The word “seemanta सीमन्त” means “parting of the hair”.
seemantOnnayana means the samskArA of parting the pregnant wife’s hair.
सीमन्त संस्कार seemanta saMskAr
अनवलॊभनम् anavalObhanam (ceremony for protecting the womb)
The seemantOnnayana samskArA is a very important stree samskArA स्त्री संस्कार in the sense that the pregnant wife herself is purified by this samskArA in her first pregnancy. Doing this samskArA only once would suffice for all other pregnancies. The kartA ofcourse is the husband.
The seemantOnnayana samskArA is done in the 4th, 6th or the 8th month of pregnancy. It can be done along with the pumsavana samskArA in the 4th month or separately.
Apastamba gruhya sootram, (kRushNa yajur vEdis), paThala 6, khaNDa 14, KhaNdikA 1
सीमन्तॊन्नयनम् प्रथमॆ गर्भॆ चतुर्थॆ मासि ।
seemantOnnayanam prathamE garbhE chaturthE mAsi |
SeemantOnnayanam is done in the first pregnancy in the 4th month.
Paraskara gruhya sootra, (shukla yajur vEdis), KhaNdA 1, kaNDikA 15
अथ सीमन्तॊन्नयनम् । पुंसवनवत् । प्रथम गर्भॆ मासॆ षष्ठॆऽष्टमॆ वा ॥
atha seemantOnnayanam | puMsavanavat |
prathama garbhE mAsE ShaShThE&ShTamE vA ||
SeemantOnnayanam is done in the first pregnancy in the 6th month or the 8th month .
Gobhila sootra, (sAma vEdis), prapAThaka 2, kaNDikA 7,Verses 1 and 2,
अथ सीमन्तकरणं प्रथम गर्भॆ । चतुर्थॆ मासि षष्ठॆऽष्टमॆ वा ॥
atha seemantakaraNaM prathama garbhE |
chaturthE maasi ShaShThE&ShTamE vA ||
SeemantOnnayanam is done in the first pregnancy in the 4th month, 6th month or the 8th month .
The outline of the Apastamba sootrA procedure is given below. The framework would be mostly similar for all sootrAs, but with slight differences.
Previous day of the seemantOnnayanam :
abhyudayam or nAndi shrAddham: अभ्युदयम्/नान्दी श्राद्धम् –
This karmA has to be done as a commencement ceremony of the “seemantOnnayanam”. It is done on the previous day of the seemantam because it has to be done as a “anna roopa nAndee shrAddham” where braAhmaNAs are invited and invoked as pitrus, hOmA is performed and bhOjanam (cooked meal) is served. By doing this the couple the couple recieves the blessings of the nAndee mukha pitrUs. (See tab=HOW? in garbhAdhAnam)
(If the pumsavanam and seemantam samskArA are done together say in the 4th month, but on the same day, then only a hiraNya nAndee shrAddham can be done because of paucity of time. The order would be Pumsavanam, then nAndee shrAddham and then seemantam.
On the day of the seemantOnnayanam :
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 – The husband 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 –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 seemanta karmA with the blessings and permission of the Lord is done specifying the details of cosmic spaces and time, season, day, time, gotrA, and astrological details like star, rAsi, etc..of the couple.
7.hOma हॊम: –The hOmA is done in aupAsana agni.
1. First like pumsavanam,(see “pumsavanam” tab) theAjya bhAga hOmA or the mukhAntam is done. For pAtra sAdhanam, the vessels to be used for the karmA, a few dharbhAs, porcupine quill having white spots, a bunch of cluster fig leaves, the stem of a rice plant with rice grains are also purified.
