Menstruation myths and facts in India



Well, born a man I can never understand nor experience the power of creation. I may be known to possess the hatred for destruction, which eventually destroys me. My accumulated karma from the beginningless past, across countless lifetimes, may not have been that good, that’s why in this birth I cannot feel the joy of being a woman.

These big words of mine hold some truth if seen from the point of history and knowledge. If there were only women in this world, without any need for a man to reproduce then there would have been no world wars. No riots. No lynching. No genocides. No Hitler or Khilji. No killing in the name of survival of the fittest.

The ideal world of which we dream, above and beyond the soaring towers, buildings and monuments; a world without war and violence manifests in a world ruled by women.

We live in a diverse world where myriad communities, religions, cultures, and traditions co-exist, forming a harmonious rainbow. But, unfortunately, this beautiful diversity has certain myths and taboos that now seem to plague our society at large. One such common and prolonged myth is the myth describing menstruation in India. This myth of menstruation has become a taboo now.

We don’t realize that there is a certain mindset, made of false facts which constitute the backbone of the menstruation myth and taboo in India. In relation to this, there is a mythological story that revolves around lord Shiva and Goddess Sati.

Menstruation myths and facts – origin

“The daughter of Prajapati Daksha, Sati fell in love with Lord Shiva, and marries Shiva without the approval of her father, as her father hated Shiva. Once, Sati fought with Shiva to attend the grand Yagna, organized by Daksh to appease the gods. In the Yagna, Shiva and Sati were not invited on purpose.

Sati, undeterred by the warning and explanations are given by Shiva went to the Yagna. During the proceedings, Sati was immensely insulted by her father. Unable to bear the denunciation of her husband, she jumped into the sacred fire of the holy Yagna. After learning of this catastrophe, Shiva’s whole being quaked with anger and resentment. He ordered his ganas to get the head of Daksh and kill everyone present in the Yagna.

His anger burst forth from the long silent volcano, and he started performing Tandav at whose beat the world began to shatter. So, to stop the destruction of the world and calm Shiva, Lord Vishnu with his Sudarshan Chakra cut the body of Goddess Sati into 108 pieces. Wherever her flesh fell, there now stands a temple, said to be built by Shiva known as ‘Shakti Peeths’. “

One of the Shakti Peeths is the ‘Kamakhaya Devi Temple’ where the ‘Womb’ and ‘Vagina’ of goddess Sati is worshipped as sacrosanct; the main temple, which gave birth to the belief of “the Bleeding Goddess”. A myth or a belief: that the goddess of this temple menstruates during the month of Ashaad, which is June. The river Brahmaputra which flows beside the temple turns red; symbolizing the menstruating goddess and also the power of creating unique to women.

The temple is closed for the three consecutive days and reopens on the fourth day in the form of a grand festival ‘AmbubachiMela’, attended by countless devotees.

Was menstrual blood considered pure?

Aeons ago, probably an ideal dream in history a menstruating woman and girl were considered pure, sacred, powerful, and strong enough to heal the sick with her increased psychic ability. The menstrual blood, from a literary point of view, is considered a power to purify and even destroy evil.

Menstruation myths and facts in India- the Vedas

Vedas never stated that a menstruating woman is impure or should not visit a temple….

Are you aware of what Ayurveda says about the myths of menstruation?

According to Ayurveda, menstruation is regarded as a special opportunity enjoyed by women for monthly cleansing of excess toxins; it is this monthly cleansing that accounts for female longevity. There is a build-up of energy in the days leading to menstruation as the body prepares for pregnancy, and the flow of energy during this time is downwards.

So, if the woman comes into contact with the divine energy overflowing in sacred places like temples and gurudwaras, then she will not be able to bear and may suffer from severe cramps. This is the case because the flow of energy during incantations and chanting which permeates the atmosphere of the sacred place is upwards. This contrast in the flow of energy leads to discomfort and disrupts her concentration.

A menstruating woman was once seen as so pure, that she was worshipped as a Goddess. So, if a woman enters the temple during her periods the energy of the God or Goddess in the murti transfers into her being; such was the belief when people lived true to the Dharma of Sanathan. As a menstruating woman indeed is a living goddess of creation.

Do you know what is the science behind the myths of menstruation?

Science says the reason behind menstruation is that the female body prepares itself for pregnancy every month. But, if no fertilization takes place then the body sheds layers of the uterus to free itself of any substance that can cause harm if fertilization takes place when the next ova is released.

Menstruation myths and taboos

A menstruating woman should not go to the kitchen

A menstruating woman should not go to the kitchen! This is amongst the commonly known menstruation taboo in India.

But do you know why a woman should not work in the kitchen?

In old times, a woman was mostly involved in household chores. The household chores were mostly cooking and spending all of her time in the kitchen. During periods she was barred from entering the kitchen so that she could take rest, this practice soon became a taboo that ‘a woman shouldn’t enter the kitchen!’

A menstruating woman should not enter Temples

 

Whenever it is about entering the Temples, women are advised not to visit the temples. This is done so in the belief that the menstrual blood is impure.

Do you know considering the menstrual blood impure is the top-most myth of menstruation?

