Seemantonnayan Sanskar

One of the firsts of the Sanskars, the Seemantonnayan Sanskar is performed during the third trimester of a woman’s pregnancy. This ritual is held for the healthy development of the baby at its birth and safe delivery of the mother with no complications. This ritual is regarded as of importance for the protection of the baby and mother both, so that they both have a healthy life after birth and giving birth.

The Ritual

The Nakshatras on which the ritual of Seemantonnayan should be performed are the Mrigashira, Punarvasu, and Hasta Nakshatra. This ritual is done between the sixth to the eighth month of pregnancy, which would be during the last trimester of pregnancy.

In literal means, the words 'Seemanta' or 'Seemantakarana' translate to , ‘parting the hair upwards’. This ritual as per the Vedic Hindu rituals is akin to the ‘baby shower’ ritual as the thought behind it is almost the same. This is when the relatives and friends of the would-be mother give her gifts, cheer her up, satisfy her food cravings, and wish her luck for the remaining days of her pregnancy. The ancient texts have diversified opinions and techniques for the same, and they do not specifically describe how and when it should exactly be done, as per the different ancient Hindu texts.

Though the texts differ in many opinions, yet the common ground where all of them come together is the fact that the husband and wife get together during the ritual, surrounded by friends and family, after which he parts her hair upwards at least three times. The husband himself oils the wife’s hair with fragrant oil and combs the hair into a nice bun, and the ongoing ritual starts with the chanting of Vedic hymns. All these rituals signify the couple needs to be in harmony for the nourishment of the child, which will give a healthy mental growth to their child in the womb.

Overall, every text does give the instruction to treat the would-be mother well and cheer her up, by showering her with gifts. She is given flowers and fruits, and showered with blessing as she is nearing the end of her pregnancy and preparing for giving birth. Her desires should be satisfied, as per the Vedic Verses given in ancient Hindu Vedic texts, so that she gives birth to a healthy baby and the chances of miscarriage are curbed, and she remains healthy and safe. The expectant mother is also advised to not overexert herself, once the Seemantonnayan ritual takes place, and her husband is also not advised to travel to distant lands, and try to remain close to her. Overall, this ritual prepares and blesses the mother and the child for their healthy and safe future ahead.