Sunday, March 19, 2017

Details of Embryology in Bhagavad Purana

Embryology described by Indian sages two millions year ago?
Various stages of embryo development are discussed in details in many ancient texts, some of which predates as much as thousands of years. One of the best descriptions on embryo development was presented by Lord kapila two millions year ago. Lord kapila,Son of Kardama Muni and Devahuti , is believed to be the incarnation of lord Krishna in Satya-yuga.

Having said that, Let us see the various verses that details out the embryology in Bhagavad Purana. All of the below stats taken from Bhagavad Purana are proved by modern scientists in scientific laboratories.

1st month
According to Bhagavad Purana, the sperm that entered the ovum on the first night turns into a big bubble.

One of these thousands of sperms forms a bubble
This bubble increases gradually to form a plum at the tenth night and then slowly develops to take a form of an egg or lump of flesh. Head of the baby develops in this egg at the end of one month. This is in sync with scientific estimate of 30-32 days for the formation of head inside the embryo of the mother.

2nd month
Bhagavad Purana states the development of hands, feet and limbs. Depression of Olfactory placodes stimulates the development of olfactory pits during the fifth month of pregnancy. Then, Maxillary and lateral processes convert olfactory pits into nasal cavities.

3rd month
In third month of pregnancy, other parts of the body primarily the lower and upper extremities develops inside the embryo. Toes, fingers, Nails, hair, bones, skin and other apertures in the body like Mouth, Anus, ears, nostrils, and eyes appear by the end of third month.

Two function of each sensory organ?
Not only Bhagavad Purana states the formation of body organs, it also states the sequence of development of these body organs. First the mouth is formed, then nostrils followed by eyes and then ears. Science normally associate only one function to ears i.e hearing sound but Bhagavad Purana attributes two
functions to ears, first is the recognition of sound and second is of finding directions. These two functions of ears are also mentioned in Aitereya Upanishad (7000-6000 BC). In 1936, Tait and Ross proved with their research that directions are recognized by the labyrinth, an organ situated very close to internal ears. Similarly, two functions are also attributed to all other four sensory organs. Nose smells and performs the breathing process. Eyes see and maintain the luster of energy. Modern science does not talk about the energy storage capability of eyes though it can be scientifically proved. We don’t have to ask science to confirm these facts. Just look at the eyes of any energetic or intelligent person. Shine in their eyes reflects the amount of energy stored in them. On the other side, check for the shine of the eyes in an ill or dull person.

Tongue along with its muscles and Laryngo-tracheal tube develops in the respiratory and Larynx organs. Modern science proves the Bhagavad Purana view of simultaneous development of tongue, palate, nostrils and larynx post the establishment of mouth. Further, Bhagavad Purana talks about the development of heart after the development of anus and both extremities. Using ultrasonic Doppler experiment, Dr. H.P.Robinson proved the formation of heart at the end of third month. Shockingly, Bhagavad Purana also talks about the sexual organs. After the formation of genitals, Linga(Anus) is formed and then main sexual organ, penis(for male) or Utero-vaginal canal(for female) are formed at the end of third month.

4th month
Bhagavad Purana states the formation of seven dhatus(tissues) by the end of fourth month. These seven tissues are Rakta (blood), Rasa (tissue fluids), Asthi (bones), Snayu (muscles), Shukra(reproductive tissue), Majja (nervous tissue) and Meda (fatty tissue).

5th month
Bhagavad Purana states the development of hunger and thirst at the end of 5th month. Fetus gradually grows consuming the nourishment provided by the mother embryo. Modern science does not confirm this fact but do talk about the nourishment taken from the mother embryo as follows. The sqamous epithelial cells and Lanugo hairs present inside the meconium (fecal matter), broadly spread across the gut right from Duodenum to Rectum, continuously strive to reach the intestine of the fetus. Only way for sqamous epithelial cells and Lanugo hairs to arrive at the intestine of the fetus is by the consumption of amniotic fluid that lies outside the fetus. Lanugo hairs and sqamous epithelial cells falls from the covering of the fetus into the amniotic fluid and after the drinking of amniotic fluid by the baby in the fetus, these cells and hairs reaches the intestine of the fetus. Drinking of amniotic fluid by the fetus indicates the feeling of hunger and thirst.

6th month
Fetus, enclosed within the amnion (coverings) rotates inside the womb to finally reach the right side of the mother abdomen.

7th month
At this stage, bhagavata purana states something that the science may never be able to confirm. It states that the soul (baby inside the embryo) remembers all his past lives and receives knowledge about the present life in the seventh month of pregnancy. This sound like absolute nonsense and you may be starching your head by now but may be in future, Electro-encephalographic experimentation of the embryo may reveal this verse as true just like the other verses of bhagvata purana has been proven true. This fact is further reinstated in Mahabharata where the mighty warrior abhimanyu learns the skill of military warfare (chakravyuh) narrated by father ‘Arjuna’, while he was inside the womb of his mother in the seventh month of pregnancy.

Furthermore, Bhagavad purana states the functioning of brain at the end of seventh month. Also, it states that fetus lies in the dirt created by urine and feces of its own inside the uterus

8th month
Nothing is stated about the eight month in details except that the fetus lies with the back and legs in total flexion of its head.

9th month
bhagavata purana states ‘Fetus inside the body do not respire, instead it takes oxygen and nourishment from the mother’. This is scientifically true as the fetus does not breathe and takes nourishment from the amniotic fluid.

