Parents and conception.
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Maatrimaan Pitrimaan A'charyavaan Purusho Veda -
that man alone can become a great scholar who has had
the advantage of three good teachers, viz., father,
mother, and preceptor." Blessed is the family, most
fortunate is the child whose parents are godly and learned.
The mother's healthy influence on her children surpasses
that of everyone else. No other person can equal a mother
inn her love for her children, or in her anxiety for
explains the use of the word Matrimaan in the
above quotation, meaning thereby:-
"He alone is said to have a mother whose mother is devout
and learned." Blessed is the mother who never ceases
to impart to religious tone to the mind of her child
from the time of conception till his knowledge is perfected.
behoves both parents before, during, and after conception
to avoid the use of such foods and drinks as are intoxicating,
decomposed (Lit. - foul-smelling) non-nutritious, (Lit.
dry), and prejudicial to the growth of the intellect;
and use those articles that are productive of mental
tranquility, health, strength, intellect, energy and
good temper - qualities that go to make a man refined.
foods are milk, butter, sugar, cereals etc., - foods
and drinks that help to make the reproductive element
(both male and female) of the highest quality, free
from all faults and imperfections. They should follow
the rules of sexual intercourse, which are as follows:-
From the time of menstruation the 16th day following
is the proper time for (sexual intercourse) barring
the first four days and
*Maatrimaan Pitrimaan A'charyavaan
Purusho Veda - Shatapatha Brahmana. In the text the word
mata, i.e., mother precedes the word pita, i.e., father.
In the Sanskrit language and all vernaculars derived from
it, it is a invariable practice to use the word mata before
the word pita whenever they happen to come together. -Tr.
only this but the word "wife" comes before the word
"husband" and the name of the wife before that of the
wife before that of the husband. We speak of Sitaram
and not Ramsita. This shows in, what veneration the
female sex was held by the ancients. -Rama Deva.
11th and 13th of the (lunar) month; so that there are
altogther left ten nights out of which it is best to
choose one for sexual intercourse.
the 16th day there should be no sexual intercourse till
the return of the aforesaid period, or, in case of pregnancy
for one year. At the time of sexual intercourse husband
and wife should be perfectly healthy, mutually happy,
and free from sorrow. In the matter of diet and dress
they should follow the rules laid down by Charak
and Sushrut,* and in the matter of keeping each
other happy they ought to practice the system taught
conception the mother ought to be very careful as to
her diet and dress. Till the birth of the child those
articles only should be used as are productive of intellect,
strength, beauty, health, energy and mental tranquility,
and such other good qualities.
the child is born and its cord had been tied, it ought
to be bathed with scented water and Homa** performed
with scented clarified butter. The mother should also
be well looked after in the matter of bath, diet, etc.,
so that both mother and child may gradually gain in
health and strength. The child's mother or wet-nurse
should take such foods and drinks as are productive
of good qualities in the milk.
mother should suckle the child only for the first six
days, thereafter the wet-nurse; but the parents should
see that the wet-nurse gets good food and drink.
mother should suckle the child only for the first six
days, thereafter the wet-nurse; but the par4ents should
see that the wet-nurse gets good food and drink. If
the parents be too poor to afford a wet-nurse, cow's
or goat's milk diluted with an equal quantity of water
should be used; and such drugs as are productive of
intellect, energy, and health should be added to the
milk after being well soaked in pure water boiled, and
confinement the mother and the child should be removed
to another room, where the air is pure, and which is
well furnished with scented and beautiful things. They
should move about in a pure atmosphere. When neither
the wet-nurses nor milk (cow's or goat's) can e procured,
the parents should do what they think best at the time;
but they must remember the child's body is made up of
the elements derived from the body of the mother, which
fact accounts for the mother getting weaker after each
confinement. It is best, therefore, for the mother not
*Two great authorities on Medical
Science in Sanskrit.
**See chapter 3.
suckle her child. Plasters should be applied to the
breast that will soon dry up the milk, by following
this system the woman becomes strong again in about
two months. Till then the husband should have thorough
control over his passions, and thus preserve the reproductive
element. Those that will follow this plan will have
children of a superior order, enjoy long life, and continually
gain in strength and energy so that all their children
will be of a high mental calibre, strong, energetic,
and devout. The woman should have her reproductive organs
properly seen to, and the husband should practice continence.
