The way Hindu lives ,is wrapped around various rites called Sanskar. The Sanskar is said to be helping for achieving spiritual nourishment, peace of mind and ultimately moksha.
Literally ‘making perfect, purification, cleansing’, derived from the Sanskrit word ‘sanskar’ meaning ‘to form well, to put together’. Sanskara has come to refer to a ceremony, which is performed as a purification rite for an individual or family. According to Hindu belief, ceremonies are performed at two levels: shrauta and grihya. Shrauta ceremonies are performed on a grand scale, with more than one priest and a large number of people in attendance. Grihya ceremonies are small and private, performed at home with or without a priest. Sanskaras are ‘grihya’.
Sansar give a spiritual touch to the important events at different stages of a Hindu life—right from pre-birth to post-death.
The sixteen sanskar are:
1. Grabhaadhan: Conception
2. Punsavana: Fetus protection
3. Simanta: Satisfying wishes of the pregnant Mother
4. Jaat-Karmaa: Child Birth
5. Naamkarma: Naming Child
6. Nishkramana: Taking the child outdoors
7. Annaprashana: Giving the child solid food.
8. Mundan or Choula: Hair cutting.
9. Karnavedh: Ear piercing
10. Yagyopaveet: Sacred thread
11. Vedarambh: Study of Vedas and Scriptures
12. Samaavartana: Completing education
13. Vivaah: Marriage
14. Sarvasanskaar: Preparing for Renouncing
15. Sanyas (Awasthadhyan): Renouncing
16. Antyeshti: Last rite, or funeral rites