Motherhoods Sunshine and Shadows: A Young Mothers Spiritual Quilt

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But Jatinda averted his gaze, directing it through the window at the scampering landscape. Thus no one at the station will surmise that we are running away together. I unsuspectingly agreed. At dusk our train stopped at Burdwan. Jatinda entered the ticket office; Amar and I sat on the platform. We waited fifteen minutes, then made unavailing inquiries. But he had faded into the dark unknown surrounding the little station. I was completely unnerved, shocked to a peculiar numbness. That God would countenance this depressing episode! The romantic occasion of my first carefully-planned flight after Him was cruelly marred.

This trip is doomed to failure. We refreshed ourselves with famous Burdwan sweetmeats, sitabhog food for the goddess and motichur nuggets of sweet pearl. In a few hours, we entrained for Hardwar, via Bareilly. Changing trains at Moghul Serai, we discussed a vital matter as we waited on the platform. No matter what the outcome, I will not speak untruth. At this moment, a European station agent accosted me. He waved a telegram whose import I immediately grasped. The official then turned to Amar.

The duel of wits that followed hardly permitted me to maintain the counseled stoic gravity. I am the son of an English mother and a converted Christian Indian father. By this time my inward mirth had reached a zenith; I unceremoniously made for the train, whistling for departure.

Amar followed with the official, who was credulous and obliging enough to put us into a European compartment. It evidently pained him to think of two half-English boys traveling in the section allotted to natives. After his polite exit, I lay back on the seat and laughed uncontrollably. My friend wore an expression of blithe satisfaction at having outwitted a veteran European official. On the platform I had contrived to read the telegram.

Please detain them until my arrival. Ample reward for your services. My friend sheepishly acknowledged the thrust. We halted briefly in Bareilly, where Dwarka Prasad awaited us with a telegram from Ananta. My old friend tried valiantly to detain us; I convinced him that our flight had not been undertaken lightly. As on a previous occasion, Dwarka refused my invitation to set forth to the Himalayas. While our train stood in a station that night, and I was half asleep, Amar was awakened by another questioning official.

The majestic mountains loomed invitingly in the distance. We dashed through the station and entered the freedom of city crowds. Our first act was to change into native costume, as Ananta had somehow penetrated our European disguise. A premonition of capture weighed on my mind. Deeming it advisable to leave Hardwar at once, we bought tickets to proceed north to Rishikesh, a soil long hallowed by feet of many masters. I had already boarded the train, while Amar lagged on the platform.

He was brought to an abrupt halt by a shout from a policeman. Our unwelcome guardian escorted us to a station bungalow and took charge of our money. He explained courteously that it was his duty to hold us until my elder brother arrived. You will never meet a greater man of God than the one I saw only yesterday. My brother officer and I first encountered him five days ago. We were patrolling by the Ganges, on a sharp lookout for a certain murderer. Our instructions were to capture him, alive or dead.

He was known to be masquerading as a sadhu in order to rob pilgrims. A short way before us, we spied a figure which resembled the description of the criminal. He ignored our command to stop; we ran to overpower him. As we jumped in front of him, he spoke quietly. Prostrating myself at his feet, I implored his pardon, and offered my turban-cloth to staunch the heavy spurts of blood. The Beloved Mother is taking care of me. Thus you will feel no remorse. The sadhu was there and allowed us to examine his arm. It bore no scar or trace of hurt!

I feel that my life has been uplifted through his sanctity. The officer concluded with a pious ejaculation; his experience had obviously moved him beyond his usual depths. With an impressive gesture, he handed me a printed clipping about the miracle. In the usual garbled manner of the sensational type of newspaper not missing, alas! Amar and I lamented that we had missed the great yogi who could forgive his persecutor in such a Christlike way. We thanked the officer for relieving our tedium with his marvelous story.

He was probably intimating that he was more fortunate than we: he had met an illumined saint without effort; our earnest search had ended, not at the feet of a master, but in a coarse police station! So near the Himalayas and yet, in our captivity, so far, I told Amar I felt doubly impelled to seek freedom.

We can go on foot to holy Rishikesh. But my companion had turned pessimist as soon as the stalwart prop of our money had been taken from us. Amar greeted his relative with affectionate relief. I was unreconciled; Ananta got no more from me than a severe upbraiding. Then you can resume your search here for a master. Amar entered the conversation at this point to disclaim any intention of returning to Hardwar with me.

He was enjoying the familial warmth. But I knew I would never abandon the quest for my guru. A clever scheme had been prearranged by Ananta. Before seeing me at Hardwar, he had stopped in Benares to ask a certain scriptural authority to interview me later. Both the pundit and his son had promised to undertake my dissuasion from the path of a sannyasi. Ananta took me to their home. The son, a young man of ebullient manner, greeted me in the courtyard.

He engaged me in a lengthy philosophic discourse. Professing to have a clairvoyant knowledge of my future, he discountenanced my idea of being a monk. Becoming a high-souled being, he soon attains perennial peace. Arjuna, know this for certain: the devotee who puts his trust in Me never perishes! Last Solstice Festival celebrated by Sri Yukteswar, December, , My Guru is seated in the center; I am at his right, in the large courtyard of his hermitage in Serampore. But the forceful prognostications of the young man had slightly shaken my confidence.

With all the fervor of my heart I prayed silently to God:. Evidently he had overheard the spirited conversation between the self-styled clairvoyant and myself, for the stranger called me to his side. I felt a tremendous power flowing from his calm eyes. In response to your prayer, the Lord tells me to assure you that your sole path in this life is that of the renunciate. My saintly guide raised his hand in blessing and slowly departed. He and his son were gazing at me lugubriously.

I turned away. To Ananta I remarked that I would not engage in further discussion with our hosts. My brother agreed to an immediate departure; we soon entrained for Calcutta. Detective, how did you discover I had fled with two companions? He smiled mischievously.

I went to his home the next morning and unearthed a marked timetable. He has disappeared! Our generosity to the coachman had been slightly misplaced! He had checked Bareilly, so I wired your friend Dwarka there. After inquiries in our Calcutta neighborhood, I learned that cousin Jatinda had been absent one night but had arrived home the following morning in European garb. I sought him out and invited him to dinner. He accepted, quite disarmed by my friendly manner. On the way I led him unsuspectingly to a police station. He was surrounded by several officers whom I had previously selected for their ferocious appearance.

Under their formidable gaze, Jatinda agreed to account for his mysterious conduct. The hilarious sequel on the train was worth all the anguish he had caused me. I must confess to a slight feeling of satisfaction: Jatinda too had not escaped an encounter with the police! At home in Calcutta, Father touchingly requested me to curb my roving feet until, at least, the completion of my high school studies.

In my absence, he had lovingly hatched a plot by arranging for a saintly pundit, Swami Kebalananda, 5 to come regularly to the house. Father hoped to satisfy my religious yearnings by instructions from a learned philosopher. But the tables were subtly turned: my new teacher, far from offering intellectual aridities, fanned the embers of my God-aspiration. The peerless guru had possessed thousands of disciples, silently drawn to him by the irresistibility of his divine magnetism.

