Life before Birth: The time in the womb


A person’s designated life on Earth starts at the time of conception. This is in accordance with his destiny. However it is generally only after the third month that the subtle-body enters the womb. In the womb, the subtle body maintains adult like consciousness. Spiritual practice can greatly ease a pregnancy, attract a better subtle body and also help the foetus develop an impression of spiritual practice. A high percentage of complications during pregnancy are most likely to have a spiritual root cause. This is even higher in the case of miscarriages, still births and abortions.

To understand this article you will need to familiarise yourself with the following articles:

Table of Contents

1. Introduction to the rebirth process and life in the womb

In the article Life before birth (Part 1): The time before being conceived, we explained how after the death of a person his subtle body resides in one of the 13 subtle regions in the Universe according to his spiritual level and the extent of his merits/demerits. In that subtle region, he experiences varying degrees of happiness or unhappiness depending on his merits or demerits respectively. He will remain there until the time for his next rebirth on the Earth plane. A human’s re-birth could be as a virus, bacteria, a plant, an animal or as a human being. In this article, we explain some spiritual aspects of the human rebirth process from the time of conception until birth.

We have attempted to explain these spiritual perspectives through a series of questions and answers following the subtle body’s journey from the time of conception to childbirth and the various obstacles it may encounter along the way.

All the information in this article has been gained through spiritual research methodologies.

2. The entry of the subtle body into the womb

2.1 Does the subtle-body come into some type of waiting station before it enters the womb?

There is no specific waiting station where the subtle bodies assemble before birth on Earth as they do after death.

[There is a subtle region called Martyaloka where a subtle body goes to immediately after physical death. This is prior to reaching its final destination in one of the subtle regions of the Universe. Refer to the article on the Region of the Dead.]

However the subtle bodies from higher positive subtle regions like Heaven (Swarga) or above and from lower negative subtle regions like the first 3 regions of Hell (Pātāl), first move to the Nether region (Bhuvarlok) before entering Earth region. This transition period is extremely short, i.e. about a few seconds only. All subtle bodies returning to the Earth plane for rebirth also pass through the Region of the Dead (Martyaloka) momentarily.

2.2 Rebirth and the time of conception

2.2.1 When does the subtle body come to know about where it is going to be born?

The subtle body comes to know about where it is going to be born at the time of conception. This can be either due to the:

  • spiritual practice of the mother or
  • rituals done by the parents or
  • interference by departed ancestors in conjunction with higher level ghosts

Note: In 70-80 % of cases this same subtle body as earmarked at conception continues throughout the term of the pregnancy and is finally born. In 20-30% of cases however it can be ousted and another subtle body with the next highest give-and-take account and time conducive for birth in that womb takes its place.

Refer to the section on, Can a woman attract a more advanced and sāttvik subtle body at the time of conception?

2.2.2 How does the subtle body know the time of conception?

Considering the following, it is a wonder how a subtle body knows the exact time of conception and that a certain zygote formed after conception is indeed meant for it.

  • There are billions of subtle bodies in the subtle regions.
  • From the billions, only one gets to be born.
  • Parents may be trying for many months before a conception takes place.

Therefore, considering the scale and magnitude, the way a subtle-body is precisely matched with a particular family, is that in the subtle world everything functions according to vibrations and frequencies. According to the give-and-take account with the to-be parents, a subtle body is unconsciously drawn to the womb at the time of conception by the vibrations of the give-and-take account. It has no choice in the matter as it gravitates towards its new family-to-be.

2.2.3 When does the subtle body actually enter into the womb?

At the point in time of conception, as explained earlier, the subtle body knows that a certain zygote has been earmarked for him.

During the first three months of pregnancy, the subtle body is mostly in the subtle region where it came from and may or may not frequent the womb. After the third month however the subtle body is more likely to reside in the womb. The time of entry in the womb may vary from subtle body to subtle body. This time of entry is generally after the third month but can extend right up to the 7th month. The more earthbound the subtle body the sooner it takes its place in the womb.

This whole process is akin to building a house. We are generally present at the time of the start of construction of the house to have a word with the builder. We may from time to time check on the construction of the house. However we finally enter only when the house is ready. The time from conception to the third month is akin to the construction of the house. After the 3rd month, the growth of the foetus is adequate enough to be conducive for the entry of the subtle body; this is akin to the house being ready for taking up residence.

Subtle-body going in the womb

This drawing based on subtle-knowledge above shows the passage of the subtle body from the Nether region into the foetus in the womb. The subtle body is generally attacked by black energy of the departed ancestors or ghosts as it enters the passage from the Nether region to the womb.

