“It is the pre-natal influence that gives the impetus to the child for good or evil. Go to a hundred thousand colleges, read a million books, associate with all the learned men of the world- better off you are when born with the right stamp.”
In today’s world, everyone is facing a variety of problems. The level of stress that is experienced by us all is higher than it has ever been. People are unable to cope with the problems and face the challenges of life. They are unable to lead upright, happy, and successful lives. The ability of people to face these challenges, withstand stress and still lead ethical lives must develop even before they are born. Says Swami Vivekananda, “Man is born God or born demon.”
The life-changing practices must start with the beginning of life itself. So, it is the would-be mother who plays a major role in the development of the child.
It is a scientific fact that babies in the womb are conscious beings and constantly receive signals from the outside world, especially from the mother. They are in fact powerhouses of information storage from any and all sources that they are exposed to. It has been shown that well over a half of someone’s intellectual development occurs while that person is still in the womb. This information “absorbency” on the part of the fetus is a great asset to the mother who can mould her baby’s thinking and future growth outside the womb any way she wants. She can make or break an entire life, depending on how she consciously discharges her responsibility to herself, the baby, and the world at large. The thoughts, feelings, sensations and aspirations of the mother directly impacts the formative personality of the baby. Therefore, the mother’s mind should always entertain only pure and lofty thoughts and ideals, and the care should impact the child’s physique, intellect, and psyche.
The prenatal care that is exercised by the mother directly affects the kind of “smarts” that the baby develops in all the areas of life including physique, intellect, logical thinking, competitive skills, and self-discovery.
The emotional stability of the mother is of supreme significance. The most harmful factor is stress on the part of the mother, effects of which show not only on her own system but on the fetus’s. Depression experienced by the pregnant woman can impact not only herself but also the fetus. The development of the fetal brain is negatively influenced by higher levels of the stress hormone. Stress induces anxiety which, in turn, affects the entire psychophysical complex of a human being. If the mother’s psychophysical well-being is affected by adverse environmental, dietary, or familial factors during gestation, the fetus in the womb, which is highly vulnerable, suffers the consequences in a variety of ways that haunt it for its entire life. To mitigate these negative effects, the mother must listen to soothing music, live in a peaceful environment, do selfless activities and always entertain positive thoughts. She should also pray,meditate and practice mild yoga. It helps the pregnant mother to read and listen to inspiring stories. It is also important to have a healthy nutritious diet regimen on the advice of the doctor.
The goal of Aaryajanani, the noble mother is the enhancement of the pregnancy experience at the maternal level; inculcation of personal values and spirit of service during the developmental stage of the child; and at the societal level the building of a strong sense of togetherness that extends far beyond the community and eventually encompassing the country as a whole. This was what Swami Vivekananda had envisioned. He wanted both self-improvement and spiritual growth to begin right at the time of the birth of the child and continue throughout the rest of its life. The scope and nobility of the ideal is amazing, as is his vision. Swami Vivekananda has sown the seed; we started the process of nurturing it. It all starts with the “Aaryajanani”, the noble mother who for nine long months shelters and sustains within herself a tiny human being who can make a big difference to the family, the community, the society, the nation, and the world.