I learned later that Lahiri Mahasaya had often characterized Kebalananda as rishi or illumined sage. All the movements of his slight body were marked by a restful deliberation. Ever gentle and loving, he was firmly established in the infinite consciousness. Many of our happy hours together were spent in deep Kriya meditation. But my progress in Sanskrit scholarship was unnoteworthy. I sought every opportunity to forsake prosaic grammar and to talk of yoga and Lahiri Mahasaya. My tutor obliged me one day by telling me something of his own life with the master.

His Benares home was my nightly goal of pilgrimage. The guru was always present in a small front parlor on the first floor. As he sat in lotus posture on a backless wooden seat, his disciples garlanded him in a semicircle. His eyes sparkled and danced with the joy of the Divine.

They were ever half closed, peering through the inner telescopic orb into a sphere of eternal bliss. He seldom spoke at length. Occasionally his gaze would focus on a student in need of help; healing words poured then like an avalanche of light. I was permeated with his fragrance, as though from a lotus of infinity.

To be with him, even without exchanging a word for days, was experience which changed my entire being. There the most tenuous states came easily within my grasp.

Motherhood: A Spiritual Journey

She would collect a hand full of stubs which were meant to be …. The wearing down was most difficult, hard to accept His grace for my failure … we all fail … I can not control my children into what God, I think wants them to be. Although odd, clear memories of infancy are not extremely rare. It evidently pained him to think of two half-English boys traveling in the section allotted to natives. She is the one who taught me when to swallow my words and when to have long pauses. Anyone can do that. I am not who they say that I am I am not The smart girl who is always happy.

Such perceptions eluded me in the presence of lesser teachers. The master was a living temple of God whose secret doors were open to all disciples through devotion. He had the wondrous clavis which unlocked the profound philosophical science embedded ages ago in the Vedas. This technique cannot be bound, filed, and forgotten, in the manner of theoretical inspirations.

Continue ceaselessly on your path to liberation through Kriya, whose power lies in practice. My saintly tutor recounted the story one day, his eyes remote from the Sanskrit texts before us. Should he have no light in his eyes, when he faithfully served our master, in whom the Divine was fully blazing? One morning I sought to speak to Ramu, but he sat for patient hours fanning the guru with a hand-made palm-leaf punkha. When the devotee finally left the room, I followed him. Never have my eyes been blessed with a glimpse of the sun.

The disciple felt almost ashamed to ask that physical wealth be added to his spiritual superabundance. I have no healing power. He who ignites the stars and the cells of flesh with mysterious life-effulgence can surely bring luster of vision into your eyes. The splendor of the sun shall have a special dawn for you.

For the first time, Ramu beheld the fair face of nature. The Omniscient One had unerringly directed his disciple to repeat the name of Rama, adored by him above all other saints. By perfection of resistless surrender, the master enabled the Prime Healing Power to flow freely through him. But the silent spiritual awakenings he effected, the Christlike disciples he fashioned, are his imperishable miracles.

Bhagavad Gita, IX, Krishna was the greatest prophet of India; Arjuna was his foremost disciple. I always addressed him as Ananta-da. Da is a respectful suffix which the eldest brother in an Indian family receives from junior brothers and sisters. His biography has been recently published in Bengali. Born in the Khulna district of Bengal in , Kebalananda gave up his body in Benares at the age of sixty-eight.

His family name was Ashutosh Chatterji. The ancient four Vedas comprise over extant canonical books. It contains every religious sentiment, all the grand ethics which visit in turn each noble poetic mind. It is of no use to put away the book; if I trust myself in the woods or in a boat upon the pond, Nature makes a Brahmin of me presently: eternal necessity, eternal compensation, unfathomable power, unbroken silence. This is her creed. Peace, she saith to me, and purity and absolute abandonment—these panaceas expiate all sin and bring you to the beatitude of the Eight Gods.

At death the consciousness of man is usually drawn to this holy spot, accounting for the upraised eyes found in the dead. The central sacred figure of the Sanskrit epic, Ramayana. I did not have this wisdom of Solomon to comfort me; I gazed searchingly about me, on any excursion from home, for the face of my destined guru. But my path did not cross his own until after the completion of my high school studies. Everything else is complex. Do not seek absolute values in the relative world of nature.

These philosophical finalities gently entered my ear as I stood silently before a temple image of Kali. Good and evil is the challenging riddle which life places sphinxlike before every intelligence. Attempting no solution, most men pay forfeit with their lives, penalty now even as in the days of Thebes. Here and there, a towering lonely figure never cries defeat. It pulverizes the stoutest ego. But true self-analysis mathematically operates to produce seers. The human mind, bared to a centuried slime, is teeming with repulsive life of countless world-delusions.

Struggles of the battlefields pale into insignificance here, when man first contends with inward enemies! No mortal foes these, to be overcome by harrowing array of might! Omnipresent, unresting, pursuing man even in sleep, subtly equipped with a miasmic weapon, these soldiers of ignorant lusts seek to slay us all. Thoughtless is the man who buries his ideals, surrendering to the common fate. Can he seem other than impotent, wooden, ignominious? But ingenuity is equal to the maze. Inner research soon exposes a unity in all human minds—the stalwart kinship of selfish motive.

In one sense at least, the brotherhood of man stands revealed. An aghast humility follows this leveling discovery. Release is given him from the deafening demands of his ego. The love of God flowers on such soil. With a sweeping gesture, my chance companion dismissed the ornate dignity. We strolled to the inviting sunshine at the entrance, where throngs of devotees were passing to and fro.

Their hoary dictums suffice for this day and land. Not outmoded, not unsophisticated against the guiles of materialism, the disciplinary precepts mold India still. By millenniums—more than embarrassed scholars care to compute! Take it for your heritage. As I was reverently bidding farewell to the eloquent sadhu, he revealed a clairvoyant perception:. I quitted the temple precincts and wandered along aimlessly.

Turning a corner, I ran into an old acquaintance—one of those long-winded fellows whose conversational powers ignore time and embrace eternity. But he held me by the hand, forcing out tidbits of information. He was like a ravenous wolf, I thought in amusement; the longer I spoke, the more hungrily he sniffed for news. Inwardly I petitioned the Goddess Kali to devise a graceful means of escape. My companion left me abruptly. I sighed with relief and doubled my pace, dreading any relapse into the garrulous fever.

Hearing rapid footsteps behind me, I quickened my speed. I dared not look back. But with a bound, the youth rejoined me, jovially clasping my shoulder. You may have an unusual experience. The similarly worded prediction of the sadhu at Kalighat Temple flashed to my mind. Definitely intrigued, I entered the house and was ushered into a commodious parlor. A crowd of people were sitting, Orient-wise, here and there on a thick orange-colored carpet.