10th month
Kapil muni states that at the start of tenth month, fetus is forced down by Prasooti Vayu(air pushed by mother through her internal passage). Because of lot of pain and troubles, fetus (soul) loses its past memory remembered at the seventh month of pregnancy (discussed above). Science cannot confirm this fact but do say that at the time of delivery, the head of the baby is compressed so much that the brain (if have some memory) will lose all its memory. It’s a scientific fact that the compression and concussion of an adult brain results in memory loss.

Let us discuss some important parts of ayurvedic scriptures like Garbhopanishad and charaka samhita, discribing embryology.

Science of embryology in Ancient Vedic scriptures
Science of embryo development from the initial stages of ovum fertilization to fetus stage is called embryology. Upanishads, Garbhopanishad, has precise detailed information on embryology, matching very closely with modern scientific embryology, excluding some details still unknown to modern science.

Spiritual part of embryology
Brahma-samhita and srimad bhagvatam, it is declared that the Supreme Soul not only enters each and every universe created by him, but also enters every single atom of each universe. The same concept is the basis to embryo development where the part of the supreme soul(Atman) enters the embryo of the mother in the dormant stage of pregnancy .

“Under the supervision of the Supreme Lord and according to the result of his work the living entity, the soul, is made to enter into the womb of a women through the particle of the men semen to assume a particular type of body.”-srimad bhagvatam

Detail vedic embryology - According to Vedanta the manifestation of life begins from the moment of conception. Life first enters the semen of the male and is injected into a womb of a woman. Aristotle(384 - 322 BC) was the first westerners to describe the concept of embryology but his research was very limited compared to the literary description mentioned in Mahabharata(>30000 BC), srimad bhagvatam(>30000 BC) and Bhagavad Purana(>30000 BC). Ancient rishi used the term Raj to indicate ovum and Reta to indicate sperm (ovum). In bhagavad purana, the same were known as Shukra(sperm) and Sonitum(ovum). The fertilized egg formed by the copulation process was termed as ‘Kalala’, known in modern science as fertilized ovum or ‘Zygote’. It further states ‘Kalala’ is formed within 12 hours after copulation. The same is confirmed by science which measured the formation of egg in few hours, after its release from ovary.

Components of embryo
Embryo or body features comprises of five elements of nature (Pancha maha bhutas)
Components from Prithvi (earth): Hair, Smell, Heaviness, Stability, Structure, Organ of smell perception, Bones.
Components from Agni (fire): Body temperature, Form, Organ of vision, Metabolism, Metabolic enzymes, Brightness or sharpness, Aura. Components from Vayu (air): Organ of tactile sensation, Activity of body, Formation and transportation of dhatus, Sense of touch, Expiration. Components from Jala (water): Coldness, Organ of taste perception, Taste, Softness, Moisture and body fluids, Fat, Unctuousness, Semen, Blood, Urine.

Senses from Akasa (space): Auditory system, Sense of sound, Division, Channels, Lightness, Orifices Minuteness.
Body features from parents
Intensity of features inherited from parents depend upon the gender of the unborn child

Components from father: Beard and moustache, Nail, Hair, Bones, Tendons, Veins, Arteries, Semen, Teeth.
Components from mother: Muscles, Fat, Kidney, Pancreas, Spleen, Urinary bladder, Bone marrow, Skin, Liver, Stomach, Blood, Rectum, Intestines, Heart.

Components derived from Atma (soul): Knowledge about oneself, Happiness, sadness, emotions, Birth in specific species, Appearance.

Body features from nature (surroundings)
Components from Satva (mental faculty): Consciousness, Determination, Pride, Endeavour, Memory, Knowledge and Longevity.

Components from Satmya (habituation): life, living style of parents and sibling, Natural immunity, refined intelligence and function, Absence of idleness, Freedom from diseases, Longevity, Absence of greediness, Strength or energy.
Components derived from Rasa (food): Growth of body, Origin of body, Nourishment, Health, Formation of various body parts, Enthusiasm or zeal, Attachment to life, Energy or strength, Contentment, Complexion.

Fetal nourishment
Connected to maternal “rasavaha-nadi”, the umbilical cord provides the crux of mother’s diet to the child forming inside fetus. Child gets the vital nutrients for its sustenance from Upasneha (Moisture inside fetus) that runs obliquely along all his/her body parts. This continues since conception till the parts of child is fully formed inside embryo.

Phases of embryo formation

1st month: Embryo takes the shape of kalala(random or irregular form)

2nd month: Five elements of nature combines together to form the solid mass inside embryo. Sex of the child can be predicted at this stage. If the shape of the solid mass is elongated, baby is female, male if oval and hermaphrodite if the shape of the solid mass is round Oval mass means male child

3rd month: Sense organs and body parts of the child starts developing inside fetus.

4th month: Formation of different body parts like thorax, abdomen becomes stable and conspicuous. Heart is formed and hence, the Consciousness manifests inside the embryo. Character and behavior of the child is determined by the preference of taste and food the mother asks for during this period of pregnancy. If the preference and desires of mother is not met, the unborn child may undergo dwarfism, kyphosis, squint, or other congenital defects

5th month: Mind is developed and hence the increase in mental consciousness.

6th month: Mind becomes more developed. Hair, nails, veins and other similar organs develop in this month

7th month: All minor and major parts of the body becomes fully developed or almost conspicuous

8th month: Immaturity of fetus keeps the ojas(Vigor or energy) unstable. Ojas moves from fetus to mother and vice versa through fluid carrying channels. This movement of Ojas inside the fetus provides pain, itchiness or happiness to the mother alternately.

Source : Decoding Hinduism

The sole purpose of these blogs is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained doctor/health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic expert, call us or e mail. 
Dr Unnati Chavda 
(Promoting pregnancy wellness)