GARBHA VIJNANA (गर्भ विज्ञान)-Prasuti tantra

कुक्षिस्थस्य प्राणिन: गर्भ इति | तस्य विज्ञानं गर्भविज्ञानं ||

The living organism in the womb is called Garbha. The study / science / knowledge of Garbha is known as Garbha Vijnana.

Garbha Shad-Dhatu = Panchamahabhuta + Chetana

शुक्रशोणितजीवसंयोगो तु खलु कुक्षिगते गर्भसंज्ञा भवति || (च.शा. ४/५)

शुक्रशोणित गर्भाशयस्थमात्म प्रकृति विकार संमूर्छितं गर्भ इत्युच्यते || (सु.शा. ५/३)


Garbha Sambhava Samagri
(Essential factors for conception)

  • According to Acharya Charaka:
    Conception of Garbha is only successful in the presence of unimpaired Shukra, Artava, Garbhashaya and by following Garbhadhana Purvakarma.
    While observing the advised diet and regimen, when a female & male of physical & mental maturity & health copulate, the unvitiated Shukra is ejaculated into a healthy Yonimarga. It then reaches the Garbhashaya and unites with Shuddha Artava resulting in conception.
  • According to Acharya Sushruta:
    1) Ritu (Ritukala)
    2) Kshetra (Garbhashaya)
    3) Ambu (Poshana / Rasa)
    4) Beeja (Shukra & Artava)
    When these four factors come together, conception is bound to occur just like a seed germinates when it is planted in the appropriate season, inside the proper ground and required water is supplied.
Garbha sambhava samagri
  • According to Acharya Vagbhata:
    1) Garbhashaya (Uterus)
    2) Marga (Vaginal passage & fallopian tube)
    3) Rakta (Ovum)
    4) Shukra (Sperm)
    5) Anila (Vata Dosha)
    6) Hridi / Mana (Mental state)
    All these factors in a pure & healthy (Shuddha) state are necessary for conception.


  • Garbhadhanavidhi is the sexual act for the conception of Garbha.
  • Garbhadana Samskara was described for the first time in Grihya Sutras. Later Dharma Sutras and Smritis added certain rules and regulation like time and days for conception while considering astrological constellations.
  • Ritukala is the most important factor for a successful conception. It is the appropriate time for conception. Beeja deposited during Ritukala will surely bear fruits.
  • After Rajodarshana (menstruation), Ritukala persists for 12 days. It can even last for a whole month if Yoni, Garbhashaya and Artava are healthy. Ritukala may even occur if Rajodarshana is absent.
  • Conception of Garbha is only successful in the presence of unimpaired Shukra, Artava, Garbhashaya and by following Garbhadhana Purvakarma..
  • Garbhadhana Purvakarma:
    • The woman should chant mantras and perform Namaskara (obeisance) to Ishvara, Agni, Brahmana and Pitru.
    • After that the couple should undergo Snehana, Svedana, Vamana and Virechana Karma. After performance of Samsarjankarma, Asthapana and Anuvasana Basti is administered. The man is given milk which is processed with Madhura Dravya. The woman is given Tila, Masha, etc
      Celibacy should be followed for one month.
  • Garbhadhana vidhi:
    The couple should be passionate and avoid over eating. They should go to a comfortable bed which is sprinkled with pleasant fragrance. The man should step with his right foot first onto the right side of the bed, the female should step with her left foot onto the left side of the bed. The couple should engage in sexual intercourse. Coitus should be done with a woman who is in supine position.
    Afterwards, they should be sprinkled with cold water.
  • Ayogya:
    • Coitus is contraindicated in the following conditions:
      Excessive food intake, fasting, thirst, fear, dejection, grief, anger, the woman has desire for another man, excessive desire for intercourse.
      One should avoid coitus with a woman who is too young or too old, who is in her menstrual period, who is suffering from chronic diseases or is afflicted with any other disease. In the same way, the man must be free of diseases.
  • Coitus should also be avoided with a woman who is in a flexed or lateral position.
  • In flexed position, Vayu gets vitiated and afflicts the Yoni.
  • In right lateral position, Kapha gets displaced and obstructs Garbhashaya.
  • In left lateral position, Pitta gets displaced and burns Shukra & Shonita.

