prajāpatir nāma tayor akārṣīd
yaḥ prāk sva-dehād yamayor ajāyata
taṁ vai hiraṇyakaśipuṁ viduḥ prajā
yaṁ taṁ hiraṇyākṣam asūta sāgrataḥ
prajāpatiḥ—Kaśyapa; nāma—names; tayoḥ—of the two; akārṣīt—gave; yaḥ—who; prāk—first; sva-dehāt—from his body; yamayoḥ—of the twins; ajāyata—was delivered; tam—him; vai—indeed; hiraṇyakaśipum—Hiraṇyakaśipu; viduḥ—know; prajāḥ—people; yam—whom; tam—him; hiraṇyākṣam—Hiraṇyākṣa; asūta—gave birth to; sā—she (Diti); agrataḥ—first.
Kaśyapa, Prajāpati, the creator of the living entities, gave his twin sons their names; the one who was born first he named Hiraṇyākṣa, and the one who was first conceived by Diti he named Hiraṇyakaśipu.
There is an authoritative Vedic literature called Piṇḍa-siddhi in which the scientific understanding of pregnancy is very nicely described. It is stated that when the male secretion enters the menstrual flux in the uterus in two successive drops, the mother develops two embryos in her womb, and she brings forth twins in a reverse order to that in which they were first conceived; the child conceived first is born later, and the one conceived later is brought forth first. The first child conceived in the womb lives behind the second child, so when birth takes place the second child appears first, and the first child appears second. In this case it is understood that Hiraṇyākṣa, the second child conceived, was delivered first, whereas Hiraṇyakaśipu, the child who was behind him, having been conceived first, was born second.
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