An Introduction To Samskaras,Hindu Rites

Mahaswami of Kanchi Mutt

Anything which occurs in Nature needs to be processed to suit Human needs, be it Fruits, Vegetables,Pulses,Water and even the things which we use in our daily lives.

Gold,Diamond and the like also need to be processed to before they are used.

Similarly Human Birth also needs cleansing.

A child is born out of the union of the parents and the child would definitely have their influences both biological and psychological.

Apart from this, according to Indian Philosophy, every action begets equivalent and opposite reaction in the individual, be it an action performed at the mental,physical and even at the Speech level.

All and any of these actions produce a set of  feelings, emotions and anxiety with them.

The actions and the reactions in the mind,  all being forms of energy can not be destroyed  or denied.

These stick to the individual as dust settles on things over a period of time.

These determine one’s dispositions towards Life and direct one’s behavior while facing Life.

These tendencies are given the name ‘Samskaras’

These may be good or bad form an empirical point of view.

To clean the individual the Rites are prescribed by the Sastras.

These Rites, also called Samskaras, clean the individual.

They help in reducing the impact pf the results of actions performed by one either in this birth or in earlier births., though the can not do away completely with the Results of Actions,Karmapala.

Again these Samskaras prepared one in the path of Self Realisation by tuning up the mind.

It may be noted that though the Samskaras prescribed seem to be highly individualistic and self-centred, as in Indian Philosophy, they also serve the Society.

This will be evident if one were to know about the Samskaras.

The word ‘Veda’ is from the root ‘Vid’, To Know.

But whatever that is to be known can not be known by the senses alone.

Some of them have be grasped intuitively.( These are called ‘A priori’ in Western Philosophy)

The Vedas contain such knowledge and as such it is called The Sruti ‘heard'( means grasp)

And as such it is also Eternal as Principles are Eternal as The Laws of Nature.

The Great Seers wrote ‘Sutras’ or Aphorisms to explain the Vedas.

These Sutras contain Samskaras.

The Samskaras eliminate/ control the negative influences of the Mind and improve  upon certain tendencies of the Soul, which helps in the one path of Self Realisation.

What are these Forty Samskaras?

I am writing this blog with out taking a Philosophical Stand point as this would dilute the topic and may also confuse the Readers.

Hence I request the learned to be patient while I explain things.

The purpose of this blog is that it has to be understood by those who may not know The Vedas or Indian Philosophy.

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