19th March 2000

Get rid of those bad thoughts

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The tendency of children to imitate the adults around them is a natural thing. This act of imitating begins at infancy. It would not be wrong to say that it even begins in the mother's womb.

Scientists say that from the fifth month onwards the foetus begins to respond to words.

As the father talks to the baby in the mother's womb, it responds to his voice. Research has also shown that a baby in the womb can be trained by talking to it through a microphone, placed on the mother's stomach. Although these findings are new in the Western world they have been long known in the Buddhist world.

It has been reported that the wife of a man who made 'devil' masks gave birth to a baby whose face bore a strong resemblance to a mask. The reason for this was that the mother often gazed upon these masks which decorated the walls in her house. In another instance in a family which was facing severe poverty a baby was born with a face resembling that of a fish.

Upon investigating into this it was learnt that before the baby was born, due to the husband's alcoholism the poverty-stricken mother-to-be was forced to sell fish to keep home fires burning.

There are those who believe if you adorn the wall with pictures of pretty babies, you will give birth to a pretty baby.

If a study is carried out on children who are filled with hatred and anger it will be revealed that such behaviour was a result of the mother having such thoughts during her pregnancy. This shows that the mind can influence hormone activity in the body.

The mothers blood provides nutrition to the child in the womb. If the mother is filled with bad thoughts during her pregnancy, this could have a bad effect on the child's development.

Alcoholism is one of the main causes for the downfall of any society. The fifth precept in Buddhism stresses the importance of not taking alcohol and other intoxicating substances. But today more and more mothers consume liquor and even smoke during pregnancy.

This too can affect the growth of the foetus, although the results are seen only after the birth of the child.

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