2. Then the 8 importantpumsavana hOma mantrAs starting with “dhAtA” upto “uktha ukthE” are recited with Ahutis.
3. ThenjayAti hOmAsare done.
8.Parting of the hair:
Apastamba gruhya sootram, PaThala 6, khaNDa 14, khaNDikA 3
परिषॆचनान्तं कृत्वापरॆणाग्निं प्राचीमुपवॆश्य त्रॆण्याशलल्या त्रिभिर्दर्भपुञ्जीलैश्शलालुग्लप्सेनॆति ऊर्ध्वं सीमन्तमुन्नयति व्याहृतीभिरुत्तराभ्यां च |
The wife is asked to sit on the west side of the agni but facing east. The husband should then part his wife’s hair 3 times from the front side uttering the vyAhrutis “bhoo: bhuva: suva: भू: भुव: सुव: ” with a bunch containing a bunch of kusha grass (darbhAs), a porcupine quill having 3 white spots, a bunch of cluster fig fruits. (ficus racemosa/atti) He must also say the following 2 important mantrAs from
kRuShNa yajur vEda, taittireeya samhitA, kANDa 3, prashna 3, anuvAka 11
1. UÉýMüÉqÉýWûóè xÉÑýWûuÉÉóèþ xÉÑ¹ÒýiÉÏ WÒûþuÉã zÉ×ýhÉÉãiÉÑþþ lÉxxÉÑýpÉaÉÉý oÉÉãkÉþiÉÑýiqÉlÉÉÿ |
xÉÏurÉýiuÉmÉþxxÉÔýcrÉÉÅÎcNûþ±qÉÉlrÉÉý SkÉÉþiÉÑ uÉÏýUóè zÉýiÉSÉþrÉqÉÑýYjrÉqÉçÿ ||
2. rÉÉxiÉåþ UÉMãü xÉÑqÉýiÉrÉþxxÉÑýmÉãzÉþxÉÉãý rÉÉÍpÉýSïSÉþÍxÉ SÉýzÉÑwÉãý uÉxÉÔþÌlÉ |
iÉÉÍpÉþlÉÉãï Aý± xÉÑýqÉlÉÉþ EýmÉÉaÉþÌWû xÉWûxÉëmÉÉãýwÉóè xÉÑþpÉaÉåý UUÉþhÉÉ ||
1. rAkAmahagM suhavAgM suShTutee huvE shRuNOtu nassubhagA bOdhatutmanA |
seevyatvapassoochyA&chChidyamAnyA dadhAtu veeragM shatadAyamukthyam ||
2. yAstE rAkE sumatayassupEshasO yAbhirdadAsi dAshuShE vasooni |
tAbhirnO adya sumanA upAgahi sahasrapOShagM subhagE rarANA ||
The meaning of the above verses are:
1. May rAkA, the presiding goddess of the full moon, listen well to my prayers and decide to bless us and make this karma blemishless. May we be blessed with a child who is brave and who possesses a mind as sharp as a needle tip (or a porcupine quill)
2. May rAkA use the best of her powers and kindness and bless the wife and the womb with all nourishment and protect us from all dangers.
9.Playing the veeNA
Apastamba gruhya sootram, PaThala 6, khaNDa 14, khaNDikA 4,5,6
गायतमितिवीणा गायिनौ संशास्ति ।उत्तरयॊ: पूर्वा साल्वानां ब्राह्मणानामितरा । नदीनिर्दॆशश्च यस्यां वसन्ति |
The husband should request 2 persons to play the veeNA and also sing so that the wife and the child get relaxed with music. A few brAhmaNAs then sing the following verses: If the couple resides around the yamuna river then the following yajus is recited:
rÉÉæaÉþlkÉËUUãýuÉ lÉÉãý UÉeÉãÌiÉý xÉÉsuÉÏþUuÉÉÌSwÉÑ: |
ÌuÉuÉ×þ¨ÉcÉ¢üÉý AÉxÉÏþlÉÉýxiÉÏUãþhÉ rÉqÉÑlÉãý iÉuÉþ ||
yougandharirEva nO rAjEti sAlveeravAdiShu: |
vivRuttachakrA AseenAsteerENa yamunE tava ||
The above verses praise “yougandhari” as the king of the sAlva dEsha nivAsis, i.e. the sAlva dEsha residents who live around the river yamunA.
