moral stories et cetera in sanātana culture. Antyēṣṭi is another ritual considered as a saṃskāra. Antyēṣṭi is the saṃskāra which is performed after one's death to dispose the body which the soul left.
The primary purpose of these 48 saṃskāras is Mokṣa (final emancipation, the deliverance of the soul from recurring births or transmigration). But Gautama says it in a different manner -
yasyaitē chatvārimśat saṃskārā na cāṣṭāvātmaguṇā na sa brahmaṇaḥ sāyujyaṃ sālōkuaṃ ca gacchati|
One who does not get refined himself with these 48 saṃskāras, does he not the sāyujyaṃ and sālōkuaṃ of the bramhan. That means that he does not attain Mokṣa.
Garbhādhānaṃ is the first saṃskāra of the 15 saṃskāras. The word garbhādhānaṃ means impregnation. That is an effort to get the wife pregnant by intercourse. According to sanātana tradition intercourse is also a source to attain puruṣārtha. Tough peripherally the kāma puruṣārtha is to be achieved by intercourse, but dharma shastra it is one of the means to attain dharma which leads to mōkṣa. Dharma shastra instructs the couple to have intercourse in ṛtu kāla. ṛtu kāla is the window period of 16 days from the day the female starts menstruating.
ṛtussvābhāvikaḥ strīṇāṃ rātrayah ṣōḍaṣa smṛtāḥ| ........ tāsāmādyaścatasrastu niṃditaikādaśī ca yā| trayodaśī ca śeṣāstu praśstā smṛtāḥ||
In those 16 days first 4 days, the days which the female has natural bleeding mostly, are to be abstained from intercourse. The 11th and 13th day are not advised for intercourse. Therefore 10 days are to be the best time for intercourse. And in these 10 days also auspicious days and some tithis(amāvāsya, aṣṭamī, paurṇamāsī, chaturdaśī) are to be leftout. These instructions are for those couples who can control their kāma (desire). As yajnavalkya says –
yathākāmī bhavedvāpi strīṇāṃ varamanusmaran| svadāranirataiśca striyo rakṣyā yataḥ smṛtāḥ||
If one (couple) cannot abstain from intercourse in the said way, they are advised to have intercourse according to their kāma. The consent of the wife is to be sought in this situation. If there is an agreement form the wife then the couple may have intercourse. Because it is the duty of the husband to fulfill the desires of his wife.
Puṃsavanaṃ is the second saṃskāra. Puṃsavanaṃ is performed when the wife is pregnant. According to āpastaṃbha puṃsavanaṃ is to be done when the wife is confirmed to be a pregnant. Normally that would be on the third or fourth month.
Other smṛtikāras particularly mentioned that the saṃskāra is to be performed on third or fourth month. As quoted in kālādarśa –
tṛtīye vā caturthe vā māsi puṃsavanaṃ bhavet |
According to āpastaṃbha, puṃsavanaṃ is a saṃskāra through which one can be blessed by a male child.
yēna karmaṇā garbhiṇī pumāṃsameva sūte tat pumsavanaṃ
But āśvalāyana mentions that pumsavanaṃ is a saṃskāra which is aimed at the well being of the to-be-born child (fetus).
All the smṛtikāras emphasize on performing the saṃskāra on the day of puṣyamī nakṣatra (in the third or fourth month of pregnancy of the wife).
If one is not able to perform the saṃskāra in the said period, then pumsavanaṃ can be performed along with sīmantonnayana saṃskāra.
The main ritual in this saṃskāra is, the husband squeezes the juice of banyan fruit and tender banyan leaf, in the right nostril of the wife. The paste of the fruit is to be done by a girl who is no into her puberty. The fruit is to be acquired from the northern or the eastern facing branch of the banyan tree before dawn. This process is clearly stated by āpastamba in his gṛhyasutras as -anavasnātayā kumāryā dṛṣatputre dṛṣatputreṇa peṣayitvā pariplāvya apareṇa agniṃ prācīmuttānāṃ nipatyōttareṇa yajuṣā aṇguṣṭhena dakṣṇe nāsikācchidre apinayati
- manu smṛti-3|46, smṛti muktāphalaṃ, p.no.74
- yājnvalkya smṛti, smṛti muktāphalam, p. no. 74