Vedic rituals are an expression of gratitude and devotion to help us celebrate and honor every moment of our lives. Following are the most important of rituals that mark significant events in life. It typically follows the chronological order in a person's life.
Seemantham is more than just a baby shower. It is a spiritual blessing performed in preparation usually for a woman's first delivery to ensure a safe and sound birth of the child with minimum pain to the mother. The secondary benefits are to bless the mother and child with gifts, sweets, dress, etc. A powerful puja (an offering of gratitude) and mantra (chantings) are performed in order to elevate the energy levels of both the child and the mother.
Naamakaranam refers to the naming ceremony for a new born. This ceremony is usually done after the purification ceremony. The entire life of a person revolves around the name of that person. The name is chosen to help a child realize his/her ultimate potential simply by remembering the name. During this puja special chants are invoked for helping with raising the level of energy of the child while giving the name to a child which would repeatedly remind one of the true potential within.
The first solid food is given to a child during this ceremony. Since this is the first food intake for the child, the food needs to be fully energized. In order to perform this ceremony, a competent Pujacharya should perform dedicated offerings to the main deity of the temple followed by the energization. Since the first food comes from the presence of an Enlightened Master, it is believed the child will always have all the required food throughout his/her lifetime. This ceremony is usually held in the fifth month after a child is born. In addition to the honey, milk and yogurt given to the child during the naming ceremony, rice is now added to child's appetite.
Ayushya homam (fire ritual) is performed to bestow long spiritual life for the recipient. This homam is usually performed on the same star (Nakshaktra) in the same month of birth. It is customary to do it on the first birthday of children. By performing the Ayushya homa, it is believed health to bestow longevity and good health for the body as well as the mind.
Akshara Abhyasam or Vidhya Arambam
Vidhya Arambham or Akshara Abhyasam in Sanskrit means "initiation into learning". In this beautiful ceremony, the father or one of the elderly persons of the family holds the child's right hand to trace an alphabet on a plate of rice with a golden ring. This is again done after elaborate offering to the main deity of the Vedic Temple as well as chanting mantras to invoke the presence of the God of knowledge, Dakshinamurti. The child is thus initiated into study.
Upa in Sanskrit means near and nayanam means "travelling towards". It means that the initiated is moving towards his/her own center in order to realize one's Self by the power of he Gayatri Mantra. During this ceremony, we are initiated into the mantra (sacred syllables) that lead to tremendous visualization capacity and an exponentially blissful life. This is one of the most powerful spiritual initiations available in life and is responsible for guiding toward's an individual's spiritual experience.
Marriage is a communion of the Being. The couple getting married take seven beautiful vows in the form of mantra to help the each other go beyond greed and fear. They travel to a space where there is overflowing and unconditional love which is shared for no reason and an absence of the "give and take" normally found in relationships. The couple also engage in various fun activities to bring them closer together.
Shasti Abtha Poorthi
According to the Vedic tradition 60 years is one whole cycle in a person's life after which the same year as the person's year of birth returns. When the husband reaches 60 years this ceremony is performed to a married couple. Hence, as a mark of achieving this milestone as well as visualizing a conscious birth into this world, this ceremony is performed. By performing this ceremony, the married couple enter into a new phase of their life where they consciously help each other to achieve enlightenment.
Every year, on the death anniversary of a relative, family members offer their gratitude and provide food for the deceased by performing this ceremony.
If you are interested in performing any of these ceremonies at your home or at the temple, please contact the temple for more information.