VEDIC PSYCHOLOGY: ABORTION

QUESTION:

fetusWhen I am doing japa, a memory keeps bothering me of something that happened 35 years ago. I had an abortion. I felt guilty about it back then, but it was the best I could do given my situation. I don’t know what to do now to deal with this recurring memory. What can I do to heal this?

ANSWER:

Aborting a baby is often times too emotionally painful, so we avoid feeling and processing the feelings and just go into the mode of action to complete the procedure of abortion.  Meanwhile, the feelings lie there in the chitta, undigested as a samskara. So when we sit down to meditate, part of the purification process is that all of these undigested feelings start revealing themselves in order to be purged. Kind of like a panchakarma for the mind. In order to work with this abortion samskara, the key is to look at it with an open heart, truly letting yourself feel the feelings that are there.

 

PRACTICAL EXERCISE

  1. One way to get in touch with the raw feelings (not your thoughts about the feelings), is to write a letter to the aborted baby, telling it how you feel about ending its life.
  2. Also, you can journal about the feelings you were having at the time of the abortion – before, the day of, and after. Often times women feel very mixed emotions such as shame, guilt, depression, anxiety, fear, relief.
  3. You can also try to write a response to your letter and journal entries from the baby’s point of view. What would the baby say?
  4. Let yourself embrace these emotions and do not intellectualize them. Just feel them, so they can be acknowledged in your heart and then they will clear naturally.

Woman journalingOne way you can know that you have worked with your feelings successfully is that the next time the samskara arises, it will not be so strong, or emotionally charged. At that point when the samskara comes, you can use your intelligence (buddhi) to tell yourself that this happened in the past, and that you are aware of the feelings related to your abortion, and you are not going to let the samskara effect your peaceful state of mind. You just say, “Oh I see you, but you do not control me because I know you now.” What bothers our mind, and controls it, are those feelings that we are not aware of – meaning that we have not processed. Then you focus your mind back on the mahamantra and continue chanting. Continue chanting and gradually you will overcome this feeling.

Comments ( 2 )
  1. Hari

    Jay Sri Radhe,
    Dandavats.

    It is mentioned in the article that “Meanwhile, the feelings lie there in the chitta, undigested as a samskara.”

    My questions are as follows:

    1. What is the behaviour of a person who doesn’t have any kind of samskaras in his/her chitta?

    2. Does the verse in Bhagavatam 3.25.33 “Bhakti quickly destroys the subtle body, just as the digestive fire consumes food.” mean that bhakti destroys the material samskaras and creates the spiritual samskaras?

    3. Can you please give the analysis of Paranoid Schizophrenia (like why the auditory, visual and mental hallucinations come into existence ) which is termed as SPLIT REALITY DISORDER and what causes this terrible disease and what is the cure for it? It is important for me as I have been diagnosed with paranoid Schizophrenia.

    Grateful for your articles on bhakti and psychology on your Website.

    • Malatimanjari Post author

      Reply from our Vedic Psychology Team:

      1. Unpredictable. But practically speaking, such a thing is not possible.

      2. Yes.

      3. This is not something we can answer on an online post. The answer depends on the person and their symptoms. We don’t write in general about disorders, we work specifically with people to help them to better understand their minds. Please book a consultation with Joshika if you are interested in learning about how to work with your disorder.

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