Religious Rites & Rituals in Mathura
According to the ancient sage Panini, are the ornaments that decorate one's personality. They mark the important stages of one's life and enable one to live a fulfilling life complete with happiness and contentment. 16 samskaras ( rites ) that Rishi Veda Vyas propounded are considered the most important rites of passage in a Hindu's life are as follows.
Some of the pujas performed in Mathura are
- Garbhadhana is the conception ritual for having healthy children. Lord Brahma or Prajapati is appeased by this ritual.
- Punswana is the fertilization ritual performed on the third month of pregnancy asking for life and safety of the fetus. Once again Lord Brahma is prayed to in this ceremony.
- Seemantonnayana ritual is observed in the penultimate month of pregnancy for safe and assured delivery of the baby. This is a prayer to the Hindu God Dhata.
- Jatkarma is birth ceremony of the new-born baby. On this occasion, a prayer is observed for goddess Savita.
- Namkarana is the naming ceremony of the baby, which is observed 11 days after its birth. This gives the new-born an identity with which he or she will be associated all his life.
- Niskramana is the act of taking the four-month-old child out for the first time into the open to sunbathe. The Sun God Surya is worshiped.
- Annaprashana is the elaborate ceremony conducted when the child is fed cereal for the first time at the age of six months.
- Chudakarma or Keshanta karma is the ceremonious tonsuring of the head and Lord Brahma or Prajapati is prayed and offerings made to him. The baby's head is shaved off and the hair is ceremonially immersed in the river.
- Karnavedha is the ritual of having the ear pierced. These days it is mostly girls who have their ears pierced.
- Upanayana aka thread ceremony is the investiture ceremony of the sacred thread where Brahmin boys are adorned with a sacred thread hung from one shoulder and passed around their front and back. This day, Lord Indra is invoked and offerings are made to him.
- Vedarambha or Vidyarambha is observed when the child is initiated into study. In ancient times, boys were sent to live with their gurus in a 'gurugriha' or hermitage to study. Devotees pray to the Hindu God Apawaka on this occasion.
- Samavartana is the convocation or the commencement to the study of the Vedas.
- Vivaha is the lavish nuptial ceremony. After marriage, the individual enters the life of a 'grihastha' or conjugal life - the life of a householder. Lord Brahma is the deity of the day in the wedding ceremony.
- Awasthyadhana or Vivahagni Parigraha is a ceremony where the marrying couple encircles the sacred fire seven times. It is also known as 'Saptapadi.'
- Tretagnisangraha is the auspicious ritual that starts the couple on their domestic life.
- Antyeshti is the final rite of passage or Hindu funeral rites that is performed after death.
There are many priest ( pandit ) in mathura, who are well versed in performing the above ritual and rites according to vedic customs.