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Garbhadhana (Sanskrit: गर्भाधान, Garbhādhāna) (literally: placing the seed in the womb) is the first of the 16 saṃskāras (sacraments) practiced by the Hindus.[1]


According to the Grhya Sutras, at the beginning of the performance of this saṃskāra, the wife was decently decorated and the husband recited Vedic verses consisting similes of natural creation and invocations to gods for helping his wife in conception. Then embracing began with verses consisting metaphors of joint actions of male and female forces and the husband rubbed his own body with verses expressing his fertilizing capacity. After embracing, conception proper took place with prayers to Pushan. The husband then touched the chest of his wife, reclining over her right shoulder with the verse, "O, you, whose hair is well parted. Your heart which lives in heaven, in the moon, that I know, may it know me. May we see a hundred autumns."[2]


  1. ^ Pandey, R.B. (1962, reprint 2003). The Hindu Sacraments (Saṁskāra) in S. Radhakrishnan (ed.) The Cultural Heritage of India, Vol.II, Kolkata:The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, ISBN 81-85843-03-1, p.392
  2. ^ Pandey, Rajbali (1969, reprint 2006) Hindu Saṁskāras: Socio-Religious Study of the Hindu Sacraments, Delhi:Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN ISBN 81-208-0434-1, pp.48-59

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Patheos (blog)
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 04:15:00 -0700

Previously I talked about the first samskar, garbhadhana and today I want to look at the second samskar: Punswan. This one is performed three months after conception. Though some believe it to be a way to get a male child, this author insists that it ...

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