Nishkramana Sanskar

Taking the Baby out of the House for the First Time

One of the most important rituals performed after the birth of a child in Hinduism, following the Vedic tradition, is the ‘Nishkramana Sanskar’. It is the sixth of the Sanskars practiced by the Hindus, and in the literal sense, can mean the ‘first outing’ of the baby from the house.

Every ritual performed has its special significance and this is also one such important and auspicious ritual. The main purpose of these rituals is to spiritually connect the baby with his/her beliefs, and for its better health and longevity. It is also believed that these Sanskars are necessary so that we do not forget God, and the baby is showered with the bounties of his/her culture and beliefs from the time of his birth.

The Ritual

On the day of the Nishkramana Sanskar, a square area in the courtyard or porch of the house where a baby is born, is selected. It is then plastered with cow dung, and the geometrical figure, ‘Swastika’, which means conducive to well-being, is marked on that area. The mother of the child then scatters grains of rice over that area market with ‘Swastika’.

The baby is then taken out of the House by an elderly person or a family member, and after the preparations are made, brought near it for the remaining process. The Chanting of Vedic Hymns takes place after that, along with blowing of the conch-shell, so as to follow the sanctity of the ritual. During this time, the father of the baby makes him/her look at the Sun, and after this step takes place, the ritual comes to an end.

This specific ritual should be performed in the fourth month after the birth of the baby, as per the instructions given in Manusmriti, as it is believed that until then the child is not strong enough to face the outer world. It is further believed that the child should not see the sun in the third month and the moon in the fourth month.