As per Hinduism, the samskara is a series of sacraments or rituals that are performed at the various stages of life. The samskaras said to be helping in achieving spirituality, peace and moksha. They collectively are also called as षोडश संस्कार ( sixteen samskara )
Source of षोडश संस्कार ( Sixteen Samskara )
The list of Samskara are mentioned in Vyasa Smriti verse 13-15
गर्भाधानं पुंसवनं सीमन्तो जातकर्म च । नामक्रिया निष्क्रमणेऽन्नाशनं वपनक्रिया।। कर्णवेधो व्रतादेशो वेदारम्भक्रियाविधिः। केशान्तस्नानमुद्वाहो विवाहाग्निपरिग्रहः।। त्रेताग्निसंग्रहश्चैव संस्काराः षोडश स्मृताः।
षोडश संस्कार ( Names of Sixteen Samskara )
- Garbhadhana (गर्भाधान) – This samskara is performed by parents and consists of prayer for a child in order to fulfil the obligation to continue the human race.
- Punsavana (पुंसवन) – This samskara is performed during the third or fourth month of pregnancy. A priest recites Vedic hymns to invoke divine qualities in the child.
- Simanta (सीमन्त) – This samskara is similar to a baby shower, and is, performed during the seventh month of pregnancy when prayers are offered to God for the healthy physical and mental growth of the child
- Jatakarma (जातकर्म) – Mantras are recited for a healthy and long life of the child at his birth.
- Namakaran (नामकरण) – The name for the baby is selected such that its meaning can inspire the child to follow the path of righteousness.
- Nishkramana (निष्क्रमण) – This samskara is performed in the fourth month after birth when the child is moved outside the house.
- Annaprasana (अन्नप्राशन)– In the sixth, seventh or eighth month child is given solid food.
- Mundan (मुंडन)– This is performed during the first or third year of age when the child’s hair is removed by shaving.
- Karnavedha (कर्णवेधन) – This samskara is performed in the third or fifth year.
- Upanayana (उपनयन) – This samskara is also called as Yagnopavita (यज्ञोपवीत). This introduces the male child to a teacher in order to receive education and marking the entry of the child to Brahmacharya.
- Vidhyarambha (विद्यारंभ)– This samskara is performed at the time of Upanayana or within one year. The Guru teaches the Gayatri Mantra.
- Keshanta (केशान्त) – performed at the age of 16 years , when brahmacharya is ended, to remove hairs from the body.
- Samavartana(समावर्त्तन) – This samskara is performed at the age of about 25 years, when education is finished and the students return back to home.
- Vivaha (विवाह) – Marriage is performed.
विवाहाग्नि के अलावा तीन अग्नियाँ और होती हैं जो आहवनीय, गार्हपत्य तथा दक्षिणाग्नि नाम से कही जाती हैं, इन तीनों अग्नियों का जो सामूहिक नाम है, ” त्रेताग्नि” । इन तीन अग्नियों की स्थापना, उनकी प्रतिष्ठा, रक्षा तथा उनका हवन कर्म ” त्रेताग्निसंग्रह संस्कार ” कहलाता है।