Is Childlessness a Bad Omen or a Blessing?
Should a couple choose to stay childless? Sadhguru discusses the fundamental basis for the urge to have children, as well as the stigma historically surrounding childless women.
Q: As a woman, I feel unfulfilled without a child. Have I done anything wrong not to be blessed with one?
Sadhguru: If reproduction was fulfillment, just think how much fulfillment there should have been in the world by now? But that has not happened. We need to look at why someone would want to have children. One aspect is there is a natural instinct pushing you towards the sexual act. But that need not result in children because we have handled it with contraceptives.
The reason people want to have a child is because you are longing for a very deep sense of involvement with life. Your involvement with your husband or wife comes down after a while, so you want something new and you think a child would be good. What you actually want to experience is a deep sense of involvement with another life. But this involvement need not necessarily be inspired by biological oneness. This can be brought forth from your own awareness and intelligence.
Suppose when a woman delivers a child, they actually gave someone else’s child to her, she will still experience everything that she has to experience with that child. Emotional and psychological closeness can be the basis of oneness that a human being experiences. What does it matter whether the child has come out of you or out of someone else? It is how deeply you accept and include this person as a part of yourself which gives you that experience. It is more psychology than biology.
If you knew a tremendous sense of involvement with life, the need to have a child will disappear. If you really want to bring up a child, there are so many who need to be brought up. There are too many children who do not have parents in this world. Let us do something about that.
You are Complete Without a Child
You should not bear a child to fulfill your needs. This is not a good way to bring a child into the world. Unfortunately, 99% of children come into the world like this. You, as a life, are complete by yourself. This life does not have to reproduce to feel complete. There are people who have delivered one dozen children. Do you think they are all complete? Nature has its tricks to somehow make you reproduce, to make you believe that if you bear a child, your life will be fulfilled. There is no need to succumb to those things.
Socially also, society has conned you into this. For a long time in many societies, they said, “If you do not bear a child, you are not a woman. You are barren, you are a bad omen.” It is the burden of all this that is behind the question. There is a big social stigma attached to this. If those who do not reproduce are a bad omen, then all those who walked the spiritual path and never bothered to do those things – all the sadhus and sanyasis, Vivekananda, Jesus – should also be considered bad omens. But they are the people whom you worship!
Human Life in Peril
Does that mean to say no one should have children? That is not the point. If a child is born, it is fine and we must create a conducive environment for the child to blossom. But there is no need to succumb to the notion that a woman’s life is unfulfilled unless she has a child because it is a very prejudiced idea created by society.
Today, a woman who does not bear a child is doing something wonderful for the world, considering our population is 7.3 billion and half of humanity is languishing in such terrible conditions. If you try to provide good conditions for all 7.3 billion people, the planet will be finished. They are expecting that by 2050, there will be 9.6 billion people on this planet. That means the whole world has to live with 40% less resource than what we are enjoying right now.
Resources do not mean diamonds or gold, it means 40% less food, water and air! Fifty percent of the world's population does not have enough nourishment in their body. They are barely living like human beings. If you reduce it further by 40%, you can imagine what the life of a human being will become. No matter how rich and well-to-do you are, the kind of life someone born today will have will be very difficult, if we don’t bring down the population.
When that is the situation, more women who do not bear children would be a blessing for the planet. I hope more women make that choice.
Editor’s Note: Download the ebook “Sexuality and the Divine”, as Sadhguru’s insight and humor takes the reader on an in-depth discussion about sex, revealing its true nature as an expression of unconscious longing to know the divine. Available on a “pay as you wish” basis at Isha Downloads.