Gestation (was re: mathematics etc.)

Srinivasan Pichumani srini at
Thu May 29 16:36:47 UTC 1997

>>the length of gestation as `ten or nine months' more or less

This was always confusing to me... particularly last year when 
we had our (first) baby girl.  One of the pregnancy magazines
had a highlighted box, where the length of gestation was said
to be approximately 10 lunar months or 9 calendar months (for 
a total of approx 40 weeks or 280 days).

During an upannyAsam (religious discourse) on the occasion of
VinAyaka Caturthi by the harikathA exponent Balakrishna Sastrigal,  
I heard him mention that if humans are to have children, "life"
has to develop within the father for a month and next within
the mother for ~9 months and then an individual is born.  He
was contrasting it against the legendary instant birth of 
VinAyaka by the mere endearing look of Goddess Parvati, as 
she and Lord Shiva gazed at a painting or scene or two 
intertwined elephants.

My question is - is there anything in the literatures and legends 
on this bit about the "life" developing within the father for a 
month ? 

I have wondered if this refers in anyway to sperm cell cytology 
but a quick look at Encycl Brittanica ruled it out... EB says
that it takes 74 days for a germ cell to mature to the point
where it can fertilize an egg.


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