What does samskara mean?
Before I start digging deep, let’s know examples of samskaras. Generally it’s our Vivaha, Baby shower, Naming a baby, annaprasana, aksharabhyasa upanayana, gruha pravesha all those till our smashaana journey. The milestones that we have in our life.
Each of us have our own samskara defined by our family traditions. And yes, we all need this. It gives us stickiness to this life journey. But when we try to explain this to someone, translation of this word “samskara” itself becomes very difficult. So.. I am not going to translate this word. But am going to try explain as much as possible in simple words. The intention of sharing this is to understand & bring back reverence to our samskaras and help our next generation adopt them with grace & happiness
This word has been tried to be explained in many vedas & spiritual texts. And some of explain it’s an activity that makes a person fit for certain purpose. Some vedic texts mention them as education, cultivation, refinement, activity towards perfection, a purificatory activity, consecration, sanctification and more.
The first thing to understand is that Samskara is not religious affair. It’s not rites. It’s not rituals. Though not apt, the closer & the better way to explain samskara is this and I am kind of convinced with this.
Every samskara is the outward expression of our internal & spiritual grace
And the samskaras are just like the meaningful logical process of our daily life routines. for example, in a normal day, when we decide to take bath, we know the place to take bath, we know the simple and logically sensible steps like deciding on shower or bucket or both, water temperature, removing clothes, making our body wet, using proper cleansing materials, the cleansing off that with water, then wiping of the water, dressing up again. So a simple task of bathing has clear steps. We generally follow this routine. We don’t mess up these steps. And when we follow these, the end result is the clean person.
And it’s so obvious we would have steps to live this life too with a purpose of end result of having lived a conscious, good life. And in my view these steps of living are called samskaras.
And our many vedic scripts have laid out the rules on what steps (samskaras) to be followed & how they are to be performed. That’s all about it. These texts are to help us with guidelines and in time, these processes have evolved. Grhyasutras & dharmasutras are usually referred to learn the samskaras. In general, the basic samskara for normal life ranges from 12 to 18. We can simply these as life milestones and these are jatakarma, namakarana, dantogamana, annaprasan and goes till our last rites.
Water and fire are very important elements used in every samskaras. Basically these are performed to protect human life from anything unwanted that’ll deviate us from evolving to higher self and bring good influences in life.
We had the how-to texts laid out for everything even for first time brushing, first time eating solid food, first time bathing, first hair cut, first time learning. Everything is celebrated, invoked with good energy to bring in the right balance in life
Like all my topics, this is also a very deep one. Iam pausing this here. Hope this has triggered a new thirst for knowing these samskaras. I shall continue to write on this topic.
A small footnote: let’s bring these samskaras live in our simple daily life tasks. Let’s brush, take bath & give good daily body care routine consciously. I have tried my best in putting together the traditional ingredients to help you thru this routines with energized products. Let’s celebrate each of our routine as samskara. Let’s start somewhere to bring back the goodness to evolve this given human life into a better one than today. And let that be natural body care routine. Start with danta druda, gaura, kesa prabala or more..
Also you must be wondering I bring the end of the articles with products. Why? Any knowledge is of no use unless we use them & experience them. And for me the fulcrum of all my seeking for knowledge is the question how simple daily body care routines can be starting point to help us evolve in terms of health, wealth, happiness & as a person. And in this journey, I will do my best to support you with mindfully created products.
Wishing you all health & happiness in abundance.