[Advaita-l] cloning and inevitable mrutyu
Raghav Kumar Dwivedula
raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Wed Apr 25 00:39:37 EDT 2018
Namaste Nitin ji
You have written a commendable article on Abortion from a Dharmic
perspective with meticulous references from the traditional texts. Thank
you for the same. I had been looking for such an article for some time now.
Your articles are an excellent resource on an important dharmic issue.
While there are many points of importance, one issue is about whether a
foetus with a beating heart and which can feel pain is to be considered as
having the rights of an independent jiiva or not. You have suggested based
on texts, of course, a 16 month cut-off, after which the foetus is a
fullfledged individual living being. And even before that, those who abort,
lose their varNa and have committed what is legally labelled homicide not
amounting to murder. But the general sense I get is that abortion before 16
weeks is equivalent an accidental killing. Do it's left to the choice of
This topic is inherently painful to contemplate upon but we have to try and
be objective. A few points I wished to share -
1. The limit of 16 weeks for categorizing foetus as a living individual,
may be more of an indicative nature and the dauhRdi status where there are
two hearts beating in the enciente happens as early as 6 weeks into
pregnancy. And most definitely by the 8th week. Fetal pulse is clearly felt
from them on. The functioning heart is a sign of consciousness being
associated with the foetus, surely. As you wrote -
In the fourth month all the limbs and organs (of the body of the embryo)
become more potent and the fetus is endowed with consciousness owing to the
formation of viscus of the heart (Hrdaya). As heart is the seat of
consciousness, so as the heart becomes potent, it is endowed with
consciousness and hence it expresses its desire for things of taste, smell
etc. (through the longings of its mother).
The only factor is that this heart functioning etc starts at week 5 and is
clearly present by week 12 rather than week 16?
And the foetus feels pain because, the thalamus and cortex *start* getting
connected from 12 to 20 weeks. So killing a foetus at even 12 weeks amounts
to killing a living being with a beating heart and which can feel pain.
Although the complete connections are there only after about 16 to 20
weeks, there is evidence to indicate touch and pain in a foetus which is
even 12 weeks old. Please see this link of for a visual representations of
a foetus at 12 weeks.
2.Two authentic shastra scholars one a senior Swami who had also studied
some of the smritis and another a grihastha paNDita held that the abortion
is a highly adharmic action at *all* stages of foetal development. Social
ostracism was only a shade less than capital punishment . The only
exceptions were to save the life of the mother etc. There was no question
of a couple choosing to abort since it was inconvenient or unplanned.
One last question - are there any spoken or written pronouncements of the
respected Shankaracharya Mahasamnidhanam of Sringeri or of Kanchi on this
issue of permissibility of abortion before 16 weeks ?
On Tue 24 Apr, 2018, 5:43 PM Nithin Sridhar via Advaita-l, <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> This article sheds light on how and when Jiva enters a fetus-
> This may provide some perspective.
> On Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 5:23 PM, kuntimaddi sadananda via Advaita-l <
> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> > Venkatraghavanji - PraNAms
> > Just couple of comments.
> > On Tuesday, April 24, 2018, 3:04:08 AM EDT, Venkatraghavan S via
> > Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> > "But can we give a precise
> > reason why an electronic entity cannot be considered a jiva with the
> > faculties of iccha, GYAna, and kriya and having sanchita karma etc."
> > Namaste,
> > An interesting thought experiment.
> > 1) The birth of such a 'jIva' would break the laws of karma.
> > How can an android jIva have sanchita karma, ie what would be the
> > receptacle for sanchita karma for an android jIva? If you say the
> sUkshma /
> > kAraNa sharIra, then that is created at the same time as the sthUla
> > sharIra. -------------Sada: Therefore Suukshma/karana shareera need not
> > created. Upanishads use the word - upavishati - it enters. An appropriate
> > jiiva enters into the sthuulashareera if that is conducive to exhaust its
> > vaasanaas.
> > Question, of course, is what jiiva wants that type of shareera to exhaust
> > its vaasanaas?
> > To the extent that I am familiar with programming, the emotions of the
> > robot also are programmed - just as a computer can be programmed to play
> > chess. The process of selection of the emotions are also pre-programmed,
> > given the input information and multitude of choices (paths). Hence, just
> > as the virus and bacteria and lower forms of the jiivas are
> > to follow particular responses to the external stimulus, here the
> > programmer(s) take the role of Iswara(s) to set the patterns of the
> > responses and also selection process to respond to the external stimulus.
> > The robots operate until the program(s) fails. They do not have a will to
> > perform independently of the programmed paths.
> > Hari Om!Sadananda
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