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JAATHAKARMA

Sri Chandramoulisvaraya Namah:
VEDA DHARMA SASTRA PARIPALANA SABHA (Regd.)
Kumbhakonam
Publication No. 51

There are 40 bodily samskaras (purificatory ceremonies) prescribed as compulsory by Sastras for achieving good in this world and the next. Out of them, ‘Jaathakarma’ is the fourth samskara. If we carefully look at the meanings of mantras chanted during such samskaras, the vital necessity of these karmas will automatically become clear. In the mantras of Jaathakarma, it is prayed that the newborn child should grow with strong body, long life, unlimited wealth, undying fame, sharp intellect etc. There is no doubt that we all wish to obtain all of this. Hence there should be no lapse in proper performance of karmas like Jaathakarma, which will surely bestow all the above benefits as explained by our far-sighted ancestors. It is therefore necessary to know when, how and for what purpose these karmas are performed and, in addition, the meaning of mantras chanted in the karmas.

Time of performing Jaathakarma
As soon as the child is born, Jaathakarma should be performed before the umbilical cord is cut. If it is not possible to do it at that time for reasons beyond control, the samskara should certainly be done at least on the 11th day after attaining purity from Sutaka (birth of child). Though impurity due to Sutaka attaches to parents as soon as the child is born, Sastras declare that there is no impurity till umbilical cord is cut.

1. “Yavanna chchidyathe naalam tavannapnoti sutaka

Chinne naale tatah: paschat sutakam tu vidhiyate||”
As soon as child is born, Jaathakarma should be commenced after bath with clothes as worn. Even if Jaathakarma is not done, it has been said that bath at that time is very necessary. Though bathing at night is prohibited in ordinary times, it has been laid down that one can bathe at night on such occasions.

Sraadham on child-birth:
It has been laid down that Sraadham on account of child-birth should be performed either before umbilical cord is cut or after impurity due to Sutaka is removed on 11th day. This Sraadham should be performed either as Aama (uncooked rice and vegetable) or Hiranya (dakshina-cash) and not as Anna (cooked rice in regular sraadham where brahmana is fed).

Danam (ceremonial gift):
Devas and Pitrus come towards the house in which the child is born. Hence that day is very good. Gold, land, cow, horse, chariot, umbrella, sheep, cloth, flower, bed, seat, house, foodgrains, cooked rice mixed with condiments, jaggery and ghee should be given in danam throughout that day.

Jaatheshti:
If one is Aahitagni (who performs Agnihotram etc. regularly), he should perform Ishti (Sroutha homam) called Jaatheshti on the child’s birth. As this is kamya (optional), there is no harm if not done. If done, it should be performed on a Purnima or Amavasya day.
As far as Jaathakarma is concerned, it should be done before umbilical cord is cut as laid down.

Procedure for performing Jaathakarma and import of mantras therein:

1. “Jaatham vaatsaprenaabhimrisya aapa-gru-sutra”

“Vaatsapra” suktham, i.e. Anuvakam of 11 mantras, commencing with mantra starting with “Divasvari”, should first be chanted and then the newborn child should be touched. In these 11 mantras, it is generally Agnideva who is praised. It is clear that Agnideva’s grace is essential to the newborn child. Agnideva graces us in many ways: being Jaatharagni (Agni in the stomach for digestion), he bestows good health; he carries Havirbhaga from us to Devas and helps in getting their grace to us; he generates clouds for making the land fertile through rains. Hence Agnideva is specially praised for obtaining his grace for the newborn child.

2. “Uttarena Yajusha upastha aadhaya-Aa (gru)”

Chanting the Yajur mantra, which follows, the father should keep the child in his lap.

3. “Asminnaham sahasram pushyamyedhamanah:sve vase”

“Being independent, I should get my thousands of wishes fulfilled through this child in due course”.
It is prayed here that without affecting the independence of parents, the child should be of special help to them.
With the following two mantras, consecration, smelling the head of the baby and chanting in the baby’s right ear should be done. At the close of the second mantra, where “asou” is stated, the name of the birth star should be mentioned.
If the baby is born in Rohini star, one should say “Rohinou”; if it is Revati, it will be “Raivata” etc.

