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Helpful Tips - On Annaprasana & Aksharabhyasam (144)

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Helpful Tips - On Annaprasana & Aksharabhyasam (144)
This section Helpful Tips is all about Frequently Arising Questions. Sri Narendra Babu Sharma widely known as Brahmanda Guruji, share the knowledge on general topics and Hindu Sanathana Dharma in his Television Programme - Lakshmi Kataksha, telecasted in Kasthuri Kannada Channel, which i have put in this section. Guruji also share information of knowledge on Vasthu Shastra and lot of Helpful stuffs. Many People have lot of doubts on Hindu Sanathana Dharma, which is also covered in this section.
Please do ask a priest or elders, if you have any doubts in below, who knows very well about our customs and practices and clarify the same.

  • Annaprasana or Anna Prasanam:

    Annaprasana is the ceremony when one starts giving solid foods for the baby. It is also associated with an interesting game where different articles (books, fruits, toys, money etc.) are spread before the child and the baby encouraged to touch one of those items. It is generally believed that the item he touches first would be his primary interest in life.

    Annaparsana ceremony is performed on or after sixth or seventh month as per the gender of the child, sixth or even months for the boy child and odd months for the girl child. For a weak child, it can be postponed further. However it should not be performed before the child is four months old because he will not be able to digest food before then. Nor should the ceremony be performed after he is a year old because delaying additional nourishment could retard the child's natural growth and development. You should normally have a Muhurtham for this ceremony. You can contact a priest for appropriate date and time. The best time for Annaprasana would be based on the considerations like child's Nakshatram, date of birth etc. The current Thithi must be favorable to your child's Nakshatram.

    Annaprasana can be done on the sixth day of the sixth month, elders say that if annaprasana performed that day,one doesn't need to look for good muhurtham or time of the day.

    The baby is given rice Kheer or Payasam fed with a golden navaratna ring (Navaratna refers to the nine gemstones related to the nine planets) in some temple or in the presence of a priest (at home). From here on you can continue giving the baby solid items in small quantity. If you are going to perform Annaparsana ceremony at home, you may want to arrange for Poorvaanga Homams like Ganapathi Homam, Navagraha Homam, etc. before this time and before the Homa Kundam, you can feed the child for the first time within the time slot mentioned by priest.

    At the close of the function, different articles (books, pen, fruit/food items, gold, money, knife, play items, flowers etc.) are spread before the child. The baby is allowed to touch these items and it is believed that what the baby touches first will be his primary interest for the rest of his life. You can also include other items other than mentioned above to increase the fun part in the event.

    Personally feel that this is just for fun, The kid is laid on a carpet on the floor with these things laid out at equal distance and whatever he/she holds first is the area of interest for his/her rest of their lives is the belief. I don't believe it personally, because the kids tend to go for whatever is closest to them or whatever is eye-catching but on the basis of fun part we can go for it.

  • Aksharabhyasam:

    Aksharabhyasam is the ritual which is an induction to formal studies. We invoke the Gods to bless the kid in his endeavour. Instruments required for studying (something to write on, to write with, books) are presented along with a set of new clothes. Rice is spread on a plate and child is placed on one's lap; holding his hand, "Hari Om" is written on the rice using a gold ring followed by the child's name.

    Helpful Tips - On Annaprasana & Aksharabhyasam (144)
    The child is made to sit on his father's lap. Guiding the child's forefinger, letters are written in the paddy grains(Raw rice) spread on the plate.

    A small puja is done and the Gods are invoked to help the child complere his education without a hitch. Some important slokas are chanted. Among then is one to Hayagruva - the god of wisdom, the other important sloka is one to Goddess Saraswati, the God of learning.

    The day which is considered auspicious is the day of Akshaya Thrithyai. This day comes during the Tamil month of Chithrai which is between April 15 and May 15. Akshaya means growth or growing. Thus there is a belief that anything that commences on this day will prosper.


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