(Sex determination of Garbha)

  • Factors responsible for sex determination:
    1) Shukra / Artava Bahulyat (Predominance of Shukra or Shonita)
    2) Ishvara-Iccha (God’s will)
    3) Dakshina / Vama Nadi Beeja (Gametes from right or left gonad)
    4) Graha Sthiti (Planetary position)
    5) Manasika Sthiti (Psychological state)
    6) Kala Hetu (Time / Day of coitus)

1) Shukra / Artava Bahulyat (Predominance of Shukra or Artava)
Predominance is determined by quantity & quality of Shukra & Artava.

  • Predominance of Shukra -> Purusha (Male progeny)
  • Predominance of Artava -> Stree (Female progeny)
  • Equal -> Napumsaka (Hemaphrodite)

2) Ishvara-Iccha (God’s will)
According to Acharya Bhavamishra and Acharya Sharngadhara, in addition to predominance of Shukra or Artava, God’s will plays an important role in regard to the sex determination of the child.

3) Dakshina / Vama Nadi Beeja (Gametes from right or left gonad)
According to Yoga Ratnakara, in addition to predominance of Shukra or Artava, if the gamete originated from Dakshina Nadi (right side), a male child is born. If the gamete is originated from Vama Nadi (left side), a female child is born.
Dakshina and Vama Nadi should be considered as right and left ovaries.

4) Graha Sthiti (Planetary position)
The planetary position has influence on whether the child will become a male or a female.

5) Manasika Sthiti (Psychological state)
The psychological state of a person influences the quality and quantity of Shukra or Artava. Therefore, it plays an additional role in sex determination.

6) Kala Hetu (Time / Day of coitus)

  • Coitus on even days after menstruation -> Purusha (male progeny)
  • Coitus on odd days after menstruation -> Stree (female progeny)
    Acharya Sushruta advises that one should cohabit on 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th or 12th day after onset of menstruation for those who desire a male progeny, and coitus should be done on 5th, 7th, 9th or 11th day for a female progeny since Artava is less on even days, and more on odd days.


  • Garbhavakranti is the process in which origin of Garbha (fertilization) and its development takes place.
  • After the Garbha is formed, it is followed by the formation of organs.
    Hence, Garbhavakranti can be considered as Fertilization + Organogenesis
  • According to Acharya Sushruta, the heat which is generated during coitus, along with Vayu is responsible for the unity of Shukra with Artava in Garbhashaya to form Garbha. The Atma / Jeeva, reaches the Garbhashaya along with Panchamahabhuta, Sattva, Raja, Tama, Daiva, Asura, etc.
  • According to Acharya Charaka, when a man with Shuddha Shukra copulates with a woman having Shuddha Artava, Yoni and Garbhashaya during Ritukala, then the union of Shukra and Shonita takes place along with Mana & Atma to form Garbha.
  • This Garbha grows due to the Garbhavriddhikara Bhava
  • The following topics are included under Garbhavakranti
  • Garbhavriddhikara Bhava
  • Garbhakara Shadbhava
  • Garbha Avyavotpatti
  • Garbha Varnotpatti
  • Panchabhautikatva of Garbha
  • Masanumasika Garbha Vriddhi
  • Garbha poshana

Garbhavriddhikara Bhava

Factors responsible for formation, growth and development of the foetus: - 6
1) Matradi Garbhakara Bhava
2) Matruja Vihara (Regimen of the mother)
3) Upasneha (Nourishment through transudation)
4) Upasveda (Nourishment through osmosis)
5) Kala Parinama (Time)
6) Svabhava (Nature)

Matradi Garbhakara Bhava / Garbhakara Shadbhava

Matrija, Pitrija, Atmaja, Satmyaja, Rasaja and Sattvaja are the 6 factors responsible for the formation and development of organs as well as various functions, feelings and mental state.
Acharya Sushruta describes the Matradi Garbhakara Bhava as follows:
1) Matrija: All the soft parts are derived from the mother i.e. Rakta, Masma, Meda, Majja, Hridaya, Nabhi, Yakrit, Pleeha, Antra, Guda, etc.
2) Pitrija: All the hard/stable parts are derived from the father i.e. Kesha, Shmashru, Loma, Asthi, Nakha, Danta, Sira, Kandara, Snayu, Dhamani, Shukra, etc.
3) Atmaja: Jnana & Vijnana, Ayu, Sukha, Dukha, etc. are derived from Atma.
4) Satmyaja: Veerya, Arogya, Bala, Varna, Medha, etc. are derived from Satmya.
5) Rasaja: Shareera-Upachaya (growth of the body), Bala, Varna, Svastha & Roga

