Bhagawatam 164: Due to intolerable suffering the growing fetus prays to the Lord for relief

Maharishi Kapila continued,

“Daivenāsāditaṁ tasya śamalaṁ niraye pumān

Bhuṅkte kuumba-poasya hṛta-vitta ivātura 

The person who walks on the path of adharma (unrighteousness) ultimately grieves as miserably as a person who has lost everything. The Supreme Lord ensures that the person who has maintained his family through unrighteous means suffers for these sinful deeds in the form of severe punishments in hell.

The person who relies purely on unrighteous or illegal activities to maintain his family reaches the worst portion of hell known as Andha-tāmiśra. The sinner experiences the worst possible punishments here.

After completing his suffering in hell, he will take birth again as animal and other lower forms of life and then gradually through purification, he progresses to human birth” said Kapila Maharishi.

With this the thirtieth chapter of the third canto comes to an end.

Third Canto Chapter Thirty-one

In this chapter, acquiring human birth as a result of the combination of merits and sins is explained.

Kapila Maharishi continued, “O Mother! Based on the Lord’s will and in accordance with his own past fruitive actions, the being is ordered to take human birth. He takes shelter in a cell of the semen of a particular man and through it enters into the womb of a woman.

On the first night, the being that has entered his mother’s womb, will be in a form which is a mixture of two cells.  By the fifth night it converts into a bubble. By the tenth day it hardens and is the size of a plum. Thereafter it transforms into a small ball of flesh.

By the end of the first month, head is formed. At the end of two months, hands, legs and other limbs begin to form. By the end of three months, nails, fingers, toes, hair, bones, skin and sense organs manifest.

In the fourth month, bone marrow and the other six primary body building components (dhātus) will form. By the time the fetus is 5 months old, he begins to experience hunger and thirst. In the sixth month skin and the innermost membrane known as amnion are formed. Within the womb the fetus turns towards the left. With the help of the food and water consumed by the mother, its dhatus are nourished.

In the womb, fetus lives amidst stools and urine. This place is infested by worms. Living in these despicable places he suffers horribly.

The worms repeatedly bite his delicate skin every second. Unable to withstand this pain he swoons every second. The sour, salty and spicy food consumed by the mother, reach the fetus and due to these in every organ he experiences agonizing pain and suffers horribly.

Within the womb, the fetus is covered with the membrane called amnion and outside by the intestines. He suffers with shortage of space. Retaining his head within the womb, he bends his neck and back. Like a bird in a cage, he is stuck and unable to move his limbs properly. He has no freedom.

At such hour, due to the Lord’s will, the fetus regains the memory of all its past births. Recollecting his varied actions across the many past births, for a long time he is shocked and then he laments. What happiness can he obtain in such condition, tell me?

From the seventh month the fetus is conscious. However due to the pressure of the winds preceding delivery he is tossed about here and there. Just like the worm that exists alongside him, he too cannot remain at one place.

Due to the knowledge of his previous births, he who is now bound to this gross body composed of the seven components begins to dread these worldly bondages. Folding his palms, piteously he prays to the Lord who had put him into this womb. He pleads,

“In order to protect this world that has sought shelter in Him, the Lord out of His free will, incarnates in numerous forms on earth. For all living beings on earth, His feet are the sole refuge. I surrender to such lotus feet.

As I am wicked He has awarded me this punishment of living in a womb. Nature undergoes transformation and manifests as body, senses and mind. The individual being mistakenly considers himself to be the body and senses. Due to this misconception he gets involved in actions. He then obtains bodies that are in accordance to his merits and sins and gets imprisoned within a mother’s womb. I offer obeisance to that Supreme Lord, who is unbound and is without a carrier.

That Supreme Lord, who is devoid of birth and other transformations, shines resplendently within my heart, which is presently undergoing severe turmoil. To Him, who is an embodiment of knowledge (jnana), differences such as knower and known do not exist.

Yaḥ pañca-bhūta-racite rahitaḥ śarīre cchanno ’yathendriya-guṇārtha-cid-ātmako ’ham

Tenāvikuṇṭha-mahimānam ṛṣi tam enaṁ vande paraṁ prakti-pūruayo pumāsam

The activities of Nature and its attributes (trigunas) manifest as the 5 gross elements. In reality I am unconnected with this body created by Nature. Nor am I connected with the senses, or with sound and other sense perceptions or with ahamkara (sense of I-ness) that reflects within the mind. However due to my false belief that I am connected to them, I am actually getting bound to them. I offer my obeisance to that Lord who is of unquestionable repute. He is beyond Nature (Prakriti)”.

Padmanābhāya namah


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