An awed whisper reached my ear:. I looked directly at the saint; his quick gaze rested on mine. He was plump and bearded, with dark skin and large, gleaming eyes. Can you materialize flowers? My own purpose is to demonstrate the power of God. Philosopher, you please my mind. Now, stretch forth your right hand. I was a few feet away from Gandha Baba; no one else was near enough to contact my body. I extended my hand, which the yogi did not touch. To my great surprise, the charming fragrance of rose was wafted strongly from the center of my palm.

I smilingly took a large white scentless flower from a near-by vase. A jasmine fragrance instantly shot from the petals. I thanked the wonder-worker and seated myself by one of his students. He informed me that Gandha Baba, whose proper name was Vishudhananda, had learned many astonishing yoga secrets from a master in Tibet. The Tibetan yogi, I was assured, had attained the age of over a thousand years. He is marvelous!

Many members of the Calcutta intelligentsia are among his followers. I inwardly resolved not to add myself to their number. With polite thanks to Gandha Baba, I departed. Sauntering home, I reflected on the three varied encounters the day had brought forth. A ludicrous bafflement passed over her face as she repeatedly sniffed the odor of jasmine from a type of flower she well knew to be scentless. Her reactions disarmed my suspicion that Gandha Baba had induced an auto-suggestive state whereby I alone could detect the fragrances.

Because the yogi was reputed to have the power of extracting objects out of thin air, I laughingly requested him to materialize some out-of-season tangerines. Each of the bread-envelopes proved to contain a peeled tangerine. I bit into my own with some trepidation, but found it delicious.

Years later I understood by inner realization how Gandha Baba accomplished his materializations. The method, alas! The different sensory stimuli to which man reacts—tactual, visual, gustatory, auditory, and olfactory—are produced by vibratory variations in electrons and protons. Gandha Baba, tuning himself with the cosmic force by certain yogic practices, was able to guide the lifetrons to rearrange their vibratory structure and objectivize the desired result. His perfume, fruit and other miracles were actual materializations of mundane vibrations, and not inner sensations hypnotically produced.

Having little purpose beyond entertainment, they are digressions from a serious search for God. Hypnotism has been used by physicians in minor operations as a sort of psychical chloroform for persons who might be endangered by an anesthetic. But a hypnotic state is harmful to those often subjected to it; a negative psychological effect ensues which in time deranges the brain cells. Its temporary phenomena have nothing in common with the miracles performed by men of divine realization. Awake in God, true saints effect changes in this dream-world by means of a will harmoniously attuned to the Creative Cosmic Dreamer.

Ostentatious display of unusual powers are decried by masters. The Persian mystic, Abu Said, once laughed at certain fakirs who were proud of their miraculous powers over water, air, and space. A true man is he who dwells in righteousness among his fellow men, who buys and sells, yet is never for a single instant forgetful of God!

Neither the impartial sage at Kalighat Temple nor the Tibetan-trained yogi had satisfied my yearning for a guru. When I finally met my master, he taught me by sublimity of example alone the measure of a true man. Kali represents the eternal principle in nature. She is traditionally pictured as a four-armed woman, standing on the form of the God Shiva or the Infinite, because nature or the phenomenal world is rooted in the Noumenon. The four arms symbolize cardinal attributes, two beneficent, two destructive, indicating the essential duality of matter or creation. Laymen scarcely realize the vast strides of twentieth-century science.

Transmutation of metals and other alchemical dreams are seeing fulfillment every day in centers of scientific research over the world. The eminent French chemist, M. This noted French scientist has produced liquid air by an expansion method in which he has been able to separate the various gases of the air, and has discovered various means of mechanical utilization of differences of temperature in sea water. Let us visit him tomorrow. This welcome suggestion came from Chandi, one of my high school friends.

I was eager to meet the saint who, in his premonastic life, had caught and fought tigers with his naked hands. A boyish enthusiasm over such remarkable feats was strong within me. The next day dawned wintry cold, but Chandi and I sallied forth gaily. After much vain hunting in Bhowanipur, outside Calcutta, we arrived at the right house. The door held two iron rings, which I sounded piercingly. Notwithstanding the clamor, a servant approached with leisurely gait. Feeling the silent rebuke, my companion and I were thankful to be invited into the parlor.

Our long wait there caused uncomfortable misgivings. This psychological ruse is freely employed in the West by doctors and dentists! Finally summoned by the servant, Chandi and I entered a sleeping apartment. The sight of his tremendous body affected us strangely. With bulging eyes, we stood speechless. We had never before seen such a chest or such football-like biceps. A hint of dovelike and tigerlike qualities shone in his dark eyes. He was unclothed, save for a tiger skin about his muscular waist. Finding our voices, my friend and I greeted the monk, expressing our admiration for his prowess in the extraordinary feline arena.

I could do it today if necessary. One cannot expect victory from a baby who imagines a tiger to be a house cat! Powerful hands are my sufficient weapon. He asked us to follow him to the patio, where he struck the edge of a wall. A brick crashed to the floor; the sky peered boldly through the gaping lost tooth of the wall. I fairly staggered in astonishment; he who can remove mortared bricks from a solid wall with one blow, I thought, must surely be able to displace the teeth of tigers! Those who are bodily but not mentally stalwart may find themselves fainting at mere sight of a wild beast bounding freely in the jungle.

The tiger in its natural ferocity and habitat is vastly different from the opium-fed circus animal! It is possible for a man, owning a fairly strong body and an immensely strong determination, to turn the tables on the tiger, and force it to a conviction of pussycat defenselessness. How often I have done just that!

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I was quite willing to believe that the titan before me was able to perform the tiger-pussycat metamorphosis. He seemed in a didactic mood; Chandi and I listened respectfully. The body is literally manufactured and sustained by mind. Through pressure of instincts from past lives, strengths or weaknesses percolate gradually into human consciousness. They express as habits, which in turn ossify into a desirable or an undesirable body. Outward frailty has mental origin; in a vicious circle, the habit-bound body thwarts the mind.

If the master allows himself to be commanded by a servant, the latter becomes autocratic; the mind is similarly enslaved by submitting to bodily dictation. My will was mighty, but my body was feeble. An ejaculation of surprise broke from me. I have every reason to extol the compelling mental vigor which I found to be the real subduer of royal Bengals. No spiritual benefit accrues by knocking beasts unconscious. Rather be victor over the inner prowlers. The Tiger Swami fell into silence.

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Remoteness came into his gaze, summoning visions of bygone years. I discerned his slight mental struggle to decide whether to grant my request. Finally he smiled in acquiescence. I decided not only to fight tigers but to display them in various tricks. My ambition was to force savage beasts to behave like domesticated ones.

I began to perform my feats publicly, with gratifying success. I would save you from coming ills, produced by the grinding wheels of cause and effect. Should superstition be allowed to discolor the powerful waters or my activities? But I believe in the just law of retribution, as taught in the holy scriptures. There is resentment against you in the jungle family; sometime it may act to your cost. You well know what tigers are—beautiful but merciless! Even immediately after an enormous meal of some hapless creature, a tiger is fired with fresh lust at sight of new prey.

