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Losing an Expectant Baby

Posted by kaurrr_ 
Losing an Expectant Baby
November 22, 2017 09:26PM
Are expectant babies that die before birth from miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death considered a 'real' death as per Sikhi. I know that mothers and fathers that are expecting babies, but lose them, go through a lot of personal grieving of their own for some time but since the boy/girl had not been born yet, are sikhs to proceed with it as they would a 'normal' death as in doing keertan, paath (sehaj paath/akhand paath), etc.? Are we supposed to treat it the same way we would a 'normal' death (by normal I mean the death of a person who had been born alive)?

Guroo Sahib talks about death a lot in baani, but does Sikhi make mention about this sort of death? From my understanding, when babies are still in the womb, they are still attached to the Guroo, but when they are born and the umbilical cord is cut, they become detached and this is why they cry so much. Is this correct? If so, does these mean that these unborn beings get to stay attached? They don't have to go through this difficult life journey where we become separated from our Guru?

I know that a lot of non-sikhs name their children who die before birth in order to at least remember the child and refer to him/her in some way. Would it be wrong for Sikhs to do this?
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Re: Losing an Expectant Baby
November 27, 2017 05:33PM
As a married Singh with no children (or at least not yet), this is my take on this.
I believe all life on earth is in accordance to Vaheguru ji's Hukam and birth and death is in His control. We mortal beings can't argue with Vaheguru and time will come for us to one day depart and move on to the afterlife. It is in Vaheguru ji's Hukam and razaa if a child is to be born or not. If a jeev has karams to come to this world in a human form, then by all means the child will be born. At the same time, death is inevitable and can come anytime. Still born children is also in Akal Purakh's razaa and there is nothing us mortal beings do to make Vaheguru do as we wish. We can do Gurbani Path & Ardaas and ask for non-Naam related things (maya) such as asking Vaheguru for children, but ultimately it's in His control and in His Hands.
I think Sehaj Paath or Akhand Paath or Gurbani Paath of any kind should not just be done to ask for any boons or gifts, but to actually be done for it's real intended purpose; that is mukti & Vaheguru milaap/darshan.
I don't actually have much desire to have kids of my own, but IF in the future i plan on having children of my own and there is a miscarriage or a child isn't born for whatever reason, I will consider it Vaheguru Ji's Hukam and not stress over it. Life can still be great without becoming parents or having kids of your own. I don't actually consider it necessary to have children.
Guru Sahib had children, but that was to show the world that Vaheguru milaap can still be attainable while living a household life at the same time. However, nowhere in history will you find that our Guru Sahibaan made it a strict rule that a Gursikh absolutely has to have children. It's not written anywhere in Gurbani. It's not stated anywhere in the Rehitname. You're not lesser of a Sikh if you don't have children.
By all means have children if a couple feels they should, it's just not a Hukam or part of the Rehit Maryada.
I know what I've wrote is not the popular belief or view and many will contradict what I've written. But I stand by what I said.
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Re: Losing an Expectant Baby
November 29, 2017 11:23AM
Quote

I think Sehaj Paath or Akhand Paath or Gurbani Paath of any kind should not just be done to ask for any boons or gifts, but to actually be done for it's real intended purpose; that is mukti & Vaheguru milaap/darshan.

Historically this is not true. Historically, families would have a sehaj paath after someones passing. If a couple lose a child I dont see any harm in having a sehaj paath to get over their grief. If we cant rely on Gurbani to get rid of any sadness or grief then who can we rely on?

Quote

I don't actually have much desire to have kids of my own, but IF in the future i plan on having children of my own and there is a miscarriage or a child isn't born for whatever reason, I will consider it Vaheguru Ji's Hukam and not stress over it. Life can still be great without becoming parents or having kids of your own. I don't actually consider it necessary to have children.
Guru Sahib had children, but that was to show the world that Vaheguru milaap can still be attainable while living a household life at the same time. However, nowhere in history will you find that our Guru Sahibaan made it a strict rule that a Gursikh absolutely has to have children. It's not written anywhere in Gurbani. It's not stated anywhere in the Rehitname. You're not lesser of a Sikh if you don't have children.
By all means have children if a couple feels they should, it's just not a Hukam or part of the Rehit Maryada.
I know what I've wrote is not the popular belief or view and many will contradict what I've written. But I stand by what I said.