The mother's instructions to a child.
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A mother should so instruct her children as to make
them refined in character and manners, and they should
never be allowed to misconduct themselves in any way.
When the child begins to speak, his mother should see
that he uses his tongue properly so as to pronounce
letters distinctly in the right place and with the right
amount of effort. For pronouncing the letter 'p' for
example, that right place is the lips and amount of
'effort' required is what is called Full.
speaking, vowels should be exactly timed- short, long,
or prolonged as the case may be. She should try to cultivate
a sweet, subdued and pretty voice in her child. In his
speech, letters, syllables, words, conjoined words and
stops should be distinctly discernible. When he begins
to talk and understand a little, he should be taught
how to address his superiors and inferiors, father,
mother, king and a learned man, and how to conduct himself
in their presence; so that he may never be slight in
company, but be always treated with respect. Parent
should endeavor to inculcate in the minds of their children
and intense desire for the love of knowledge, elevating
company, and control of the senses.
should avoid useless playing, crying, laughing and wrangling.
They should not give way to excess of pleasures and
sorrows, nor become completely engrossed in a thing.
Jealousy and malice they should not harbor. They should
never handle or rub the reproductive organs, as it causes
the loss of the reproductive element and, consequently
besides soiling the hand, leads to impotence.
parents should try, in every possible way, to develop
in their children such sterling qualities as truthfulness,
heroism, patience, cheerfulness, etc. When children
attain to the age of 5 years they should be taught the
Sanskrit Alphabet, as well as that of foreign languages;
thereafter the parents should make them
and learn by rote such verses ( Vedic), poetical pieces,
aphorisms, prose passages, etc. as are full of good
precepts, inculcate truth and virtue, love of knowledge
and God; and give advice as to the general behavior
towards father, mother, sister and other relatives,
friends, teachers and other learned men, guests, king,
fellow-subjects and servants, sot that they may not,
as they grow up, be duped by any unprincipled person.
should also counsel then against all things that lead
to superstition, and are opposed to true religion and
science, so that they may never give credence to such
imaginary things as ghosts (Bhuts) and spirits (Preta).
(in Sanskrit) really means a dead body, and Bhuta
means who is deceased.
support of this contention we quote Manu:-
"After his death, the pupil who helps in cremating his
teacher's Preta is purified in ten days together
with other people who carry the Preta in the
crematorium." * MANU 5: 65.
is clear, then, that Preta in the above quotation
cannot mean anything else but the dead body. After the
body has been cremated, the dead person is spoken of
as Bhuta i.e. deceased - one who lived but does
not live now. All those that are born and cease to breathe
after having lived in the present are spoken of as Bhutashth
i.e. deceased. Such has been the belief of all learned
men from Brahman to the present day.
we do not wonder that one, who is ignorance-ridden,
superstitious, and associates with low people, is constantly
troubled by all sorts of ghosts, spirits, and devils,
in the shape of fear and doubt. When a person dies,
his soul, by according to their nature, in pleasure
and pain. Breathes there is man who can undo this eternal
law of God.?
ignorant of the principles of Medical and Physical Sciences
look upon persons afflicted with the physical and mental
diseases, such as high fever and lunacy, as possessed
of devils (Bhut and Preta). But instead of having such
persons treated medically,
*This verse from Manu had quoted
by the author for the sole object of supporting his statement
regarding the meaning of the word Preta. But it does not
follow that the author believes in the superstition inculcated
by the verse which is clearly and interpolation in Manu.
properly, otherwise cared for, they trust them to such
rogues, scoundrels, cheats, idiots, profligates and
extremely low, selfish, despicable and dirty charlatans
as victimized them by their trickery, quackery, so-called
charms, and magic incantations. They waste their money
and bring misery and suffering on their children by
the increase of disease.
these people who really have 'more money than brains'
go to those ignorant, wicked and mean rascals and say
to them "Sirs would you kindly tell us what is wrong
with such and such a person or child"? They answered
this:-He is possessed with a big devil or ghost, Bhairava
(God of drink) or Shitala (goddess of small-pox).