It may be a joyous gazelle, frisking over the jungle grass. Capturing it and biting an opening in the soft throat, the malevolent beast tastes only a little of the mutely crying blood, and goes its wanton way. Who knows? I am headmaster in a forest finishing school, to teach them gentle manners! How could my good actions bring ill upon me? I beg you not to impose any command that I change my way of life. Chandi and I were all attention, understanding the past dilemma. He followed it with a disclosure which he uttered gravely.

He approached me yesterday as I sat on the veranda in my daily meditation. Let him cease his savage activities. Otherwise, his next tiger-encounter shall result in his severe wounds, followed by six months of deathly sickness. He shall then forsake his former ways and become a monk. I considered that Father had been the credulous victim of a deluded fanatic. The Tiger Swami made this confession with an impatient gesture, as though at some stupidity.

Grimly silent for a long time, he seemed oblivious of our presence. When he took up the dangling thread of his narrative, it was suddenly, with subdued voice. The picturesque territory was new to me, and I expected a restful change. As usual everywhere, a curious crowd followed me on the streets. I would catch bits of whispered comment:. With what speed do the even-later speech-bulletins of the women circulate from house to house! Within a few hours, the whole city was in a state of excitement over my presence. They stopped in front of my dwelling place.

In came a number of tall, turbaned policemen. He is pleased to invite you to his palace tomorrow morning. For some obscure reason I felt sharp regret at this interruption in my quiet trip. But the suppliant manner of the policemen moved me; I agreed to go. A servant held an ornate umbrella to protect me from the scorching sunlight. I enjoyed the pleasant ride through the city and its woodland outskirts.

The royal scion himself was at the palace door to welcome me. He proffered his own gold-brocaded seat, smilingly placing himself in a chair of simpler design. Is it a fact? You are a Calcutta Bengali, nurtured on the white rice of city folk. Be frank, please; have you not been fighting only spineless, opium-fed animals? Several thousand rupees and many other gifts shall also be bestowed.

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If you refuse to meet him in combat, I shall blazon your name throughout the state as an impostor! I shot an angry acceptance. Half risen from the chair in his excitement, the prince sank back with a sadistic smile. I was reminded of the Roman emperors who delighted in setting Christians in bestial arenas. I regret that I cannot give you permission to view the tiger in advance.

Through my servant I learned of fantastic tales. Many simple villagers believed that an evil spirit, cursed by the gods, had reincarnated as a tiger which took various demoniac forms at night, but remained a striped animal during the day. This demon-tiger was supposed to be the one sent to humble me. He was to be the instrument to punish me—the audacious biped, so insulting to the entire tiger species!

A furless, fangless man daring to challenge a claw-armed, sturdy-limbed tiger! The concentrated venom of all humiliated tigers—the villagers declared—had gathered momentum sufficient to operate hidden laws and bring about the fall of the proud tiger tamer. He had supervised the erection of a storm-proof pavilion, designed to accommodate thousands. Its center held Raja Begum in an enormous iron cage, surrounded by an outer safety room.

The captive emitted a ceaseless series of blood-curdling roars. He was fed sparingly, to kindle a wrathful appetite. Perhaps the prince expected me to be the meal of reward! The day of battle saw hundreds turned away for lack of seats. Many men broke through the tent openings, or crowded any space below the galleries. Scantily clad around the waist, I was otherwise unprotected by clothing. I opened the bolt on the door of the safety room and calmly locked it behind me.

The tiger sensed blood. Leaping with a thunderous crash on his bars, he sent forth a fearsome welcome. The audience was hushed with pitiful fear; I seemed a meek lamb before the raging beast.

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My right hand was desperately torn. Human blood, the greatest treat a tiger can know, fell in appalling streams. The prophecy of the saint seemed about to be fulfilled. Banishing the sight of my gory fingers by thrusting them beneath my waist cloth, I swung my left arm in a bone-cracking blow. The beast reeled back, swirled around the rear of the cage, and sprang forward convulsively.

My famous fistic punishment rained on his head. My inadequate defense of only one hand left me vulnerable before claws and fangs. But I dealt out dazing retribution. Mutually ensanguined, we struggled as to the death. The cage was pandemonium, as blood splashed in all directions, and blasts of pain and lethal lust came from the bestial throat.

I mustered all my will force, bellowed fiercely, and landed a final concussive blow. The tiger collapsed and lay quietly. His royal pride was further humbled: with my lacerated hands, I audaciously forced open his jaws. For a dramatic moment, I held my head within the yawning deathtrap. I looked around for a chain. Pulling one from a pile on the floor, I bound the tiger by his neck to the cage bars.

In triumph I moved toward the door. With an incredible lunge, he snapped the chain and leaped on my back. My shoulder fast in his jaws, I fell violently.

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But in a trice I had him pinned beneath me. Under merciless blows, the treacherous animal sank into semiconsciousness. This time I secured him more carefully. Slowly I left the cage. Disastrously mauled, I had yet fulfilled the three conditions of the fight—stunning the tiger, binding him with a chain, and leaving him without requiring assistance for myself.

In addition, I had so drastically injured and frightened the aggressive beast that he had been content to overlook the opportune prize of my head in his mouth! The whole city entered a holiday period. Endless discussions were heard on all sides about my victory over one of the largest and most savage tigers ever seen.

Raja Begum was presented to me, as promised, but I felt no elation. A spiritual change had entered my heart. It seemed that with my final exit from the cage I had also closed the door on my worldly ambitions. For six months I lay near death from blood poisoning.

As soon as I was well enough to leave Cooch Behar, I returned to my native town. You are used to an audience: let it be a galaxy of angels, entertained by your thrilling mastery of yoga! He opened my soul-doors, rusty and resistant with long disuse. Hand in hand, we soon set out for my training in the Himalayas.

I felt amply repaid for the long probationary wait in the cold parlor! Sohong was his monastic name. I gave him an enthusiastic smile. Upendra nodded, a little crestfallen not to be a news-bearer. My inquisitiveness about saints was well-known among my friends; they delighted in setting me on a fresh track. Then he extinguished the thundering breath and remained motionless in a high state of superconsciousness.

He has lived indoors for the past twenty years. He slightly relaxes his self-imposed rule at the times of our holy festivals, when he goes as far as his front sidewalk! The beggars gather there, because Saint Bhaduri is known for his tender heart. Then it will levitate or hop about like a leaping frog. Do you attend his evening meetings? I am vastly entertained by the wit in his wisdom. Occasionally my prolonged laughter mars the solemnity of his gatherings. The saint is not displeased, but his disciples look daggers!

The yogi was inaccessible to the general public. Worldly people do not like the candor which shatters their delusions. Saints are not only rare but disconcerting. Even in scripture, they are often found embarrassing! I followed Bhaduri Mahasaya to his austere quarters on the top floor, from which he seldom stirred. The contemporaries of a sage are not alone those of the narrow present. The sage locked his vibrant body in the lotus posture.