2.2.4 Why does the subtle body keep moving in and out of the womb during the first 3-7 months?

After the subtle world, the foetus and womb is a new environment for the subtle body to reside in. This is coupled with the fact that the subtle body thinks of itself in the same size as in its earlier birth even long after it has given up the physical body. Hence the minute size of the zygote around the time of conception is quite frightening to it. Actually this barrier is more of a psychological nature as a subtle body can take any shape and size. By the 3rd month of pregnancy the womb becomes spacious enough for it to enter and stay there. Even so the subtle body may leave and enter the foetus at will going back to the subtle region. These visits to its previous home in the subtle region become more and more infrequent as time passes and after the 7th month it is permanently in the womb. This is because by this time it loses attachment to the earlier subtle region and becomes earthbound.

2.2.5 How does the subtle body enter the the womb?

The subtle body can enter the womb in many ways. 70% of subtle-bodies enter through the skin of the foetus and 30% through its various orifices like the mouth, nostrils etc.

2.2.6 Does the mother-to-be know of the time of entry?

Only mothers-to-be above the spiritual level of 70% are sensitive enough to experience the entry of the subtle-body. Mothers of such high spiritual level usually bear spiritually evolved offspring.

2.2.7 Does the destiny for the baby-to-be start when it enters the mother’s womb or when it is born at 9 months?

The destiny of the baby-to-be starts at the time of conception itself.

3. The period in the womb

3.1 Feelings of fear of the subtle body

Our natural tendency is to fear the unknown. The entire rebirth process and entry into the womb for the subtle body is going from the known (i.e. the subtle world) to the unknown (the womb). As the womb is a completely unknown situation to the subtle body, it experiences varying degrees of fear.

Subtle bodies carry a lingering mental impression of a full grown human body from the earlier birth. Hence it is sheer agony for it to be confined in the womb. In cases where there are deep seated impressions of revenge for the family they are being born to or some intense desire awaiting fulfilment, the subtle bodies may eagerly go through their time prior to birth accepting the discomfort.

3.2 Complete past life consciousness

The subtle body in the womb has complete adult consciousness corresponding to the earlier subtle region it came from. This continues right up to the time of birth. Even at birth there is a momentary consciousness of the previous life in the subtle region and then the veil of the Great Illusion (Māyā) dulls the newborn’s previous-life consciousness. As one gets more involved in this life one slowly forgets about the past life.

The following diagram shows how many of us remember past lives after birth.

In the womb - memories of previous lives

4. Complications during pregnancy

About 40% of complications during pregnancy such as excessive and extended morning sickness etc. are caused due to spiritual factors. Physical and psychological causes contribute to 30% each.

Spiritual factors are mainly the destiny of the mother or ancestors aggravating the problems.

5. Miscarriages and stillbirths

Through spiritual research following were found to be on average the reasons for miscarriages and stillbirths.

Death in the womb - causes

Miscarriages and stillbirths are mainly due to spiritual causes. Apart from the give-and-take account between the foetus and the mother, ancestors play a sizeable role in causing miscarriages and stillbirths. Miscarriages and stillbirths are usually a case of negative give-and-take account where, by the very act of dying, the foetus has caused unhappiness to the mother-to-be in particular and the family in general. The foetus does not know about this impending event in advance.

Also refer to Section 7 – Influence of departed ancestors/ghosts (demons, devils, negative energies, etc.) on the subtle body in the womb.

5.1 Where do subtle-bodies of stillborns go?

Subtle bodies of stillborn foetuses, as well as in cases of miscarriages and abortion, follow the same path after death as the subtle bodies of adults. Thus their destination in the afterlife will be decided by their spiritual level and merits and demerits from previous births.

6. Spiritual implications of abortion

With every abortion there will invariably be a severe give-and-take account that is either settled or created between the subtle body and the parents. However regardless of the give-and-take account, as abortion means cutting short of a life, it incurs a sin/demerit. This is mainly from the perspective that life on Earth is precious as it is the only plane where spiritual growth can occur towards the final goal of life which is God-realisation.

In terms of the intensity of sin/demerits killing an embryo is less than killing an adult. The following table gives a relative scale of sin incurred by killing various types of people.

Comparision of sin/demerit for killing an embryo in the womb and various types of people

Considering the above relative scale, killing a Saint would mean 100 units in terms of the magnitude of sins/demerits. On a relative scale, killing of a potential person through abortion incurs one unit. The main reason for the difference is that the person’s positive effect on society is taken into account.