It will never leave him unless you adopt proper means
for its removal. It may even take his life, but if you
offer us a round sum, or give us a round sum, or give
us a present, we will exercise the devil out of him
by incantations, recitation of magical formulae and
those ignoramuses and their friends say "Please Sirs,
cure him thought it may cost us our last penny". On
this the rogues feel triumphant and say " Well bring
us such and such material, our fee, offerings to the
God, and presents to ward off the influence of unlucky
they sing, beat upon drums play on castanels, cymbal,
etc., in front of the man who is supposed to be possessed
of a devil; by and by, one of those scoundrels begins
to dance and skip about as if in a fit of madness and
says" I will even take his life" and the ignoramuses
fall at the feet of that mean rascal, saying "O! save
him Sir! Save him. You shall have anything you like".
Upon this the rogue says " I am Hanuman8; briing me
my offerings - sweets, oil, a basket of loaves and a
red dress." Or " I am God, or Bhairava, bring
me five bottles of liquor, twenty fowls, five goats,
sweets and clothes", and when these dupes answer " You
shall have anything you like" - the rogue begins to
skip about and dance still more. But if a sensible man
were to give them an offering of a good thrashing or
shoe-beating, kicking or smacking on the face instead,
their Hanuman God or Bhairava is at once
propitiated, and they immediately take their heels a
all this quackery is simply meant for robbing the simpletons
of their journey.
*In Hindu Mythology the monkey-God
who helped Rama - the incarnation of Vishnu to defeat
Ravana - the Rakshash king of Sri Lanka. He was a historic
person who was afterwards defied. He was a brave and learned
man - well read in the Vedas - who was commander-in-chief
of Rama's forces. Rama Deva.
when these ignorant people go to an astrologer and say
" O Sir! What is wrong with this person'? He replies
"The sun and other stars are maleficent to him. If you
were to perform a propitiatory ceremony, or have magic
formulas chanted, or prayers said, or specific acts
of charity done, he will recover. Otherwise I should
not be surprised, even if he were to lose his life after
a long period of suffering."
~ Well, Mr. Astrologer, you know, the sun and other
stars are but inanimate things like this earth of ours.
They can do nothing but give light, heat, etc. Do you
take them for conscious being possessed of human passions,
of pleasure and anger, that when offended, bring on
pain and misery, and when propitiated, bestow happiness
on human beings?
~ Is it not through the influence of stars, then, that
some people are rich and others poor, some are rulers,
whilst other are their subjects?
~ No, it is all the result of their deeds….good or bad.
Ast. ~ Is the Science of stars untrue then?
Inq. ~ No, that part of it which comprises Arithmetic,
Algebra, Geometry, etc., and which goes by the name
of Astronomy is true; but the other part that treats
of the influence of stars on human beings and their
actions and goes by the name of Astrology is all false.
~ Is then the horoscope of no value?
Inq. ~ No, and it should be named not horoscope, but
death-knell of happiness; because the birth of a child
gladdens every heart in the family, but this happiness
lasts only so long as the horoscope is not cast, and
the aspect of the planets is not read out to the parents.
the priest, after the birth of the child, suggests the
casting of a horoscope, his parents say to him. "Oh,
Sir! Cast a ver good horoscope." Then the astrologer
brings the horoscope, well bespangled with red and yellow
lines if they be rich, or a plain one if they be poor.
They ask him if the aspect is beneficent. He answers
"I will read it out to you as it is; his stars of nativity
are good, and so are the stars that govern the relation
of social intercourse, consequently he will be a rich
man and will make a name for himself; he will command
respect among his associates; will have
health; and be a ruler among men." Upon hearing this,
the parents say "Well done Sir! Well done! You are a
very nice man."
