Bhagawatam 165: The prayer of the suffering fetus; pains undergone during birth and infancy

Sankarśanāya namah

The 10-month fetus continues to pray, “Either because of the influence of the trigunās (sattva, rajas and tamo gunas) or because of actions which arise from these trigunās, the living entity is tightly bound to this samsāra i.e. unending flow of repeated births and deaths. Due to the Lord’s illusory power he forgets his real form. Facing unimaginable difficulties he traverses this path of samsara.

Except for the grace of the Lord, there is no other method by which this bonded being can ever realize his true form!

O Lord, at this point of time the past, present and future are clearly visible to me. Who has blessed me with this knowledge? That Supreme Lord, who resides as the inner Self within all moving and non-moving entities in the creation, has alone blessed me with this knowledge!

The living entity treads on the path carved out for him based on the results of his past fruitive actions. I, who belong to that category, am serving the Lord in order to relieve myself from the three types of afflictions.

O Supreme Lord! I, who have taken on a body, am struck within the womb of another living being who has also taken on a body and who is addressed as mother. Here I am trapped in the well consisting of blood, mucus, urine and feces. The gastric fire here torments me badly. My mind feels helpless and miserable. When will I get out of this torture? I am counting the days for my release from here. When will you help me, O Lord? When will You rescue me?

Yenedṛśīṁ gatim asau daśa-māsya īśa Saṅgrāhita puru-dayena bhavādśena

Svenaiva tuṣyatu ktena sa dīna-nāthaḥ Ko nāma tat-prati vināñjalim asya kuryāt

O Supreme Lord! I am only a helpless 10 month old fetus. Nevertheless, due to your limitless mercy you have granted me the knowledge of all my previous births. O Lord! You have no equal!  You are the ruler for all weak and helpless beings. May this kindness that You have shown bring joy to You! Except for joining the palms and praying, is there any other way in which I can express my gratitude towards You, O Lord?

Birds and other living beings are totally bound to this gross body made up of the seven components (dhatus). They experience only happiness and sorrows connected to their body. However the Supreme Lord has with his grace bestowed me with discriminatory intelligence.

The Self (atma) is the refuge for ahamkara (sense of I-ness). I am the Lord who, in the form of knowledge, shines as the Self. I can perceive this directly as well as invisibly. That eternal Self (atma) Himself illumines externally as the waking state!

So ’haṁ vasann api vibho bahu-duḥkha-vāsaṁ

Garbhān na nirjigamiṣe bahir andha-kūpe

Yatro-payātam upasarpati deva-māyā

Mithyā matir yad-anu saṁsti-cakram etat

O Lord! In this womb I am suffering miserably in the worst possible conditions. Even then I do not seek to exit from here and enter into the well known as the world as it is filled with darkness and ignorance. Your power of illusion will envelop me as soon as I enter that world. Hence I do not wish to go there. False ego will hold me tightly in its grip. I will thus fall into the wheel of repeated births and deaths and rotate endlessly.

Therefore I will now give up my sorrow. Using my intellect I will henceforth focus exclusively upon the feet of Lord Srihari in my heart. This alone will bring about my welfare! With this very quickly I will exit from this dark well known as repeated births and deaths. Then this sorrow called re-entering into a gross body, which is made up of 9 holes, will not arise to me”. In this way, the fetus implores and prays.

Maharishi Kapila continued, “O Mother! The 10 month fetus, with his discriminatory intelligence firmly decides to meditate upon the Supreme Lord and uplift himself. Ironically at that time, the winds that aid in child birth push the fetus and cause him to become downward facing, preparing him for birth.

During labor, the fetus is severely tormented due to the pressure of these winds. With his head tilted down he pushes and with great difficulty enters into this world. He becomes breathless. The memory of the past births is now erased. He falls down along with blood and urine and wriggles in them like a worm. Due to lack of supreme knowledge, he considers himself to be the body and he cries loudly.

The mother does not understand the mind of her new born. He now has to be raised by persons who do not understand his requirements. Not having the capacity to refuse, he has to accept that which is being thrust upon him forcibly and hence he wails all the time.

He has to sleep in dirty cots wherein bedbugs and other tiny insects bite him. He does not know to scratch and relieve himself of that itch. He does not even know how to sit, stand, rollover or move. When bedbugs, mosquitoes and others insects bite his tender skin, unable to protect himself he constantly cries.

Consequently, infancy and childhood constitute a period of suffering. During youth, when his desires are not fulfilled he boils in anger. He is now subjected to even more sorrows.

To the being, who has taken on a human form, at every stage there is only unhappiness and sorrows. Irrespective of whether he is aware or unaware of the reason behind his troubles, sorrow is inevitable. If that supreme knowledge, which he had in the last month of pregnancy, were to arise in him now even for a second, it would bestow wonderful results. But it doesn’t happen.

Sankarśanāya namah

Permanent link to this article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Forgot Password?

Join Us

Password Reset
Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.