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Can A Human Embryo Be Killed for Research

From: "Cirsundar Deva"
Subject: Can A Human Embryo Be Killed for Research
Date: Mon, 04 Dec 2012 22:26:41



In Ananda Marga, our duty is to help society in all aspects and save humanity from drifting away from manava dharma. So we must keep sharp eyes all around - on all the many spheres of human growth and development: Literature, science, religion, education, medicine, law, business, recreation, music, art, etc.

It is our duty to keep humanity on track in each and every sphere of life. No issue is beyond our scope or outside our realm. Every issue is our issue because Baba has given guidelines on each and every aspect of human life. And it is our duty to put forth His ideals.

Stem cell research is an issue of ethics, an issue of science, and an issue of morality. Simply put, is embryonic stem cell research consonant with our human standard - i.e. with cardinal human values?


In the ahimsa chapter from Senior Acarya Diary, Baba adamantly puts forth this very view: That no human being should be killed and destroyed.

In that chapter, when discussing food, Baba says that for our survival we must survive by eating only the simplest of foods. We must not destroy or kill animals that are of a higher order for our food. Because Baba says we are to always consider the physical, psychic, and spiritual potentiality of every being. Then Baba goes on to declare that never should one human being kill and eat another human for their survival. Because every human life has tremendous scope for physical, psychic, and spiritual achievement. So never should a human being be massacred for food, even if not eating means one's own death. In that case, it is better just to die than to kill and eat another human. That is Baba's clear-cut, stated principle from His Ahimsa chapter in Senior Acarya Diary.

Thus when embryonic stem cell research means the death of that unborn infant, then scientists and health officials must not destroy or kill that human embryo for medical research. There is no ethical or moral support for it.

Each and every human life is sacred and full of immense physical, psychic, and spiritual potential. In that case, a human life can never be willfully destroyed for our own food, health, or survival. This is completely unacceptable. And we must not allow our scientific research to cross this sacred boundary. That is Baba's explicit guideline.

Thus embryonic stem cell research cannot be supported - it blatantly contravenes the teachings and ethical standard of Ananda Marga. And, if allowed, it will lead to the degradation of humanity.



We must respect our human cardinal principles in all aspects of life - including the arena of science. Failing that, humanity will meet its destruction. That is Baba's explicit warning.

Baba says, "Where scientific progress supersedes civilization, there civilization meets its Waterloo." (A Few Problems Solved - 6)

Sadly, right now we live in an age where science is used for profit (i.e. selfish capitalistic ventures) and for war (i.e. raw political power plays). And we can see what horrific results it has brought to the world.

So our goal is to bring science within the control of ethical people - not to continue to rent out science to destructive forces who overlook human welfare.

Thus it is in no way ethical or morally answerable to add to today's misery by allowing science to destroy human life in the name of embryonic stem cell research. That unborn human life - that soul - has the right to live and fulfill its dharma. Its life must not be cut short by greedy, self-centered, egoistic powers.

So long as we allow science to swim rampant in unethical waters, such as in embryonic stem cell research, the more we are playing with fire and inviting the death and destruction of our entire humanity.

The main problem is with embryonic stem cell research - i.e. the stem cell of an unborn fetus that was conceived in the laboratory. By this method the life of the unborn human fetus is lost. Scientists and others are eager to experiment in this way.

As we all know our Marga does not support abortion in any way since we clearly understand that human life begins as soon as the egg is fertilised, not when the baby is born. The deliberate killing or destruction of that unborn human fetus - at any stage - is tantamount to murder.

We respect that unborn human life as something sacred. That unborn human life contains all potentiality of any living human being. Their status holds the same existential value as any human being. Both are of equal human value. So that unborn human embryo must not be willfully harmed in any way, not for any cause.


Nowadays, various scientists, or more precisely their political proponents, foolishly argue that since embryonic stem cell research occurs in the laboratory and since that human ovum and sperm have a shelf-life - they do not last forever - then it is ok to sacrifice a human embryo for scientific research. Because it is going to die anyway.

But this is all just fools logic.

In that case, we can travel the world over and justify the killing of so many people. We can massacre and kill all those who are starving in the name of procuring their organs for others. After all, those starving people are going to die soon anyway so why not kill them prematurely. What is wrong.