If the couple resides around any other river, then the following yajus is recited:
xÉÉåqÉþ LýuÉ lÉÉãý UÉeÉãirÉÉþWÒûoÉëÉï¼ýhÉÏ: mÉëýeÉÉ: (UÉeÉÉuÉiÉÑ: qÉÉlÉÑwÉÏ mÉëeÉÉ:)|
ÌuÉuÉ×þ¨ÉcÉ¢üÉý AÉxÉÏþlÉÉýxiÉÏUãþhÉ ( AxÉÉæ) iÉuÉþ ||
soma eva nO rAjEtyAhurbrAhmaNee: prajA: (rAjAvatu: mAnuShee prajA: )|
vivRuttachakrA AseenAsteerENa (asou) tava ||
The above verses praise the dEvatA “sOmA” as the king of the ladies or the king of the people who reside by the said river. (The name of the river that flows nearest to the residence is mentioned here. It is substituted for the word “asou”)
10.Apastamba gruhya sootram, PaThala 6, khaNDa 14, khaNDikA 7 & 8
७. यवान्विरूढनाबध्य वाचं यच्छत्यानक्षत्रॆभ्य: । ८. उदितॆषु नक्षत्रॆषु प्राचीमुदीचीं वा दिशमुपनिष्क्रम्य वत्समन्वारभ्य व्याहृतीश्च जपित्वा वाचं विसृजॆत् ।
Then some sprouts of rice grain or barely are tied to the hair of the wife where she would normally wear flowers. Then the couple is expected to remain calm and refrain from talking until evening (when the stars rise). After that they should walk towards north or east and touch a calf of a cow chanting soflty the vyAhrutis. Then they can give up their silence.
11.AsheervAdaM and bruhaspati sambhAvanA: Then elders and dear ones bless the couple. The priest is honoured duly and with this the seemantOnnayana samskArA is completed.
AT THE TIME OF DELIVERY/LABOUR OF THE CHILD:-
kShipram-suvanam or kShipra-prasavanaM क्षिप्रं सुवनम् अथवा क्षिप्रप्रसवनम्
Both Sage Apastamba and Sage HiraNyakEshi, (yajur vEdA) have adviced a “kshipram-suvanam karmA” meaning the karmA for reducing the duration of the labour pain when the confinement for delivery is sure.
hiraNyakEshi gruhya sootram, prashna 2, paThala 1,khaNDikA 8 & 9 says:
९. विजननकाले क्षिप्रप्रसवनम् । शिरस्त उदकुम्भं निधाय पत्तस्तूर्यन्तीमथास्या उदरमभिमृशति ।
When the pregnant wife’s confinement has come, the husband performs this karmA for speeding up the delivery process. He places a kalash of water near her head and a tooryanti plant near her feet. He touches her stomach and says the following verses and then gently strokes her body gently from top to bottom.
यथैव वायु: पवतॆ यथा समुद्र एजति ।
एवं ते गर्भ एजतु सह जरायुणावसर्पतु ॥
yathaiva vAyu: pavatE yathA samudra ejati |
evaM te garbha ejatu saha jarAyuNAvasarpatu ||
Meaning: – As the wind blows, as the ocean waves ascend, thus may the embryo move down and creep/slip out easily.
