[INDOLOGY] Ayur Veda Question

Greg Bailey Greg.Bailey at latrobe.edu.au
Sat Jul 8 23:30:32 UTC 2017

Dear List,

A friend who has done some Sanskrit but is not a specialist in Ayiur Veda would like to get some responses to the question in bold, which relates to what she is writing about surrogacy.

I know there are some excellent books on Ayur Veda but some on this list, but if anyone can help me hone in on these particular issues, it would be much appreciated.

As usual, thanks in advance.


Greg Bailey

"Her book is about Surrogacy and she is wanting a reference to the Ayurveda that reflects the quote below. I am not getting anywhere and I know next to nothing about the Ayurveda. Wondering whether you can shine any light on this.

 She would like to add something about the ideas of birth, blood and how that is represented in the Ayurveda. And/orr the book of the Ayurveda in which it is written about. Because these ideas are being talked about by Indian researchers.

Any suggestions or ideas? I am also happy to chase and read if there is a link to look at. You have to know where to start!

She writes,

A further nail in the coffin of the body deniers und gene lovers comes from India. As part of Indian ancient Ayurvedic culture, according to surrogacy researcher Sheela Saravanan (pers.com. June 2017): “Parturition and breastfeeding is considered a transfer of blood from the mother to the child and children are considered to be indebted to this and need to look after and have respect for their mothers all their life owing to this.”
Amrita Pande, in her ethnography of India’s surrogacy business (2015, p. 8) quotes a so-called surrogate mother, Parvati, who just underwent foetal reduction as saying:
Doctor Madam told us that the babies wouldn't get enough space to move around and grow, so we should get the surgery. But both Nandini didi [the genetic mother] and I wanted to keep all three babies. I told Doctor Madam that I'll keep one and didi can keep two. After all it's my blood even if it's their genes. And who knows whether at my age I'll be able to have more babies (emphasis added by Pande).
Pande comments (2015, p. 8) that “Parvati, thus, uses her interpretation of the blood tie to make claims on the baby/fetus. Raveena makes a similar claim. But in addition to the substantial ties of blood, Raveena also emphasizes the labor of gestation and giving birth.” Here is Pande’s quote from Raveena (2015, p. 8):
Anne [the genetic mother] wanted a girl but I told her even before the ultrasound, coming from me it will be a boy. My first two children were also boys. This one will be too. And see I was right, it is a boy! After all they just gave the eggs, but the blood and all the sweat, all the effort is mine. Of course it's going after me (emphasis added by Pande).
Amrita Pande adds (2015, p. 8): “This sweat (paseena) and the blood (khoon) tie between surrogate and fetus is often advocated by womb mothers as stronger than a connection based solely on genes."

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