What do you mean Grishti jeevan is not part of his Hukum. If so , then why did Guru Sahib have children? Why did Waaheguru create male and female if its not in in his will. Its not in a persons karam if they cant produce children but generally Grishti jeevan is prescribed in rehatname and Gurbani. There are many Sakhis in which Guru Sahib advises young men to get married. Kavi Santokh mentioned that there was a young Sikh who was neglecting family responsibility and had no intention of Grishti Jeevan. Guru Sahib gave him instructions to live a grishti jeevan and recited Shabad Hazery ( Ray Man Aiso Kar Sanyasa) to him. Bhai Gurdas Jis Vaaran also mention the role of Grishti Jeevan in Sikhi.
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Re: Losing an Expectant Baby
November 29, 2017 05:20PM
Suthra Singh ji,
I am not interested in any debate or argument. Like I said, what I've written will be criticized or contradicted, and that's fine.
Getting married and planning to have children are two different things and two totally different life decisions. Being married doesn't necessarily mean that having children is the next step. It is neither the next step, nor is it necessary. Like I said, you're not lesser of a Sikh if you don't have kids. There is nothing wrong with that. It's totally fine to live a childfree married life by choice and will.
It's not a rule of life to become parents. You're Not a bad person if you don't become a parent by choice. It doesn't make you a bad person.
Like I said, you won't find it anywhere that Guru Sahib made it a strict rule or mandatory for married Gursikhs to become parents and raise children. It's not a part of the Rehit Maryada for the Gursikh.
Waking up at amritvela, reading Gurbani, wearing Panj Kakaars, refraining from any kurehits, are the things that make up a Gursikh. I agree that a Gursikh should be married, but becoming parents and raising kids is a choice, not a requirement.
I know we all come from strict Panjabi backgrounds where people know only one way of life and only one lifestyle, and that is: raising kids when you are an adult. Anything outside of that mentality is considered absolutely wrong and crazy. Therefore, I don't blame you and I know I can't change your perception, nor do I want too.
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Re: Losing an Expectant Baby
November 30, 2017 08:09PM
Suthra Singh Wrote:
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> Bhai Gurdas Jis Vaaran also mention the role of Grishti Jeevan in Sikhi.


I remember briefly seeing this once but now forgot. Can you please provide a reference to exactly where Bhai Gurdaas Ji has mentioned it jee (which tuks/shabads)? I am curious to take a look once again.
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Re: Losing an Expectant Baby
December 01, 2017 05:23PM
Sant Attar Singh ji Mastuane waley was a puran Brahmgiani mahapurakh. He did not marry. Baba Karam Singh ji Hoti Mardaan did not marry. Rare waley mahapurakh did not marry. There are not few but many examples of Sants not marrying because they did not want anything to come in between their Bhagti.
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Re: Losing an Expectant Baby
December 03, 2017 07:53AM
Being a mother of 2 kids, I can understand the fear of those mothers who lose their children during a miscarriage or from stillbirth. It is a horrifying experience but one must accept it as a hukam of Guroo Saahib. Every thing that happens to us or any Jeev in this life is accordance to their karams. When a mother is expecting, we consider that life as a jeev, no different than anyone outside. This is why abortion is not allowed according to Gurmat. A mother does paath for her unborn child, which that child hears while being in the womb. I have not personally experienced such death, but it does makes sense to keep paath for a child who has died before being born.

Naming a child only happens when the child is in Hazoori of Guroo Saahib. I am not too sure how you would name a child, who has passed before being aware of his presence in sangat or in Hazoori of Guroo Saahib. We can just call the child a Singh or Bibi in this case, I believe. I can be wrong, so others may want to pitch in their views on this.

