Pregnancy is an important and much-awaited event in a woman’s life. The prospect of welcoming a child into one’s life brings immense joy to the parents. Children, in most cultures, are regarded as blessings from God. Hence, the birth of a child is eagerly looked forward to. Different cultures prepare for the event in different ways. In the West, there are baby showers thrown by friends and relatives of the couple expecting a baby. In India, there are rituals among Hindus, called Seemantham or Valaikappu, and Godh Bharai, for the pregnant woman. Seemantham is performed in the seventh month. The south Indian ritual is meant to put the mother-to-be in a state of happiness and calm. The ritual is organized by the pregnant woman’s parents so that she can receive the elders’ blessings for safe delivery. The pregnant woman’s wishes are fulfilled by her family on this special day. The ceremony is supposedly performed to drive away evil spirits away and to ensure good health.
Godh Bharai is the name of the ritual in North India. It is called Swad and Dohale Jevan in Bengal and Maharashtra, respectively. Godh Bharai function is organized by the woman’s friends and relatives. They come together to bless the pregnant woman and the baby. Delicious treats are prepared for the occasion. This ceremony is mostly performed during the seventh month of pregnancy and is attended by women alone.
Couples in the Netherlands announce the pregnancy by putting a stuffed stork through a window that faces the street, with its rear end jutting out and the head facing inside. In fact, it looks as if the stork flew straight into the window with baby in tow! In rural Ecuador, a South American country, men have to give their pregnant partner a shirt damp with his sweat after a long day’s work. This is believed to impart strength during childbirth so that the labor will be smooth. Pregnancy is a time for caution as well as joyful celebration.
In these modern times, it has been observed that pregnancy has become more difficult and complicated due to various reasons. Women lead a more sedentary life nowadays, thanks to many labor-saving gadgets. They also have to deal with a lot of stress at the workplace. The disappearance of joint families has also taken away an important support system that existed earlier. Hence, many women are seen to suffer complications in pregnancy, which adds to their stress and endangers the health of the mother and child.
Vedic Astrology offers certain remedies for such situations. In many Hindu families, Purusha Sukta Homam is performed to protect the pregnant woman from pregnancy-related complications. It is also done when couples fail to conceive a child. This Homam is believed to resolve such problems, which can even destroy marriages and the happiness of families.
Purusha Sukta Pooja is a ritual that is believed to facilitate the birth of healthy and intelligent children. This Pooja is conducted both for those who have no children and for those who want a safe delivery and a healthy and intelligent child.
Purusha Sukta Homam is dedicated to the Hindu deity, Vishnu. It is said that Lord Vishnu gave the knowledge of this homa to Sanatkumara. He, in turn, passed it on to Sage Bodhayana. The Suta Samhita says:
Putrapradam Aputraanaam Jayadam Jayakaaminaam Bhuktidam Bhuktikaamaanaam Mokshadam Moksha Kaaminaam
The words mean that those who want progeny, success, worldly enjoyment, and moksha will attain it by performing this Pooja. It is believed that one attains human birth by performing good deeds in their past lives. To continue our lineage, healthy progeny is a must. The Homam is similar to the Putra Kameshti Yagna mentioned in the Ramayana, which was performed for the same purpose.
Sanatanagopala Homam is performed if there are some obstacles or delays in having progeny and if complications arise during pregnancy. It’s for couples who lack progeny and those who want healthy and intelligent offspring. It is one of the most commonly recommended Homams for child blessings.
In this Homam, Vishnu, who is in the form of Gopala Krishna is worshipped with leaves of the Tulasi (holy basil) plant. First, Purusha Suktam is recited. Purusha Suktam is the Vedic mantra associated with Vishnu. It is recited in most Homams. Following this, Santana Gopala’s moola mantra is recited, and the Homam is performed. This Homam is very good for those who wish to have offspring. Those who have children also perform it for the welfare of their offspring.
Purusha Sukta Homam Pooja Materials:
- Turmeric Powder – 1 Packet
Kumkum – 1 Packet
Sandalwood Paste / Powder- 1 Packet
Agar Bath (Incense sticks) -1 Packet
Camphor -1 Packet
Betel Leaves – approx 30
Flowers – 4 Bunches
Fruits -12 Bananas & 5 types of fruits- 5 (for each type)
Dry Coconut (whole) – 2
Coconut – 4
Rice – 5 Lbs
Kalas vastram -1 Towel / 2 Yards fabric
Rice Poha (Beaten Rice) -1 Packet
Honey -1 Small Bottle
Ghee -1 lb
Dates (Karjur) -1 Packet
Coins (quarters) – 40
Naivedyam – Devotee’s choice:
- Sugar Candy (Misri) -1 Packet
Navadhanya -Wheat, Rice, Thoor Dal, Moong Dal, Chana Dal, Rajma (White), Sesame
For Tamil Sampradayam:
- Paruppu Thenga
Other Pooja Materials:
- Deepam (Lamp), Oil, MatchBox, Cotton Wicks.
Kalasam, Panchapatra and Uddharini, Small Trays 2 nos.
Big Trays (2 nos), Small Cups (5 nos).
Asirvada New Dresses, Blankets for seating guests (2 nos)
Paper Napkins and paper Plates