Jatakarma (जातकर्म)

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Jatakarma Saṃskāra is performed before the navel string is cut.

प्राङ्नाभिवर्धनात्पुंसः जातकर्म विधीयते। मनुस्मृतिः २.२९ ।

prāṅnābhivardhanātpuṃsaḥ jātakarma vidhīyate। Manusmṛtiḥ 2.29 .

Jātakarma of a male child is ordained before the umbilical cord is cut. Before cutting the navel string there is no Aśaucam (impurity) due to birth and Jātakarma has to be performed at that time on a male child.

जातं वात्सप्रेण अभिमृश्य उत्तरेण यजुषा उपस्थे आधाय उत्तराभ्याम् अभिमन्त्रणम् मूर्धनि अवघ्राणं दक्षिणे कर्णे जापः। आपस्तम्बगृह्यसूत्रम्, १५.१ ॥

jātaṃ vātsapreṇa abhimṛśya uttareṇa yajuṣā upasthe ādhāya uttarābhyām abhimantraṇam mūrdhani avaghrāṇaṃ dakṣiṇe karṇe jāpaḥ.

Āpastambagṛhyasūtram, 15.1 ॥

As soon as the (male) child is born the father should recite the Vātsaprānuvāka, i.e. "divaspari . . .", and touch (at the end of the Mantra), should take him into the lap while reciting the Yajus "asminnaham", recite two Mantras, viz., "aṅgādaṅgāt" and "aśmā bhava", for him and smell his head and the same Mantras are to be repeated in the right ear.

नक्षत्रनाम च निर्दिशति; तद्रहस्यं भवति । आपस्तम्बगृह्यसूत्रम्, १५.२, ३ ॥

nakṣatranāma ca nirdiśati; tadrahasyaṃ bhavati।

Āpastambagṛhyasūtram, 15.2, 3 ॥

The father pronounces the Nakṣatranāma (name coined after the name of the birth star) also in the right ear secretly. The name runs like this: Birth-star Name related to Star

Rohiṇī Rauhiṇaḥ

Revatī Raivataḥ

Maghā Māghaḥ Such a name has to be kept a secret, i.e. should not be pronounced loudly. Śatapathabrāhmaṇam (6.1.3.9) ordains that a name should be given to the male child as soon as he is born:

तस्मात् पुत्रस्य जातस्य नाम कुर्यात् ।

tasmāt putrasya jātasya nāma kuryāt ।

Vedāṅgajyotiṣam (Ṛgveda 25-28) enumerates twenty eight Nakṣatras (stars), including Abhijit and their Devatas (Gods) and adds that in Yajñas (Sacrifices) the Yajamāna (Sacrificer) has to bear the Nakṣatranāma:

नक्षत्रदेवता ह्येता एताभिर्यज्ञकर्मणि। यजमानस्य शास्त्रज्ञैः नाम नक्षत्रजं स्मृतम्॥

nakṣatradevatā hyetā etābhiryajñakarmaṇi।

yajamānasya śāstrajñaiḥ nāma nakṣatrajaṃ smṛtam॥

These are the deities of Nakṣatras (stars) useful in Yajñas. Scholars say that the Nakṣatranāma of Yajamāna has to be employed in Yajñas.

The Nakṣatranāma has to be kept secret in order to avoid Abhicāra (magical practice) against the person. The commentary on Khādiragṛhyasūtram (2.3.32) explains the above said concept, i.e. Yajñakarma and Abhicāra –

वैदिककर्मार्थमेतत्। नामापरिज्ञाने अभीचाराद्यसिद्धिः फलम्।

vaidikakarmārthametat। nāmāparijñāne abhicārādyasiddhiḥ phalam।

This [Nakṣatranāma] is meant for Vedic rites. If the name [to be used in Vedic rites] is not known, the result is that Abhicāra etc. would not be successful.