Astrologer things it would not pay him to say nice things
only, so he adds "These are all his lucky stars, but
there are others that maleficent. On account of the
position of such and such stars he will meet with his
death in his 8th year." On learning this, all their
happiness is converted into great distress, and they
to the Astrologer "Oh Sir! What shall we do? What shall
we do now?" The astrologer answers " Propitiate the
stars. They ask "How can we do it?" He says " Do such
and such an act of charity, have the hymns relating
to the stars chanted, fee the priests, and it is very
likely that the maleficence of the stars will be warded
qualifying words very likely have been used by the way
of precaution, because, if the child died he could say
" How could I help it? I cannot override the will of
God. I did my utmost and so did you, but it was so ordained
from the first on account of his misdeeds in the previous
life." But, if the child lived he could say "Behold
the power of our incantations, gods and priests; I have
saved the life of your child." But really, if their
incantations and prayers fail, and the child dies, these
rogues should be made to pay double or treble the money
given to them, and if the child lives, they should still
be made to pay because, as they themselves say, there
is not soul living that can undo the law of God or evade
the consequences of one's deeds.
can say to them "This child has survived in consequence
of his deeds, and according to the laws of God, and
not through your help." The same answer should be given
to Gurus (so-called spiritual fathers or teachers),
who prescribe certain acts of charity to their dupes
and then appropriate the gifts themselves, as has been
given to the astrologers above.
a word about Shitla* and Charms. These are nothing
but downright frauds and quackery. Should any one say:
"If I were to give a charmed bangle or locket to any
person, my God or saint would ward off all evils from
him through the power of the charm or of incantations."
To such a person the following questions should be put:
"Can you by your charms evade death, or the laws of
God, or the consequences of your deeds? Many a child
dies in spite of your charms and incantations; ay, even
your own children die; why
*Small pox, -It is looked upon
as a goddess by the superstitious people in India.
you save them? Will you be able to save yourself from
death?" These questions, that rascal and his fraternity
can never answer, and they soon find that the game is
not worth the candle.
it behoves all to do away with all kinds of false and
superstitious practices and do all in their power to
promote, in return for their services, the welfare of
those pious, learned men, who are devoted to their country
and are altruistic teachers of humanity, teaching and
preaching to all without the least amount of hypocrisy.
alchemists, magicians, sorcerers, wizards, spiritists,
etc. are cheats and all their practices should be looked
upon as nothing but downright fraud. Young people should
be well counseled against all these frauds, in their
very childhood, so that they may not suffer through
being duped by any unprincipled person.
should also be taught that the preservation of the reproductive
element begets happiness and its loss the reverse. He,
in whose body, it is well preserved, gains in health,
strength, energy and intellect; and consequently feels
happy. The only way to preserve it is to keep aloof
from hearing and reading obscene literature; associating
with libidinous people, indulging in lascivious thoughts;
looking upon women (with an eye of lust); engaging in
conversation with them; embracing or having sexual intercourse
with them. Children should be taught to lead a pure
and virtuous life; and devote themselves to the acquisition
of perfect knowledge and culture.
in whose body the reproductive element is nor preserved,
becomes impotent, void of good qualities, and suffers
from spermatorrhoea and such like diseases. He is, in
fact, a ruined man, through loss of health, strength,
intellect, courage, pluck, energy, patience and such
other good qualities. Parents should not neglect to
impress upon their children that, if they fail to acquire
knowledge and wisdom, and preserve the reproductive
element when young, they will never have again another
chance like this in this life.
must bear in mind that it is only so long as the parents
are alive, and able to look after the household, that
they can prosecute their studies, and perfect their
bodies. Both the father and the mother should also advise
them regarding other necessary matters. This is the
reason the words, Matriman and Pitriman,
appear in the quotation heading this chapter. The mother
should instruct them from birth to the 5th year, and
the father from the 6th to the 8th.
Tutoring and reprimanding.
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of the 9th year Dwijas* should, after their Upnayan**
ceremony has been performed, send them to school (Acharyakul),***
where the teachers are thorough scholars, imbued with
piety and well, versed in all the sciences. Shudras
should also send their children to school, but without
performing their Upnayan>
children alone become well-behaved, refined, and scholarly,
whose parents do not indulge them; but on the other
hand, always reprimand them when necessary. Says Patanjili,
in his Mahabhashya:-
parents and tutors who are not slow to reprimand their
children and pupils ( when needed) are as if giving
them a drink of immortality; but those who indulge them
are , in fact, giving them poison, and are thus the
cause of their ruin, because indulgence spoils children,
whilst (occasional) reproof develops good qualities
in them." MAHABHASHYA 8: 18.
should also feel pleased when reprimanded, and feel
uneasy when fondled. But parents and teachers should
never reprimand them out of malice or spite. Outwardly
they should keep them in awe; whilst inwardly they should
be tender hearted and kind to them. Likewise they should
advise them to abstain from stealing, sexual abuse,
contracting habits of indolence, arrogance, drunkenness
untruthfulness, malevolence, wickedness, malice, jealousy,
blind passion; and to cultivate good qualities, such
as, truthfulness, virtue.
