vaikhAnasa childhood rites pertaining to kumAra

Childhood rites in connection kumAra, ShaShThi and their gaNa-s are widespread in Hindu tradition. An early example of this offered by the vaikhAnasa tradition. In the ceremony of nAmakaraNa a series of blessings are bestowed on the child by the parents. In the series for a male child the following formulae a recited:
shA~Nkarir iva sarvatrAjayo bhava |
Be invincible as the son of sha~Nkara (kumAra).
nara-nArAyaNAv iva tapo-balotkR^iShTo bhava |
Be rich in power rising from tapas as nara and nArAyaNa.
lokeshA iva sarva-bhUtAdhipatir bhava |
Be the lord of the beings like the gods.
bR^ihad-brahma-guNA iva sarvArtha-saMsiddho bhava |
attain all worldly needs like bR^ihad-brahma-guNa-s (?). (vaikhAnasa smArta sUtra 3.19.20)
The blessing for the new born son to be like kumAra are seen in other texts such as those of sushruta and charaka, where there invocations not only for the son to be like kumAra, but also invocations to protect the child from kumAra grahas.

The rite to be performed when the chlid is taken out for the first time. After returning from the outing the faher takes flowers, sweets, fees for the ritualist and the along with the child goes to a kumAra-gR^iha. On the way he keeps muttering the mantra kanikradat suvar apo jigAya (TS.2.3.14.6) and the shakuna-sUktaM. He goes around the kumAra-gR^iha east to west and then enters it. He worships the image of guha therein by offering flowers and sweets. He then takes some of those flowers and adorns the child saying:
guhasya seShaM gurubhiH supujitaM puShpaM dadAmi -sya ShaNmukhAt |
I give to the flowers remaining from the worship of the 6-faced guha distributed by the gurus.
He then makes the child recite the pavamAni-s and takes him home. The further prescribed rites are performed (VSS3.22).

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~ by mAnasa-taraMgiNI on February 19, 2007.

 
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