This content is excerpted from the Lifecycles & LIfestyles Student Manual. Copyright: Kundalini Research Institute 2007.
Conception through Birth
The parents’ influence on a child doesn’t begin at birth. It begins much earlier—at the time of conception. The vibration between the parents at the time of conception sets the tone for the child’s life from the very beginning. The frequency of their psyches in the aura merges at the moment of conception and sets the projection of the aura which then attracts the soul to the slowly forming fetus.
From the yogic perspective, the gunas of the mental qualities are created. This will interact with the genetic and other influences as the fetus grows in the womb. Before the 120th day of pregnancy, the soul has not yet entered the fetus, but may be hovering around the mother. In fact, there can be many souls that are potential matches for the psyches of the parents, the physical and social potential of this fetus and the karma of the soul.
The purity of her prayer, the karmic agreements between the souls of the parents and the child, and the projective state of the mother’s aura in this time can determine which soul will finally enter the fetus in the mother’s womb.
After the 120th day of pregnancy until birth, the fetus’s psyche is directly impacted by the mother’s experience and by her level of stress and emotion in each moment. This extreme link shapes the foundation for the child’s subconscious mind.
The mother’s prayers at this time can significantly influence the child’s karmic imprint and the strength of its subtle body.
After birth, it will take up to three years for mother and child to gradually differentiate and establish their individual auras. Even then there is a link that is never broken, which is unique between mother and child. During this first year, the link is more a merger than a link across individuals. From conception through the first three years the mother’s habits and strong spiritual practice will affect the child strongly and enduringly.
When you are in your mother’s womb, you are given an internal fear. As systematically as you record all the movements of your development outside the womb, just so, all the fearful thoughts of the mother are actually punched into you like a computer. Whatever the mother can teach in those nine and a half months, that becomes the nucleus foundation of the child—it’s character and it’s development—and determines how it faces the universe.
—Siri Singh Sahib ji, Khalsa Women’s Training Camp, July 8, 1998
There is a significant amount of research that establishes the importance of parental harmony while the child is in the womb. The love between the parents is the most important thing that children experience in the womb, and it can overcome the negative effects of many stresses and traumas. There is evidence that stress, whether it comes from parental distress, conflict, drug use or environmental insults, can sensitize the fetus and change the nervous and immune systems.
In an ideal pregnancy, the mother communicates with the fetus and “shows” it the world and what it can expect to experience at birth. The development of the fetus is largely driven by factors internal to the baby. The brain gains billions of excess cells that will be pruned according to the needs of the environment.
In the first few years this environment includes the mother and her reactions to the world. If the mother can communicate love and give the child the sense of being a sovereign soul that she stewards but does not own, an incredible strength is engendered in the baby. Even when there is trauma in the womb, the influence of the primary relationships, nutrition and meditation can heal most wounds.
Birth to Three Years
After birth it is essential that the infant bond with its primary care givers, with touch being a primary ingredient for its emotional, mental and physical development. As the young child learns to trust those in its immediate environment, she learns to trust her own actions and decisions. If her needs are met, she learns that her needs are good and therefore she is good.
This becomes the foundation for the development of her identity and self-esteem. She will be able to move into the next stage of development with a basis of trust and the ability to establish intimate relationships and set healthy boundaries.
The approach of the parents to give support and challenge influences the emotional, psychological and subtle functions of the child.
First, a child who will be able to confront and exalt their mind and feelings will only develop where the mother and father have talked in unisonness. Otherwise we will produce children who will escape and run. It’s not the fault of a man as he is or a woman as she is. You learn this in the very first three years. Very rarely is this capacity ever changed. That’s the number one thing you must understand.
If the mother does not give confidence and love, when the man grows to adulthood, he becomes revengeful. A saying in the scriptures goes: “The mother can create a God, or she can create a demon; She is the one who writes the destiny on the forehead.” Whatever character the mother gives to the child in the first three years becomes his or her first fundamental permanent foundation of character.
—Siri Singh Sahib ji, February 10, 1993
At this age, the key to the young child’s security is discipline. Discipline is established with consistent routines: bath time, meal time, play time, and bed time. Young children also learn discipline by watching the examples of their caregivers. They thrive on consistency and knowing what to expect. They learn to confront their own feelings and deliver their actions realistically.
You do not understand discipline. Discipline is the only friend, other than God, that you have.
Because young children have not trained their perception and fantasy to match the adult world, they can easily see subtle forms, lights and beings. It is important for adults in their immediate environment to allow them to see and to fantasize and develop their relationship to a sense of the Infinite.
Discipline and mental sensitivity support each other. Children’s yoga and short meditations can support this relationship with their inner divinity. Set up a children’s alter with candles, incense, special rocks, photos of holy people and family members and other meaningful things they choose to put on it. Encourage them to sit there; chant with them at their altar.
Let your children be, and give them the basic spiritual values. Deal with their spirit. Uplift, keep up, and give them faith.That is the most positive thing they need.