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Garbha Rituals In Ancient Hinduism – Before Coitus

The before coitus rituals relating to the fulfillment of aspiration of having an offspring is known as garbha. There are prayers in the Vedas for having children. Heroic children were regarded as boons conferred by gods of humans. A child was called rnacyuta or the one who releases the parents from debts. Begetting children was regarded as a sacred duty, binding on every individual.

A verse from Atharva Veda is suggestive of an invitation to the wife, “Being happy in mind here, mount the bed, and give birth to children for me, your husband.” In the pre-Sutra period, the husband approached the wife, invited her, and prayed to God to place the embryo in her womb.

According to Grihya Sutras, before conception, one has to observe various vows for children of different types – Brahmin, sratriya, aruccaka deva, rishi and others. At the end of the vow, cooked food was offered to the fire. After this, the pair was prepared or cohabitation. The wife was decently adorned; the husband recited Vedic verses containing similes of natural creation and invocations to gods to help the woman conceive.

Hence, it is definite aim of a couple in their conjugal life to procreate children in a definite manner, calculated to achieve the best state in pregnancy with religious serenity, which, they believe, would consecrate the child.