Can devotees do abortion if it is favorable for their bhakti?
I have seen that in the devotee community sometimes when devotees are expecting a child, they say that they have so little time for chanting and going to the temple and an additional child will leave them with even lesser time for bhakti because of the increased care and the increased expenditure. They say that in such situations abortion is favorable for bhakti. Is their understanding correct?
Transcription By:Vandana Goel Mataji
Edited By:Priyanka Amit Kumar
QUESTION:Can devotee parents have an abortion if it is favourable for bhakti? I have seen that in devotee community sometimes some devotee parents feel that they already have too many children and they don’t have adequate time for chanting for going to temple, for practicing devotional activities and if they have another child, then that will even make it more difficult for them to practice spiritual life and to have adequate time for spiritual commitments, so sometimes they say that not having that child, aborting that child will be favorable for bhakti because it will ensure that time doesn’t go away whatever time they allocate for bhakti doesn’t go away in caring that child. So under such circumstances is abortion justified?
ANSWER :Not at all! Under the mentioned circumstances, if we say that abortion is anukulforbhakti, then we are completely misunderstanding the concept of bhakti, infact, It is horrendous misunderstanding of what bhakti is .
First of all the abortion is completely pratikul to bhakti, and might just seem to be anukul .
Bhakti is not just limited to certain activities of devotional service like chanting or going to the temple , rather it is the redirection of our heart towards Krishna and all living beings in connection with him .The importance of the activities lies in the fact that they bring about change in our inner disposition.They attract us to Krishna and to all living beings, in a mode of service to Krishna.
Understanding bhakti as one set of activities, where one is explicitly connected with Krishna would be its very limited understanding , that is at the level of KanshithaAdhikari.
KanishthaAdhikari sees Krishna only in relationship with the Deities .He considers his relationship with Krishna as independent of his relationship with the devotees or other living beings. Moreover, KanishthaAdhikari is in itself not a very suitable stage for spiritual advancement, that is not anukul, not favourable and that one should rise from KanishthaAdhikari to MadhyamAdhikari at the earliest. . The realization of one’s relationship with Krishna as also depending on his devotees and other living beings is witnessed when one gets promoted to the MadhyamAdhikari level.
KanishthaAdhikari is more insensitive to other living entities, while MadhyamAdhikari becomes sensitive towards them and reciprocates appropriately..
However, committing violence to other living beings is not even being at kanishthaadhikari platform, actually is a non devotional platform. If we give a rational that not having a child or aborting a child is anukul to bhakti then where would we stop?
Say, one has very rebellious, naughty and troublesome child such that he exhausts most of his time and energy taking care of the child, thereby leaving no time for bhakti then, would one take an action like aborting that child or anything similar on those lines? In fact, it would be hard for most people to even conceive of such a thing, then how can it be done to a child in the womb? The child in the womb is as much a person as the child outside the womb. One may thinkof one’s spouse to be pratikul to Bhakti so what should be done.? .
Actually we should not let our ideology lead to the suppression or rejection of basic morality. No matter how high sounding our ideology is ,if it leads to suppression or rejection of basic humanity then it’s terrible. That’s what Hitler’s Nazism did. Their idea was to have a super human race which would lead to the progress of humanity and therefore everything t unsuitable for the evolution of the super human race, should be eliminated and thus began the elimination of handicapped, or blind people. Further the idea was of social Darwinism that Jews and Gypsies were lower races and therefore should be killed and were killed.
Whatever may be the case our ideology shouldn’t make us insensitive to basic humanity It may seem to be anukul to bhakti with limited understanding of bhakti in terms of a set of activities that we do. .
Iif a living being is entrusted to one as his own child and one would think of aborting that child then where lies the attitude of bhakti?? It’s completely anti-devotional, and can never be devotional.
There is a grave requirement that the philosophy of bhakti should be understood in real terms . As mentioned earlier it is a set of activities, meant to help develop that inner disposition.
Sometimes demanding circumstances brings about that change in the inner disposition by development of certain virtues,which eventually help us in chanting of the Holy names also, it may make us more dependent on Krishna, and take more shelter of Krishna. For instance we may be forced to become tolerant or humble because of somebody say a relative who is not favourable to bhakti .
We can’t know in advance how Krishna will make certain things favourable to us and therefore we should just try to serve Krishna,
It does stand true in today’s scenario that an additional child would definitely mean increased demand on our time and financial pressures.
The question now arises how does one deal with it? There are various ways for the same. One practical way would be if it is impossible to maintain a child then the child can be given for adoption. There are many parents who are unable to conceive and are eager to have a child or for that matter one may take help from various agencies, working on these lines rather than going for a knee jerk step like abortion ,for it is nothing less than a murder, and that also in the name of bhakti? .. .
It is recommended for devotees who give such rational to see some of the documentaries available like Silent Scream prepared by gynaecologist who had done hundreds of abortions. Once, with the advanced technology, he photographed the entire process of abortion. It was observed that the device commonly used for abortion use to catch the child’s head and crush it. The baby out of fear use to battle with that device to protect, by pulling off itself in the womb After little battling in that limited space baby gets tired and eventually can’t pull off and the device crushes the baby’s head, it’s Ghastly! A real live person is mercilessly killed. There may be some other forms of abortion which may not seem to be so brutal, but life is literally taken.
From a philosophical and technological point of view there is real life and taking that life is never favourable to Bhakti, certainly not in this situation. It would be rarely favorable to Bhakti. In an I extreme situation say, Arjuna fighting the war against the sinful Kauravas was different, but the child in the womb is not at all sinful to deserve a death sentence .
Hence, by properly understanding what is Bhakti and what is abortion, one can get clearer mind to choose appropriate course of action, to deal with the situation.
Hare Krishna Prabhuji,
first of all, I was shocked to see the question, even more shocked to see someone saying do it if this is favourable to bhakti….
I would just like to add Prabhuji to what you said (if you think this sounds rude please remove my comment),
I would like to say, if you were sincerely practising Bhakti, then the abortion situation won’t arise at first place, if this situation has come that means you have given yourself in the enjoying mentality,
Yes, it’s a sadly shocking situation.
I deliberately didn’t mention about the enjoying mentality because:
1. It’s too obvious to be stated.
2. It’s not likely to be a very persuasive point for someone who can consider abortion.
3. It’s not my nature to slap anyone in the face with the philosophy – the questioner has some sincerity to at least be enquiring about the situation and is asking for a solution, not a prevention, to a serious problem.
Hare Krishna Prabhuji,
I think, I went overboard with the anger in my mind about the abortion suggestions, but I really loved and respected your 3rd point, I too agree that the questioner was very sincere and honest to admit such discussions,
I am really sorry if I have committed any offences here, my intentions were not to hurt anyone, but i was not able to control my anger regarding the suggestion given by some devotees, I am sorry Prabhuji, I will make sure next time, that I atleast don’t comment on anything when I am angry, Please forgive me
Hare Krishna…Dandavat Pranams
Bhakti is, working towards giving pleasure to Krishna. Anything which doesn’t give pleasure to Krishna is not Bhakti.
Chanting & going to temple, if not directed towards Krishna’s pleasure then it is not bhakti.
Well, it is that simple and it is also not that simple.