U-zZ4m1JqvFJIQt2G-tyy-Cj5VI TELUGU PADMASALI Blog: Seemantham

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Seemantham

In Andhra families Seemantham is usually done in 7th month or 9th month of pregnancy. (In some families Seemantham for the first time moms was done in 7th month of pregnancy. For some of the ladies who worked till 9th month seemantham is performed in 9th month.)


This is a brief way of how Seemantham can be performed :


You have to invite atleast 5 women. They'll offer bottu, gandham and akshinthalu to the mom-to-be. And then they will put bangles to both of her hands. She has to give tamboolam( two paan leaves, 2 bananas, vakkpodi, a quarter/dollar coin) to each of them. Finally the invitees offer harathi to the mom-to-be. After that, you have to offer a packet/goody bag with blouse piece, a fruit, and some sweets like laddoo. Usually Chalimidi is made and offered in the goody bag as chalimidi is considered to be a coolant for the mom ( Chalimidi panchithe chalava ani antaaru). In some regions of Andhra, the mom-to-be holds her pallu(kongu) of her saree, and invitees put some sweets and fruits in it. This is called "Vodi Nimpatam" in Telugu.


In Andhra tradition, in-laws bring the fruits and sweets for seemantham.


Usually sremantham will do in 5th or 9th month of pregent here is the procedure of sreemantham. First apply kumkumam and pasupu(turmeric) to the lady. Put bangles in her hand. Buy preferably green and red bangles. Prepare "chalividi". This is done by mixing rice flour,ghee and jaggery(bellam). You can add kaju, dry coconut bits to it. Tell the lady to hold her pallu(kongu) in her lap. First put some chalividi, any fruit, flower and other sweets in her kongu. Then apply gandham(sandal paste). Put flower in her hair. In the end put akshintalu(little rice and turmeric) on her, or in her lap. All the ladies can repeat this procedure. In the end odd number ladies i.e. 3,5,7,..so on ladies can together give harathi to the lady. Any devotional song can be sung, if you do not know harathi song. After this tell the lady to go to the puja room and do namaskara to the diety in their house. That is it. You can prepare some sweet and hot which your friend likes. Sing various mangala harathi songs like

"Mangala Haarathi Neekamma"

Most of all make her feel happy about being a mother and how special it is!!! for the latest style and interest of all guests..you can arrange for few games also!


Significance of this Seemandam function :


From the day of formation in the mother's womb, a child grows in different steps, each within a stipulated time frame. According to the Vedic scripts, the birth and death is a pre-planned one by the almighty. And as pre-planned, the child grows in a way that is linked to many factors, which include a genetically considered factors. i.e. the child should have the nose like so and so, brain and intelligence like father or mother or even great grand father, height and weight of the child at birth and even its future growth plans that are stored into the genetic chip! (Oh, do we call this as fate? Or pre-written on the forehead? Or the Creator's command?)


Accordingly, though brain formation takes much earlier, the memory cells are said to begin its activities on the completion of full seven months of pregnancy. Then onwards, a child can record the sounds and vibrations from the surroundings and hears every spell around it.


The word seemandham or Seemantham literally means the hair parting just above the eye brow. It is said that the Goddess of Wealth, Sri Mahalakshmi resides in that parting. This is one more reason to mention why the practice of applying Kumkum on the parting, as a manner of propitiating Goddess Sri Lakshmi. And when a woman delivers a child, she is considered the embodiment of Goddess Lakshmi Herself.


The main function known as "seemandam" is performed on a pre-fixed Muhurtham, an auspicious time is chosen to conduct this ritual. After the usual chores of house cleansing act known as punyavachanam and routine Agni Santhanam performance, the main function is held at the specified Muhurtham.


On this specific occasion, they used to grind the tender leaves of Banyan tree which is in its formation, mixed with raw cold milk and make it to a paste. (This banyan leaves should be of fresh, tender in its cone shaped and not opened as a leave fully. At some places, they add a few fresh tender fig tree leaves to this). The grinding of these leaves is to be done by two young girls below the age of 9 years known as Kanya - to state, the young girls who have not attained the puberty stage} This concoction essence would then be dropped in the pregnant would be mother's right nostril just by dropping through a silk cloth and the mother to be is asked to inhale instantly. Once inhaled, then a needle/quill of porcupine animal is taken from the head downward the navel, just slightly touching/lightly scratching the body portion.