6) Sattvaja: Sattvika, Rajasika & Tamsika Guna

Acharya Vagbhata describes the Garbhakara Bhava in a similar manner as Acharya Sushruta. However, he mentioned Rajasa & Tamasa Bhava separately as the 7th & 8th factor.
6) Sattvaja Bhava: Cleanliness, Theism, Gratitude, Responsibility, Bravery, Intellect, Memory, Desire for good deeds, Devotion, absence of attachment, following Dharma
7) Rajasa Bhava: Bad behaviour, Bravery, Jealousy, Talkative, Egoism, Pride, Attachment, Desire, Selfishness, Anger, Joy
8) Tamasa Bhava: Ignorance, Despair, Carelessness, Sleep, Laziness, Hunger, Thirst, Grief, Jealousy, Hatred, and opposite Guna of Sattva

Garbha Avyavotpatti

  • According to Acharya Sushruta & Acharya Vagbhata:
    All the Anga-pratyanga (major & minor body parts) are derived from the different Dhatus, including their Sara and Kitta under the influence of Tridosha.

Garbha Varnotpatti(Factors responsible for the complexion of Garbha)

Garbha varnotpatti
  • Agni, Jala & Akasha Mahabhuta -> Gaura varna
  • Agni, Prithvi & Vayu Mahabhuta -> Krishna varna
  • All Mahabhuta equally -> Shyama varna

Panchabhautikatva of Garbha

  • Specific functions of Panchamahabhutas:

. . वायुतवार्जति . . . तेज एवं पचति . . . आपः क्लेदयन्ति . . . पृतथवी संहन्ति . . . आकाशं विवर्धयति . . . (सु - शा - ५)

  • Vayu divides, Teja metabolizes, Apa moistens, Prithvi solidifies and Akasha increases the size.
  • Vayu is responsible for division of Dosha, Dhatu, Mala and all major & minor body parts.
  • Teja provides human features, colour, complexion due to its metabolic function.
  • Apa brings moistness to the Garbha and therefore counteracts the dryness caused by Vayu and Teja.
  • Prithvi solidifies/stabilizes the shape of the embryo.
  • Akasha increases the size by inflation of Srotas which have been created by division of Vayu along with Agni.
  • Bhautika components of Garbha:
    Each and every body part is Panchabhautika, but the Bhutas reflect their relative predominance in their specific areas.

1) Akashiya Angavaya

  • Vata Dosha
  • Satva guna, Buddhi, Laghu, Sukshma
  • Shabda, Karna, Srotas, Mukha, Kantha, Kostha

2) Vayaviya Angavaya

  • Vata Dosha
  • Raja guna, Bhaya, Kama, Khara, Ruksha, Utsaha, Chala / Chesta, Gati
  • Sparsha, Tvak, Nishvasa, Chankramanadi

3) Agneya Angavaya

  • Pitta Dosha
  • Sattva & Raja guna, Krodha, Ushna, Prakasha, Pachana
  • Rupa, Akshi, Varna

4) Jaliya Angavaya

  • Pitta & Kapha Dosha
  • Sattva & Tama Guna, Sheeta, Drava, Manda, Picchila
  • Rasa, Jihva, Udaka, Kleda, Sveda, Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa, Shukra, Vasa, Mutra

5) Parthiva Angavaya

  • Kapha Dosha
  • Tama guna, Guru, Sthira, Kathina
  • Gandha, Nasa, Nakha, Kesha, Shmashru, Loma, Asthi, Danta, Kandara, Peshi, Mamsa, Purisha

Masanumasika Garbha Vriddhi / Garbha Vriddhi Krama

Month wise development of the foetus: (सु - शा - ३)

