In today’s world when it comes to holistic childcare or wellness of the family, we have lot more options than ever. In the quest of finding the right procedure to build an over all healthy child seems to be an endless loop. Like a light at the end of the tunnel, current generation parents are indeed going back to the roots. It is surprising to see our ancestors have derived certain activities that is not only enhances physical or physiological growth, but for complete spiritual growth. Let us go back in time, and see what they did when a child is born.
Immediately after birth
Very first thing when a baby arrives, they wanted to start with a positive impression on the baby, because babies can record consciously. The father would recite a Sloka in baby’s right ear.
“Angaadangaat sambhavasi hridayaadadhijayase|
Atma vai putranamaasi sa jiva saradassatham||”
Shathayuhu shathavarshoasi deerghamayuravapnuhi
Nakshatrani disho ratrirahashcha tvabhirakhshathu”
Which means “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.”. The very first thing baby hears or get blessed is, “live a hundred years” Wow! What a positive thought our forefathers had!
From this point onwards, one of the six childhood saṃskaras starts, this is called Jatakarma. They first cut umbilical cord. Today in the west and some hospitals in India, do allow fathers to be part of delivery and he gets a chance to cut umbilical cord, this situation fosters a healthy bonding with the new born.
Post cutting of umbilical cord, father chants a sloka and administers mixture of gold bhasma, ghee and honey. They might have done this for two reasons, firstly they would welcome the new born with sweet taste, which will trigger baby’s taste buds. Secondly, normal mother would take three days to lactate, until then, this mixture called as swarna prashan will give necessary nourishment. While administering father would chant the following sloka
“Jatakarma pashyame sharadaha shatham jeevame sharadaha shad am shrunuyama sharadaha shatham
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).”
“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.”
The very next thing after blessing the child with long life, now, they enable and bless the baby with cognitive power.
On the first day, they used to give three type of gold based mixture with mantra japa, like :
- Gold and vacha
- Gold, vacha, brahmi, kushta, haritaki with ghee and honey
- Gold, amalaki, chorrnam, ghee and honey.
They also placed the sacred nine grains called as navadhanyam mixed with turmeric water powder near the head side for 7 days. Each grains represent one the cosmic planet that influences the baby to attend positive support form this planets. Turmeric was mixed to drive away insects. There is also a hidden message in nine grains, which we will explore in our forthcoming article.
From day one to first birthday day, a lemon was kept near the head to observe the negative vibrations.
Second day and third day, yashimadhu ghrtam would be give, by this time, mother would be able to lactate. In case of delay in lactation, they used to give fresh butter.
By now, mother starts to feed her baby. At this stage mother would offer the right breast first with the following sloka.
“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.”
While feeding, a pot of water is placed at the head side of the baby. Following mantra is recited.
“Aapassuptheshu jagratha rakshaamsi niritho nudadhvam||”
“O Waters, while we sleep, you be awake and drive away demons from here.”
Pot of water can be placed at the head side of the baby till they sleep peacefully alone and pour this water to baby’s birth star plant, this washes away the negative energy. Even adults can follow this to protect them from bad dreams.
In lines to heal the birth wound, and nourishment overall growth, by applying cloth soaked in ghee on the head, If you read our article why they tonsure babies and healing property of ghee, you would know ghee would act as a amazing healer for skull development for baby.
They also used to wear vacha on hands, legs, neck and head. Precious gems were in use during olden days along with horn of cow or ox or deer. All these would help baby to heal and protect their nonphysical body.
Fumigation would be started with vacha, ashtagantha and few more herbs to strengthen their breathing path, protect from cold and purify air around that area. Mantras were chanted during morning and evening daily. By the tenth day they perform Naming ceremony known as Namakarana, which we will write in detail later.
It is astonishing to see our ancient peripatetic knowledge and practice is far advanced than we think, and in fact with no side effects! read that again. In our continuation of this article we will list of exact herbs and proportion that starts from day 1 to age 12.