Jaatkarma – First Ritual after the New Born Arrival

From the birth to the end of life, Hindu sanskriti is cluttered with varieties of customs, tradition and sanskar’s – Rituals. Numbers of rituals are followed from the ancestor’s period and which are clarified in the great epic like Ramayana and Mahabharata. Rishi muni’s as well as yogi’s had developed these rituals to bring purity, respect, and discipline in one’s life. Scientifically these are also proved right for the safety purpose. People follow each and every custom celebrating with their relatives. Some rituals of Lord Rama was performed by Rishi Vashishta and that of Lord Krishna was performed by Rishi Sandipni

In our sanskriti, there are total sixteen sanskaar which are to be performed. Among all these Jaatkarma is the fourth sanskar which is performed as a first sanskar after the birth. This is held in a period of a week after the birth of new born. This is usually a welcoming ceremony for a newly born in the beautiful world. Scientifically this is done to clean the internal body from the germs and to arouse all sensory organs. Also people relate this to inhibit divine values to the child from the very beginning of the birth.

Jaatkarma is accomplished by the child’s father before the cutting of the naval. In this ceremony father brings silver or golden spoon, honey, curd and ghee (clarified butter). Some people mixed four tiny drops of ghee, one tiny drop of curd and one tiny drop of honey and make the mixture. The father of the new born takes this mixture in golden or silver spoon and he then write ‘Aum’ on the baby’s tongue. Some only uses honey and make the baby to lick from his third finger (tarjani). Then he chants vedic mantras near the child’s ears.

In this custom honey is used to kill the micro bacteria’s that infant must have intake before or while his birth. Clarified butter is used to lubricate the throat and internal stomach. Golden or silver spoon is used as it is considered pure. Actually this is given to clean the internal body and give protection from germs. This custom is also performed by the Muslims where a family members of a new born or father himself perform this ritual to pour virtuous qualities and also to welcome the baby in his family.

In early days after performing this act the child is given to his mother for breast feeding. And yagna and havan was conducted at home to enhance all religious qualities in the child. Also the father blesses the child and promises to protect him/her forever. These days this custom is minimize and new born’s father or any other paternal family member make child to taste a tiny drop of honey with silver stick or golden stick. Some believe jaggery is good for health so they boil jaggery with water and add little amount of ghee into it and this water is then put on the baby’s tongue.

In Gujarat this mixture given by the father is known as ‘gharadiyu’. No more and big ceremony is held but only father writes ‘Aum’ on the new born tongue whispering some mantra in his ears. The rest of the family gets busy in hospital and home with other relatives. But the main purpose of cleaning internal body with tiny drop of homely mixture is proved though this small ritual. The satisfaction of chanting the mantra will make the new soul develop religious values. It’s good to change with time but do not disrespect or let down any ritual, as every ritual performed by our ancestor’s are meaningful and important.