Charaka Shareera Sthana 2nd Chapter Athulya Gotriya Shareeram

2nd chapter of Charaka Shareera sthana deals on the development of embryo caused by the union of males and females of mutually different clan. The chapter name is Atuly Ggotriyam Shareeram.

We shall now explore the chapter on the development of embryo caused by the union of males and females of mutually different clan. Thus said Lord Atreya. [1-2]

Query about semen
When a man belonging to a different clan cohabits in a lonely place with a woman after her menstruation, the man ejaculates something composed of four Mahabhutas (elements of nature), has six tastes, and which results in conception in a woman. What is it? [3]

Composition of semen

This thing which is implanted for the formation of embryo is known as Sukra or semen / sperm. This is composed of wind, fire, water and earth elements in the state of their excellence. All these factors individually share one fourth of the attributes of each of the Mahabhutas. Semen is also formed from the food comprising of all the 6 tastes in balanced proportions. [4]
Read – Shukra Sara Purusha Lakshanas – Person With Enriched Reproductive Tissue

Queries about embryo
What are the factors responsible for the development of the body of the embryo in its entirety? How does the delivery of the child take place in proper time? How does the delivery take place with ease? Why does conception delays even in a fertile woman? Why does the foetus get destroyed after its formation? [5]

Factors responsible for easy delivery of a healthy foetus etc

The fetus gets delivered easily in time in its well developed form and without any pain, if

  • the sperms are not contaminated and are enriched with good quality,
  • the ovum is healthy and of good quality,
  • the soul adorned with the effects of good deeds done in the previous births rearing to get associated with the zygote
  • the uterus is health and in excellent condition to accept conception of the child
  • conception taking place in the fertile period and
  • when the woman takes wholesome diet and lifestyle activities during the period of pregnancy which ensures proper nourishment of the fetus

Even in a fertile woman, there is delay in conception because of

  • the defects in the uterus – diseases of vagina and uterus,
  • mental afflictions, and
  • defects in sperms or ovum,
  • improper / inadequate diet and regimens,
  • union / conception in inappropriate time (infertile period) and
  • weakness of the body of the woman as caused by diseases, consumption of less / inadequate food or malnutrition
    Read – Conception And Formation Of Fetus As Per Ayurveda

When the flow of menstrual blood in a woman gets obstructed by the vitiated vata, the blood gradually gets accumulated in the uterus and produces signs of pregnancy. The ignorant consider it as real pregnancy.
Due to exposure to fire and the sun, exhaustion, grief, affliction with disease and intake of hot diet and drinks, the blood which has accumulated in the uterus starts flowing again. Seeing this and since the foetal parts are not found some people declare that the foetus has been taken away by evil spirits who move at night time and feed on ojus i.e. essence of all the tissues of the body.
Because parts of the foetus are not found there, some people say that the foetus has been takeout by the evil spirits who move in nights and live on ojas. Further, if the evil spirit can take away the foetus, having obtained entrance into the mother’s body, it could have easily eaten Ojas in her body leading to her death also. Therefore it is illogical to tell that the fetus has been taken away by the evil spirits. [6-10]
Read – Diet And Lifestyle For Women In Ayurveda

Query about the sex and number of foetus
What is the reason for a woman to give birth to:
A female child,
A male child
Twins of male and female children
Twins of female children
Twins of male children and
Many children at a time

Why is the delivery of a foetus delayed? Why does only one out of a twin grow well? [11]

Factors responsible for sex determination twins etc

ominance of ovum during the conception results in the procreation of a female child.
When there is predominance of sperm a male child is born.
During the process of union, when the vayu divides the zygote into 2 equal halves, the portion in which there is predominance of sperm will become male and the portion in which there is predominance of ovum will become female child. In this form of twins there is one male and one female child.
When both the divisions are predominant in sperm then twin male children are formed.
When both the divisions are predominant with ovum, then twin female children are formed. When the excessively aggravated Vata brings about many divisions of the sperm and ovum i.e. zygote, many children are born; their number depends upon the number of divisions. This is not under the control of the individual himself; this happens due to one’s action during previous life. 
When the foetus does not get nutrition and when the foetus is emaciated or there is exudation (due to threatening abortion), then the woman delivers after a long time and it may even take several years for the proper development and delivery of the foetus.
Depending upon the action in the past life of an individual the sperm and ovum may undergo uneven division during conception leading to the formation of twins and this may result in the better growth of one foetus than the other in the uterus leading to their inequality. [12-16]
Read – Shukravaha Srotas Description, Vitiation Symptoms, Treatment

Query about sex abnormality

What are the reasons for Dviretas (hermaphrodism), Pavanedriyatva (aspermia), samskaravahi (Anaphrodisa), male sterility, female sterility, Vakri (hypospadia), irsjabhirati (mixoscopia) and Vatikasandaka (eviration) of the procreation? [17]