In his seventies, he displayed no unpleasing signs of age or sedentary life. Stalwart and straight, he was ideal in every respect. His face was that of a rishi, as described in the ancient texts. Noble-headed, abundantly bearded, he always sat firmly upright, his quiet eyes fixed on Omnipresence. He offered me some mangoes. His own face was always serious, yet touched with an ecstatic smile. His large, lotus eyes held a hidden divine laughter. They are discovering India anew, with a better sense of direction than Columbus! I am glad to help them. The knowledge of yoga is free to all who will receive, like the ungarnishable daylight.

Alike in soul though diverse in outer experience, neither West nor East will flourish if some form of disciplinary yoga be not practiced. The saint held me with his tranquil eyes. I did not realize that his speech was a veiled prophetic guidance. They and their students will be living volumes, proof against the natural disintegrations of time and the unnatural interpretations of the critics.

I remained alone with the yogi until his disciples arrived in the evening. Bhaduri Mahasaya entered one of his inimitable discourses. Like a peaceful flood, he swept away the mental debris of his listeners, floating them Godward. His striking parables were expressed in a flawless Bengali.

This evening Bhaduri expounded various philosophical points connected with the life of Mirabai, a medieval Rajputani princess who abandoned her court life to seek the company of sadhus. One great sannyasi refused to receive her because she was a woman; her reply brought him humbly to her feet. Mirabai composed many ecstatic songs which are still treasured in India; I translate one of them here:. Grateful friends are only the Lord in disguise, looking after His own. How then have I denied myself anything?

I know the joy of sharing the treasure. Is that a sacrifice? The shortsighted worldly folk are verily the real renunciates! They relinquish an unparalleled divine possession for a poor handful of earthly toys! I chuckled over this paradoxical view of renunciation—one which puts the cap of Croesus on any saintly beggar, whilst transforming all proud millionaires into unconscious martyrs. Their bitter thoughts are like scars on their foreheads. The One who gave us air and milk from our first breath knows how to provide day by day for His devotees.

With silent zeal he aided me to attain anubhava. Although it throws me ahead of my story by a number of years, I will recount here the last words given to me by Bhaduri Mahasaya. Shortly before I embarked for the West, I sought him out and humbly knelt for his farewell blessing:.

Take the dignity of hoary India for your shield. Victory is written on your brow; the noble distant people will well receive you. Methods of controlling life-force through regulation of breath. French professors were the first in the West to be willing to scientifically investigate the possibilities of the superconscious mind. The existence of a superconscious mind has long been recognized philosophically, being in reality the Oversoul spoken of by Emerson, but only recently has it been recognized scientifically.

Theresa of Avila and other Christian saints were often observed in a state of levitation. Math means hermitage or ashram. Overhearing this provocative remark, I walked closer to a sidewalk group of professors engaged in scientific discussion. If my motive in joining them was racial pride, I regret it. I cannot deny my keen interest in evidence that India can play a leading part in physics, and not metaphysics alone.

The professor obligingly explained. But the Indian scientist did not exploit his inventions commercially. He soon turned his attention from the inorganic to the organic world. His revolutionary discoveries as a plant physiologist are outpacing even his radical achievements as a physicist. I politely thanked my mentor. I paid a visit the next day to the sage at his home, which was close to mine on Gurpar Road.

I had long admired him from a respectful distance. The grave and retiring botanist greeted me graciously. He was a handsome, robust man in his fifties, with thick hair, broad forehead, and the abstracted eyes of a dreamer. The precision in his tones revealed the lifelong scientific habit. Their members exhibited intense interest in delicate instruments of my invention which demonstrate the indivisible unity of all life.

The microscope enlarges only a few thousand times; yet it brought vital impetus to biological science. The crescograph opens incalculable vistas. How admirable is the Western method of submitting all theory to scrupulous experimental verification! That empirical procedure has gone hand in hand with the gift for introspection which is my Eastern heritage. Together they have enabled me to sunder the silences of natural realms long uncommunicative. Love, hate, joy, fear, pleasure, pain, excitability, stupor, and countless appropriate responses to stimuli are as universal in plants as in animals.

A saint I once knew would never pluck flowers. Shall I cruelly affront its dignity by my rude divestment? Come someday to my laboratory and see the unequivocable testimony of the crescograph. Gratefully I accepted the invitation, and took my departure. I heard later that the botanist had left Presidency College, and was planning a research center in Calcutta. When the Bose Institute was opened, I attended the dedicatory services. Enthusiastic hundreds strolled over the premises.

I was charmed with the artistry and spiritual symbolism of the new home of science. Its front gate, I noted, was a centuried relic from a distant shrine. The garden held a small temple consecrated to the Noumenon beyond phenomena. Thought of the divine incorporeity was suggested by absence of any altar-image. To my amazement, I found boundary lines vanishing, and points of contact emerging, between the realms of the living and the non-living. Inorganic matter was perceived as anything but inert; it was athrill under the action of multitudinous forces.

They all exhibited essentially the same phenomena of fatigue and depression, with possibilities of recovery and of exaltation, as well as the permanent irresponsiveness associated with death. Filled with awe at this stupendous generalization, it was with great hope that I announced my results before the Royal Society—results demonstrated by experiments.

Motherhood Stress

But the physiologists present advised me to confine myself to physical investigations, in which my success had been assured, rather than encroach on their preserves. I had unwittingly strayed into the domain of an unfamiliar caste system and so offended its etiquette. It is often forgotten that He who surrounded us with this ever-evolving mystery of creation has also implanted in us the desire to question and understand. Through many years of miscomprehension, I came to know that the life of a devotee of science is inevitably filled with unending struggle. It is for him to cast his life as an ardent offering—regarding gain and loss, success and failure, as one.

By a continuous living tradition, and a vital power of rejuvenescence, this land has readjusted itself through unnumbered transformations. Indians have always arisen who, discarding the immediate and absorbing prize of the hour, have sought for the realization of the highest ideals in life—not through passive renunciation, but through active struggle. The weakling who has refused the conflict, acquiring nothing, has had nothing to renounce. He alone who has striven and won can enrich the world by bestowing the fruits of his victorious experience.

Problems hitherto regarded as insoluble have now been brought within the sphere of experimental investigation. In antiquity, I have been unable to find a single classical scholar who has been able to cite any instance of a father saying one word to his child prior to the age of seven. They rarely showed themselves in public [but] stayed in apartments men did not enter; they rarely ate with their husbands…they never spent their days together.

In general, however, children ate with their mothers, not their fathers…Eating and drinking, far from offering the whole family an opportunity for communal activity, tended to express and reinforce cleavages within it. The husband is usually missing from the homes of most earlier societies, and not just during their frequent military service. But if so, very few indeed. The gynarchy ruled supreme in early homes. This monarchy was often tyrannical.

