Nowadays there is very little regard for the life of a child within the womb of the mother. Most people are concerned about their own pleasure. Many want the right to have sex with anyone and then kill the child resulting from that sex life. Therefore so many young children are being murdered under the name of abortion.
We come into this world completely dependent on our parents. Without the help of our mother we can’t even get food. This complete dependence of a newborn child puts the mother and father in a very responsible position. The parents provide the first impressions which are important in the development of the child’s character.
The influence of the parents on the child doesn’t start with birth, it starts at the time of conception. In the Vedic times there was a ceremony which was performed before the mother and father united to conceive the child. This was called the garbhadhana-samskara or the “seed giving ceremony”. The purpose of this samskara, samskara means “purifying process”, was to situate the minds of the parents in spiritual consciousness before they engaged in sex life to beget the child. This is because the consciousness of the mother and father at the time of their union determines the consciousness of the child.
It is very important, if we want to have good children, that the mentality of the parents at the time of union is Godly. Otherwise, if they are simply driven by lust and having sex for their enjoyment only, any child born as a result of such lusty sexual intercourse is actually unwanted. The parents are not having sex to beget a child, they are just having sex to satisfy themselves. Children resulting from such lusty activities are called varna-sankara, “unwanted children”.
In the world at the present time almost nobody is interested in religious principles therefore they are almost all having sex for enjoyment only, so now most of the children being born are “unwanted children”. This has created a hellish world. It has created a situation where the mothers and fathers no longer care about their children. Now the parents are quite happy to kill their children in the womb.
It’s quite clear the child enters the womb at the time of conception. With the aid of modern science we can actually see the child starts to develop from the very moment of conception. Even before science gave us ultrasound the Vedic scriptures described that at the time of conception the fathers semen and the mothers discharge emulsify into a pea like form which grows day by day. It is described that first seven holes develop and these holes gradually become the different senses; the mouth, the eyes, the nose, the ears, the genitals and the rectum. These are the seven holes in the body. So from the pea shaped form the child develops seven holes and gradually these holes develop into the senses and in this way the body of the child is formed. At the time of seven months the child becomes conscious within the womb of the mother. He can actually think and perceive his surroundings and the mother can fell the child developing within her womb.
We can only know the thoughts of the child in the womb from the Vedic scriptures because we can’t remember our stay in the womb. It is described that when the child becomes conscious in the womb at the seven month point he is aware of his surroundings and he is even aware of where he came from, he knows what happened before and if he is pious he knows about God also. So he prays to God, because he can remember his previous births, he knows he suffered in the past, and he knows he is back within the womb of another mother because he forgot God. This is a very important point, the child is completely aware of why he came into the womb.
The mother’s womb, contrary to some popular opinions, is not a comfortable place. Sometimes people in the West have a very rosy idea of the situation of the child within the womb of the mother but it is actually a very uncomfortable position. The child has on one side the mothers digestive fluids and if the mother eats anything disturbing the child suffers. So on one side he is suffering from the burning of the gastric fluids of the mother’s stomach. On the other side there are obnoxious substances like stool and urine and all sorts of germs and even worms which take are very disturbing to the child’s delicate body.
The Pious Child Prays to God in the Womb
So the child suffers like anything in the mother’s womb. He knows he is suffering and he knows why he is suffering, he knows his previous life, he knows everything. If he is pious he prays to God, “Please God get me out of this position, I don’t want to have to take birth again in the material world. If I have to take birth then please don’t let me forget You.” This is the situation of the child in the womb. The time of birth is intensely painful for the child. When he is being forced out of the mother’s womb he has to come through a small space and it is very painful. As a result of the pain and the comparatively comfortable position outside the womb the child forgets everything after his birth.
The child comes from an extremely hellish condition within the womb to a relatively comfortable position outside so he forgets his suffering in the womb. As soon as we are born we forget everything in the past, we can’t remember the womb nor can we remember our previous lives. This is a trick of the material energy.
