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Wedding-rituals » Indian-customs » Shastipoorthi-041018
60s spell spiritual wellbeing

Janmaabde, Janmamaasecha Swajanmadivase tathaa
Janmarshe chaiva kartavyaa shanti rugrarathaahvayaa
Devaalaye nadeeteere swagruhe vaa shubhasthale

ShastipoorthiThe Shastipoorthi Shanti should be performed in the sixtieth year and in the same month and day of birth according to the Indian Zodiac. This is considered to be the best option. In case it is not possible to time it exactly on the same day, allowance is given to perform it on a convenient day during and before the completion of sixtieth year. The choice of the place to carry out this programme could be a pilgrim town, a temple, a river bank or even a householder's residence.

The term Shasti in numerology denotes sixty (60). In an individual's life, the completion of sixty years is referred to as Shshtiabdapoorthi or Shastipoorthi. This term is derived from Sanskrit which means Shasti - Sixty; abda - years; poorthi - completion. The sixtieth year in everyone's life is a significant milestone. A memorable turning point. A touching reminder of the rich, mellowed life that would unfold in the years to come.

The sages and the rishis of lore have acknowledged the sanctity of the sixtieth year in one's life and have drawn out elaborate rituals to mark this special event. They looked at it as rebirth and suggested the repetition of those rituals performed at one's birth. Hence this celebration at this point of life is a sacred part of the hallowed Vedic culture. As part of the celebrations the couple's children perform their parents' second wedding. This is reason for a grand family reunion to incorporate an important event in the couple's married life.

The Shastipoorthi celebrations in modern times have two important aspects 1. Shanti and 2. Kranthi. The rituals in the former go by the norms prescribed in the shastras, while the latter is purely conventional in nature.

Shastipoorthi Shanti
The rituals carved out as part of Shanti are also referred to as Ugraradha Shanti. Ugraradha is nothing but the harsh natured time. In a hundred-year time scale of man's life, pre-sixty is a period of materialistic pursuit while the post-sixty span is slated for spiritual endeavour. The Ugraradha Shanti is a prayer sent to the heavens to make the post-sixty span a spiritually fulfilling experience.

Three different ways are chiseled to carry out the Shanti aspect. They are
  • Shounakoktam
  • Bodhaayanoktam
  • Shaivaagamoktam

The basic elements of these three ways remain the same, though the contents vary marginally. Of all, Shaivaagamokta Santi is very elaborate and ritual-laden. Given its exhaustive scope of rituals, only a limited few like the kings and the emperors can follow it in toto, though it is not entirely ruled out for devout householders.

After the successful completion of the "Shanti" programme, the Kranthi programme follows in which "Kalyaanam" is very important. "Kranthi" means "to step ahead" and signifies heading towards a new life.

Shastipoorthi "Shastipoorthi" is a good bridge - builder between the householder's domestic concerns and Vaanaprasta's spiritual yearnings. During Vaanaprastha, the married couple is to fulfill their life's mission by staying together through observance of celibacy. The "Kalyaana Veduka" is a reminder of the unique role they are to play in the years to come. Marriage in the younger days promises physical proximity, while the one performed now brings about spiritual affinity.

Thus the Shanti - Kranthi aspects, which run through the "Shastipoorthi" celebrations provide a fusion of spiritual and social obligations which are the very bed rock the Indian culture.

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