Q: Namaskaram, Sadhguru. When a baby is formed in the mother’s womb, when and how do the chakras start manifesting?

Sadhguru: Somewhere around the twelfth week, only one chakra is formed, which is the muladhara. Within the first twenty-eight to thirty weeks, depending upon the developmental quality of the fetus, the first five chakras up to vishuddhi are fully established. The other two, agna and sahasrar, do not establish to the same extent in every human being. This is why the moment a child is born, the first thing they do in this culture, after washing the baby, they put a little bit of vibhuti between the eyebrows. Just in case the agna is not yet developed, we want the child to start focusing in that direction.

Observing Agna

You should not make judgments about people based on this, but I would say in nearly thirty to thirty-five percent of newborn infants, the agna may not be developed. The sahasrar generally is not developed for most of them – that slowly evolves. If you observe the way their eyeballs move, you will know whether an infant’s agna is established or not. Traditionally, just by looking at the eyeball movement, people could say if the infant would become a sage. A sage need not necessarily mean someone who will go and sit in the jungle or a cave. In some way, a sage or a seer is someone who sees things that others do not see. It could also be a visionary businessman, or a visionary leader – someone who sees things more clearly than others.

In the first three months of a child’s life, we can distinctly see to what extent the agna developed in the mother’s womb – this will determine many things. This does not mean that those whose agna is not developed at birth cannot develop it in their lifetime – they can if they work on it. But they will need to do a little more work than others.

Taking Care

If we take care of certain things, we can ensure that maximum development happens within the mother’s womb. In Indian culture, even before conception, the woman was taken care of in a certain way, in terms of how she should be, and what things must happen. People go to certain types of temples at that time, they are offered certain types of foods, and they read certain scriptures. Both childbirth and death are a big business today, so these things are mostly going away unfortunately.

When a child is born, the first thing that you watch is how their eyeballs move. One indicator is the steadiness of the eyes, how a child observes and looks at things.

There were many prescriptions from preconception to delivery. What kind of atmosphere they should be in, who they should or should not meet, what kind of colors and forms they should or should not see – all these things were taken care of. The only other culture that has a similar kind of tradition is the Jewish culture. They may be maintaining it better today than the Indian people. Indians are too eager to drop their culture and get westernized, so most of them do not do all these things anymore.

When a child is born, the first thing that you watch is how their eyeballs move. One indicator is the steadiness of the eyes, how a child observes and looks at things. Certain infants have the look of an adult. Another thing is how a child cries. Intuitive people were able to say what this child will become by the way the child cries in the beginning. Some cry out of confusion of being in a new space, some cry in an angry way, because they are disturbed by this nonsense of birth. You can see the ways they cry are different. Particularly midwives, who have facilitated many births, were able to tell.

If we took care of certain things for the mother, the development of the child’s chakras within the mother’s womb could be determined to some extent. But today, our economic activity and social activity are such that heavily pregnant women are still going to office to work, still partying, eating, drinking, and smoking. That way, it is entirely left to nature – we do not have a role in how the chakras develop. But if we do the right things, there are ways to work towards specific qualities. The outcome is never one hundred percent in your control, but if you do all the right things, you will have a better outcome.

Improving the Next Generation

The idea behind all this is that the child that we produce must be of a better quality than we are. But that care, that kind of involvement to make it happen, is gone unfortunately, because our own lives have become too important. Recently, when I was in the US, we had hired a consultant for some project. She was a very skinny, small-built woman. She was heavily pregnant when she came to work with us, and I asked her, “When are you due?” She said, “Probably tomorrow morning.” Then I said, “What the hell are you doing here?” She said, “No, this is my second child. Even last time, I was working till two hours before I delivered.”

Our own lives, our economic matters, our parties, our social nonsense have become so important that we are not so interested in the next generation. We are not responsible enough to think in terms of how the next generation should be better than us, which is very important. If the next generation becomes less than us in some way, it is a crime against humanity. You are supposed to push it forward, not backwards. Maybe I should write a book on what different things you can do to influence the child. But then too many people may get pregnant – that is a problem. I think I will write it towards the end of my life. I do not want a population explosion when I am here – no baby boom!

Editor’s Note: Download the free ebook Inspire Your Child, Inspire the World for more of Sadhguru’s wisdom on parenting.

A version of this article was originally published in Isha Forest Flower February 2018.