If we had to look at abortion from the point of view of intention behind the abortion then the following table gives a guideline for relative scale of sin incurred. In this table as a reference point we take killing of a person as 100 units.

In the womb - Abortion and sin

The family members and doctors involved in the decision making process of an abortion share the sin/demerit of an abortion.

The only exceptions to this rule are when the mother is forced to get an abortion due to medical reasons to save her life or when it is an obstacle in the furthering of her spiritual practice.

Here we use the term spiritual practice in the context of the six basic principles of spiritual practice where a person gives up motherhood for an even greater goal in life i.e. devoting one’s life completely towards God-realisation and helping others too in the process. One has to be at a minimum of 50% spiritual level to be able to make such an important decision with the right perspective and spiritual maturity. (An average person in current times is at the spiritual level of about 20-25 %.)

If an abortion is done for any reason other than spiritual, then besides the negative give-and-take with the subtle body of the foetus, there is the element of sin involved.

Many times people opt for an abortion when they realise that the baby to be is going to be born with serious deformities. Again if it is the destiny of the mother and the baby to suffer those many units of unhappiness due to the deformities then there is no point in trying to run away from that destiny as it is going to follow them both into another birth.

7. Influence of departed ancestors/ghosts (demons, devils, negative energies, etc.) on the subtle body in the womb

Departed ancestors, especially those with some spiritual power or with the help of powerful ghosts such as subtle-sorcerers (māntrik) can target the subtle body in the womb itself.

Refer to the article on – Why would my departed loved ones and my other ancestors want to give me pain?

This can be to:

  • Gain the attention of the family to do something for the departed ancestor at a spiritual level
  • Gain control of the subtle body in the womb itself
  • Take revenge upon the foetus by tormenting it
  • Take revenge upon the mother by troubling her during the pregnancy through the medium of the foetus by affecting it. In such cases the mother usually suffers a difficult pregnancy like extended severe morning sickness, high blood pressure etc.
  • Take revenge upon the parents by troubling the foetus
  • Implant seeds of addiction in the child to be. Refer to the article on Causes and treatment of addictions – spiritual research and healing measures.

Spiritual research reveals that just as in the case of the general population, about 100% of foetuses are affected and 30% of the foetuses are possessed by departed ancestors or ghosts when in the womb itself. Affecting the foetus is generally easy for an ancestor or a ghost as that is when the person-to-be is at its most vulnerable. Sometimes the spiritual power of the departed ancestor trying to seek revenge is less. However the ancestor may still be seeking revenge.The sheer negative desire of seeking revenge automatically garners spiritual power from higher level powerful ghosts.

8. Role of positive influences from the mother

8.1 Can a woman attract a more advanced and sattvik subtle body in her at the time of conception?

Yes, a woman can attract a more advanced and sattvik subtle body during her pregnancy through her spiritual practice. However her spiritual practice has to be intense enough (i.e. a minimum of 4-5 quality hours per day) so as to increase her spiritual level above 40%. Women above this spiritual level when pregnant are able to attract sattvik subtle bodies into their wombs. This happens automatically, no special prayers or any other efforts are required.

Importantly, the deciding factor is not just any type of spiritual practice or its quantity, but so that resultant spiritual progress achieved. Only when we practice Spirituality according to the six basic laws of spiritual practice does it result in spiritual growth for us. The resultant effect is the progressive increase in spiritual level. A sattvik subtle body is characterised by positive characteristics like a good intellect, good personality traits and more importantly an inclination towards Spirituality.

8.2 What is the effect of mother-to-be’s ongoing spiritual practice on the foetus in the womb?

When the spiritual practice of a mother-to-be results in sustained spiritual growth above the 40% spiritual level she also begins to affect the foetus in her womb positively. This is because a mother-to-be above the spiritual level of 40% radiates sāttviktā (subtle basic Sattva component). It is this sattvikta that positively affects the foetus at a spiritual level.

Effect of chanting on baby in the womb

The mother-to-be’s ongoing spiritual practice of chanting creates an impression of chanting in the subconscious mind of the baby-to-be.

Even if the subtle body is not in the womb as in the first trimester of pregnancy, it still benefits as the womb becomes more sattvik.

This sattvikta obtained from the mother is directed towards the alleviation of problems with regards to the pregnancy and foetus. As stated earlier on an average, 30% of problems in pregnancy are due to physical causes, another 30% due to psychological causes and the remaining 40% are due to spiritual causes. Among the spiritual causes, destiny and the give-and-take account and distress by departed ancestors are the most common. The sattvikta obtained is used to overcome or reduce the spiritual root causes of the problems in pregnancy. It also has a ripple effect on the mind in overcoming psychological problems such as negative thinking etc.