We’ve Done it All Before
We have done all the things we are doing in this life before in many lives and, although everything has always ended in frustration, we think this time will be different. We have already tried in so many ways to enjoy this material world and have been frustrated, if by nothing else, by old age, disease and death. All our endeavors were useless. It is the mercy of maya, the material energy, which enables us to forget everything in the past and take birth again to have another go at enjoying in this world.
Our life here in the material world is described as being like chewing something which has already been chewed. If you take some sugar cane and chew on it you can enjoy a sweet taste, but if you discard the chewed sugar cane on the street and another person comes along and chews the same sugar cane he can’t get the sweet taste. The juice has already been extracted. This material world is compared to the sugar cane that has already been chewed. The sweet taste we are looking for is not here in the material world. But we are trying to find that sweetness. We think if we engage in sex life, if we get money, a beautiful woman, a nice house, a beautiful car, if I become a big man in the world, then I will be happy. But there is no real pleasure in these things — it’s simply like chewing sugar cane that has already been chewed by someone else.
So the child comes out of the womb and at this time the parents have the responsibility to help the child revive his God consciousness. That’s why we are here in the material world. We have come here by our own choice, we have rebelled against the orders of God, and we have come here with the idea of enjoying separately from God. But this material world is constructed in such a way as to frustrate all of our attempts.
bahunam janmanam ante
jnanavan mam prapadyate
vasudevah sarvam iti
sa mahatma sudurlabhah
“After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me [God, Krishna], knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.” (Bg. 7.19) This is the thoughtful persons conclusion.
Children Are Brainwashed From Birth…
It is the responsibility of the parents to awaken this God consciousness in their children but instead we have created a society that presents the children with the material illusion from day one. There is no spiritual knowledge. From birth the child’s bodily identification is reinforced by the parents. They immediately expose their child to so much material brainwashing. Immediately he is sitting down in front of the television and is being contaminated with so many material desires.
The desire to enjoy separately from God is being reinforced at every step of our lives. Everywhere we go we are encouraged, “You should do this to enjoy for yourself.” You can look in any publication except our Back to Godhead magazine and you will find it is simply, in one way or another, encouraging people to enjoy separately from God. Even the so-called spiritual groups, even the Christian church is encouraging, “You want something? Then come here and pray to God for it.” This is also the enjoying spirit, it’s not the real mood of a servant of God. The real mood of a servant of God is he wants to please God, he wants to do something for the pleasure of God. This mood should be cultivated within the children born into this world. This is the responsibility parents have to their children.
Today there is no regard for the life of the child…
In this age there is no regard for the life of the child within the womb of the mother. What is paramount in this age is “my pleasure”. The women have become very militant and have formed the feminist movement which has as one of its principal aims the woman’s right to “control her own reproductive system”. This means women should have the right to go anywhere, have sex with any man and then kill the child resulting from that sex life. This is our society. This is our “civilization”. As a result so many young children are being murdered under the name of abortion.
Everybody knows it’s a child within the womb of the mother, everybody knows it’s a human being, everybody knows that human being is capable of contributing so much to this world. We were all in that position, within the wombs of our mothers, and we could have been killed by our mothers but by their mercy they didn’t kill us, they allowed us to take birth.
Our mothers underwent difficulties — it’s a great austerity in many ways for a mother and father to bring a child into this world and to raise that child. It’s not an easy thing to raise a family in this age but it is a very valuable service if one can raise children as devotees of God. This is the purpose of married life; to bring nice God conscious children into the words and give them a good upbringing so they develop their love for God, re-establish their relationship with God. It’s the responsibility of the parents to see their children will not have to again enter the womb of another mother. In other words the children should be trained to go back home, back to Godhead, after this life.
The spiritual world is real
The spiritual world is real — there is a spiritual world.
paras tasmat tu bhavo ‘nyo
‘vyakto ‘vyaktat sanatanah
yah so sarvesu bhutesu
nasyaatsu na vinasyati (Bg. 8.20)
This means beyond this material sky there is the spiritual sky and in the spiritual sky everything we see here is also there but there it is the original pure spiritual form and here what we see is simply a perverted reflection.