To accept embryonic stem cell research means setting a precedent to heartlessly destroy and mutilate the lives of all senior citizens if we face a water crisis or other so-called problems due to over-population. Because those elderly people are on the brink of death anyway. So why not kill them in the name of decreasing the population and saving other human beings.

Indeed, the next generation will start with killing their own grandparents; next up will be those kids who suffer from developmental disabilities; and, who know who will be next - you, me, or anyone. Because once the precedent is set to intentionally destroy a human life for selfish purposes, then there is no end to the outcome. It will just grow and grow.

The false logic and bogus justification behind the killing of other human beings has no end if we accept the flawed reasoning for the willful and intentional destruction of a human fetus.

Indeed, if the destruction of human life is permissible, then why not just revert back to those prehistoric days when human beings were burned and sacrificed for the gods. Verily, accepting the willful demise of a human fetus will toss our humanity centuries back in time, grossly undoing eras & eras of human progress along the lines of human rights and welfare. In a phrase, it would send us back to the stone age, or further.


By Baba's grace, the human race has a long and glorious future. All the teachings and all the ingredients have been given. His advent on this earth is itself enough to spark humanity forward. As our morality and ethical standards rise, we are sure to overcome all small-minded propositions like embryonic stem cell research and invite the flourishing of our human society.

Baba says, "Human civilization has now reached a critical stage of transition. Exploitation of one human being by another has assumed alarming proportions. At critical junctures in the past, when exploitation had reached the zenith point, history witnessed the emergence of mighty personalities who were able to overcome the problems in society. Today also, the guidance of mighty personalities with a comprehensive ideology is required to lead humanity away from the edge of disaster towards a glorious future. The emergence of such personalities is an indispensable necessity of history." (Prout in a Nutshell - 21)



Some anthropologists and sociologists have concluded that humans are part of the animal kingdom. So just as animals are used killed for food or other uses, similarly human embryos - or even all humans - can be used for one's survival and growth.

In Ananda Marga, we do not at all subscribe to this faulty outlook. Humans are humans because we have a reflective consciousness; we do not fall within the animal kingdom.

Humans cannot then be treated merely as animals - as some academics proclaim. The dignity of human life must be maintained. Side by side, we should always think and act for the well-being of all animals too. 

"Maner ma'jhe khunji shudhu toma're..."    - P.S. 712


Baba, in my mind I am searching only You - but those past memories of days-by-gone which are buried in the mind are swirling all around. Baba, I am trying desperately to only think about You but those old memories are hovering all around me.

Baba, the dark clouds of doubt and suspicion come very close and disturb me; and they also get blown far away into the oblivion, by Your grace. Seeing this unique play of light and shadow, my mind gets intoxicated. Baba, while living in this transitory world I get captivated by both the good and bad things. The panoramic crowd of the boats comes and again floats away - and I just remain lying there alone on the bank of the river [1].

Baba, please come close my Beloved; please grace me. O' Baba, this is not the time to go on playing Your liila with me. There is no time for that - most of my life has already passed, and now death is knocking. Already I have gotten too involved in this liila of Yours. Now just please come with Your sweet loving smile. Baba, if You love me then come and sit here - very close to me. Please do not continue to play Your divine game of hide and seek, again and again.

Baba, I am struggling hard in my sadhana and dhyana, please grace me by coming close...


[1] Here Baba is painting one symbolic picture. Because when anyone is sitting on the riverbank and any boat comes along, then naturally that person is curious to see what is going on and they want to look at all the people and things on the boat. So the 'crowd of boats' refers to the colourful panorama and attractive things of this mundane world. And 'sitting on the shore' means the sadhaka is trying to do sadhana. The sense is that in this state, when the sadhaka sits for meditation then so many scenes, thoughts, and desires enter the mind. And 'lying there alone on the river bank' means that ultimately the devotee wants to cross that river and reach to Parama Purusa. That is why he is sitting there trying to do sadhana-- in order to reach unto Him. But in that process the devotee gets caught up in watching these various eye-catching, worldly attractions represented by boats going up and down the river.

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