Mention of Niyoga practice and tissue culture in Mahabharata

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Niyoga Pratha is an ancient practice of having sex without involving pleasure to continue the lineage which was performed by someone in case when the husband of a woman or man died earlier without having any child . One of the great example of Niyoga practice were the birth of Pandu and Dhritrashatra.

There were strict rules which were followed during the practice of Niyoga in ancient India which are mentioned below .

Niyoga practice and advanced tissue culture were known by our great rishis in ancient India .

 surrogacy and adanced tissue culture is not new to India . When these words were alien to western countries , in Bharat these were implemented in a practical manner .  You can find many references in Hindu scriptures where  surrogacy and  embryo transfer or childbirth technologies had been practised with different names

surrogacy is somewhat similar as Niyoga but the only difference which we see in today’s time is the exploitation which happens in the name of surrogacy . 2005 was the first time when surrogacy got approval from the government in India but  in 2015 , it was banned due to the  exploitation .

 In this 10 years  duration ,  India had become the destination hub for the couple who wanted to have a child because of the low cost  the mediator arranged for their customers . Here , money has played an important role . It had become a kind of business for those who had hunger for money . 

But in ancient times there was no involvement of money .It was only done for the sole purpose of the continuation of lineage .

What is Niyoga 

The word Niyog came from ancient India in which “ Ni “ means without and Yoga means “ Union . Without the union of biological husband and wife , giving birth to a child with involving another person just to continue the lineage is Niyog . In another word , Niyoga literally means “ when a husband and wife decide to have a baby by involving another woman or man to give birth to their child .  It happened only in the case when the wife or husband  had some issues in giving birth to a child or in the case of a widow woman and the only sole purpose of “ Niyoga dharma “ was to continue the  lineage . 

Rule for Niyoga

There were some strict rules to be followed before the practice of Niyoga which was very necessary to keep the practice in a right full manner .

  • The Niyoga was done only in the case when husband and wife had an issue to give birth to their child . 
  • The woman’s consent was the first thing which was needed before performing Niyoga . 
  • Only the revered  man or the relatives should be involved in the practice of Niyoga so that no conflicts could take place because a revered man will not go against the rightful practice of Niyoga . 
  • The only sole purpose of Niyoga was for the Lineage and not for the purpose of pleasure or lust .
  • The ghee had been applied all over the body before the practice of Niyoga so that  no other activities could happen between them . 
  • The whole body was covered except the area through which intercourse could happen . 
  • The right of the baby would go to the husband and wife , not to the person with whom the Niyoga had been performed . 
  • The Niyoga was performed only to help the married couple or widow to continuity of the lineage . There was no place for lust or pleasure . 

The way we perceive surrogacy today is completely different from the way it was performed in ancient times .

Niyoga in Hindu Scriptures

There were many incidents mentioned in Hindu scriptures when Niyoga was in practice . 

In Mahabharata Satyavati , who was the queen of Kuru and great grandmother of Pandava and Kauravas  , after the death of his son Vichitravirya, started to think of her lineage because his wives Ambika and Ambalika  hadn’t birth any child till the time Vichitravirya was alive .

So she asked Bhishma to perform Niyoga with widows of Vichitravirya but he refused to do so because of his celibacy . Then finally she asked Vyasa and begged to perform the Niyoga for the sake of lineage and also convinced Ambika and Ambalika for Niyoga . And this is how Dhritarashtra and Pandu were born .

On the request of mother-in-law Satyavati , Ambika and Ambalika after the death of their husband agreed to perform Niyoga with Vyasa to continue the lineage . Vyasa wasn’t a good looking person , so during Niyoga Ambika closed her eyes which resulted in giving birth to a blind child named Dhritarashtra .

Artificial insemination or embryo transfer or tissue culture were prevalent in ancient India . Before Mahabharta too , these were in the practice which are mentioned in Scriptures .

Pandavas were born through asexual manner in which Kunti didn’t loose her virginity and this was possible after Kunti recited mantras which made it happen . Balarama was also born through Yogmaya or embryo transfer . Birth of Kauravas were also through the advanced technology which is still unknown to modern scientists . 

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Pottery of Indus valley civilization

Birth of Kauravas (advanced tissue culture )

Gandhari had a boon of giving birth to 100 sons .

Gandhari had a prolonged gestation for almost 2 years . Today’s scientists also have gone through many cases of prolonged  gestation .The guess could be made that it was a case of pseudocyesis  which means false pregnancy .

Pseudocyesis is a case in which a woman shows all symptoms of a pregnant woman but in reality she is not bearing any child in her womb .

But in the case of Gandhari she produced something out of her body which means it was not a case of Pseudocyesis . Yes , It is a correct statement that she didn’t give birth to a child  but a lump of flesh which was later taken by Ved Vyasa .

Indian sage Vedvyasa
Indian sage Vedvyasa

Ved Vyasa consoled her by saying that she is going to have 100 sons .

This Flesh of lump was later divided into  101 parts  by Ved Vyas . Then he arranged for 101 Jars which were filled with clarified butter or ghee and put each piece into each of the jars separately and provided an artificial environment to cells to upgrade into early embryos and finally formed a baby .

This technology is called “ Tissue culture “ or stem cells or test tube babies which is still impossible for today’s scientists to unveil. They are working on this technology but still not completely success.

This gives us a clear sense of understanding that Gandhari had produced a flesh of lump which was actually a kind of embryo or Zygote  which was later divided into 101 parts and finally became a baby outside the woman’s body  through Tissue culture .

This shows us the advanced technologies which were used by our great sages . This really gives us goosebumps when we know the advanced technology which was used by our ancestors which  is still  mysterious to modern scientists .

childbirth Technology carved in temples

There are many ancient temples in India where you can find carvings of childbirth Technology  or Human fertilization which can just blow your mind  . 

The Carvings of in vitro fertilization ,  embryo development ,  step by step baby formation , how the semen of a man comes into contact with an egg  , test tube for baby formation and many other technologies . We were much more advanced than what we imagine today . For more information you can visit Praveen Mohan YouTube videos . 

Related Post which can provide you knowledge about ancient India :

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2.Lord Parshuram :Fierce incarnation who killed all kshatriyas
3.Indian scientists and their inventions in science – great sages of Ancient India
4.Nalanda university: First world famous Buddhist ancient academy

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