“pumsuvanam पुंसुवनं ” means “bringing forth a male child”.
” पुमान्यॆन सूयतेतत् पुंसुवनं नाम कर्म “
That karmA by which a wife brings forth a male child is called “pumsuvanam”.
It is also spelt as “pumsavanam” पुंसवनं.
The doer (kartA) of this samskArA is the husband and he does it for his wife. A priest initiates this karmA.
Sage pAraskarA of shukla yajurveda says in his gruhya sootram, kAnDa 1, kaNdikA 14 :-
“मासि द्वितीये तृतीये वा यदह: पुंसॊ नक्षत्रॆण चन्द्रमा युक्तस्स्यात्”
“mAsi dviteeye tRuteeye vA yadaha: puMsO nakShatrENa chandramA yuktassyAt.”
The pumsuvanam of of the wife should be done before the fetous starts moving, i.e. in the second or third month and on a day when the moon is in conjunction with a male star.
Sage apastambA of Krishna yajur vEdA says in his gruhya sootram, paTala 6, Section 14 says:-
“ पुंसवनम् व्यक्तॆ गर्भे तिष्यॆण”
“puMsavanam vyaktE garbhe tiShyENa”
The pumsuvanam must be performed when the pregnancy has become visible and should be performed under the constellation of the star “tishya” otherwise called “pushya”.
ON WHICH PREGNANT MONTHS?
Once the signs of pregnancy are seen ;before the fetus starts moving, the “pumsavana” samskArA should be done in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th month of pregnancy.
ON WHICH NAKSHATRAS/STARS?
“puShya” nakshatra is most auspicious for doing pumsavana samskArA. However, punarvasu, hasta, moolA, shravaNa, mrughasheersha which are called male stars are also auspicious.
HOW MANY TIMES PUMSAVANA?
Again some schools of thought say that this samskArA is done only once during the 1st pregnancy, while some others say that it can be done for every pregnancy. In practice, it is mostly done during the first pregnancy only. Sage Apastamba says that the pumsavana samskArA should be done only if a male child is desired.
pumsuvana samskArA is done in one’s own home as it is a gruhya smArta karmA.
The family priest/pandit/vAdyAr/hOtru/bruhaspati should be requested to conduct this samskAram for you.
There may be slight differerences according to the gruhya sootrAs. An attempt to outline the procedure given in the Apastamba gruhya sootrA is made below:-
1. nitya karmA नित्यकर्मा – In the morning the husband (kartA) must perform his sandhyAvandanam and AupAsanam as usual.
2. The priest then arrives and conducts the following:-
3. anugyA अनुज्ञा – He must then give tamboolam ( a tray with betel leaves, betel nuts, saffron and fruits) with dakshiNai (a satisfying sum of money) to brAhmAnAs well versed in the vedas and take “anugnyai” (permission and blessing) from them.
4. udaka shAnthi japa उदकशन्ति – ‘udaka’ means water. For this a kalash of water is taken and Lord VaruNA is invoked in it.(AvAhanam). Learned brAhmaNas are requested to do the japa of the udaka shAnti mantrAs. Then the energized water is sprinkled on the husband and it is fully poured on the wife for purification. Then the udvAsanam (sending off) of Lord varuNA is done.
5. pratisarabandham प्रतिसरबन्धम् – “pratisara” is a cord or a thread tied around the wrists of the husband and the wife, as a protective band against bad energies. Again brahmaNAs recite many sooktAs in praise of gAyatree, agni, Apa:, hiraNya, viShNu, Lakshmi etc. to energise the pratisaram. Then it is tied around the right wrist of the husband and the left wrist of the wife with special bRuhadsAma mantrAs.
6. sankalpam सन्कल्पम् – An undertaking to do this pumsavana karma with the blessings and permission of the Lord is done specifying the details of cosmic spaces and time, earthly place, season, day, time, gotrA, and astrological details like star, rAsi, etc..of the couple.