Username please let us know how you decide on being children-free while being married to someone? When you mention it's your "choice" to become a parent or not, how do you go about that? I was under the impression that it is not our choice but rather Guroo Saahib Jee's choice to give the daat of children to anyone. How do YOU decide yourself if you want a child or not? It is understandable if you decide to not get married and have that choice. But being married and doing family planning is not accordance to Gurmat, which I am sure you already know about.
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Re: Losing an Expectant Baby
December 04, 2017 01:20PM
Quote
Kaurr
I remember briefly seeing this once but now forgot. Can you please provide a reference to exactly where Bhai Gurdaas Ji has mentioned it jee (which tuks/shabads)? I am curious to take a look once again

ਘਰਬਾਰੀ ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਲਹਿਰ ਨਹੀਂ ਭਵ ਲੋਭ ਬਿਆਪੈ।

Bhai Gurdas Ji mentions that Gursikh life is distinguished from the bachelor life of other so called Bhagats.
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Re: Losing an Expectant Baby
January 01, 2018 04:05AM
Here is an old write up by Bhai Kulbir Singh:

Guru Sahib has given the Aagiya to his Gursikhs to adopt Gristh Jeevan. All our Guru Sahibaan with the exception of Siri Guru Harkishan Sahib jee were Grihsthi i.e. they were householders. They were married and had children. Siri Guru Harkishan Sahib was not married because He left this world at the tender age of 8.

Major Brahmgyani Gurmukhs of Guru Sahib's times were married e.g., Baba Buddha jee, Bhai Mardana jee, Bhai Bhagtu jee, Bhai Mani Singh jee etc. In the modern era, many Mahapurakhs were Gristhee e.g. Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh jee, Baba Attar Singh Reru Sahib wale, Sant Gurbachan Singh Bhindranwale etc. This proves that their Gristhee Jeevan was not an obstacle to their high spiritual life.

If we look at prophets of the Semitic tradition, we see that most prophets e.g. Moosa (Moses), Ibrahim (Abraham), Noah, Muhammad etc were married. The only exception seems to be Isa Masih (Jesus).

The old Rishi Munis of the Vedic civilization were all married and householders. First of all, the three deities of the Vedic or Hindu religion Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh had consorts. None of the prominent deities or Devtas and Rishis were without wives. The 7 foremost Rishis namely Kashyap (married to Aditi and father of the Devtas), Atri (married to Anusuya and father of famous Yogi Dattatreya), Vishishtha, Jamdagini (father of Parshuraam), Gautama (husband of Ahaliya), Bhardawaj, and Vishvamitra (one of his consorts was the famous beauty Menaka) were all married with children. The only major Rishi or Deity in Vedic tradition, who did not get married seems to be Dattatreya. Rama and Siri Krishna were all married and with children.

In olden days (not ancient times), spiritual aspirants of many traditions gave up their householders life to achieve their spiritual goals. It seems that the tradition of not getting married got very popular with Gautama Sidhhartha (later on Buddha) renouncing his wife Yashodhra and son Rahul and going out in search of solution to sorrow and way to find salvation. When he became the Buddha, he started the tradition of unmarried monks and later on monks of Hindu tradition too took up celibate life e.g. Shankracharya, Ramanuj, Madhvacharya and others of this tradition.

At the time of our Guru Sahibaan, the tradition of celibate monks was very popular but Guru Sahib did not adopt this way and discouraged His Sikhs from going this route. We hear all these horror stories of Catholic priests committing despicable acts of sexual abuse against their children and women. The reason behind this seems to be the fact that they try to swim against the current by not getting married. They don't have Naam and Gurbani that can help them control Kaam and they try to fight Kaam with their will power and it doesn't work. In olden days, the abodes that housed female nuns, and the infamous devadasi tradition resulted in massive sexual abuse of these poor women. They would have been much better off spiritually, had they been married.

In Gurmat, while Grishthee Jeevan is encouraged but it is not mandatory. In Gurmat such persons who have totally controlled Bikaars are allowed go the route of not getting married. Otherwise, it is wise to get married. In Gurmat, Gristhee jeevan is not considered an impediment to spiritual advancment. Actually, if one gets a good Gursikh partner, Gristhee jeevan can actually increase ones pace towards the spiritual goals. The house of a Gursikh householder becomes a Dharamshaala (Gurdwara Sahib) where two times in day, Sangat is done. Let's look at what Guru Sahib and Bhai Gurdaas jee has to say about Gristhee Jeevan:

ਮ: 5 ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਭੇਟਿਐ ਪੂਰੀ ਹੋਵੈ ਜੁਗਤਿ ॥
ਹਸੰਦਿਆ ਖੇਲੰਦਿਆ ਪੈਨੰਦਿਆ ਖਾਵੰਦਿਆ ਵਿਚੇ ਹੋਵੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ॥2॥

Siri Guru jee says that when the Jeev meets the Satguru, he obtains from him the way of salvation. While laughing, playing, wearing clothes and eating food (reasonably good food), he obtains liberation or salvation. This Salok actually refers to the Gristhee life of a Gursikh and how he obtains liberation while living a householder's life. Why would one lead a life of an ascetic when one can be liberated as a Gristhee?


ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਕੇਵਲ ਬਖ੍ਹਾਨੁ ॥
ਗ੍ਰਿਹਸਤ ਮਹਿ ਸੋਈ ਨਿਰਬਾਨੁ ॥

Such householder who is always engaged in Kirtan and uttering Gurbani (and Naam), attains the Nirbaan (supreme spiritual goal) while being a householder.

ਜੈਸੇ ਸਰਿ ਸਰਿਤਾ ਸਕਲ ਮੈ ਸਮੁੰਦ੍ਰ ਬਡੋ
ਮੇਰ ਮੈ ਸੁਮੇਰ ਬਡੋ ਜਗਤੁ ਬਖਾਨ ਹੈ ॥
ਤਰਵਰ ਬਿਖੈ ਜੈਸੇ ਚੰਦਨ ਬਿਰਖੁ ਬਡੋ
ਧਾਤ ਮੈ ਕਨਕ ਅਤਿ ਉਤਮ ਕੈ ਮਾਨ ਹੈ ॥॥
ਪੰਛੀਅਨ ਮੈ ਹੰਸ ਮ੍ਰਿਗ ਰਾਜਨ ਮੈ ਸਾਰਦੂਲ
ਰਾਗਨ ਮੈ ਸਿਰੀਰਾਗੁ ਪਾਰਸ ਪਖਾਨ ਹੈ ॥
ਗਿਆਂਨਨ ਮੈ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਅਰੁ ਧਿਆਨਨ ਮੈ ਧਿਆਨ ਗੁਰ
ਸਕਲ ਧਰਮ ਮੈ ਗ੍ਰਿਹਸਤੁ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਹੈ ॥376॥


1. Ocean is best out of all rivers and lakes (and other forms of water accumulation) and Meru is best out of all mountains.

2. Chandan is best out of all trees and Gold is considered to be most valuable out of metals.

3. Hans is the best amongst birds; amongst the Cat family Babbar-Sher (lion) is the best; Siri-Raag is best amongst Raags; Paaras is best amongs stones.

4. Out of all knowledges and meditaitons, Satguru's knowledge and mediation is best, same way, out of all Dharma, Gristhee Dharma is best.

In the above Kabit, Bhai Gurdaas jee has very forcefully preached that Gristhee Jeevan is the best out of other forms of Jeevan in the world including renouncing the world and becoming a Saniyaasi or an ascetic.


The Kabit below gives wonderful and very meaningful example of a married woman to explain that the Gristhee Jeevan of a Gursikh does not stain his (or her) spiritual life in any way. Please read it carefully:

ਜੈਸੇ ਪਤਿਬ੍ਰਤਾਕਉ ਪਵਿਤ੍ਰ ਘਰਿ ਵਾਤ ਨਾਤ
ਅਸਨ ਬਸਨ ਧਨ ਧਾਮ ਲੋਗਚਾਰ ਹੈ ॥
ਤਾਤ ਮਾਤ ਭ੍ਰਾਤ ਸੁਤ ਸੁਜਨ ਕੁਟੰਬ ਸਖਾ॥
ਸੇਵਾ ਗੁਰਜਨ ਸੁਖ ਅਭਰਨ ਸਿੰਗਾਰ ਹੈ ॥
ਕਿਰਤ ਬਿਰਤ ਪਰਸੂਤ ਮਲ ਮੂਤ੍ਰਧਾਰੀ॥
ਸਕਲ ਪਵਿਤ੍ਰ ਜੋਈ ਬਿਬਿਧਿ ਅਚਾਰ ਹੈ ॥
ਤੈਸੇ ਗੁਰਸਿਖਨ ਕਉ ਲੇਪੁ ਨ ਗ੍ਰਿਹਸਤ ਮੈ
ਆਨ ਦੇਵ ਸੇਵ ਧ੍ਰਿਗੁ ਜਨਮੁ ਸੰਸਾਰ ਹੈ ॥483॥

1. As for a married woman, all her household works and enjoying worldly comforts e.g. bathing, using utensils and wealth of the house, and making use of other things of the house are acceptable.