So we are seeing a reflection of the spiritual world in this material world. We can see the reflection of a tree in the water. In one sense the reflection of the tree is real but if the tree is producing some very nice fruit, say it is the reflection of a mango tree. If you see the reflection of a mango in the water, although you can say it is a mango, it’s not exactly the same as the real mango in the tree. You can see it’s a mango, it looks like a mango, you can’t tell the difference. But you try and taste it. You go and grab it and try to eat it in the reflection — all that happens is you get a handful of water, that’s all, there is actually nothing there, the real substance in not there. Similarly we see in this material world a reflection of the spiritual world. Here we have the idea of love between a man and a woman and we have the idea of pleasure in sex life but in reality the pleasure we experience is no more real than the handful of water we get when trying to enjoy the reflected mango. The actual substance, the actual bliss, the spiritual pleasure we are looking for is in the spiritual world, it’s not here in the material world.
This material world is something like a mirage. If you look in the desert sometimes you will see a very big expanse of water. If you are a thoughtful person you can understand in the desert there is no big expanse of water, even though there appears to be one. You can understand, “What I am seeing is just a trick of my eyes.” But if you are not so intelligent and you are very thirsty and you see this huge expanse of water in the desert maybe you will run towards the water, what you are actually doing is running further and further into the desert. Your chance of surviving is becoming smaller and smaller because you are running towards the center of the desert.
Similarly the pleasure we see in the material world, the pleasure we think we will get from a beautiful women, the pleasure we think we will get from a big, important position, the pleasure we think we will get from having a new car or a holiday on some exotic island. This pleasure is just like the pleasure we don’t get by trying to enjoy the mango reflected in the water or searching for water in the desert. This is the nature of the material world.
We Have to Turn Our Attention to the Real World, the Spiritual World
We have to turn our attention to the real world, the spiritual world, the place where Krishna is. We have to change our consciousness so we are always thinking about the spiritual world, we are always thinking about Krishna. All our activities should be performed for the pleasure of Krishna. In this way our life will become spiritualized and even here in the material world we can enjoy real transcendental pleasure. A devotee is not looking for anything, he is not desiring even spiritual pleasure. The devotee says, “My dear Lord, I simply want to please You. If You want something which is like poison to me I will accept that as being nectar but if something I think is nectar is displeasing to You I will reject that thing as poison.” This should be our mood. We should see what Krishna likes and we should accept providing Him with this as the highest pleasure even if it seems unpalatable to us.
Many times we have seen great devotees do things which are very difficult, for example Lord Jesus Christ was completely surrendered to the will of his Father and he was even prepared to be crucified, to be killed, because it was the will of his Father. From the material point of view this is not a very nice thing but he accepted it because it was God’s will. He didn’t actually suffer, of course his body suffered, but he was serving God and there is great spiritual bliss coming from this service. We have also seen in India many great devotees of the Lord who have undergone so much suffering but they have continued to serve God regardless.
There Will be Many Difficulties…
As devotees we are trying to establish God consciousness within this material world therefore naturally we will be put into so many difficulties, that is the nature of this world. This world is full of people who have almost all rejected God and the whole background of the material world is to enable us to forget God. The whole world is such a phantasmagoria, such a big show, and the purpose of this big show is simply to bewilder us into thinking, “I can be happy here separately from God.” There is no other purpose for the material world. So when we try and preach about God, when we try to established God consciousness within the world we will naturally face many difficulties.
My spiritual master, His Divine Grace, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, when his disciples were facing great difficulties in spreading Krishna consciousness and distributing his books, said not to worry and that these difficulties were a sign that our preaching is pure. So we shouldn’t be concerned if there are difficulties on the path of spiritual life, rather we should be concerned if there are no difficulties. If life is very easy, if things are going on very smoothly we should know our preaching is not very potent.
Many people like to have a very comfortable arrangement in spiritual life. Going to church on Sundays, meeting all their friends and having a nice social chat. There is no difficulty for these people, their spiritual life, so called, goes on very easily. My humble request is that these people who are having a very easy going spiritual life should question in their heart, “Why?” In Krishna consciousness we say, “You’re in maya.” Maya means “that which is not”. You have accepted this material world as being a comfortable place so you are sleeping in the lap of maya. So now is the time to wake up and serve Krishna.
Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!
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