Solah Sansakar / Shodash SanskarWhat is Sanskaar-- 1. The literal meaning of Sanskaar are purification, refinement, ceremony,rite, sacrament etc.
2. Sanskaar is an action or a series of actions through which good qualities or virtues are in inculcated and defficiencies or shortcomings are removed.
3. Sanskaar can be defined as the purification of one's thoughts and feelings.
4. Sanskaar removes shortcomings and enhances virtues.
5. Through sanskaar a person gains spiritual progress and achieves liberation .
According to the Hindu religion there are 16 Sanskaars or sacraments --
1. Garbhaadhaan Sanskaar 2. Punsvan 3. Seemantonnayan
These three Sanskaars are pre-birth sanskaars of a child.
4. Jaatakarm 5. Naamkaran 6. Nishkraman 7. Annapraashan 8. Mundan 9. Karanvedh
These six sanskaars are related to the childhood.
10. Vidhyaarambh 11. Yagyopaveet 12. Vedaarambh 13. Keshaant 14. Samaavartan 15. Vivah 16. Antheshthee
Here under is given the short description of the sixteen sanskaars-
1. Garbhaadhaan sanskaar - This is the first sanskaar. For this sanskaar the husband and the wife must have pure thoughts.
2. Punsavan sanskaar - This sanskaar is performed after three months of conception. Its done for the proper development of the fetus.
3. Seemantonnayan sanskaar - This sanskaar is performed after the sixth or eighth month of conception. This sanskaar is done for the mental development of the child. In this sanskaar the mother is inspired to have excellent thoughts through different holy symbols and inspirational stories.
4. Jaatkarm sanskaar - This sanskaar is performed after the birth of the child. In this sanskaar the Ved mantras are chanted.
5. Naamkaran sanskaar - This sanskaar is performed on the tenth or eleventh day after the birth. In this sanskaar the newly born child is given the name.
6. Nishkraman sanskaar - This is performed after the third or fourth month of the birth. In this sanskaar the child is taken out of the house.
7. Karnvedh sanskaar - This sanskaar is performed after the sixth, seventh or eights month of the birth. In this sanskaar the child's ear lobes are pierced.
8. Annapraashanna sanskaar - This sanskaar is performed after the six month of the birth. In this sanskaar solid food is given to the child first time.
9. Mundan sanskaar - This sanskaar is performed in the first year or in the third year after the birth. This sanskaar is releted to the shaving the head of the child.
10. Vidhyarambh sanskaar - This sanskaar is performed when the child attains the age of five year. The child salutes Lord Ganesh and Devi Sarswati. The teacher blesses the child and the learning of the alphabet begins.
11. Yagyopavit sanskaaar - In this sanskaar a holy thread is given the child to wear. Guru mantra is given to the child.
12. Vedarambh sanskaar - The child is sent to the Gurukul to study the vedas and other holy scriptures.
13. Keshaant sanskaar - This sanskaar was performed before leaving the Gurukul.
14. Samaavartan sanskaar - This sanskaar was perfored at the end of the child's study the Gurukul. After this sanskaar the child entered the Grihasth Aashram.
15. Vivah sanskaar - This sanskaar is related to the sacred union of two souls. It is the entry into the family life.
16. Antyeshthi sanskaar - This sanskaar is performed after the death of the person.