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No entry during menstrual period

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No entry during Menstrual period

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No entry during menstrual period

  1. 1. The ‘ritually unclean’ mindset Even today girls are asked to stay away from rituals, temples, and anything remotely 'holy' when they are menstruating. No touching, because then everything will become 'impure'...Why?
  2. 2. A woman's bleeding was considered a cosmic event, relating and connecting one to the moon, the lunar cycles and the tides. She was thought to be at the height of her power at this time, and for this reason was encouraged to spend time listening to her inner voice which would often offer suggestions and wisdom which would benefit the whole tribe.
  3. 3. • Women today can begin to reconnect with the Goddess by reclaiming the power and beauty of our bodies and our blood. Remind yourself each day that you are a daughter of the Goddess and as such, are a manifestation of Her power and beauty. Attune yourself to the cycles of the Moon. Record how each phase affects you and then use that energy to work with these phases. Even if you do not menstruate with Moon cycles, celebrate and work with your Moon time in whatever way you can. Begin to discuss this with those living with you. If this is all new to them, educate them so they will understand your need to connect with All That Is during your Moon time.
  4. 4. Even in historic times, menstruation was seen as a time to seclude women from the household. In Mahabharata, it is said that Draupadi was menstruating during her ‘vastra-haran’, and that is why she was in separate quarters, and wearing a single piece of cloth before taking her ritual bath, when she was dragged by Dushasana. Not much has changed since then because even today, girls are asked to stay away from rituals, temples, and anything remotely 'holy'. No touching, because then everything will become 'impure'.
  5. 5. The ‘ritually unclean’ mindset Menstruation is stigmatized in our society. This stigma built up due to traditional beliefs in impurity of menstruating women and our unwillingness to discuss it normally. We don't know what may have been the reason that forced the holy men to refer to menstruating women as 'unclean'. But almost all religions refer to menstruating woman as 'ritually unclean'. The society shies away from discussing menstruation. This leads to a lot of inconvenience for young girls. They aren't informed well; hence they tend to hold several
  6. 6. The rules Many women are supposed to not cook food, or enter the kitchen during this time. It started as a period of rest, but then turned to forced seclusion. In some cultures, if a girl practices some art form, like singing, or dancing, she is not supposed to touch her instruments at that time. "She might be robbed of her talent", they are told. Things are worst in tribal cultures, where women are forced to live in cowsheds, without proper sanitation and hygiene.
  7. 7. The taboo of visiting temples According to Hindu beliefs a girl should not visit a temple or offer prayers while she is menstruating. According to these beliefs and customs a girl who has periods is impure and hence, should not even touch anything that shall be given as an offering to God. They also cannot take part in the religious ceremonies. But if logic is taken into consideration it is something that is given by God himself. It is the biological key to a woman's motherhood. So how can this be impure?
  8. 8. Some more orthodox Rules and Regulations Some of the rules defined for Rajaswala woman in our religious scriptures include – she should practice celibacy during the period; she should not sleep in day time; she should not apply kohl to her eyes; she should not weep or cry; she should not bath; she should not take oil massage or use any scented thing; she should not speak or hear loud words; she should not comb or dress her hair; she should not stand amidst fast blowing wind; she should not cut her nails and so on.....’
  9. 9. Why is a menstruating female considered impure? According to one belief, when the scriptures spoke of ‘ashudha’ they may have not only meant the physical aspect but the mental aspect as well. Science talks of the menstrual syndrome, i.e., a woman is more irritable during those days because of a hormonal imbalance. Psychics claim that there is a different aura around a menstruating woman. Praying requires a positive attitude and maybe that is the reason why a woman is barred from public places of prayer during these days.
  10. 10. A fascinating mythological story according to Bhagavatha Purana, Indra had once disrespected Brihaspathi who was the Guru of all the devas. As a result of this sin, the asuras (demons) easily conquered the heavens and Indra lost his kingdom and glory. When he took refuge in Brahma, the latter insisted Indra to consider serving a young lad who is a braham-gyani as his guru until Brihaspathi is pleased. However, the lad had maternal affection for the demon clan as his mother was also a demon.
