Showing posts with label Birth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Birth. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Are The Rituals Associated With Childbirth In Hinduism?

Birth is a biological occurrence at its most basic level, but the rituals conducted for it and the importance assigned to it transform it into a cultural event in Hinduism. 

In terms of how Hindu groups commemorate births, there is a lot of regional and sectarian diversity, although there are a few common elements. 

  • Although the birth of a child is a joyous event, it is also fraught with impurity because to the numerous body tissues and fluids that accompany it (blood, membranes, amniotic fluid, placenta, etc.). 
  • To eliminate this birth impurity, most birth ceremonies involve cleansing procedures for both mother and child (sutakashaucha). 
  • For the mother, it's quite straightforward: a bath after the birth, followed by baths throughout the seclusion time (7–10 days). 

The child's last ritual, the chudakarana samskara (head shaving), may not take place for years after birth. 

  • Aside from impurity (ashaucha), the threat of impending harm is a recurring motif. 
  • Both mother and infant are regarded as very susceptible soon after birth, not just to natural stressors like cold, exhaustion, or illness, but also to ills brought on by witchcraft or the evil eye (nazar). 
  • Given this worry, it's no surprise that the placenta and other birthing leftovers are carefully gathered and disposed of to avoid being used in spells. 

The time of seclusion after the birth is meant to keep such evil energies at bay while also warding them off via rituals of protection. 

  • To boost her resilience, the mother is typically massaged and offered fortifying foods. 
  • Charms, sometimes known as amulets, are widely used. 

Lawrence Babb, The Divine Hierarchy, 1975; and Doranne Jacobsen, “Golden Handprints and Redpainted Feet: Hindu Childbirth Rituals in Central India,” Unspoken Worlds: Women's Religious Lives in NonWestern Cultures, Nancy Falk and Rita M. Gross (eds. ), 2000.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

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