4. “Angaadangaat sambhavasi hridayaadadhijayase|

Atma vai putranamaasi sa jiva saradassatham||”
“You are born from each of my limbs. Heart is the abode of desire. Called “Putra”, you are indeed my Atma (form). May you live a hundred years.”

5. “Asma bhava parasur bhava hiranyamastrutam bhava|

Pasunam tva hinkarenaabhijighramyasou||”
“Son of (star name), I smell you like cows smell calves with the sound of ‘him’. Be strong like a stone; Conquer others like an axe; Be handsome like unblemished gold.”
After this, honey and ghee should be mixed and taken with darbha, knotted with a hole at centre holding gold and given to the baby, chanting the following mantras.

6. “Medham te Devassavita medham Devi Saraswati|

Medham te Asvinou deva vadhattamam pushkarasraja||”
“May the effulgent Savita Deva, Saraswati Devi and Asvini Devas wearing lotus garlands bless you with Medha (power of retentive memory).”

7. “Tvayi medham tvayi prajam tvayyagnistejo dadhatu|

Tvayi medham tvayi prajam tvayeendra indriyam dadhatu|
Tvayi medham tvayi prajam tvayi Suryo bhrajo dadhatu||”
May Agnideva bestow on you retentive memory, progeny and splendor and power. May Indra bestow on you retentive memory, progeny and power of Indriyas (sense organs). May Surya bestow on you retentive memory, progeny and brilliance.”
After this, the child should be bathed with the following mantras; curd and ghee be mixed in a bronze vessel and given to the child chanting Vyahrutis and Pranavam (Om Bhur Bhuvas Suvah:); balance of the curd-ghee be mixed in water and left in cow-shed.

8. “Kshetriyai tva Nirrutyai tva druhomunchami Varunasya pasat|

Anagasam Brahmane tva karomi sive te dyavaprithvi ubhe ime||”
“I release you from incurable disease, from Nirruti, the goddess of destruction, from treacherous persons and from Varuna’s noose (disease called Mahodara, i.e. dropsy). I shall make you sinless and brahmana, fit to chant Vedas. May both Upper spheres and Earth be auspicious to you.”

9. “Sam te Agnih: sahaadbhirastu sam dyavaprithvi sahoushadhibhih|

Sam antariksham sahavatena te sam te chatasrah: pradiso bhavantu||”
“May Agni, Water, Upper spheres, Earth, Herbs, Intermediate sphere and the four Directions be propitious to you.”

10. “Ya Daivis chatasrah: pradiso vatapatnidabhi Suryo vichashte|

Taasam tvajarasa aadadhami prayakshma yetu Nirrutim paraachaih||”
“The four directions headed by Indra et al have Vayu at their head. Surya spreads his light in all those directions. I establish you till those directions become old. (May you live as long as directions exist). May the disease ‘yakshma’ (consumptive disease) run away from you, thus established, towards Nirruti.”

11. “Amochi yakshmad duritaadavartyai druha: pasan Nirrutyai chodamochi|

Aha avartimavidatsyonamapyabhud bhadre sukritasya loke||”
“This child was released from ‘yakshma’, sin, evil, treachery, Varuna’s noose and Nirruti. He was freed from the misery of lack of livelihood. He gained happiness and auspicious worlds.”
The past tense in this mantra indicates that the child who has undergone this samskara is sure to gain all the benefits mentioned in the above mantras.

12. “Suryamritam tamasograhyaayaddeva amunchannasrujanvyenasah|

Evamahamimam kshetriyajjamisamsad druho munchami Varunasya pasat||”
“In the way Devas released Surya in earlier times from diseases like darkness, ‘grani’ etc. and sin, I release this child from incurable disease, the curse of Jamis (a class of Devatas), treacherous persons and Varuna’s noose.”
Chanting the following mantra, the child should be placed on the lap of the mother.