7. pumsavana hOmam: पुम्सवन हॊम: This hOma is done in aupAsana agni .
a. “Ajya bhAgam” आज्य भागं otherwise called “mukhAntam” is done to please agni and sOmA. Agni is called the “mukha” or mouth of the dEvAs, because it is he who carries the Ahootis fortified by the mantrAs to the dEvAs. As part of this karmA, the “ghee आज्य” and “vessels पात्र ” to be used for the karmA are purified and placed in proper directions with specific mantrAs. Along with these, the new saree for the pregnant wife, a 2 seeded banyan sprout, a grinding stone and a pestle are also purified. This karmA is called “pAtra sAdhanam पात्र साधनम् ” and then Ajya hOmAs are done.
b. Then the following 8 pumsavana mantrAs are recited with Ahutis into the agni.
The 1st four mantrAs are from kRushNa yajur vEdA samhitA, kAnDA 3, prashna 3, anuvAkam 11
1. kÉÉýiÉÉ SþSÉiÉÑlÉÉã UýÌrÉqÉÏzÉÉþlÉÉã eÉaÉþiÉýxmÉÌiÉþ: | xÉ lÉþ: mÉÔýhÉãïlÉþ uÉÉuÉlÉiÉç|
2. kÉÉýiÉÉ mÉëýeÉÉrÉÉþ EýiÉ UÉýrÉç DþzÉã kÉÉýiÉãSÇ ÌuÉµÉÇý pÉÑuÉþlÉgeÉeÉÉlÉ |
kÉÉýiÉÉ mÉÑý§ÉÇ rÉeÉþqÉÉlÉÉrÉý SÉiÉÉý | iÉxqÉÉþ E WûýurÉÇ bÉ×ýiÉ uÉþÌ²kÉãqÉ |
3. kÉÉýiÉÉ SþkÉÉiÉÑ lÉÉã UýÌrÉÇ mÉëÉcÉÏÿgeÉÏýuÉÉiÉÑýqÉÎZwÉþiÉÉqÉç |
uÉýrÉlSãýuÉxrÉþ kÉÏqÉÌWû xÉÑqÉýÌiÉóèxÉýirÉUÉþkÉxÉ: |
4. kÉÉýiÉÉ SþSÉiÉÑ SÉýzÉÑwÉãý uÉxÉÔþÌlÉ mÉëýeÉÉMüÉþqÉÉrÉ qÉÏýRÒûwÉãþ SÒUÉãýhÉã |
iÉxqÉæþ SåýuÉÉ AýqÉ×iÉÉýxxÉðuurÉþrÉliÉÉýuÉçÆÌuÉµÉãþ SãýuÉÉxÉÉãý AÌSþÌiÉxxÉýeÉÉãwÉÉÿ: |
1. dhAtA dadAtunO rayimeeshAnO jagataspati: |sa na: poorNEna vAvanat |
2. dhAtA prajAyA uta raay eeshO dhAtEdaM vishvaM bhuvananjajAna |
dhAtA putraM yajamAnAya dAtA | tasmA u havyangghRutavidvidhEma |
3. dhAtA dadhAtu nO rayiM prAcheenjeevAtumakhShitAm |
vayandEvasya dheemahi sumatigMsatyarAdhasa: |
4. dhAtA dadAtu dAshuShE vasooni prajAkAmAya meeDhuShE durONE |
tasmai devA amRutAssamvvyayantAvmvishvE dEvAsO aditissajOShA: |
The meaning of the above mantrAs are:
1. Let the jagat pati and IshwarA, Brahma grant us wealth (progeny, cattle, wealth).
May the dhATa, fulfill our desires fully.
2. Oh! dhAtA, who created this universe, he also created wealth and progeny. He only must give this yajaManA
(the kartA of this samskArA) a male child. To him, I offer this havis (samidh) with ghee .
3. Oh ! dhAtA, Give us progeny and auspiciousness as much as we require, just like you gave my ancestors.
I meditate upon the generosity of the one who is satya (truth).
4. Oh! dhAtA, I desired progeny and so I have done this samskAram for my wife. Please grant us good progeny.
May all the everlasting dEvAs rest in my house and protect us.