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A gentleman was playing with his child of a year old, who began to cry. He ordered silence; the child did not obey; the father then began to whip it, but this terrified the child and increased its cries…The father thought the child would be ruined unless it was made to yield, and renewed his chastisement with increased severity….

On undressing it, a pin was discovered sticking into its back. Girls in traditional societies spent most of their growing up years trying to avoid being raped by their neighbors or employers and thereby being forced into a lives of prostitution. To expect horribly abused girls to magically become mature, loving caretakers when as teenagers they go to live as virtual slaves in a strange family simply goes against the conclusions of every clinical study we have showing the disastrous effects of trauma upon the ability to mother.

I wanted to kill him really…I hated the baby for constantly being there. The baby in the past must not need anything, but must just give love solely to the emotionally-deprived mother:. Mothers hallucinated their children as maternal breasts with such intensity that they were constantly licking and sucking their faces, lips, breasts and genitals, 72 feeling so needy from their own loveless childhoods that they expected their children to care for them emotionally as they grow up. What is miraculous- and what is the source of most social progress -is that mothers throughout history have slowly and successfully struggled with their fear and hatred with so little help from others and have managed to evolve the loving, empathic childrearing one can find in many families around the world today.

The severely immature parents of the past felt under such constant threat for success by malevolent forces-maternal alters-that their own children were constantly being used as poison containers for their disowned feelings. Only if a pure individual passes by, like a child for instance, will the bad leave you, for it will fall on the unpolluted.

A typical child sacrifice for parental success can be seen in Carthage, where archeologists have found a child cemetery called The Tophet that is filled with over 20, urns containing bones of children sacrificed by the parents, who would make a vow to kill their next child if the gods would grant them a favor-for instance, if their shipment of goods were to arrive safely in a foreign port.

Even when children died in the past from natural causes, the sources often reveal a deep satisfaction by the parents. When she saw the death of one of her infants approaching, she experienced a deep happiness, which she attempted to conceal only from those who were likely to blame her…. When, as several times happened, she seemed likely to lose an infant child, she did not pray God that it should die, since religion forbids it, but she did in fact rejoice. Over and over again death wishes are revealed in the historical sources, breaking out when interacting with children.

I resigned the Child unto the Lord; my Will was extinguished. I could say, My Father, Kill my Child, if it be thy Pleasure to do so …I had rather have him dy in his Infancy, than live in cursed and lothsome Wickedness…[my dead child is] a Family-Sacrifice …I would endeavour exceedingly to glorify God, by making a Sacrifice of the lovely Child… To preserve the child she must renounce mother… She is trapped in a desperate conflict: kill mother and preserve the baby or kill the baby and preserve the mother. Even this astonishing figure is not the whole story of infanticide, however.

Every study of infant death rates among children sent out to wetnurses and abandoned in foundling homes shows much higher death rates, running to over 70 per cent and higher, even in modern times. Although poverty played some part in this holocaust of children, it is doubtful if it was the main cause of child deaths. In the first place, the cost of bringing up a girl is no more than the cost of bringing up a boy, so the differential infanticide rates are certainly parental choices.

Secondly, if scarce resources were the main cause, then wealthy parents should kill less than poor. Even in early modern England, the infant mortality rates for wealthy children were higher than the same rates for ordinary farmers, day laborers and craftsman. It is most certainly not economics that causes so many depressed women on the delivery tables even today to implore their mothers not to kill them after they have given birth. Opposition by society to infanticide was negligible until modern times.

It is well for him that he should die…he was placed on a slanting roof [and] if he laughed, he was reared, but if he was frightened and cried, he was thrust out to perish. Century after century, the children in traditional societies who survived remembered the cries of their murdered brothers and sisters, feared their murderous parents, believed themselves unworthy of living, irredeemably bad, and grew up to inflict the killings on their own children. Frazer documented these finger sacrifice rituals in many cultures, and sanctuaries have been found as far back as the Neolithic with finger bones, right up through ancient Greek times, when, Pausanias reported, finger sacrifice rituals were still performed to pacify pursuing demons.

The vagina must therefore be cut open again before intercourse, and the women have great difficulty giving birth and often are further cut to allow the baby to pass through. During the mutilations-usually done around the age of six with rusty knives by the women of the gynarchy-the girls undergo excruciating pain, sometimes die of complications, usually hemorrhage, and often pass out from the shock since no anaesthetic is used. Circumcision for boys might be thought of as less traumatic since it involves only removal of the foreskin, a far less painful and serious mutilation.

His mother dances along with the other women until he stops crying. That circumcision of boys is still practiced so regularly in America is a testimony to the continuing ubiquity of parental assault on the sexuality of children. But the more serious genital mutilation of boys that occurred throughout history, East and West, was castration. They are then used as women, sexually and otherwise, when they grow up, as in the hijras of India or the berdaches of American Indian tribes. Aztec childhood was simply more fully described, by visitors from Europe.

The first thing most Western societies did to the newborn up until the twentieth century was cut the ligament under their tongue with their thumbnail, assaulting them in advance for what they experienced as maternal tongue-lashing. The nose would be corrected…the nurse would gentle stretch the end of the foreskin every day…The scrotum would also be massaged… Particularly widespread was the impulse to burn children.

Traditional Arab children had burn marks all over their body from being burned by their parents with red-hot irons or pins. Parents of every period force children who have soiled their bed, to consume their own excrement. A typical example of this thralldom can be seen in the following observation of a visitor to Italy who describes a popular religious festival:. The most striking object of the solemnities is a procession [in which] a colossal car is dragged by a long team of buffaloes through the streets.

Upon this are erected a great variety of objects, such as the sun, moon, and principal planets, set in rotary motion…The heart sickens at sight of it [for] bound to the rays of sun and moon, to the circles forming the spheres of the various planets, are infants yet unweaned, whose mothers, for the gain of a few ducats, thus expose their offspring, to represent the cherub escort which is supposed to accompany the Virgin [Mary] to heaven.

When this huge machine has made its jolting round, these helpless creatures…having been whirled round and round for a period of seven hours, are taken down from this fatal machine, already dead or dying. Then ensues a scene impossible to describe-the mothers struggling with each other, screaming, and trampling each other down. It not being possible, on account of the number, for each mother to recognize her own child among the survivors, one disputes with the other the identity of her infant…The less fortunate mothers, as they receive the dead bodies of their infants, often already cold, rend the air with their fictitious lamentations, but consoled with the certainty that Maria, enamoured of her child, has taken it with her into Paradise.

In fact, mothers in the past seemed unable to even empathize enough with their infants to notice when they were hungry. Swaddled babies were hung on a peg or put in a cradle in another room, where their hunger cries could not be heard; in addition, tight swaddling makes infants withdraw into themselves so they refrain from crying when hungry. Mothers knew their own mothers would be jealous if they cared about the newborn rather than devoting themselves to the grandmother, so they rarely inquired about the baby at wetnurse.

