On Conceiving the Child

The sex drive is a natural instinct which prompts living beings to unite and reproduce. Intercourse should not, however, be based solely on mutual sexual satisfaction, but on the love shared by two people who bring to the sexual act all the tenderness and understanding required for its full consummation.

Parents who are aware of their responsibilities and who wish to produce a child possessing fine physical and moral virtues should avoid intercourse when they are tired, downcast or anxious, for their physical and mental state can affect the embryo from the moment it is conceived. For example, sexual acts under duress, rape or drunkenness at the moment of conception can cause physical damage to the future child. If all children were ‘wanted’, i.e. conceived in the best conditions and not as the result of an ‘accident’, mankind would be very different from what it is.

Indian sacred Scriptures state that intercourse should take place in a pleasant, harmonious atmosphere. The room used had to be clean, tidy, and decorated with religious images and pictures of fine landscapes. The belief was that if the parents were surrounded by beautiful things during the sexual act, their child would be attractive and healthy.

In the Vedanta, an extremely ancient holy text, emphasis is laid on the fact that between the 5th and the 11th day after her menstrual period, a woman should have nothing but positive, lofty thoughts. The reason for this is that these are the days most favorable to procreation, and with her emotions and thoughts the woman can profoundly affect her future child. The same text states that children conceived on the 6th, 8th, I0th, 12th, 14th or 16th day after menstruation (i.e. on the even days) will be boys, while those conceived on the odd days i.e., the 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th, 13th or 15th will be girls. It was noted that the woman who, at the moment of conception, breathed through her right nostril produced a son, while a woman who breathed through her left nostril gave birth to a daughter. ,

In Yoga, the right nostril is called surya nadi, surya meaning sun, while the left one is called chandra nadi, chandra meaning moon.

In his work Ayurveda, the Science of Life, Dr. C.G. Thakkur writes that if three or four drops of drugs such as Lakshmana or Sahadevi mixed with milk are poured into a woman’s right nostril following impregnation, she may conceive a male child.

Present-day medical research in France and Canada seems to confirm that by following a suitable diet, a woman has an 80 % chance of deciding the sex of her child. The future mother who wishes to have a boy should eat highly salted food which is rich in potassium. The woman wanting a girl should eat food with a high magnesium and calcium content for at least three and half months before conceiving the child.

Indian scriptures refer to prana-vital energy-which is also called the ‘life-creating force’. The unification of the prana contained in the male sperm and the female ovule governs the development of the embryo in accordance with the law of karma -the law of action and reaction forging one’s destiny.

Depending on the preponderance of either one or the other, the child will be a boy or a girl.

According to the Garbha Upanishad written several thousand years ago, the child’s body gradually develops inside the mother’s womb. The text reads as follows:

“The first day after conception, the embryo looks like a nodule; seven days after, like a bubble; fifteen days later like a mass which hardens after one month.”

“The head appears after two, i.e., lunar months, and part of the feet by the end of the third month. During the fourth month, the ankles, stomach and hips are formed, while during the fifth, the spinal column is formed, followed during the sixth month by the nose, eyes and ears. In the course of the seventh month, the embryo is equipped with a soul jiva, and the child is completely formed by the eighth month.”

Again according to the Garbha Upanishad, as of the ninth lunar month, the soul is able to remember her previous incarnations and actions, and knows why, depending on her karma, she must be reincarnated, i.e. be reborn. At the moment of birth, the soul is no longer able to remember her past, but in accordance with the law of karma, which is even and just, the individual will be drawn from his earliest childhood to situations and conditions of life which he will have deserved as a result of his thoughts and actions in former lives, and which will enable him to pass through the experiences necessary to hi~ evolution.

The human soul, jivatman, must be incarnated in new physical bodies until she reaches Awareness, becomes free from all egoism and is filled with universal Love. Only then will she achieve union with the supreme Soul, i.e., Paramatman and be released from the cycle of re-births. This is the ultimate goal of all systems of Yoga.

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