Since ages, Indian women have been approaching their mothers-in-law when they need advice on pregnancy, child bearing and childbirth. Elderly women are the first source of reliable knowledge for everything from sleeping positions, nutrition, hygiene and lifestyle advices. But where did that knowledge come from in the first place?
India has been a land of traditions and values, and one value that is considered paramount is ‘knowledge’. We seek words of advice from the knowledgeable to overcome a difficulty or to avoid making a mistake. In the Bhagwad Gita, Lord Krishna says,
कर्मणः सुकृतस्याहुः सात्त्विकं निर्मलं फलम।
रजसस् तु फलं दुःखम् अज्ञानं तमसः फलम्।।16।।
karmanah sukrtasya huh sattvikam nirmalam phalam
rajas as tu phalam duhkham ajnanam tamasah phalam
the fruit of good action is said to be beneficial and pure; the fruit of passionate action is pain; and the fruit of ignorant action is laziness. (14.16)
Ayurveda is a 5000-year-old system of health and wellness that is abundant in its scope. Besides hundreds of human ailments, it deals with preconception, pregnancy and childbirth in great detail. For centuries this knowledge has been passed down from one generation to the next. It is believed that in ancient India, every man and woman prepared themselves well before committing to welcome a healthy child into their family. Hence, people of the bygone centuries were healthier, smarter and arguably happier than most of us today, despite the absence of modern amenities.
The point remains, all good things in the past were outcomes of knowledgeable actions, which were based on principles mentioned in Ayurveda.
The babies that were born in ancient India were truly AyurBabies since they were conceived on the basis of Ayurvedic principles. Unfortunately, somewhere in the pursuit of material pleasures or perhaps due to the increasing influence of western medicine and culture post-independence, we have lost these valuable, traditional secrets of creating healthy babies.
To really appreciate the significance of Ayurveda in preconception and procreation, first we need to understand the benefits that adherence to these principles provide.
By following Ayurvedic principles and guidelines, a couple can influence the Prakriti and Guna of their child.
Every person has a unique Prakriti. In simple terms, Prakriti is the nature of a person. Prakriti is governed by three humours (Doshas) known as Vata, Pitta and Kapha. A healthy individual has balanced Tridosha. When a couple with balanced tridosha procreate, it leads to the formation of a healthy foetus. It must be noted that the Prakriti is decided when the foetus is formed.
Another thing that is decided at this stage is Guna. Guna is equivalent to the mind or psychology and has an important role in influencing an individual’s success in life. There are three Gunas according to Ayurveda, and they are: Sattvic, Rajasic or Tamasic. Of these, Sattvic is considered to be the best Guna. In the Bhagwad Gita, Lord Krishna explains to Arjuna:
सत्त्वं रजस् तम इति गुणाः प्रकृतिसंभवाः।
निबध्नन्ति महाबाहो देहे देहिनम् अव्ययम् ।। 5।
Sattva or goodness Rajas or passion, activity, and Tamas or ignorance, inertia- these three
modes (Ropes, Gunas) of material Nature (Prakrti) fetter the eternal individual soul (Jiva) to the body, O Arjuna. (14.05)
Elaborating upon the significance of Sattva Guna, he further says:
तत्र सत्त्वं निर्मलत्वात् प्रकाशकम् अनामयम्।
सुखसङ्गेन बध्नाति ज्ञानसङ्गेन चानघ ।। 6।।
The combination of Prakriti and Guna determines how a person will fare in their life. How they will see and react to the world around them and whether they will succeed in life or fail. This, in fact is the founding stone of an individual’s journey on earth. The stronger it is, the better chance that individual has of being a successful individual and bringing glory (yash) and prosperity (samridhi) to the family he or she is born into.
According to Ayurveda, childbirth is a process with close resemblance to the growth and development of a healthy tree. For a seed to form into a sapling and grow into a tall and healthy tree, it is necessary that the quality of the seed is good and the soil is fertile. The seasons plays an important role as well. Finally, the seed has to be nourished by nutrients.
Using this analogy in case of childbirth, the sperm and ovum is known as the seed (Beeja), which needs to be of high quality. The uterus is equal to the soil (Kshetra), that needs to be strong, and nurtured by nourishing fluids (Ambu) and finally the season (Ritu), or ovulation period of the female, has to be right. A healthy foetus is formed only when all of these conditions are fulfilled.
Ayurveda advises that couples who wish to beget a healthy, wise and well-rounded baby should cultivate good health, psychology and a positive state of mind before pregnancy. Ideally, the preparation process should begin at least 3 months prior to conception.
The scriptures recommend that preparation during preconception should begin with a thorough cleansing of the gut to remove excess toxins formed by undigested foods (ama) and drain the lymphatic channels throughout the body. This should be followed by reinvigorating and strengthening the tissues (7 Dhatus). And finally, the body should be rejuvenated to produce Ojas, which is the healthy essence of 7 Dhatus.
Jiva AyurBaby is a unique pre-conception program that combines the ancient knowledge of Vedas with modern birth sciences to make it possible for couples, irrespective of wherever they are in the world, to prepare themselves to become parents. To know how Jiva AyurBaby works, please visit: http://ayurbaby.jiva.com/work.html