Indeed, Indeed! Must the brat have my paps too? Physicians have complained since antiquity about parents who routinely give their newborn over to negligent and abusive wetnurses. Those who died on the journey were just thrown out en route. The wetnurse herself was usually an infanticidal mother. When he cried she used to shake him-when she washed him she used to stuff the sponge in his little mouth-push her finger beast!

Often the child cries so hard it ends up with a hernia…turkeys peck out the eyes of a child…or they fall into a fire, or drown in pails left carelessly on doorsteps. It is no wonder that well into the nineteenth century many areas had a two-thirds mortality rate of infants sent to wetnurse. Since their parents seldom visited them, the children were total strangers when they were returned to them years later. What have you brought me here! This goggle-eyed, splatter-faced, gabbart-mouthed wretch is not my child!

Take her away! Wetnursing was practiced by societies all over the world, from Europe to Asia, as far back as records exist. The decision was made purely for psychogenic reasons; no new invention nor social condition caused the change. Nor was it due to a change in the opinions of experts-the pro-nursing tracts of Rousseau and others had little affect on the near-universal wetnursing practice in France, for instance, while in America, even in the South where slave nurses were available, mothers usually nursed themselves by the eighteenth century.

The new middle class took the lead in maternal nursing, while-even in England-the upper classes gave their infants to wetnurses well into the nineteenth century; Victoria was the first English monarch who was not put out to wetnurse. Infant mortality in these areas immediately plunged, and mothers began to work out how to face the new emotional challenges of relating to their babies. The child began immediately to passionately scream and tried to free himself…This seemed to be a signal for the mother to rock the cradle violently; at the same time she covered the head of the baby with a white sheet.

How pleased! How delightful! The effects of swaddling upon every human born during the past ten millennia were catastrophic. Because of the lack of warmth and holding, there is a lifelong deficit in oxytocin and oversupply of cortisol, the stress hormone, resulting in a lifetime of rage and anxiety states. The typical mother of the hundreds I have collected from memoirs in the past was described as endlessly beating her children:.

She was a curious woman, my mother. Children seemed to inspire her with a vindictive animosity, with a fury for beating and banging them, against walls, against, chairs, upon the ground… Mama whipped us for the least thing…sometimes the chastisement could better be called a flogging…we kept the marks for many many days.

I was often whipped. Children throughout history began being beaten in the womb. Pregnant mothers in the past were usually beaten by their husbands, a practice they had a legal right to do until the twentieth century, and even today over a third of pregnant women are in physically abusive relationships-physical assault escalating during pregnancy.

Susanna Wesleys children were typical:. Usually the mother managed to effect what she felt was total control of the infant early on:. I have begun to govern Sally. I whipped him till he was actually black and blue, and until I could not whip him any more, and he never gave up one single inch.

Our little daughter…before she was quite a year old, we began to correct her for crying…It has taught her a command over her feelings…even when she is unwell, and blurts into a loud cry, we generally correct her until she suppresses it…[using] a rod… Preparations consist in having ready a strong narrow table, straps waist-band with sliding straps, anklets and wristlets , cushions, and a good, long, pliable birch rod, telling her to prepare by removing her dress…For screams increased strokes must be given.

If a girl tries very hard indeed to bear it bravely, then, perhaps, I give ten instead of twelve. Children of wealthy parents were, if anything, more severely beaten than others, by both their caretakers and parents. When children went to school, the beatings continued with increased ferocity. A child cannot quickly forget what he has learned in fear. By the early twentieth century, twelve percent of white Americans in one study claimed never to have been spanked.

From birth, children had to endure constant freezing practices, including ice-water bathing and baptism:. The mother took the naked baby and a pot of hot water into the backyard…poured the water on the snow, melting it and creating a pool which could serve as a washing basin for several days; all she had to do the next day was to break the ice. Newborn infants who were abandoned on the side of the road, of course, almost always died, but even the one-third to two-thirds of the babies born who were abandoned to foundling homes beginning in the modern period usually died from maltreatment in the institutions.

The congestion of the infants in narrow, cold, and humid rooms, with no cleanliness, the lack of linens and the poor choice of wetnurses, shorten the painful agony before death…Often a wetnurse was forced to nurse up to five or six children, and, to ensure that the last of these did not suck on breasts that had been entirely emptied by the first, she tore the babies from her breast, screaming. Children were regularly stripped naked and their genitals ridiculed…The foster parents deriving sexual gratification and feelings of power from these weekly rituals….

Psychological torture and brainwashing were interspersed with sexual abuse. The aunt, the primary torturer, slept in a double bed with her mother. I slept in between the two. Babies not abandoned to foundling homes could be sold by their parents as slaves during most of history; indeed, there are still hundreds of thousands of chattel slaves around the world today, even more in debt bondage.

The one institution to which parents could abandon their children and know they were likely to live was the religious order. The children held the legal status of slaves of the monastery, and they were endlessly whipped, naked, regularly starved in severe fasts, only allowed to sleep for five hours a night and used sexually by clerics and older boys.

There was little difference between fosterage, adoption, apprenticeship and service. All involved virtual slavery without rights for the children. Apprenticeship and service were the fate of virtually all children, rich or poor alike. A typical eighteenth-century. She always kept a rod soaking in brine, with which she used to beat them on their bare skin when they were undressed to go to bed…She frequently tied the girl up naked and beat her with a hearth broom, a horsewhip or a cane, till the child was absolutely speechless.

The work done by even small children sent out to others was often the heaviest and most dangerous needed to be done. Little boys had to go on sweeping chimneys and getting stuck in them or suffocated with soot, or even roasted…Their terror of the dark, and often suffocating, flues had somehow to be overcome by the pressure of a greater terror below…masters would threaten to beat them [or] would set straw on fire below or thrust pins into their feet…no wonder nursemaids threatened to give naughty children to the sweep, and children shrieked at sight of him.

Even when schools began to be more widespread in the eighteenth century, the children would only go for a few years, then be sent to apprenticeship. One English girl remembered:. On the day that I was eight years of age, I left school, and began to work fourteen hours a day in the fields, with from forty to fifty other children…We were followed all day long by an old man carrying a long whip in his hand which he did not forget to use. My son is back with me…He cries when I leave him.

He is already afraid of me, and I am not sorry for it, for I do not want to spoil him. Although equally clear evidence is hard to come by in history because of the lack of detailed descriptions of early mothering in the past, it is likely the sexual abuse by both mothers and wetnurses continued until modern times.

Primate mothers are widely reported as copulating with their children; indeed, many cannot learn to reproduce unless they have had sex with adults when they were children. Likewise, those human mothers were selected who had evolved the largest and most erotic breasts and who had genitals shifted around to the front, where they could rub them against their children. The psychogenic evolution of the central motivation for mothering from incest to empathy took millennia, and is still far more prevalent than is realized.