Everything is related to the energy of the body. The energy of the body flows in the direction in contrast to the energy flow in Temples while praying. This might increase the pain of the menstruating woman. But, alas uneducated minds made it a practice, nonsensically drawing from the Vedas declaring it to be a sin beyond redemption.

The divine energy in temples, drawn through chants and deep prayer rises towards the sky whereas the energy of creation is focused downwards. Thus, it was a prescription not a restriction for her own comfort and well-being. Therefore, in my opinion, it must be left on to the woman to decide and take her stand.

During menstruation sex should be avoided

In the west, as witnessed in many blue rated videos- a trend and business started by the west through the medium of technology, sex during periods are encouraged as ten times more pleasurable. The other reason states that a woman during her periods is quite sensitive, thus easy to dominate as the talk goes on in today’s pervert atmosphere.

The Vedic seers of India who gazed at the world below from the peak of spirituality, consider this deed results in the conflict of cosmic energies. This conflict is detrimental to the woman, quite evidently man remains indifferent to this fact.

During intercourse, a man spends his energy through ejaculation and the woman absorbs his energy for the sake of creation. But, during periods a woman is already releasing so much energy, on top of it she also has to absorb energy- this can undermine her health quite adversely. Yet again it is a prescription, those seeking pleasure above all indulge in this deed anyway, quite like smoking and drinking.

So next time let’s not just get away with this myth and accept the fact of menstruation.

Swimming and washing one’s hair should be avoided

There is a good reason behind this prescription, elucidated beautifully in the thick book of Vedic knowledge. Water is one of the five essential elements that make life possible on the planet, thus it has the power to create, as well as destroy just like the other four elements. The Vedas say that water has its own cosmic energy and memory, from which it draws such insuperable power. The energy inherent in water can have a strong influence on the menstrual cycle of a woman, when in contact.

Women should become particular about their eating habits

Menstruation is a time when the body goes through many changes, preparations and toil so that the life who shall take birth in her being flourishes within as well as long after leaving her womb. So, if rich food is consumed that generate a lot of heat in the body, like dairy products and meat. It can affect her body temperature in a negative way, thus a detriment to her health. Loose motions and stomach upset become a common thing during menstruation if food habits are not regulated. The structure of one’s body varies from person to person, so it is advised in general to take vegetarian and light food during the monthly cycle.

Menstrual cycle myths

Life itself is cosmic energy, that activates and keeps our otherwise decomposing flesh alive. Paramahansa Yogananda quotes, “The seventh centre, in the cerebrum, is the reservoir where the cosmic life-energy is stored, to be drawn upon as needed to sustain and activate the body. It is the accumulation of life-energy in the brain that one sees as stars or a flash of light if the head sustains a hard blow: the energy has been forcibly displaced”.

The physiological functions of a body are fuelled by certain energies known as bio-energies, or in the Vedic language Doshas. An individual is made of three types of Doshas- Vata, Pitta and Kapha, or in other words air, fire and water. These three elements that constitute all forms of life, not only human beings play a significant role during the monthly cycle of periods, as periods are a time to cleanse oneself of all the excess impurities.

The Vata dosha, which is air is responsible for the downward flow of energy during menstruation. So, many prescriptions were formulated by the Vedic seers to prevent any interference with this downward flow of energy. As it may turn out detrimental for the woman. Menstruation also enables a woman to absorb other forms of energy from her environment, around which most of the myths and taboos have surfaced.

Myths of menstruation- a celebration

Menstruation is celebrated in many countries like South India, Macedonia, Canada, Croatia, Israel, Iceland, Brazil, Philippines, Japan, and South Africa as Puberty Ceremony: a grand festive like occasion as if, takes place for the girls experiencing periods for the first time along with her family and friends. Girls dress like princesses and are gifted with whatever they desire. Special meals are prepared which includes the favourite recipes of the girls.

Earlier this celebration was a sign of marriage, in which the groom was sought as the daughter had now attained sexual maturity. It was a bygone time when child-marriage was widespread, in which girls were married off at an early age around 12 to 15 years.

The main goal of this celebration is to shed light on the warmth of motherhood, and purity when it comes to creation from the very flesh and blood of a woman, who was once a girl. It is never a mere formality, dressed in the image of a festival so that good prospects both economic and social could be attained through a viable groom.

In this perverted age of Kaliyuga, where money and fame are more valuable to a man, undermining the preciousness of life, even god. The scientific, literary, and the divine essence of menstruation have been manipulated in the sense it satisfies the pervert, prevailing nature of man that has led to this Kaliyug.

The myths and taboos that undermine not only women but, the very existence of human life, or any life on earth are nothing but, the mere manipulation of the Vedas. The reason behind this is to meet the desired social and economic ends. In many cases, just to get rid of her as soon as possible driven by the thought of what ‘others’ will think.

Depraved thinking and deeds are why people suffer in today’s age, spiritually and physically; individually and collectively. Only when a deep insight of the history and philosophy of the Sanathan civilization prevails which eventually, and perpetually deteriorated with subsequent invasions.

Thus, all these mindless conceptions that now stick to the very identity of Indian, and even defines the Indian social system will come to an end. The Vedas, Upanishads, and the Buddha will come to life in their true essence, at par with modern materialism.

Learn more about the Scientific logic behind superstitions in India.

 

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