(Continued from previous issue)
There was mild degree of IUGR; it was a normal delivery and the baby weighed 2.25Kg, very active and alert.
The whole family rejoiced so much and were very grateful to the obstetrician and Yoga teacher for giving her all the necessary encouragement and confidence.
Because of the many subtle changes in the body, pregnancy can be a time of emotional vulnerability for many women, with cravings for strange foods, intense dreams, sudden depressions or tears without reason. Such feelings are not only exhausting but they can be of such intensity that they further disturb the harmony of the body. The child in the womb is protected from, but not impervious to the outside world, and is particularly sensitive to sound. The baby's heartbeat will jump at an unexpected speed, loud noise, and will react for the ringing of bells or the singing of lullabies. One of the most constant and dominant factors in the baby's uterine environment is the reassuring rhythm of the mother's heartbeat.
Today pediatricians and psychiatrists are also of the opinion that some qualities of personality may result from the specific environment of the child before birth. The chemical aspects of the uterine environment, particularly the correct proportions of all the necessary hormones are dependent on the health and emotional welfare of the mother. It is not now possible - and it may never be - to distinguish the effects of the pre birth experience from natural genetic inheritance. However, it is a matter of fact that the health and mental attitudes of the mother are reflected in the development of the child. Illness and psychological tension and stress in their mothers, definitely have an adverse effect on babies, before, as well as after birth.
There are many yogic relaxation techniques that can be used to minimize emotional stress and to create a harmonious environment for the coming child.
When a mother practices mantra japa (repetition of a mantra) she is adding another dimension to the baby's sensitivity to sound - a spiritual dimension that will evoke a resonance at the very core of the child's consciousness.
Mantra japa and dhyána allow a woman to enter the depths of her being where her consciousness merges with, and may exert a positive influence on the consciousness of the growing child.
The Story of Abhimanyu
Abhimanyu, the great warrior was the son of Arjuna. Subhadra the sister of Lord Køúna was his mother. While she was taken to her mother's place when she was pregnant, Lord Køúna told the story of the fighting skills of Arjuna to Subhadra. Abhimanyu still in the womb listened to Køúna's narration and became the greatest hero who could enter the Chakravyuha during the Mahábháratha war but could not come out as he had slept away during the latter part of the narration and was killed by the Kauravas.
The Story of Prahláda
The father of Prahláda, Hiranyakasipu, was a demonic dictator, a tyrant who suppressed all the natural freedom of his people, especially their freedom to worship. While carrying Prahláda, his mother left the court of her husband and passed her confinement in the ashram of the sage Nárada who instructed her in the spiritual truths and the special glories of Lord Viúnu. Prahláda, though still in the womb, also shared in this initiation, and even in the face of his father's fury, he was a staunch devotee of Lord Viúnu from early childhood. Prahaláda's devotion to Sri Hari endowed him with such inner strength that he became instrumental in the overthrow of his father's tyranny and later attained the highest realization.
The Story of Aúûavakra
In Mahábháratha the legend of Aúûavakra is fascinating and vivid. When Aúûavakra was in the womb of Sujáta, his father, Kahor, a mighty student of the Vedas, used to read aloud the sacred Mandala-s, each day late into the nights. The unborn genius, even from the womb, suddenly cried out! "Father, through your grace I have already learned all the Vedas, even while I am in my mother's womb. But I am sorry to say that you often make mistakes in your recitation." Enraged by this grave insult, the father cursed his son, and the boy was, therefore, born deformed with eight curvatures in his anatomy.
Hence he was born with severe abnormalities but had learnt all the scriptures. His teachings to Raja-Øúi, Janaka has become 'The Gètá of Aúûavakra'.
Tales such as these are age-old reminders of the importance of blessing and gracing our children even before they enter the world.
Meditation is an essential component of Yoga practices in pregnancy
Meditation can be done in Sukhásana (Crossed Leg) or Vajrásana. It is the heart of yoga. It is the flowering of the mind and soul, and with it comes peace, clarity, harmony, and energy.
The mantras are specially composed chants to bring about patterns of resonant waves to achieve the desired result. They are the part of a broad science called tantra sástra. Yantras of the tantra are visual patterns to generate such effects in mind which could help unfolding thre mind to its subtler layers and to achieve the desired result. Thus, mantras and yantras are the audio and visusal tools of the tantra sástra used to achieve the objective of the mission. Tantra itself is the part of the Vedas. Yajòas, havanas,homas , püjás, etc. are the tools of the pürva mimámsá. This formed the technology of our ancient seers in India.
Mantras formed the vital tool in concretising the desires of everyone in tune with Dharma; to establish health, harmony and happiness at the individual, family and social levels have always been the goal of Mantra Sástra; to work in tune with nature which we today call ecology, to promote love and harmony in society and to harness the powers of nature and individuals to not only improve the comfort levels but also to maintain health of one and all which we badly lack today.
The right intonations, emphasis on the clarity of pronunciation, rágas or melody, if any, help to produce resonance. Every letter brings resonance in a particular party of the body, chanting the whole Mantra generates a particular resonance pattern, the resonant wave moving from part to part in the body. Recognition of these movement and the associated resonance pattern in the physical body produces very special effects on the body - prána - mind - emotions - intellect combine. There is shaping, moulding and transformation of each and every cell in our body, prána, mind and emotions. The chants of the Mantras, with their associated patterns of resonance, produce the special effect and result for which the mantra was designed and developed by our Tántric experts and yoga masters.
(to be continued in the next issue)