Child : Mom, sometimes you talk about sacred rites and ceremonies. Are those related to our religion?
Mother : Very much so. A Hindu way of living is wrapped around various holy rites called Sanskar for obtaining spiritual nourishment, peace of mind and the ultimate goal of liberation, moksha. These sanskars consist of rituals and sacrifices that are performed during a Hindu life for receiving spirituality and high sanctity. They give a spiritual touch to the important events at different stages of a Hindu life-- from pre-birth to post-death. There are 16 important sanskars prescribed in our scriptures that purify a Hindu life. A ceremonial hair cutting for the first time after birth or a ceremony for the purpose of initiation is a good example of a rite. There are some rites which are performed even before birth. Some important sanskars include the naming of a child (Namakaran), the formal initiation to Hinduism (Upanayan), marriage (Vivah), and the rites after death (Shradha).