- It is believed that every aspect of life is sacred, so each important stage, from conception to
anteyeshti (death cremation) is distinguished as special rituals. These series of rituals are known as
samskaras. According to the classical hindu texts, there are 16 special rituals, termed as Shodasha
Samskara. They are connected with the major events of life such as pregnancy, childbirth, naming
ceremony, education, marriage, etc. These samskaras enables us to live a complete fulfilling physical
and spiritual life.
- In Ayurveda, the word samskara introduced as “Samskaro hi Gunaantaradhanam” means
qualitative improvement is carried out by incorporating the specific qualities.
- Samskara described in Ayurvedic texts are based on the various stages of child growth and
developments and hence provide a rational guideline toward his care during celebrating different
ceremonies from very conception to childhood.
- Through this article lemme delight you people with the concept of Swarna Prashana.
Swarna Prashana is one of sixteen samskaras mentioned in ancient texts for paediatrics.
(Swarna means gold & Prashana means administration.)
The term Swarna Prashana was coined by Acharya Kashyapa.
Sometimes known by other names like, Swarna amruta prashana, Swarna prashana, Swarna prashan,
Swarn prashan, Swarna bindu prashana or Suvarna prashan.
- Administration of processed gold in children is a unique practice mentioned in Ayurveda as
“Swarnaprashana” by Acharya Kashyapa thousands of years back.
- Ayurveda propounds that prevention is an equally important aspect of disease management as
cure and thus strengthening the immune system is a natural way to help the body fight against the
diseases causing ailments.
Basically, childhood is the period of growth spurts. In Ayurveda texts, various acharyas described
countless useful dravyas (drugs), yogas (formulations) and mode of conducts for adult to enhance
the immunity (Bala and Vyadhikshmatva) & similarly for the healthy ksheerapa (infantile period),
ksheerannada ( 1-2 year age period) and annada awastha ( age period from 2-16 years).
Swarnaprashana in children can be mainly implicated in two contexts of Ayurveda; Lehana
(supplementary feeds) and Jatakarma Samskara (newborn care).
Different Acharyas views on Swarna Prashana.
According to Acharya Charaka,
atō’nantaraṁ jātakarma kumārasya kāryam |
tadyathā- madhusarpiṣī mantrōpamantritē yathāmnāyaṁ prathamaṁ prāśituṁ dadyāt |
stanamata ūrdhvamētēnaiva vidhinā dakṣiṇaṁ pātuṁ purastāt prayacchēt |
athātaḥ śīrṣataḥ sthāpayēdudakumbhaṁ mantrōpamantritam || – (Charaka Samhita
- On first day of birth, the child should be given first feeding of honey and ghrita consecrated (or
blessed) with mantra as given for this purpose. Thereafter, firstly milk from the right breast should
be offered (or given) to the child. A water filled pitcher and consecrated with mantras should be kept
near the head of baby, probably to maintain proper humidity in Kumaragara (maternity home).
Acharya Sushruta mentions on natal rites as:
tasmāt prathame’hni madhusarpiranantamiśraṃ , mantrapūtaṃ trikālaṃ pāyayet, dvitīyeThe baby should be made to lick an electuary composed of honey, clarified butter and the expressed
lakṣmaṇāsiddhaṃ sarpiḥ, tṛtīye ca; tataḥ prāṅnivāritastanyaṃ madhusarpiḥ svapāṇitalasammitaṃ
dvikālaṃ pāyayet || – (Sushruta Samhita Sharirsthana 10/15)
juice of Brahmi (Centella asiatica) leaves, Vacha (Acorus calamus L.), mixed with (half a Rati weight
of) gold dust and given with the ring-finger of the feeder.