In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the conversation between King Yayaati and Sage Ashtaka wherein King Yayaati explains the significance of the “Sthoola Deham” and the “Sookshma Deham”. King Yayaati now highlights five important points of contact that an “Atman” goes through, before landing up into the “Manushya Lokha” from the “Svarga Lokha / Naraka Lokha”. These five points are referred to as the “Pancha-Agni-Vidya” in the Upanishads. Initially when the “Atman” is pushed out of the “Svarga Lokha”, the “Atman” is strewn into the clouds that roam around in the sky. Subsequently, the clouds condense and pour down as rain on the earth’s surface. Now the “Atman” gets embedded into the raindrops as they fall down. Subsequently, the “Atman” grows into a plant with the combination of the raindrop and soil. Subsequently, this plant / tree is consumed by the existing living beings in the world, including human beings. Now the “Atman” goes into the stomach of the living being. Subsequently when the living being enters into a union for reproduction, the “Atman” gets transferred into the female womb and subsequently the “Atman” gets its new “Sthoola Deha” as it grows inside the mother’s womb. Thus, once the womb is fully grown, the woman gives birth to the child, and with this, we enter into our next birth in this world.
As King Yayaati explains this, we should also understand that there is an uncertainty with respect to the time factor here. This five-point-process does not happen immediately in sequence for everyone. For instance, our “Atman” might keep roaming around amidst the clouds for several days or months. Depending upon where the clouds are going to dump the rains, the “Atman” would go into the ground and germinate as a seed. Again, if the seed germinates into a plant and then forms a tree, we’ve seen that several trees have extremely long lifespans. It is believed that some species of the banyan tree lives on for a hundred or even a thousand years! Hence, for the next thousand years or so, the “Atman” is in the form of that tree only and it cannot take a human birth until that thousand-year-lifespan is over. It is only after the tree dies down, will the “Atman” be able to get transferred into a body of another living being. Thus, we’re witnessing here that the time lag between the five stages is extremely uncertain. For some “Atmans” the process is faster, and for some, the process takes ultra-long time. This time lag totally depends upon our level of “Karma” that we’ve accumulated over time! Maybe if our “Karma” account is on the lower side, probably Bhagawan might speeden up the process and give us the human birth quickly, so that we can exhibit “Bhakti” and attain Bhagawan’s “Vaikunta”! All we can do is to pray for this to happen! Anyways, we’ve now got this human birth. Hence, isn’t this the greatest opportunity for us to utilize and get to “Vaikunta”? Let us ponder!
Moving forward thus, Sage Ashtaka asks a counter question to King Yayaati here – “Oh Yayaati! You mentioned that the “Atman” enters into the womb of the mother in the fifth stage. Of course, there is a lot of difficulty that the “Atman” would have encountered while traversing these five stages. Atleast when the “Atman” enters into the mother’s womb, does it get some relief? Will it be very comfortable inside the mother’s womb?” As Sage Ashtaka asks this question, King Yayaati explains back thus, “Oh Sage Ashtaka! Do you really think that the “Atman” is happy inside the mother’s womb? Once the “Atman” slowly starts assuming its “Sthoola Deham” inside the mother’s womb, it undergoes a hell of suffering inside! Firstly, whatever sweet or spicy or sour food that the mother eats, is going to directly affect the child within. Since the “Sthoola Deham” of the “Atman” is new, it would not be accustomed to all the sweets and savouries that we’re eating in this world! The new “Sthoola Deham” of the child would not be able to digest such things, and the child would suffer because of this. Secondly, since the space inside the mother’s womb is completely cramped, the child cannot move itself here and there. It cannot even raise its hand or leg in the way it wants. Worse, it cannot even turn itself to another direction if it finds it uncomfortable!”
King Yayaati continues further thus, “Oh Sage Ashtaka! Thirdly, there is a problem of being swarmed by infinite numbers of bacteria and viruses inside the mother’s womb! There might be lakhs and crores of them and it is amidst all these micro-organisms that the child should grow with for around ten months! Fourthly, there is no space to even pass our waste! There is no toilet facility inside the mother’s womb! All the waste that the “Sthoola Deham” generates, only keeps circulating inside the mother’s womb and there’s no space for it to go out! Apart from this, there is so much blood, flesh, tissues, etc. everywhere around and the baby grows amidst all of these! Amidst all these things, the child continues to grow and as the time of delivery nears, people outside are extremely happy as to when the child is going to be born! However, do you think that the child inside is happy? The answer is “No”! The child cries and cries inside with the extreme torture that it is undergoing! Moreover, upon understanding that the time is nearing for it to be thrown out into the world, it gets even more scary! How will it manage the harsh and brutal externalities of the external world?”
Hence, such is the suffering that a “Jeevatma” undergoes within a mother’s womb before it is born! This might be very heart-wrenching for many of us, but having said thus, it is the fact and all of us have undergone this, knowingly or unknowingly! So for today, let us understand up to this point, and let us continue this discussion in the next episode to witness how the baby suffers while being extracted from the mother’s womb! Stay tuned! 🙂