The next 4 pumsavana hOma mantrAs are:-
1. rÉxiuÉÉþ ™ýSÉ MüÐýËUhÉÉý qÉlrÉþqÉÉýlÉÉãÅqÉþirÉïýÇ qÉirÉÉãïý eÉÉãWûþuÉÏÍqÉ |
eÉÉiÉþuÉãSÉãý rÉzÉÉãþ AýxqÉÉxÉÑþ kÉåÌWû mÉëýeÉÉÍpÉþUalÉå AqÉ×iÉýiuÉqÉþzrÉÉqÉç|
2. rÉxqÉæý iuÉóèxÉÑýM×üiÉãþ eÉÉiÉuÉãSý E sÉÉãýMüqÉþalÉå M×üýhÉuÉþxxrÉÉãýlÉqÉç |
AýÍµÉlÉýóèýxÉmÉÑýÌ§ÉhÉþÆuuÉÏýUuÉþliÉý…¡ûÉãqÉþliÉóèUýÌrÉ³ÉþzÉiÉã xuÉýÎxiÉ |
3. iuÉã xÉÑmÉÑþ§É zÉuÉýxÉÉåÅuÉ×þ§ÉýlMüÉqÉþMüÉiÉrÉ: | lÉ iuÉÉÍqÉýlSìÉÅÌiÉþ ËUcrÉiÉã |
4. EýYjÉ EþYjÉåýxÉÉåqÉý ClSìÇþ qÉqÉÉS lÉÏýjÉålÉÏþjÉã qÉýbÉuÉÉþlÉóèxÉÑýiÉÉxÉþ: |
rÉSÏóèþ xÉýoÉÉkÉþ: ÌmÉýiÉUý³É mÉÑý§ÉÉxxÉþqÉÉýlÉSþZwÉÉý AuÉþxÉãý WûuÉþliÉã |
1. yastvA hRudA keeriNA manyamAnO(a)martyaM martyO jOhaveemi |
jAtavEdO yashO asmAsu dhehi prajAbhiragne amRutatvamashyAm |
2. yasmai tvagMsukRutE jAtavEda u lOkamagne kRuNavassyOnam |
ashvinagMsaputriNamvveeravantam gOmantagM rayinnashatE svasti |
3. tvE suputra shavaso(a)vRutrankAmakAtaya: |
na tvAmindrA(a)ti richyatE |
4. uktha ukthE soma indra mamAda neetheneethE maghavanagM | sutAsa: |
yadeegM sabAdha: pitaranna putrAssamAnadakhShA avasE havantE |
The meaning of the above mantras are:-
1. Oh! agni, Me who is mortal invite you who is immortal. Bless me with food that saves me from death so that I can eat with my children.
2. Oh! agni, You always bless those who do good karmA and thereby they live long with their children and grandchildren.
3. Oh! powerful indrA, You have all the riches which people want. So you are the biggest.
4. Oh! powerful indrA, may the sOma rasa given by the yajamAnA please you.
Even your peers approach you like a father when they are in trouble.
c. “jayATi hOmam” जयादि हॊम: Those dEvatAs who grant victory are called jayAdi dEvatAs. There are around 57 of them. To name a few, they are siddham, siddhi, viShNu, agni gandharva, Adi apsaras, brahmA, prajApati, yagya gandharva, nakshatra apsaras, chandramA gandharva, manas gandharvas, riksAma gandharva, mrutyu gandharva, Oshadi apsaras, and many more. Ajya Ahutis (ghee oblations) are given in the name of these jayAdis for the karmA to give the desired results.
8. Apastamba sootra, paThala 6, khaNDa 14, khaNDikA 11 & 12
११.अनवस्नातया कुमार्या दृषत्पुत्रॆ दृषत्पुत्रॆण पॆषयित्वा परिप्लाव्यापरॆणाग्निं प्राचीमुत्तानां निपात्यॊत्तरॆण यजुषाङ्गुष्ठॆन दक्षिणॆ नासिकाच्छिद्रॆऽपिनयति । १२. पुमांसं जनयति ।
shungAkarman शुङ्गाकर्मन्: After the hOmam, a few kanyA girls (girls who have not attained maturity) are asked to grind on a grinding stone, a young banyan leaf (nyagrOdha/shung न्यग्रोध/शुङ्ग) sprout having 2 fruits, which was facing east on the banyan tree and take out its juice. A new cloth or saree is kept ready for the wife. She sits facing West. The husband faces East. He slowly tilts her head towards the East and dips the tip end of the saree in the banyan juice and squeezes it with his thumb so that the juice falls into the right nostril of the wife uttering the word –
” mÉÑóèxÉÑuÉlÉqÉÍxÉ ” “pumsavanamasi”
meaning hey, banyan, you have been squeezed to produce a male child.
