Varnashrama dharmas
Continues
Courtesy:http://pramanams.blogspot.in/
Forty Samskaras (The Prime Forty Samskaras for a Bhramana)

The forty Samskarams are split into two sections namely
Smaartha Karma (IN TOTAL =14)
1. Garbhadhaanam
2. Pumsavanam
3. Seemandham
4. Jaatakarmam
5. Naamakaranam
6. Annapraasanam
7. Choulam
8. Upanayanam
9. Praajapatyam
10. Sowmyam
11. Agneyam
12. Vaisvadevam
13. Snaanam
14. Vivaham
Sroutha Karma (IN TOTAL = 26)
0. Five Devayagnyas (5)
1. Devayagnyam
2. PitruYagnyam
3. BhutaYagnyam
4. ManushyaYagnyam
5. Bhramayagnyam
1. Seven Paakayagnyam (7)
1. Ashtakai
2. Sthaalipaakam
3. Maasisrardham
4. Sraavani
5. Aagrahaayanee
6. Chaitree
7. Aasvayujee
2. Seven HavirYagnyam (7)
1. AgnayaDhaanam
2. AgniHotram
3. DarsaPoornaMaasam
4. Agrayanam
5. ChaaturMaasam
6. NiroodaPasupanthanam
7. Choudraamanee
3. Seven Somasamsthai (7)
1. Agnishtoomam
2. Adhyaagnishotomam
3. Ukthyam
4. Shodasi
5. Vaajapeeyam
6. Athiraathram
7. Aptoryama
Additional Smarta Karma
Counting ChandraDarsanam and Soorya Darsanam as additional Smarta Karmas which makes total Smarta Karmas to 16
Certain followers exclude Chandra Soorya Darsanam and include PrethaKarmam and Sapindeekaranam counting the Smarta Karmas to 16
There is a third school of thought which includes all the above four and puts total Smarta Karma to 18
Using this final approach Total Karmas become (18 + 26) = 44

Rutu Kalam (Season for Union)
The period between start of Menstrual cycle till 16 days is called Rutu Kalam.
The following days in the 16 day period are not suitable for union of a husband and wife.
First four days of the Cycle
Chaturthi thithi
Sashti thithi
Ashtami thithi
Ekadesi Thithi
Trayodasi thithi
Chaturdasi thithi
Amavasya thithi(New Moon)
Pournima thithi(Full Moon)
The remaining days are fit for union of husband and wife.
Out of these days fit for union the following criteria is considered most suited.
Most Favourable Days = If the days of the week is either ONE of
Wednesday
Thursday
Saturday
Most Favourable Nakshatras = If the Nakshatras are ONE of
Rohini
Utthiram (Utrashada)
Hastam
Swati
Anusham
Moolam
Sravanam
Sadayam
Revati
Most Favourable Lagnas = If the Lagnas are ONE of
Vrushabham
Mitunam
Katakam
Kanni
Tulaam
Danusu
Kumbam
Meenam
The following Nakshatras are madyamam for Union (Samboham)
Mrugaseersham
Ponarpoosam
Ketai
Criteria for getting a Male / Female Child
If the day of the 16 day period is even then the union will result in Male child.
If the Day of the 16 day Period is ODD, then the union will result in a Female child.
For instance, excluding the first four days, on the remaining 12 days, if a day is chosen which is fulfilling the criteria of
Allowed Thithi
Allowed Nakshatra
Allowed Day
And that combination results in any one of 1,3,5,7,9,11th day of the 16 day Cycle, the resulting child of the Union would be a girl
If the combination results in 2,4,6,8,10,12th day of 16 day Cycle, the resulting child of the Union would be a boy

Pumsavanam (Rites to be done for a child in its mother's womb)

When a Woman's (Stri's) Pregnancy is visible explicitly, (To Ouside eyes if a women appears to be pregnant due to her appearance), in particular, 3rd or 4th Month of the Pregnancy Pumsavanam should be performed.
Nakshatram for performing Pumsavanam is Pushya (Poosa Nakshatram)
Before the baby in mother's womb starts turning downwards of upwards, Pumsavanam should be performed in the following Nakshatras (Including Pushya)
Hastham
Moolam
Sravanam
Punarpoosam
Poosam
Mrugaseersham
The above said Nakshatras are male Nakashatras and hence Pumsavanam should be performed on them.
Pumsavanam should be performed for each and every pregnancy.
There is a belief that Pumsavanam is essential only for the first pregnancy.
A Person aspiring for a Male Child should always perform Pumsavanam for each and every Pregnancy