Since both the perpetrators and the victims of maternal incest also collude-each for their own reasons-in denying its occurrence, current figures for sexual abuse by females percent of girl victims and 24 percent of boys victims-are considered likely to be underestimates. The sexual use of children by mothers has been widely reported by outside observers in both non-literate and literate nations outside the West. Have sex with me instead. Maternal incest in history is, of course, almost impossible to document except for indirect evidence.

Incest in antiquity was not illegal, nor was it spoken of as a miasma, an impurity, and early civilizations from Egypt and Iran to Peru and Hawaii had brother-sister incestuous marriages where the parents played out their incestuous needs by forcing their children to marry each other-a third or more of marriages being incestuous in the case of Roman Egypt. Still, direct evidence of widespread maternal sexual use of children in history can hardly be expected if even today it is everywhere denied.

Russell found 38 percent and Wyatt 45 percent of women interviewed reported memories of sexual abuse during their childhood. Adjusting for these factors, I posited a 60 percent rate of sexual abuse for girls. With over half of the children even today being subjected to sexual abuse-about half occurring between family members and most of the remainder occurring with the complicity if not outright collusion of one of the parents-children in the past were likely to have been routinely used as sexual objects by the adults around them. Although intimate historical records of past sexual abuse within the family are obviously selective, a few unusual glimpses of the widespread frequency of this molestation can be recovered.

For instance, when Beatrice Webb and others reported in the nineteenth century that they had found that the sexual abuse of young girls by their fathers and brothers was so common in the families they visited that the girls often joked about their babies being products of incest, or when anthropologists report incest between fathers and daughters was quite common in rural villages from Greece to Japan, one can reject the reports as being perhaps unrepresentative of whole nations.

Reports from European hospitals showed similar patterns of venereal disease from incest in children. A second method that can reveal the extent of sexual abuse of children is to study measurable physical results of the abuse and determine their overall patterns in past centuries. One of these physical results of sexual and other severe childhood abuse is that girls who are abused reach puberty a few years ahead of others because of substantial increases in the stress hormone cortisol, in testosterone and in adrenal hormones, all of which accelerate their age of menarche.

Only if most girls in antiquity and the middle ages were sexually molested could they have such an early average age of menarche and age of first children. Boys do not have such an easily identifiable mark of puberty as girls, nor do they accelerate their sexual development as girls do when abused. It turns out it was. These had nothing to do with toilet training or cleanliness-he was left filthy, and was nearly seven years old before he had his first bath.

As doctors regularly recommended for all infants, frequent enemas or even fingers routinely put deep into the anus were for the purpose of removing the evil inside contents of the child, contents projected into them by the adults around them as a poison container. It was universal-indeed, it is still the rule for most of the children on earth-and it was done solely for psychological reasons. The final two sections of this chapter will examine more deeply the rape first of girls and then of boys throughout history.

Men should not be punished for a thing like that. It keeps me young, keeps me youthful. Having sex with women means that you are grown up already. And if it is in darkness? Empathy for raped girls was missing in traditional societies. Moreover, this protection did not extend to lower class girls, and if the guilty person was of high rank he was never prosecuted. Men began raping girls when they were extremely young. Even today, the average age of rape is 7 years, with 81 percent of sexual abuse occurring before puberty and 42 percent under age 7.

Infants but two and three years of age are often raped, by men of all ages, not only for present gratification, but to familiarize girls of immature ages with carnal matters and to excite, so that seduction may be easy in the future…. We cannot too strongly impress upon the fathers of daughters their duty in seeing that their little girls are instructed in regard to the certainty of protecting themselves against rapes, by grabbing the testicles.

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Many societies prefer incestuous marriages-n China, for instance, some families would avoid marriages to strangers by adopting girls when infants and raising them with their sons so they can marry their sisters. The fact that most girls were routinely badly beaten in the past made rapes more easy to cover up. A typical case was reported by a Boston physician:. A relative began masturbating her when she was about 8. She has cut herself 28 or 30 times…Cuts herself slowly to bring out the pain…Mother whipped her with horsewhip…A Dr.

Fathers marry their sons to some blooming girl in the village at a very early age, and then send the young men either to Moscow or St. Petersburg to seek employment…when the son returns to his cottage, he finds himself nominal father of several children, the off-spring of his own parent…This is done all over Russia.

In this small enclosed Paradise every man was an Adam: the young, the not so young, and first and foremost the head of the family, all were constantly exposed to temptation. As one anthropologist reports:. To be raped or be the victim of an incestuous attack may have the appearance of a villainous assault upon innocence.

Sexual slavery-whether of actual slaves or of foster children, servants or apprentices-was very widespread in the past. Even today there are over million sexual slaves around the world, most of them starting their sexual services as children. The majority of girls raped were done so with some sort of collusion of their parents.

Mothers commonly rented out rooms to borders and forced their daughters to sleep with them. Girls who went into the streets alone sometimes carried knives for protection against rape. Even the bubonic plague was thought to be cured by raping pure girls. Finally, even when the girl got married, the marriage was usually at a very young age and to a man who was chosen by the parents, so in fact it would be considered child rape today.

Domination rather than tender love was in fact the central aim of all sexuality until modern times. According to graffiti and poetry, the boy is most often raped anally. Use your part. Fathers in Greece chose the penetrator of his boy, often obtaining gifts or favors in return. A few early Christians began to object to using boys sexually. But placing boys as oblates into monasteries only made them available for rape by monks, who could not keep their hands off them. One abbott wrote about an infant boy brought to the monastery by his father:. Sex with boys was the central obsession of monks beginning with the early anchorites who went to the desert; Macarius saw so many monks having sex with boys in the desert that he strongly advised monks not to take them in.

So acceptable was pederasty in medieval times that parents continued handing over their boys for sexual use to friends and others from whom they expected favors. If the majority of men were hauled into court for cases in connection with their pederasty, the number of boys actually being raped must have been nearly everyone.

Motherhood: A Spiritual Journey

As more parents evolved into the intrusive and socializing modes of modern times, they were more and more reluctant to hand over their boys for use by pederasts. Obviously, despite the achievement of empathic childrearing among some parents today, most of humankind still has a long way to evolve to get beyond severe abuse and give their children the love and respect they deserve.

The ubiquity of severe child abuse and neglect in historical sources makes even the most horrific descriptions found in contemporary clinical and child advocacy reports seem limited in comparison. It is no wonder that historians have chosen to hide, deny and whitewash the record here uncovered, in order to avoid confronting the parental holocaust that has been the central cause of violence and misery throughout history. Citations : The Evolution of Childrearing. New York: St.

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Patricia A. New York: Peter Lang, , p. Trexler, Sex and Conquest. Leipzig, , p. Gilbert Herdt, Ed. New York: Zone Books, Vern L. Bullough, Sexual Variance in Society and History. Peter Tompkins, The Eunuch and the Virgin, p. Eric John Dingwall, Male Infibulation. London: John Bale, , pp. Allen Edwards, The Jewel in the Lotus, p. Boston: Beacon Press, , pp. Inga Clendinnen, Aztecs: An Interpretation.

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