The most important benefit of spiritual practice apart from spiritual growth is that it burns the give-and-take account that can cause major obstacles in pregnancy. Even if obstacles are to happen, parents practicing Spirituality have the inner strength to rise above it and are ultimately minimally affected by it. The spiritual energy generated from spiritual practice may go to alleviate obstacles at a general level or specific level as per the need of the foetus. At a general level it may be used for example to reduce the disability that would otherwise have been caused in an autistic baby born to this mother. Example of application at a specific level would be a reduction in the intensity of the destined blindness of the foetus.

The ongoing spiritual practice of the mother can only help increase the spiritual level of the foetus very marginally (i.e. 0.1%). More importantly the regular spiritual practice of the mother creates an impression of spiritual practice in the foetus’ consciousness. This impression of the need for regular spiritual practice is by far the greatest gift a parent can give a child as it is in complete alignment with the purpose of our birth.

8.3 Does the expectant mother’s activity affect the foetus?

The expectant mother’s activity does affect the foetus. The sum total of the subtle basic component generated from the expectant mother’s activity influences the subtle basic component of the foetus. For example if the mother has predominantly sattvik food (fresh vegetarian food), thoughts and activity (like chanting, reading holy texts etc.) she becomes predominantly sattvik and this sattvikta is imparted to the foetus. Instead if she indulges in Raja-Tama food (stale, frozen, non-vegetarian food), thoughts and activity (excessive TV viewing, excessive talking, smoking and drinking, etc.) then she will impart her predominant Raja-Tama component to the foetus.

An expectant mother can plan her lifestyle within her limitations and circumstances to be as sattvik as possible so that the foetus benefits from it. Refer to the section on sattvik lifestyle.

8.4 What is the effect of the spiritual status of the subtle-body in the womb on the mother?

8.4.1 Spiritually positive foetus

A foetus with positive energy that may be due to its higher spiritual level or the influence of a positive energy on it impacts the mother positively. Such pregnancies are generally problem free and a normal mother experiences better all round health during such a pregnancy.

If however the mother was to have distress due to departed ancestors or ghosts the presence of a spiritually positive foetus acts like a continuous focus of spiritual healing for the mother. In such cases the mother may experience mild to moderate distress. The distress is due to the ongoing subtle battle going on between the negative energy in the mother and the positive energy in the foetus.

This spiritual positivity of the foetus however lasts only as long as it is in the womb. After birth as soon as the subtle ego or ‘I’ develops, the positivity starts declining. This happens when at birth the baby feels suffocation, starts breathing, feels hungry etc.

Subtle bodies above the 50% spiritual level continue their spiritual practice in the womb.

The following drawing based on subtle-knowledge shows how the chanting of the subtle-body in the foetus radiates positive energy which helps increase the positivity of the mother.

Effect of the subtle body in the womb's chanting on the mother

8.4.2 Spiritually negative foetus

A subtle body in the womb mildly affected by black energy

This is a drawing based on subtle-knowledge of a foetus that has been mildly affected by black energy of departed ancestors or ghosts. This is the subtle view seen in an average pregnancy. We can see that even the umbilical cord is covered by black energy. This is what generally happens when both the mother-to-be and the subtle body in the foetus are not doing spiritual practice.

A foetus that is affected by departed ancestors or ghosts is a source of negative energy and as such is cause for distress to the mother. However, only mothers who are spiritually sensitive will be able to notice the distress. In the present times, considering that 90% of the population is affected, most mothers would have a covering of black energy around them, about 4 cms. wide, that would make them insensitive to a further small increment in distress. Such pregnancies however would be unstable and high in complications.

The subtle body can influence the mother by putting thoughts in her mind. However she does not understand that they are coming from the foetus and acts on them mistaking them for her own. This is one of the ways in which the subtle body in the foetus completes its give-and-take account with its mother-to-be. The thoughts can be positive or negative. A subtle body can only influence its mother-to-be when its spiritual level is some 20% more than hers or when it is provided spiritual energy by ghosts.

9. In Summary

  • The life journey begins at the time of conception. However the subtle-body enters the womb only after the 3rd month.
  • The embryo/foetus is very vulnerable to harmful influences from the subtle realm. Major events like miscarriages and still births are predominantly due to spiritual root causes.
  • Only spiritual practice can alleviate problems where the root cause is in the spiritual dimension.
  • By spiritual practice the mother-to-be helps to:
    • protect the pregnancy from these spiritual root causes of problems
    • attract a more sattvik subtle body into the womb.