The wife should allow the juice to go through her nostrils and into her throat. She should not waste it.
9. bruhaspati sambhAvanA बृहस्पति सम्भावना – The priest and all the brAhmaNAs are honoured with gifts and food and seen off with respect.
Sage kAshyapa in the Padma PurANA (quoted in Smriti ChandrikA) explains how a pregnant wife should carry herself.
A pregnant woman should not sit on a grinding stone, pestle and other such stone tools.
२.जलं च नावगाहॆत् शून्यागारं च वर्जयॆत् ॥
A pregnant woman should not enter into the water to dip fully. She should not live in a very old dirty house..
३. वल्मीकं नाधितिष्ठेत न चॊद्विग्नमना भवेत् ।
A pregnant woman should not sit on a snakes house. She should never worry or get tensed for anything.
४. विलिखेन्न नखैर्भूमिं नाङ्गरेण न भस्मना ॥
A pregnant wife should not scratch the floor with her nails, coal or ash.
५. न शयालुस्सदा तिष्ठेद्व्यायां च विवर्जयेत् ।
A pregnant wife should not be sleeping always. She should not do very hard/tough work.
६. न तुषाङ्गारभस्मास्थिकपालॆषु समाविशेत् ॥
A pregnant wife should not sit on bran, charcoal, ash, bones and skull.
७. वर्जयेत्कलहं लौकैर्गात्रभङ्गं तथैव च ।
A pregnant lady should not be the cause of misunderstanding between others.
८. न मुक्तकॆशी तिष्ठेत्तु नाशुचिस्स्यात्कदा चन ॥
A pregnant lady should not let her hair loose. She should be clean, not dirty.
९. न शयितॊत्तरशिर न चैवाधाश्शिरा: क्वचित् ।
A pregnant lady should not keep her head towards the North or on a hollow space.
१०. न वस्त्रहीना नॊद्विग्ना च चार्द्रचरणा सति ॥
A pregnant lady should not be without clothes. She should not get excited or worried and should not go to bed with wet legs.
११. नामङ्गल्यं वदेद्वाक्यं न च हास्यादिकं तथा ।
A pregnant lady should not say inauspicious words nor laugh out loud.
१२. कुर्याच्छ्वशुरयॊर्नित्यं पूजां मङ्गलतत्परा ॥
A pregnant woman should respect/worship her father-in law and mother-in law daily and do activities that are auspicious.
१३. तिष्ठेत्प्रसन्नवदना भर्तृप्रियहिते रता ।
A pregnant woman should have a pleasing face. She must love her husband and take interest in his requirements.
14.सन्ध्यायां नैव भोक्तव्यं गर्भिण्या तु प्रयत्नत:। (From matsya puraNA)
A pregnant wife should not eat in the sandhya times (twilights).
15. न स्नातव्यं गन्तव्यं वृक्षमूलॆषु सर्वदा ॥ (From matsya puraNA)
She should also not take a bath during the twilight. She should never stand under a tree.
Sage YAgyavalkya says in Chapter 3.79 of his smRuti how to take care of a pregnant wife
दौहृदस्याप्रदानेन गर्भॊ दॊषमवाप्नुयात् । वैरूप्यं मरणं वापि तस्मात्कार्यं प्रियं स्त्रिया: ॥
A pregnant wife ‘s desires should be fulfilled, Other wise the child may get the dOshA of disformity or death. So she must be loved and taken care of .
It is interesting to note the clarity given by Sage Apastamba in his sutra wherein it is mentioned that the Pumsuvana Samskaara should be performed only if a male child is desired. It clearly gives us the impression that in Vedic way of living they knew the science of begetting the male child and in many ways it can be used for modern day research topic.
Why male child?
To continue the lineage of that family / gothra.