  11. 11. Indra does ‘Braham-hatya’ The boy use to give yagna-havis (offering during havan which is consumed by the devas) to the demons too. Seeing this, Indra killed the young boy in a fit of rage. As the boy was in the position of a guru, Indra had invited upon himself the heinous of all sins, brahma-hatya- pathaka (killing a guru). The sin took the shape of a ferocious female demon that followed and haunted Indra wherever he ran. Finally, Indra hid himself within a flower.
  12. 12. Indra thought of distributing his sin Indra remained inside the closed flower for one lakh years and performed penance to please Lord Vishnu. With Vishnu’s grace, Indra was freed from the trouble of the demons but he was not cleansed from the sin of brahma-hatya. To get rid of this sin and earn his kingdom back he requested the presiding deities of water, trees, earth and women to take a quarter of the sin. In turn he promised that he would grant boons to all of them. This was agreed upon.
  13. 13. Bane and boon given to the Tree The presiding deity of all the trees accepted a quarter portion of the sin. The tree sap which oozes out of the tree bark is the form of brahma-hatya and is considered as impure. For bearing this sin, Indra granted a boon to all the trees that they can regenerate and re-grow as long as they are not uprooted.
  14. 14. Bane and boon given to Water Varuna took a quarter of the sin too. The froth or foam that gets developed on water is considered as impure as it represents the brahma-hatya. When a Hindu performs achamana, if the water has foam on it, it is dropped down. Indra granted purity to water as a boon for accepting the sin. It is said that it is because of this boon that water has got so much of importance in Hindu rituals. It purifies everything.
  15. 15. Bane and boon given to the Earth Bhoo devi took another quarter of the sin. As a result earth lost its state of complete fertility and barren lands denoted brahma-hatya. The boon given to earth was the ability to refill its cavities over a period of time.
  16. 16. Bane and boon given to Women Women living in that aeon have accepted the last quarter. As a result they and their progeny had to experience the menstrual cycle once in a month which denotes brahma-hatya. As a boon, women were granted more pleasure in sex than men. According to Hinduism, God cannot be seen or realized without a Guru. Menstrual cycle denotes the sin of killing a guru. So women are forbidden to see God or indulge in divine acts during that period for its sign of impurity.
  17. 17. Other mythological stories Mayan mythology explains the origin of menstruation as a punishment for violating the social rules governing marital alliance. The menstrual blood turns into snakes and insects used in black sorcery, before the Maya moon goddess is reborn from it. In Judaism and Christianity, the latter derives from the first, it is of the punishment for the disobedience of Eve who would eat of the Forbidden Fruit to know of the difference between good and evil.
  18. 18. Excuse me! But in Hinduism womb is considered sacred Do you know that the reason why women do not prostrate themselves by laying flat on the floor like the men, but kneel and bow instead, is because the scriptures state that it is offensive to lay the womb on the floor because it is “the cradle of humanity,” in each and every woman. So our wombs are considered so sacred that the Gods Themselves find it offensive if you lay your womb on the floor to worship them. Then how can Gods really discriminate?
  19. 19. Weird: Menstruating women and magical abilities Historically, a menstruating woman was considered sacred and powerful, with increased psychic abilities, and strong enough to heal the sick. According to the Cherokee, menstrual blood was a source of feminine strength and had the power to destroy enemies. In Ancient Rome, it is believed that a menstruating woman who uncovers her body can scare away hailstorms, whirlwinds and lightning. In Africa, menstrual blood is used in the most powerful magic charms in order to both purify and
  20. 20. Every religion has put restrictions on women This whole humdrum is not just related with any particular religion. Some forbid them from entering temples or mosques, some restrict their physical and social behavior, different religions have different type of restrictions. There are many justifications for why these restrictions were introduced. Some of these explanations sound logical and must have been relevant to that era and time but the strange part is even after so much progress in the area of sanitation and personal hygiene many people still practice these things.
  21. 21. The rules of Christian churches In most Christian churches today, menstruating women are allowed to attend church. However menstruating women are not allowed to receive communion in some more conservative Orthodox churches. In some, they are not allowed to attend church at all. Although Eve’s curse was pain in childbirth (not menstruation) later Christian writers have associated menstruation with Eve’s curse, and some Orthodox Christians today still see menstruation as religiously unclean.