It is believed, this supposed to make the marking line for the inhaled (the banyan leave juice + the cow's raw milk) gum to travel to the womb. At this junction, a specific mantra is recited, which makes the route to the tube perfect as the vibration + the porcupine quill acting as nodal guiding act. Thus the inhaled essence of milk and banyan leave juice, forms like a paste and straightly carried to her womb. Because of some unknown chemical proposition and the dirt gathered inside from her last menstrual course, this paste settles in the child's stem cell and surrounds, that begin from the naval part. This paste is gradually become like a protective mask for the stem cell tube and strengthens its tube bottom base. As long as in the womb, it settles there till the child is born. Once out in the open air, the same gum getting dried very quickly in the open air, thus causing easy and automatic separation of the stem cell tube from the naval portion! And mostly, no scissors used to cut the stem cells, if the seemandam was performed with authentic and ritual way! It is also widely believed that the above is symbolically cleaving the delivery passage to open for an easy downward movement of the child and for a normal delivery.


Followed by the Seemantham and dropping the Banyan leave essence, the function is carried on with Veena Recital, Carnatic & melodious songs and vocal songs. This is to give a strengthening bondage in an affirmative between the relatives visiting the function and the family that holds the function. Mainly, Veena is recited to give a calm & pleasant atmosphere.


From this day, the pregnant woman is separated from her husband and she returns to her parents home for delivery. On bearing the child and issue, once she regains her health and vigor, then she is sent back to her husband's place i.e. after 3 or five months of gap after delivery!


Now a days, it has become a mere formality perform this ritual.


Once the main function is over, a grand traditional feast is served to all the visitors. The menu, simply a typical south Indian recipe and the combination is just equal to any marriage of south Indian Tamil Brahmin style feasts. (Kalyana sappadu!).

7 comments:

  1. It is made up of the following:

    1. Rice and
    2. Sugar.

    Please consult your elders how to prepare it.

    All the best.

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Telangana Seemantham

    In the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh, Seemantham is a celebration performed for the pregnant lady on an auspicious day in either the 5th month or 9th month, as #7 is not considered good luck. But, in the Andhra region, Seemantham is performed in the 7th month.
    Long time ago, Seemantham was performed twice- once by the pregnant lady's in-laws and the other time by her parents. Presently, it’s all combined into a single elaborate celebration performed by the in-laws and the gifts are brought over by the parents (during the first pregnancy only). The gifts include a saree with two blouse pieces, a basket full of 5-9 kinds of sweet & savory food items for the pregnant woman and towel/ clothes for the man and clothes for the in-laws. The savory items include Sakinalu, Madugulu, sweet items include Arasalu, Garjalu, Laddulu and four kinds of fruits include apples, oranges, pomegranates, mosambi, etc but no bananas. The elaborate lunch or dinner is served by the in-laws.
    The pregnant lady and the man are made to sit in chairs facing east. She is applied kumkum/ vermillion and gandham/ sandal, paspu/ turmeric is offered for mangalyam, and paspu is applied to her feet by lady's mother. Then she is gifted with the saree & blouse and a string of mallepuvu/ jasmine flower, all placed in her saree kongu/ wollu. The man is applied kumkum and gifted clothes by the lady's father. Then the in-laws are seated adjacently and also applied kumkum and gifted clothes by the lady's parents. The pregnant lady takes all these gifts adorns herself and goes to the Deity and offers a prayer. Meanwhile all ladies present are offered kumkum/ paspu. The pregnant lady and the man come back and sit in the chairs. The lady's mother applies kumkum, gandham, and offers paspu for mangalyam. Then she places 2 green glass bangles on each hand. The mother places 4 kinds of fruits, 5 savory and sweets (total of 9 items) in her wollu/ kongu. Then she blesses her with akshanthalu for safe delivery. The mother then places 5 varieties of sweet and savory food items in the man's wollu. Then he gets up. Now a little girl/ adabidda is made to sit beside the pregnant lady in the chair. Four older ladies perform the same ritual- they offer just one fruit and four savory & sweet items totaling 5 items, to the pregnant lady.
    The pregnant lady is then given mangala haarthi by these 5 older ladies and traditional songs are sung. She is assisted in getting up carefully with all the goodies in her wollu intact and taken to the Deity's place where she offers a prayer & places all the goodies (leave 5 foods in the wollu) in a tray (these are consumed by the pregnant lady, man & children). Then the lady is fed with sweets and pulihora rice. She returns with her wollu and takes blessings of her in-laws, husband, sister-in-law and parents by touching their feet, with assistance. Then she places the rest of the food items in her wollu with the rest of the goodies near the Deity.
    The in-laws will offer kumkum, paspu, flower and thamboolam/ goodie bags to all the lady guests. This consists of beetle leaves, beetle nut, sweets and a coin (optional).

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  4. Very nice and elaborative information given by you to my readers. Thanks. All the best.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great and clear information about seemantham. Was in search of baby shower invitation cards online and found this blog.

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