Samskaras around Seemandham (The baby Shower done for the first kid)
"Seemandham"
The following Months during pregnancy is recommended for Performing Seemandham
4th, 6th and 8th Month
After 6th Month, any time till Pregnancy
Since Seemandham purifies a Mother, the common practice is to perform it only for the first pregnancy and IT is a MUST for a Mother.
Since Seemandham also purifies the baby in the Mother's Womb, there is a certain school of thought that it should be done for each and every pregnancy
SINCE "Seemandham" is a MUST for a Woman, even if the Husband of that woman has gone for distant lands, or has passed away, Seemandham SHOULD be done with the assistance of (Either ONE OF)
Brother
Guru
Closest Dayadhi (Blood relative)
JaataKarmam
When a Bhramana becomes a father (As soon as the wife gives birth to the child), Jaatakarmam should be done immediately by him
The Bhramana should immediately take bath, and perform dhaanam.
If the bord child is a Male child, the Bhramana is eligible to perform Dhaanam throughout the day and there is no dhosham in getting Pratigraham from the Bhramana. This is because a Male child makes the father purified throughout the day
Jaatakarmam during Maranaachoucham (Impure days for a person due to death of close kith and Kin)
If a Bhramana becomes a father when he is in the midst of Maranaachoucham, he has to wait till the completion of the impure days (10 days or 3 days) and then should Perform Jaatakarmam
Jaatakarmam during Jananaachoucham (Impure days for a person due to birth of child of close kith and Kin -> Daayadhis)
If a Bhramana becomes a father when he is in the midst of Jananaachoucham, and if the child is a Male child, he should immediately do Jaatakarmam.
Since a Male child relieves a father from all sins, when a Person begets a Male Child during an Aachoucham he becomes purified and gets relieved from all Aachouchams.
Naamakaranam (Naming a child)
On the 11th day from the day of birth, a child should be named.
Atleast within the completion of the first year of the child from the birth, it should be named.
The following names are very much desired.
Name of Family Deity (Kula deivam)
Name of ancestors and acharyas (Munnorgal)
When we say Munnorgal, please recall the Munnorgal as mentioned by our Acharya
Ear piercing (Kaadhu Kuttal)
The following months are prescribed for Ear piercing.
Chitra (Chitirai)
Karthigai
Thai
Panguni
Of these Months, we should select ONLY Suklapaksham
Within Suklapaksham we should select an auspicious day
When a child is has started getting its teeth and it is able to get into the lap of mother and out of it by itself, the child is fit for ear piercing.
Method to perform Ear Piercing
A silk thread should be sewed into a needle and both the ends of the thread should be kept together.
Holding that, both the ears of the child should be pierced.
Soorya Chandra Darsana Kaalam (Time to perform SuryaDarshan/Chandra Darshan for a baby)
Surya Darshan: During 3rd month from the time of birth of a child, Surya Darshan should be performed. The baby should be taken to broad day sunlight and should be shown the Surya
Chandra Darshan: During 4th Month from the time of Birth of a child, Chandra Darshan should be performed. The child should be taken and shown the moonlight.
Anna Praasnam (Introduction of Cooked Rice for the baby)
During the 6th month from the time of birth Anna Prasnam (Introduction of Cooked Rice) should be done for a baby
Anna Praasnam (Amudhootal) should be performed as prescribed.
During Anna Praasnam, Cooked Rice should be mixed with Ghee, Honey and Curd and given to the baby.
Choulam (Keeping Kudumi/Tuft) for a child
At the completion of 3 years for a kid, Choulam should be performed.
If the Mother of the child is pregnant, then Choulam should not be performed.
Days when Choulam should not be performed:
Saturday
Tuesday
Saturday
Thiti in which Choulam should not be performed:
Pratamai
Chaturthi
Navami
Sashti
Chaturdasi
Nakshatras in which Choulam should not be performed.
Kartigai (Krithika)
Pooratadhi
Uttaratadhi
Janma Nakshatra of a child.(Janma Nakshatra = Nakshatra in which a child was born)
Nakshatras in which Choulam can be performed
Aswati
Thiruvonam
Swati
Chitirai
Poosam
PunarPoosam
Avittam
Smarta Karmas for Girl Child
For a Girl of a Bhramana, All samksaras from the time of Birth till Upanayanam is same as a boy.
When performing these Samskaras Mantra should not be spelt for a Girl Child.
For a Girl, Marriage is essential and it is equivalent to the Upanayana Samskara of a boy.
If a Girl is not given in Marriage at the Prescribed age (Age is Completion of 7 years), Prayachittam should be done during her Marriage.
Aksharaabhyaasam: (Introducing letters/Words to a child)
At the start of 5 years, during the months in which Vishnu is awake (Vishnu Vizhitirukkum Maasam -> TBD), Aksharaabhyaasam should be performed.
Preferred Ayanam:The most preferred Ayanam is Utaraayanam
Restricted Month: Month of Maasi (Jan - Feb timelines) should not be selected for Aksharaabhyasam
Preferred Month: Aadi (June July timelines)
Restricted Thithis:
Prathamai
Ashtami
Amavasya
Poornima
Restricted Days: Tuesday and Saturday
Preferred Nakshatras:
Thiruvonam
Hastham
Poosam
Mrugaseersham
Avittam
Swati
Sathayam
Anusham
Kettai
Chitarai
Meditating on the following deities "Ajyahuti" should be performed.
Hari
Lakshmi
Saraswati
Maharshi
Vidhyai
Placing the child facing the west Direction, A guru should face east direction and start the Aksharaabhyasam (In the Sitting Posture)
Rules/Restrictions for Boys before Upanayanam
Before Upanayana Samskara there are no restrictions for a Boy
But drinking Alcohol, Kal (Juice of Palm tree made to an alcoholic beverage) is severely prohibited.
Mahapathakams (The greatest sins) should also not be practised by Boys before Upanayam.
These prohibitions are applicable even after Upanayanam till last breathe for a Bhramana.
For a Boy / Girl after they reach the age of five, they should not be left to go by their own Intent. According to the Ashrama of the Varna (For a Bhramana its Aksharabhyaasam) the practices should be taught to the children.
When a boy or Girl of a Bhramana is less than six years of age and if he/she is touched by a Rajaswalai (Women during their 4 day menstrual Cycle) OR by a Chandala no dosham attaches to them.

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