Factors responsible for sex abnormality

When that portion of the sperm and ovum of parents which is responsible for the creation of the genitals of the foetus is vitiated and these sperm and ovum undergo equal division, then the offspring becomes a hermaphrodite. Such an offspring will have the characteristic features of both the sexes.
If the testicles of the foetus are afflicted with Vata, then the offspring becomes aspermic. When vitiated vata obstructs the seminal passages the offspring becomes samskaravaka i.e. anaphrodisiac.
When there is union of man and woman who are debilitated, having less arousal, low libido, and deficit sperms and ovum respectively will give rise to either male or female sterility respectively.
Weakness in sperms of the male partner and irregular posture or lack of interest in sex of the female partner during coitus makes the offspring hypospadiac.
Reduced passion (interest in sex) and increased jealousy amongst the partners (man and woman indulged in sex) produces mixoscopia in the offspring.
Being affected with Vayu and agni (pitta), if the testicles of the foetus get destroyed, then there is eviration in the offspring.
These are the eight types of sexual abnormalities. They are caused by the effects of the misdeeds in the previous life of the individual. [18-21]

Query about signs of conception etc
What are the signs of conception which has just taken place? What are the signs to indicate if the foetus in the womb is a boy, girl or a eunuch? What are the reasons for a child to resemble some body? [22]
Read – Embryology As Per Ayurveda

Signs of conception etc

Signs of conception which has just taken place are

  • salivation / feel to spit often,
  • heaviness in the body,
  • prostration / tiredness in the body parts,
  • drowsiness,
  • horripulation / feeling goose-bumps ,
  • cardiac distress,
  • satisfaction in sex / feeling as if the stomach is full in spite of not having taken the food
  • non-elimination of the ejaculated semen from the uterus / conception (implantation of the zygote)

Signs of pregnancy indicating the presence of female child in the womb
It should be inferred that the child in the mother’s womb is definitely a female if the pregnant woman –

  • prefers to work using left part of her body i.e. left upper and lower limbs
  • wants company of men with desire for sexual intimacy
  • sees women / girls in her dreams
  • wishes to have foods and liquids carrying feminine names
  • has all her activities, attitude and speech resembling that of a woman
  • whose left part of her abdomen looks raised because the conception has taken place in the left side of the womb
  • whose shape of the uterus (foetus) is not round but is elongated
  • in whom the breast milk first manifests in her left breast

The woman having these signs would definitely deliver a female child.
Read – Monthly Development Of Fetus – Ayurvedic perspective

Signs of pregnancy indicating the presence of male child in the womb
It should be inferred that the child in the mother’s womb is definitely a male if the pregnant woman has the signs opposite to those mentioned above (signs indicating the presence of female child in the womb). The woman having these signs would definitely deliver a male child.

Signs of pregnancy indicating the presence of eunuch child in the womb
It should be inferred that the child in the mother’s womb is definitely a eunuch if the pregnant woman presents with combined signs of both the above said types (signs indicating the presence of female and male child in the womb).  The woman having these signs would definitely deliver a eunuch child.

The child resembles those persons and things about which the mother thinks in her mind during conception.

There are also other reasons for this similarity –
The child resembles the parents because the fetus and all body parts of the foetus are formed by the four elements of nature i.e. air / wind, fire, water and earth elements. Each of these elements are of 4 types i.e. – those formed from the mother (ovum), those formed from the father (sperm), those formed from the diet of the mother i.e. pregnant woman and those formed or accompanying the soul (which enters the foetus). The shape of the foetus depends on which among these factors is predominant at the time of conception. The quality of mind of the foetus i.e. sattva, rajas and tamas are determined upon the characteristics which the mind has imbibed and carried from the memories of the previous birth and the species from which the mind carries these qualities. [23-27]
Read – Factors That Harm Fetus, Avoidable Food And Habits In Pregnancy

Query about abnormality on foetus etc
Why does a woman give birth to an abnormal offspring with deficient or excess of limbs or impaired sensory and motor organs? How does the soul transmigrate from one body to another? With whom is it always attached? [28]

Factors responsible for abnormality in foetus

Because of the defects in seeds (sperms, ovum), actions associated with the soul, uterus, time and food as well as regimen of the mother, Doshas get vitiated in different kinds and this results in the impairment of the shape, colour and sensory as well as motor organs of the offspring. As a tree standing in the current of a river gets afflicted by the forceful downward movement of wood, stone pieces and water during the rainy season, the foetus in the uterus of the mother also gets afflicted with the vitiated Doshas. [29-30]
Read – Herbs Useful For Maintenance Of Pregnancy

Atman-its transmigration

Being guided by the associated past actions (of previous birth) the soul who travels with the help of the mind, transmigrates from one body to another along with the four subtle Bhutas – elements of the nature.
This Soul cannot be perceived by any other sense except the divine vision. He is omnipresent; he can enter into any physique; he can perform any action and can take any shape; he is the conscious element; he is beyond any sensory perception; and it is due to his association with the intellect etc. that he gets involved in attachment etc.

