mhcrxlc at mhcrxlc at
Thu Jul 6 21:40:52 UTC 1995

>Can anyone provide assistance with the Pali term "gabbhaparihaara"
>(lit. "he protection of the embryo")? PED defines it as "a ceremony
>performed when a woman became pregnant." Other translators, sticking
>more closely to the literal meaning, use it in a more general sense
>to refer to what we today might call pre-natal care. PED further
>equates the term with "gabbhapariharana", which at Vism 500 in fact
>seems to me closer in meaning to "gestation". My question is whether
>there is in fact a formal gabbhaparihaara ceremony? If so, what is
>the Hindu/Sanskrit equivalent? Any additional references to such a
>ritual would be appreciated. [Note: I don't have access to
>Trenckner's Critical Pali Dictionary.]

Checking the Mahidol CDROM, I find no canonical references, but 23 in the
commentaries and 2 in the Vinaya-.tiikaa. In fact this is largely
repetition of two or three stock passages. None of them give any detailed
explanation, but it is clear that it is something that follows immediately
after the husband, etc. is informed of the pregnancy. It is given by the
husband (or in one case by the parents). It is dhammataa for a meritorious
lady to get one and a result of bad kamma not to have one.

I would have thought it is probably a ceremony to protect the embryo. It is
certainly nothing to do with "gabbhapariharana"at Vism 500 which is
discussing the suffering that occurs while 'carrying the embryo'. Let me
know if you require some of the detailed refs and I will Email what I can
to you.

Lance Cousins

Telephone (UK): 0161 434 3646


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