*Persons of the three upper classes
are called Dwijas or the twice-born because of their rebirth
through the acquisition of knowledge and culture. First
is the physical birth, whilst the 2nd is their spiritual
birth. The three upper classes are : Brahmans, Kshatryas
and Vaishayas. The reader is referred to the 4th chapter,
for detailed information regarding this subject. -Tr.
**The ceremony of initiation into
knowledge; it is performed just before a student leaves
home for the seminary: in this ceremony he has to take
vows of living a chaste life, of truthfulness, of devotion
to studies, etc. -Tr.
***A'charyakula is the academy
for the education of the children of all Classes. In this
institution the teacher is not a mere tutor, he also loco
This system of education has been revived after the author
's death by his followers. There are at present three
Gurukulas or residential colleges for teaching the Vedas
conducted on these lines. The biggest is at Kangri, Haridwar.
It teaches up to the degree standard and has trained out
many graduates. The second one is at Brindaban. It teaches
up to the Degree standard. The third one is at Deolali
in the Bombay Presidency. - Ram Dev.
a person has committed theft or sexual abuse or has
spoken an untruth in your presence you can never respect
or trust him any more. A broken pledge injures a man's
character more than anything else. Therefore, once you
make a promise, keep it; suppose you say to a man; "
I will meet you at such and such a place or time" or
" I will give you such and such a thing, at such and
such a time"; but always keep your promise; otherwise
no one will ever trust you. All should, therefore, speak
the truth and keep their word.
should never be vain. Deceitfulness, hypocrisy, and
ingratitude are painful even to the soul that harbors
them. How much more so then to others? It is hypocrisy
to believe one thing and say another, and thus mislead
people in order to gain selfish ends. Ingratitude is
that condition of mind in which you do not feel thankful
to one who has been good and kind to you.
child should not lose his temper, or say a rude word;
he should rather cultivate a speech that is pacific
and sweet. He should avoid useless talk, and speak only
as much as is necessary, neither more nor less. He should
respect his superiors. At their approach, a child should
stand and salute them, and offer them the best seat
an assembly, each person should occupy a seat in accordance
with his rank and position, so that he may never have
to suffer the indignity of having to yield his seat
to another. He should never bear malice towards any
one. He should try to acquire virtues and shun vices;
associate with the good and avoid the wicked. Father,
mother and tutor, a child should serve with all his
capabilities and resources, all his heart, and all his
"Fathers, mothers, and tutors should always give their
children and students good counsel and they should also
advise them to imbibe their virtues but avoid their
vices." TAITREYA UPANISHAD 7:2.
should always speak the truth, and should never trust
a hypocrite or a man of low character. They should obey
their parents and tutors in all things that are good.
Tutors should help their pupils to revise all that their
parents had taught them at home, the Vedic mantras,
aphorisms, poetical pieces and prose , passages, inculcating
the love of righteousness, knowledge, and
character. They should understand the nature and attributes
of God* and worship Him accordingly.
dress and diet.
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In the matter of dress and diet, they should so conduct
themselves as to gain in health, strength and general
behavior, and knowledge. They should eat a little short
of their appetite, and abstain from animal diet and
spirituous liquors. They should never enter deep water
lest they be attacked by dangerous creatures ( such
as, crocodiles), or even drowned, if they be unable
to swim. Therefore, says Manu - "Never bathe in water
of unknown depth".
the general conduct of life the same sage has said:-
"Look down while you walk. Filter your water before
you drink it. Speak in accordance with truth. Think
well before you act." MANU 6: 46.
another poet :-
who neglect the education of their child are his veritable
enemies. In company, he is like a goose among swans."
give their children the highest education possible, to
instruct them in the ways of truth, to make them refined
in character and manners, in short to devote all their
resources, body and mind, to accomplish this object is
the paramount duty, the highest virtue, and the glory
*As taught in the first chapter.
OF CHAPTER 2.