  • प्रथमे मासि कललं जायते ....
  • द्वितीये शीतोष्णमनिलैरभिप्रपचनमानानाम महाभूतानां संघातो घनः संजायते यदि पिण्ड: पुमान् स्त्री चेत् पेशी नपुंसकं चेदर्बुदमिति..
  • तृतीये हस्त पाद शिरसो पञ्च पिण्दक निर्वर्तन्तेअन्गप्रत्यन्गविभागश्च सूक्ष्मो भवति...
  • चतुर्थो सर्वान्गप्रत्यान्गविभाग: प्रयक्तो गर्भहृदयप्रव्यक्तभावच्चेतनाधातुरहिव्यक्तो भवति ..द्विहृदयां..
  • पञ्चमे मनः प्रतिबुधतरं भवति...
  • षष्टे बुद्धि: ..
  • सप्तमे सर्वन्गप्रत्यन्गविभगः प्रव्यक्ततरः ..
  • अश्तमेअस्थिरोभवत्योज : ..
Masanumasika garbha vriddhi

1) During the first month, Kalala (gelly / mucoid mass) is formed.

2) During the second month, it becomes a hard mass because Panchamahabhuta get transformed by Sheeta (Kapha), Ushna (Pitta) and Anila (Vata).
If this mass assumes a round shape (Pinda), it will become a male foetus
If it assumes an elongated shape like the muscles (Peshi), it will become a female foetus

3) In the third month, five projections develop which are the beginning of the arms, legs and the head. Also the differentiation of major and minor body organs manifests on a minute level.

4) During the fourth month, all the major and minor parts become clearly demarcated. Also the heart of the foetus clearly develops and desires of the foetus are expressed through the mother. This stage is known as Dauhrida. If the mother does not get her desires fulfilled, she will give birth to a child with abnormalities.

5) During the fifth month, Mana becomes clearly manifested.

6) During the sixth month, Buddhi becomes clearly manifested.

7) During the seventh month, all the major and minor parts of the body develop fast and are clearly distinguishable.

8) During the eighth month, Oja is unstable. If birth takes place then, the survival chance of the foetus is less.

9) Birth should take place in 9th or 10th month.

Garbha Poshana

Garbha poshana

Once Garbha is formed, the nourishment takes place through Ahara Rasa and Adhmana of Maruta / Vayu.
The food taken by the mother, influences the physical and psychological constitution of the child. The food consumed by the mother is utilized for the following three purposes:
i) Nourishment of her own body
ii) Formation of Stanya
iii) Nourishment of Garbha by Kedarakulya Nyaya

  • Phases of Garbha Poshana:
    1) Upasneha (Absorption / Post-fertilization)
    2) Upasveda (Histotrophic transfer / Post-implantation)
    3) Nabhinadi (Haematotrophic transfer)

When all the Shadbhavas are normal with appropriate diet and regimen of the mother, the Garbha is nourished by Rasa which is derived by Upasneha and Upasveda.
After the body parts are conspicuous, the nourishment occurs mainly through Nabhinadi (umbilical cord). The foetal umbilicus is attached to the Apara (placenta) by the Nabhinadi, and the Apara is connected to the Hridaya.
The Ahara Rasa flows from mother’s Hridaya to Apara, from the Apara to Nabhinadi and then to the Nabhi where it reaches the Pakvashaya and Ahara Rasa is metabolized by Kayagni of Garbha to provide nourishment.
Since the Rasa which is received is already the essence of Ahara, there is absence of Mala and all nourishment is utilized for the growth and development of the Dhatus.

  • Foetal Nourishment
    1) Absorption / Post-fertilization: After fertilization and before implantation, the zygote is nourished by cellular cytoplasm, yolk of ovum and secretions in fallopian and uterine cavity.
    2) Histotrophic transfer / Post-implantation: After implantation and before formation of fully functional placenta, nutrion is derived from decidua and maternal pools of blood formed as a result of trophoblastic invasion.
    3) Haematotrophic: After foetal circulation is established at around 3 weeks, there is passive transfer of substances in the intervillus space.

Garbhashayasthe Garbhasthiti / Garbhashayantrika Garbhasthiti / Garbhashayanta Garbhasthiti
(Intra-uterine position of the foetus / Attitude)

  • According to Acharya Charaka
  • Urdhva Shira (Vertex is directed upwards)
  • Pristha Vimukha (Face is directed towards the maternal back)
  • Sankuchika Angavyavaha (Flexion of all body parts)
  • According to Acharya Sushruta
  • All body parts are flexed.
  • Foetus looks towards the maternal face.

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