2. She serves her relatives like mother-in-law, father-in-law, brothers-in-law and also enjoy comforts like wearing jewellery etc. (Same way Gursikhs fulfill their spiritual duties and also enjoy acceptable comforts of Gurmat).

3. While giving birth to a child she goes through rough time and afterwards too is involved in cleaning the excretions of the baby but despite doing all this work (considered to be dirty work) she is considered to be clean and sacred (Pavitter).

4. Same way, Gursikhs who live the life of householder, don't incur the dirt of Maya and cursed is the life of others who live worshipping other deities (other than Vaheguru).

In olden days, the spiritual aspirants used to renounce the world but then they used to come to the Gristhees to get food and shelter. Bhai Sahib has written a beautiful Kabit to condemn the practice of not adopting Gristhee life:



ਜੈਸੇ ਪ੍ਰਾਤ ਸਮੈ ਖਗੇ ਜਾਤ ਉਡਿ ਬਿਰਖ ਸੈ
ਬਹੁਰਿ ਆਇ ਬੈਠਤ ਬਿਰਖ ਹੀ ਮੈ ਆਇਕੈ ॥
ਚੀਟੀ ਚੀਟਾ ਬਿਲ ਸੈ ਨਿਕਸਿ ਧਰ ਗਵਨ ਕੈ
ਬਹੁਰਿਓ ਪੈਸਤ ਜੈਸੇ ਬਿਲ ਹੀ ਮੈ ਜਾਇਕੈ ॥
ਲਰਕੈ ਲਰਿਕਾ ਰੂਠਿ ਜਾਤ ਤਾਤ ਮਾਤ ਸਨ
ਭੂਖ ਲਾਗੈ ਤਿਆਗੈ ਹਠ ਆਵੈ ਪਛੁਤਾਇ ਕੈ ॥
ਤੈਸੇ ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਭਾਗਿ ਜਾਤ ਉਦਾਸ ਬਾਸ
ਆਸਰੋ ਤਕਤ ਪੁਨਿ ਗ੍ਰਿਹਸਤ ਕੋ ਧਾਇਕੈ ॥548

1. As, during morning time birds fly away from the trees (they live on) to find food, but at evening time they have to come back on the same trees to rest.

2. As, the ants and other insects, leave their abodes (burrow) in search of food but then have to come back to their burrows at night time.

3. As, boys and girls, get upset and fight with their parent and leave their parent's house but when they get hungry later on, they come back to their parents house.

4. Same way, many people renounce their households and wander around but then they too have to look towards Gristhees (householders) for support (of food, shelter etc.).

The above Kabit proves tha Saniyasi jeevan is inferior to Gristhee jeevan because Saniyaasi jeevan is not self-sufficient but has to be supported by Gristhees. A Gursikh who is a working householder, leads a self-sufficient life.

In the end, it is safe to assume that a Gursikh can reach the highest pinnacles of spirituality while being a householder. While it is not mandatory to be a Gristhee, it is definitely preferred in Gurmat to lead a Gristhee life. Some very famous Gurmukhs like Sant Attar Singh jee Mastuanewale probably had a mandate from Dargah to do Parchaar of Sikhi and be involved in this doing day and night. It is acceptable for such great souls to not get married but most Gursikhs should not risk not getting married according to Gurmat and risking wasting their life if they are unable to swim against the current. Gurmat Gristhee Jeevan is a blessing from Guru Sahib whereby a house becomes a Dharamshaala where Sangat takes place everyday. Such house is like Sachkhand where the whole family gets up at Amritvela and chants the true Naam and then gathers in the evening to do Siri Rehraas Sahib.

Daas,
Kulbir Singh
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There is Baanee in this blogpost (https://www.sikhfamilylife.com/2018/05/maa-de-farz-part-1/) from Bhagat Kabeer Jee in which Bhagat Kabeer Jee actually mentions miscarriages and stillbirths...
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