13. “Mathe kumaram rakshovadhinma dhenuratyaasaarini|

Priya dhanasya bhuya edhamana sve grihe||”
“May the demon not kill your son. May animals like cow, running after its calf, not harm your child. May you get wealth, receive kindness and grow further at your own home.”
With the next mantra, the child should be made to suckle at the right breast of mother.

14. :Ayam kumaro jaraam dhayatu dirghamayuh:|

Yasmai tvam sthanaprapyayayur varcho yaso balam||”
“May this child, by suckling, drink old age and long life. (may live a long life). O breast, enable this child to develop long life, brilliance, fame and strength.”
With the next two mantras, earth should be touched.

15. “Yad Bhumer hridayam divi chandramasi sritham|

Tadurvipasyam maaham poutramaghamrudam||”
“O Earth, I must see the heart of Earth, which is in Chandra in the heavens. (The black spot seen in Chandra is the heart of Earth as per Veda). I must not shed tears on account of my son’s sin (death). (Long life of father and son is prayed here).

16. “Yatte suseeme hridayam vedaaham tatprajapatou|

Vedamathasyate vayam maaham poutramaghamrudam||”
“O Earth with nice borders, I know that your heart is with Prajapathi (Chandra). By touching you now, I must continue to know it for long. I should not have to weep due to my son’s end.”
With the following mantra, the child should be made to lie down on earth.

17. “Naamayati narudati yatravayam vadaamasi yatra chaabhimrisaamasi||”

May this child, who lies down on that earth where we touch chanting the mantra, not suffer from disease nor weep.”
With the following mantra, a pot full of water should be placed at the head of the child.

18. “Aapassuptheshu jagratha rakshaamsi niritho nudadhvam||”

“O Waters, while we sleep, you be awake and drive away demons from here.”
Then mustard (white mustard according to some) and husk should me mixed and homam should be done in Agni with it thrice for each ‘swaha’ with the following mantras. Also, it should be enjoined that whenever one enters the delivery-room, homam should be done thus in Agni, but without mantra, till the close of tenth day.

19. “Ayamkalim patayantham svanamivod vriddham

Ajaam vaasithaamivamaruthah: paryaasvam swaha”
The following mantras should then be chanted in the right ear of the child.

20. “Agniraayushman savanaspatibhiraayushman tenatva aayusha aayushmantam karomi

Soma aayushman saoshadhibhih: aayushman tenatva aayusha aayushmantam karomi
Yagna aayushman sadakshinaabhih: aayushman tenatva aayusha aayushmantam karomi
Brahma aayushman tadbrahmanaih: aayushman tenatva aayusha aayushmantam karomi
Deva aayushmantah: te mritena aayushman tenatva aayusha aayushmantam karomi”
“Agni has long life owing to trees; I make you long-lived with his long life. In the same way, Chandra has long life with herbs; Yagna with dakshinas (ceremonial gift to brahmanas); Veda with brahmanas; Devas with Amrita (nectar of immortality). I make you long-lived with their long lives.”

A girl child should be consecrated with the following mantra.

21. “Sarvasmaadatmanah: sambhritaasi saajiva saradassatham||”

“You are created out of my entire body. May you live a hundred years.”

VEDA DHARMA SASTRA PARIPALANA SABHA

Translated by: P R Kannan, Navi Mumbai

Veda Dharma Sastra Paripalana Sabha was commenced with the Blessings of Pujyasri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya Swamiji in the year 1942 with the objective of protecting and propagating the Dharmas through various means including publications. The Sabha is continuing to perform various activities like conducting Veda Sammelans and Vidwat Sadas etc. in various towns and cities, with the Blessings of Pujyasri Jayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya Swamiji and Pujyasri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya Swamiji.Tamil version of this article and other similar articles in Tamil can be accessed on this website at  http://www.kamakoti.org/tamil/

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