In the body of living beings, there are sixteen types of Bhutas. They are derived from Rasa (digestive product of mother’s food), Soul (those accompanying Him), mother and father. Four of these Bhutas accompany the Soul and the Soul himself depends upon four of them for his existence.  Bhutas from the mother and father are derived through their ovum and sperm. It is the Rasa (digestive product of food) which provides nourishment in the form of Bhutas to the sperm and ovum.

The four Bhutas which get fused (constantly associated) with the Soul to enter into the foetus are the products of the past actions. Continuity of the migration of Bhutas is maintained as the Soul who is like a seed (and who is responsible for several incarnations) transmigrates from one body to another. It is a fact that in individuals having the association of past action, the physique and the mind are respectively derived from the physique and mind of his past life. The dissimilarity in the shape and intellectual faculties is caused by the Rajas, Tamas and the nature of the past actions. [31-36]
Read – Ayurvedic Diet And Lifestyle For Pregnant Woman

Factors responsible for keeping the Soul attached

The Soul can never dissociate himself from the transitory and excessively subtle Bhutas or from the effects of the past actions or from the mind and the intellect or from ego and other morbid factors.
The mind is constantly associated with Rajas and Tamas.  This will keep one associated with the actions. All the doshas and morbidity would envelope and influence the mind until one attains spiritual knowledge. The mind associated with rajas and tamas qualities (morbid mind) and strong action (with strongly determined results) are responsible for transmigration of the Soul from one body to another and for the individual’s inclination to do virtuous of vicious work. [37-38]
Read – Atma – The Soul: Types, Life Cycle

Query about diseases
What are the causative factors of diseases? What are their curatives? What is the cause of happiness? What is the cause of sorrow? How can the recurrence of psychosomatic diseases be prevented after their manifestation? [39]

Factors for causation and alleviation of diseases

Causative factors of diseases are

  • Intellectual blasphemy
  • Unwholesome contact with senses and
  • Seasonal variations

All diseases can be cured in three ways, viz,

  • Proper usage of knowledge
  • wholesome contact of sense organs with sense objects / proper usage of senses and
  • seasonal normality / proper usage of seasons [40]
    Read – Main Cause For Diseases As Per Ayurveda

Causes of happiness and misery and their cessation

Righteous acts are responsible for happiness and unrighteous acts for misery. The body and the mind are the seats of diseases. When the association of mind and body permanently gets dissociated with the soul, the diseases of the body and mind will get cured and also cease to recur. [41]

Cessation of continuity of body and mind

According to scriptures, there is no beginning of the mind and the body. The continuity of the mind and the body is broken only when the individual is in possession of the excellent courage and spiritual knowledge of power of meditation, memory and sattvik intellect. [42]
Read – 16 Factors To Watch For A Healthy Mind And Body

Factors responsible for non-affliction by diseases

One does not get afflicted with diseases even during the existence of the body and the mind which are the seats of diseases, if before the manifestation of diseases, he takes recourse to preventive therapeutic measures and abstains from intellectual blasphemy and unwholesome contact with senses, provided the manifestation of the diseases at that time is not pre-determined by the fruits of his previously done actions i.e. karma / daivam. [43]

Daiva and Purusakara

The effect of what is done during the previous life is known as Daiva. The effect of what is done during the present life is known as Purushakara. The non-righteous deeds of the previous life expose one to diseases; if however, they are righteous, then the individual remains free from diseases. [44]

Methods for prevention of seasonal diseases
Doshas accumulated during Hemanta (December- February) should be eliminated in the month of Chaitra (March- April). Those accumulated during summer (April- June) should be eliminated in the month of Shravana (July- august) and those accumulated during rainy season (August- October) are eliminated in the month of Margashira (November- December). [45]
Read – Relationship Of Doshas With Seasons

Factors responsible for keeping a person free from diseases
One who resorts to wholesome diet and regimens, who enters into action after proper observation, who is unattached to the pleasure drawn from the satisfaction of sensory objects, who is given to charity, impartiality, truthfulness and forgiveness and who is at service of learned people, seldom gets afflicted with diseases.

Diseases do not afflict an individual who is endowed with excellence of thoughts, speech and acts which are ultimately blissful, independent thinking, clear understanding, knowledge, observance of spiritual prescriptions and love for meditation. [46-47]

To sum up:

With view to enlightenment Lord Atreya has properly replied thirty six important quires of Agnivesha in this chapter on “the development of embryo caused by the union of males and females of mutually different clan. “ [48]

Thus ends the second chapter on the development of embryo caused by the union of males and females and females of mutually different clan, of the Sharira section of Agnivesha’s work as redacted by Charaka. [2]

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