Hindu Saṁskāras: Socio-religious Study of the Hindu Sacraments

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Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1969 - Religion - 327 pages
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The Hindu Samskaras give expression to aspirations and ideals of the Hindus. They aim at securing the welfare of the performer and developing his personality. They go back to a hoary antiquity. The Vedas, the Brahmanas, the Grhyasutras, the Dharmasutras, the Smrtis and other treatises describe the rites, ceremonies and customs here and there but they do not present them in their historical evolution. The present work is a systematic study of all the Samskaras enjoined to be performed at the various epochs in the life of an individual from conception to crematorium. The author has cited parallels in other religions to show that they are universal and have a recognised place in ancient cultures and are still represented within the limits of modern religion. He has also shown that the sacramental beliefs and practices, far from being an irrational priestcraft, are consistent and logical and have practical utility and intention. This work discusses the source, meaning, number, purpose and the constituents of Samskaras grouped under five heads: prenatal, natal, educational, nuptial and funeral. Besides being a landmark in Hindu culture, it presents patterns of life based on high ethical, spiritual and humanistic values.
  

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Contents

Chap Pace
1
Chap
2
THE MEANING THE NUMBER OF THE SAMSKARAS
15
Chap Pace III THE PURPOSE OF THE SAMSKARAS 1 Introductory
25
i The Removal of Hostile Influences
26
ii The Attraction of Favourable Influences
27
iii The Material Aim of the Sarhskaras
29
The Moral Purpose
31
The Samavartana or Snana The End of Studentship i Introductory ii Importance
146
iii The Normal Course iv Three Types of Snataka v A Passport to Marriage
147
vi The Age vii The Permission of the Teacher
149
viii The Ceremonies and their Significance
150
ix The Respect paid to the Snataka x An absurd Simplification
152
THE VIVAHA MARRIAGE CEREMONIES i The Inij ortancc of Marriage ii The Origin
153
iii Premarital Stage
157
iv Marriage Proper
158

The Formation and Development of Personality
32
Spiritual Significance
34
Different Stages
35
Introductory
36
Prayers Appeals and Blessings
38
Sacrifice
40
Orientation
42
Taboos
43
Magic
44
Divination
45
Cultural Elements
46
Commonsense Elements
47
THE PRE NATAL SAMSKARAS
48
The Purhsavana Quickening of Male Child
60
vii The Duties of a Pregnant Woman
67
iv The Time of Performance
73
Chap Pace
74
iv The Sutra and later Periods
79
The Niskrimana First Outing
86
The AnnaPrasana First Feeding
90
i The Kai navedh i Boring The Ears
102
THE EDUCATIONAL SAMSKARAS
106
Pace
137
144
138
The Vedarambha Beginning of the Vedic tudy
141
Chap Page
168
v The Forms of Marriage vi The Historical growth ol Eight Forms a Paisacha b Raksasa c Candharva d Asura e Prajapatya f Arsa
170
Chap Page 6 The Nuptial Bath
210
The Marriage Party
211
The Presentation of a Garment to the Bride
213
Anointment
214
Kanyadana
215
The Significant Question
216
Rastrabhrta and other Sacrifices
218
The Praise of Woman
219
The Bride Sprinkled
220
Local Customs
221
Triratravrata
222
The Bride Carried and Blessed
224
Chap Pace
225
THE ANTYESTI SAMSKARA FUNERAL CEREMONIES
234
Chap Page
248
AsthiSanchayana
259
Offerings to the Dead
265
The Primitive Nature of the Ceremonies
274
Chap Page
277
Bibliography
283
Index
303
Copyright

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