  22. 22. • In some Buddhist temples menstruating women are forbidden (particularly in the North of Thailand) because of the influence of Hinduism – however most Buddhist temples do not prohibit menstruating women (Buddhism does not have menstrual taboos). • In Islam, menstruating women are (generally) prohibited from entering mosques. • In Judaism menstruating women are allowed to attend the synagogue. • In most Christian churches today, menstruating women are allowed to attend church. However menstruating women are not allowed to receive communion in some more conservative Orthodox churches. In some, they are not allowed to attend church at all. Although Eve’s curse was pain in childbirth (not menstruation) later Christian writers have associated menstruation with Eve’s curse, and some Orthodox Christians today still see menstruation as religiously unclean. •
  23. 23. Islam’s take on menstruation and prayers According to Muslim scholars, a woman is not allowed to perform her religious duties if she is menstruating. A woman has been disallowed from performing her Salat (prayers performed to get closer to God) if she happens to be menstruating. Worse still, women are also told that they are not allowed to fast either if they are menstruating. The logic behind the prohibition is the same - that women are in a state of impurity and are unclean when menstruating
  24. 24. slam’s take on menstruation and prayers Despite being the spiritual equals of men, women are forbidden to pray during menstruation — and a woman who decides to pray is told that she is sinning and committing sacrilege. Islam does not ask the Muslim woman to give up her spiritualities or pursuit of Islamic knowledge during this time either. While it is true that she cannot perform ritual prayers, Tawaf (circumambulation of the Ka’bah) and fasting; however, she is not prohibited from listening to tapes of the Quran, or from listening
  25. 25. Islam’s take on menstruation and prayers She may even recite the verses to herself silently. She can still pray, through duaa (supplication), and can still repeat the praises of Almighty. The question is, when God is all knowing and He is fully aware of how women are physiologically different from men, why would He forbid women from performing not only their Salat but also fasting.
  26. 26. First, we must be aware that the Salat (prayer) is an act of worship. In all the Quran there are no words that forbid women from observing their Salat or fasting when they have menstruation. The only case where a person is prohibited from observing the Salat is when he/she is intoxicated
  27. 27. The Buddhist point of view From a Buddhist point of view menstruation is “a natural physical excretion that women have to go through on a monthly basis, nothing more or less.” However in practice this is not followed. It is because of the influence Hinduism has had on Buddhism. Many temples do not allow women to circumambulate around the Stupas. There is clear evidence of this rule in Thailand. During menstruation women are thought to lose Qi (commonly spelled as chi).
  28. 28. The Buddhist point of view The ‘chi’ that women are suppose to lose while menstruating is believed to be part of everything that exists, as in ‘life force’ or spiritual energy. There’s a Buddhist belief that ghosts eat blood. A menstruating woman is then thought to attract ghosts, and is therefore a threat to herself and others. An example cited by the Buddha Dharma Education Association says, that while fermenting rice, menstruating women are not allowed near the area or the rice will be spoilt.
  29. 29. The Jewish code of law The Jewish code of law, Halakha, details strict rules governing every aspect of the daily lives of Jews. It prohibits any physical contact between males and females during the days of menstruation and for a week thereafter. The entire period of time, from the beginning of the menses to the end of seven clean days, when the women immerses herself in the ritual bath, is called the ‘Niddah period’. Sadly, the chapter in Hebrew Bible that discusses Menstruation is titled - Unclean discharges, Sexual behavior and Grave Crimes.
  30. 30. The Jewish fear of contamination by menstrual blood A key Old Testament text on the defilement by monthly periods is Leviticus 15,19- 30 which can contains the following prescriptions: “ When a woman has a discharge of blood, and blood flows from her body, the uncleanness of her monthly periods shall last for seven days.” “Anyone who touches her will be unclean until evening.” “ Any bed she lies on in this state will be unclean; any seat she sits on will be unclean. Anyone who touches her bed must wash his clothing and wash himself and will be unclean until evening. If there is anything on the bed or on the chair on which she sat, anyone who touches it will be unclean until evening.” “ If a man sleeps with her, he will be affected by the uncleanness of her monthly periods. He shall be unclean for seven days. Any bed he lies on will be unclean.” “If a woman has a flow of blood for several days outside her period or if the period is prolonged, during the time the flow lasts she shall be in the same state of uncleanness as during her monthly periods.” “When she is cured of her flow, she will let seven days pass then she will be clean. On the eighth day she is to take two turtle doves or two young pigeons and bring them to the priest at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. With one of them the priest is to offer a sacrifice for sin and with the other a holocaust. This is the way in which the priest will perform the rite of atonement over her before Yahweh for the flow rhat caused her uncleanness.” “The children of Israel are to be warned lest they defile the tabernacle that is set among them.”