Apastamba gruhya sootram, (yajur veda) PaThala 6, khaNDa 14, khaNDikA 13 & 14 says:
१३ . क्षिप्रं सुवनम् १४. अनाप्रीतॆन शरावॆणानुस्त्रॊतसमुदकमाहृत्य पत्तस्तूर्यन्तीं निधाय मूर्धच्छॊष्यन्तीमुत्तरॆण यजुषाभिमृश्यैताभिरद्भिरुत्तराभिरवॊक्षॆत् ।
A tooryanti plant is kept near the wife’s feet. Some water is collected from the nearby river in a vessel. Then the husband touches her head uttering the following yajur vEda mantrA:
kRuShNa yajur vEda, EkAgni kANDa, prashna 2, khaNda 11
AÉýÍpÉwOèuÉÉýWÇû SýzÉÍpÉþUýÍpÉqÉ×þzÉÉÍqÉý SzÉýqÉÉxrÉÉþrÉý xÉÔiÉþuÉã ||
AbhiShTvAhaM dashabhirabhimRushAmi dashamAsyAya sootavE ||
Then he sprinkles water from the vessel on her body while saying each of the following yajur vEda mantrAs. (प्रोक्षणम्)
kRuShNa yajur vEda, EkAgni kANDa, prashna 2, khaNda 11
1. rÉjÉæýuÉ xÉÉãqÉý: mÉuÉþiÉãý rÉjÉÉþ xÉqÉÑýSì LeÉþÌiÉ |
2. LýuÉliÉã aÉpÉïý LeÉþiÉÑ xÉýWû eÉýUÉrÉÑþhÉÉ ÌlÉýw¢üqrÉý mÉëÌiÉþÌiÉ¸ýiuÉÉrÉÑþÌwÉ oÉë¼uÉcÉïýÍxÉ rÉzÉþÍxÉ uÉÏýrÉãïÿÅ³ÉÉ±ãÿ ||
3. SzÉýqÉÉxÉÉýgNûzÉþrÉÉlÉÉã kÉÉý§ÉÉ ÌWû iÉjÉÉþ M×üýiÉqÉç |
4. LåiÉÑý aÉpÉÉãïý A¤ÉþiÉÉã eÉÏýuÉÉå eÉÏuÉþlirÉÉ: ||
5. AÉýrÉqÉþlÉÏrÉïqÉrÉiÉý aÉpÉïýqÉÉmÉÉãþ SãuÉÏýxxÉUþxuÉiÉÏ: |
6. LåiÉÑý aÉpÉÉãïý A¤ÉþiÉÉã eÉÏýuÉÉã eÉÏuÉþlirÉÉ:
1. yathaiva sOma: pavatE yathA samudra ejati |
2. evantE garbha ejatu saha jarAyuNA niShkramya pratitiShThatvAyuShi brahmavarchasi yashasi veeryE&nnAdyE ||
3. dashamAsAnChashayAnO dhAtrA hi tathA kRutam |
4. aitu garbhO akShatO jeevo jeevantyA: ||
5. Ayamaneeryamayata garbhamApO dEveessarasvatee: |
6. aitu garbhO akShatO jeevO jeevantyA:
(# tooryanti plant (glOriosa superbA) is also called “agnishikhA” or “puShpitA” or climber lilly. It is a wild plant. Its flowers are fiery red and yellow in colour. It is said to be the state flower of tamilnAdu. It is an endangered species. All its parts are toxic if ingested.)
sOShyantee hOma सोष्यन्तीहोमः
GObhila Grihya sootra of SAma vEda says: –
1.AjÉ xÉÉåwrÉliÉÏWûÉåqÉÈ 2. mÉëÌiÉÌ¸iÉå uÉxiÉÉæ mÉËUxiÉÏrÉÉïÎalÉqÉÉerÉÉWÒûiÉÏ eÉÑWûÉåÌiÉ rÉÉ ÌiÉU¶ÉÏirÉåiÉrÉcÉÉï ÌuÉmÉÍ¶ÉimÉÑcNûqÉpÉUÌSÌiÉ cÉ
When the child is appearing, the father strews dharbhAs around the fire and does a hOmA with the following 2 verses of the “Mantra BrahmaNa”. This is called sOShyantee hOma सोष्यन्तीहोमः
sAma vEdA, Mantra Brahamana, Prashna 1, kaNDa 5, khaNDikA 6 and 7
१. या तिरश्ची निपद्यते अहं विदरणी इति तां त्वा घृतस्य धारया ।
यजॆ सँराधनी महम् सँराधन्यै दॆव्यै दॆष्टट्यै।
२. विपश्चित्पुच्छमभरत् तद्धाता पुनराहरत्परॆहि त्वँ विपश्चित् पुमानयं जनिष्यते ॥ ऽसौ नाम ॥