It is said that- children are tomorrow’s national wealth. Around 40% of total Indian population is children. When children will become healthy and intelligent, eventually nation will be wealthy. Today everybody wants single child or two. But obviously everyone expects smart, clever child with good health. Children are most vulnerable community owing to low immunity and maturity with risk factors like infections, poor nutrition. Likes and dislikes of kids, their food tantrums, attraction towards packed food hamper child nutrition. In today’s world, do the eatables which we call as healthy food, really have good nutritious value? Use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, hybridization of seeds, A1 type pasteurized milk, artificial ripening of fruits, chemically preserved food items etc. have altered the naturality and thus quality of food. Instead of nourishing the body, such eatables have poisonous effects. Ultimately all this leads to weakened immunity in children. Our nuclear family system, busy professional lives and competition in present educational system also contribute to stress related problems in children. This may result in their poor performance. Thus, children are prone to physical as well as mental health problems.
Only proper balanced diet is not enough for health of children. We need to provide nutritional supplements in some form. Multivitamin syrups, bournvita, horlicks like milk supplements or calcium supplements are not the proper way out. Supplements in natural form get easily absorbed in body and do not harm even after long term use. Ayurveda is our natural health care system which always emphasizes on promotion of health and prevention of diseases. Classical textual references are available in ancient Ayurvedic scripturals like Kashyap Samhita, AshtangHridayam, Sushruta Samhita to boost immunity, overall health, intellect. Suvarnaprashana is one of the sixteen rituals of Indian culture. “Suvarna” is gold and “prashana” means licking. Suvarnaprashana sanskar is licking of pure gold to child. Licking is a noble method specially recommended for children. Mixture of gold, cow ghee and honey has been advised to lick from the first day of life. Gold is very good for brain development and has detoxifying properties too. It is administered on pushya nakshatra to enhance its potency. Anybody can get benefits of Suvarnaprashana starting at any time up to sixteen years of age.
Acharaya kashyapa has described the methodology and benefits of suvarnaprashana in detail in his scriptum Kashyapa Samhita as-
विघृष्य धौते दृषदि प्राङ्मुखी लघुनाम्बुना|
आमथ्य मधुसर्पिभ्यां लेहयेत् कनकं शिशुम्||
सुवर्णप्राशनं हि एतन्मेधाग्निबलवर्धनम्|
आयुष्यं मङ्गलं पुण्यं वृष्यं वर्ण्यं ग्रहापहम्||
मासात् परममेधावी व्याधिभि: न घृष्यते|
षड्भिर्मासै: श्रुतधर: सुवर्णप्राशनाद्भवेत्||
(काश्यपसंहिता/ सूत्र/पृ. ४–५)
Pure gold should be rubbed on thoroughly washed stone with little quantity of boiled water facing towards east and then churned with honey and cow ghee and then should be given to child for licking. Gold given in such form enhances the intellect, digestive power, general power, longevity of life, complexion. If Suvarnaprashana is started right from birth, within a month child becomes extremely intellect (param medhavi) and protected from diseases; whereas in six months gains an ability to retain whatever he listens (shrutadhara).
Acharya Sushruta and achrya Vagbhata also advice to administer gold along with various herbs, cow ghee and honey to new born.
Benefits of Suvarnaprashana Sanskar-
Enhances immunity of the child
Grasping power, sharpness, intellect, concentration, analyzing power, recall memory become very strong
Improves physical and mental strength, thus overall health
Prevents child from frequently falling ill
Helps timely development of child with proper height and weight gain
Increases digestive power
Tones up skin
Helps preventing various problems which may arise during teething
Reduces temper tantrums, attention deficits
Promote health and intelligence in mental retardation and other developmental disorders
Overall, it makes your child healthier than most of other children
It is very safe, easy to administer and not a single side effect has been reported yet. Babies love it because of its yummy taste. Ultimately I would like to say- make your child smarter and stronger than others with suvarnaprashana.
Dr. Sonal Darekar- Sahane
Satmya Ayurveda And Panchkarma Clinic