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A system of preconception care as described in ancient Indian literature is presented in this article.
Ancient Indian literature has described the process of formation of a human individual in great detail. This is not only a biological process but also a bio-psycho-spiritual process. It has been equated with the process of formation of the universe which evolves from interplay of Purusha (supreme soul or God or the consciousness) and Prakriti (un-manifest primal nature). Purusha at his free will gets mixed up with un-manifest primal nature, giving rise to the knowable empirical universe. The human body also evolves when the Jiva (soul) accompanies the Manas (mind) and the four subtle elements and enters the conglomerated entity formed by mixing of the ovum and sperm. Hence, preconception care has also been described at three levels: biological or physical level, psychological level, and at the level of consciousness. For assembling the information, the commentaries written by knowledgeable scholars who wrote them after studying the ancient literature have been consulted. The study gave rise to the understanding that, according to ancient Indian literature, human individuals should be conceived with full awareness of the motive of bringing a new life into existence and accordingly values and qualities it should have. To achieve the above goal, preconception care or Garbhadhan Vidhi has been described.
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