  31. 31. No real logic behind these customs Many people who believe in supremacy of God don't even think that how a God can become unclean or polluted by a touch of menstruating women. Does this mean that a women in her periods has more power than their all powerful God? Why god should fear a menstruating woman? Womanhood is a gift from nature to females and they should cherish it and feel proud about it, shame or guilt should not be associated with any gender. Unless women themselves start questioning these type of beliefs we can't bring that change
  32. 32. It’s time to take a stand! I understand very well that many times it's not fare judging past societies with current social values and knowledge but this practice of seclusion of women in this way due to some biological processes associated with their gender should stop. We all should know that this is totally wrong and it courage to eradicate this practice, let's confront these things wherever we see them and let’s start is our duty to stop it. Let's show some this from our own homes.
  33. 33. The menstruating Goddess of Hindus Have you heard of the goddess who menstruates? Only 8 km from Guwahati railway station is located the most famous temple of Assam, the Kamakhya temple, dedicated to Goddess Sati, an incarnation of Durga, according to ancient Indian scriptures. One of the 51 ‘peethas’ or holy spots, Kamakhya temple is also known as ‘Yoni–Peetha’. Every year, Kamakhya temple observes a unique festival called ‘Ambubachi’ when, it is believed, the goddess menstruates. The festival draws a large number of pilgrims to temple.
  34. 34. Kamakhya Temple: Story of the bleeding Devi The temple of Kamakhya has a very interesting story of its origin. The story of the Shakti peeths goes like this; once Sati fought with her husband Shiva to attend her father's great yagna. At the grand yagna, Sati's father Daksha insulted her husband. Sati was angered and in her shame, she jumped into the fire and killed herself. When Shiva came to know that his beloved wife had committed suicide, he went insane with rage.
  35. 35. Kamakhya Temple: Story of the bleeding Devi He placed Sati's dead body on his shoulders and did the tandav or dance of destruction. To calm him down, Lord Vishnu cut the dead body with his chakra. The 108 places where Sati's body parts fell are called Shakti peeths. Kamakhya temple is special because Sati's womb and vagina fell here.
  36. 36. The Name 'Kamakhya' The God of love, Kamadeva had lost his virility due to a curse. He sought out the Shakti's womb and genitals and was freed from the curse. This is where 'love' gained his potency and thus, the deity 'Kamakhya' devi was installed and worshipped here. Some people also believe that the Kamakhya temple is a place where Shiva and devi Sati had their romantic encounters. As the Sanskrit word for lovemaking is 'kama', the place was named Kamakhya.
  37. 37. The Bleeding Goddess Kamakhya devi is famous as the bleeding goddess. The mythical womb and vagina of Shakti are supposedly installed in the 'Garvagriha' or sanctum of the temple. In the month of Ashaad (June), the goddess bleeds or menstruates. At this time, the Brahmaputra river near Kamakhya turns red. The temple then remains closed for 3 days and holy water is distributed among the devotees of Kamakhya devi.
  38. 38. A symbol of a woman's creativity There is no scientific proof that the blood actually turns the river red. Some people say that the priests pour vermilion into the waters. But symbolically, menstruation is the symbol of a woman's creativity and power to give birth. So, the deity and temple of Kamakhya celebrates this 'shakti' or power within every woman. What do you think about these religious ways in which a woman is observed during her menstrual cycle? Hasn’t someone overreacted in history? Do share your views in the comments below…
  39. 39. THANK YOU DON’T MIND PLEASE Prem Baboo pbaboo@hotmail.com

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