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Ayurveda: the Divine Science
Sons and Daughters
This article is one in a remarkable series on Ayurveda by Prof. K. K. Bhaumik, Chairman of Coordinating Council of Association of Astrology & Allied Sciences. A renowned figure on astro-occult sciences, he is an internationally acclaimed authority in this field. Since time immemorial, man has shown an overwhelming preference for sons over daughters. This preference has traditionally been very overt in India. The progress of science and society, establishment of gender equality, women's liberation and spread of education in India notwithstanding, the preference for sons has continued unabated in every strata of society. Ayurveda holds some answers.
Today, the preference for sons has become almost an obsession for the average Indian. So deep is the obsession that many parents in India do not even hesitate to go for infanticide of a female foetus. The Government has been forced to bring in legislations banning prenatal sex determination of the foetus in the wake of growing cases of infanticide of the female foetus. In some Indian societies, a girl child is still treated as a burden and thus treated with utter neglect.
Desire For Sons
One of the strongest desires of the Indian male is that after him there should be someone who would carry his and his ancestors' name forward and offer libations of water (tarpan) to their spirits. And that can only be a son. In order to obtain a son, Indians observe all kinds of fasts, give donations to Brahmins and saints, go on pilgrimages, and
make vows to Gods and Goddesses. Behind all this is the customary social belief among the Hindus that, if the son lights the pyre of the father, then only may his spirit rest in peace and attain salvation, permitting his genealogical tree to bear fruit.
The desire for sons and preference for male over female children in India has been long predominant, irrespective of caste, creed, economic status and education. Yearning for male children in India is as old as the civilisation itself. In Satyuga, the mighty king Dashrath performed a yajna for obtaining a son, which resulted in the birth of Rama, Lakshamana, Bharat and Shatrughana. In the medieval ages, the Mughal emperor Akbar offered a fervent prayer at the Dargah of Mohammad Chishti at Ajmer-sharif and offered Chaddar there, praying for a male child. Prince Saleem-Badshah Jahangeer was believed to have been born following the prayer.
If we look at this from the astrological angle, there are specific and definite yogas for the birth of children, which depend on the prarabdh (that portion of the accumulated Karma allotted for this birth ) and the planetary configuration at the time of the native's birth in this lifetime. That is why some couples remain childless. If there are
children, they are short-lived. Some couples have only sons, while some others have only daughters and they long for a son throughout their lives.
Today, modern science enables people to have children according to their preferences. But where was genetics thousands of years ago? Yet people in ancient India could have sons or daughters according to their needs and preferences.
According to ancient Indian Ayurveda, sexual activities undertaken on the fourth, sixth, eighth, tenth or twelfth day following the first day of the women's menstrual cycle would help in conceiving a son. For example, if the menstrual cycle of a woman begins on the seventh day of the month, the fourth day after the beginning of the menstrual cycle would be the eleventh day of the
month. This is the first auspicious day for a married couple for cohabitation for conception of a male child.
For conceiving daughters or female children, the cohabitation should ideally occur on the fifth, ninth and eleventh day following the commencement of the menstrual cycle. It is to be noted that the seventh day is considered inauspicious.
Karma and Planetary Configurations
Birth of a child is also decided largely on the basis of karmas -- virtuous deeds, sins or curses, and blessings earned in previous lives; and the planetary configuration at the time of birth. A clear and detailed description of this is given in the ancient Indian literature on astrology and other shastras. Even the determination of sex of the child is described on the basis of Aadhan Lagna. Nonetheless more research work in this area is needed.
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