Friday, December 7, 2012

Worshiping while Menstruating- What's wrong in it?

Some cultures and traditions are very old, since thousands of years certain traditions are in practice and people still follow them with a lot of devotion and belief. I am very proud of India's rich culture and traditions. There are many good things which one can learn from these traditions, but at the same time, there are certain rituals or traditions which need to change or should be abandoned altogether. I personally believe that customs and rituals need to change with time. There is one custom where women and girls are not allowed to enter temples, or take part in many religious functions while menstruating or during periods (the term mostly used for menstruation). This tradition is still practiced in many families and many women also believe that it is their duty to follow this ritual. They feel guilty if they don't do this, such is the effect of this tradition. Every religion has put some restrictions on women while there are menstruating, so this is not related to 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. 

In Hinduism, menstruating women are not supposed to enter the temple because they are believed to be ‘unclean’, menstruating women are also supposed to keep away from sacred objects even in their own homes. According to Old Testament of the Bible, menstruating women are unclean for seven days (Leviticus 12). A woman had to 'purify' herself after she finished menstruating until then anything that she touched would be considered as unclean (as would anyone who had touched her, or had been touched by a person who had been in contact with her). I have read somewhere that Buddhism has no menstrual restrictions at all (menstruation is just seen as a natural bodily process). However, some Buddhist temples do restrict menstruating women from entering them (probably because of the influence that Hinduism has had on Buddhism).

I spent most of my life in Hindu neighborhood in India, women were not allowed to go to the temple, to do poojas, or not even offered prasad (offerings from temples). They were not allowed in churches or mosques also during those days. In some very orthodox families, women were forbidden from even entering in the kitchen during menstruating days. She had to depend on somebody even to take a drinking water from a vessel as it was believed that her touch might pollute that water, the belief was so strong and rigid that it was beyond and rational or logic. Technically she was ostracized or quarantined. The effect of these beliefs is so strong that if any woman dares to challenge them every attempt is made to make her feel like a sinner. There are so many explanations and justifications for why this practice was started; some say it was because of hygiene (remember those were pre-sanitary pad days), some say the in those days women's basic lifestyle required more physical effort and put more strain than today and this practice gave them much required physical rest. These explanations indeed sound very practical and valid for 'those days'. Maybe it was required back then, but why are we still practicing them even today? Today in the era of sanitary napkins very sophisticated and reliable methods of sanitation are available. Women are empowered and capable of taking decisions about their own life then why these things are still in practice?

The hold of these beliefs is so strong that many women still believe that there is something wrong with them during those days. They feel they are really polluted or dirty during that period and should not take part in any of these activities. I have seen my mother, my wife practicing these things for years and no matter how much I question them, how much I explain they are just too scared to break this religious dogma or superstition. Now after my continuous questioning at least they accept that this practice is wrong and should be discontinued but they are scared to do it. I already wrote one post related to pure biological nature of pregnancy, similarly, menstruation is a purely biological process, there is nothing dirty, or sinful in it and definitely this has nothing to do with any god or religion, it's just simple biology. 

Many people who believe in the supremacy of God don't even think that how a God can become unclean or polluted by a touch of a menstruating woman. Does this mean that a woman 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's biological function. This practice of seclusion of women in this way due to some biological processes associated with their gender should stop. It is a duty of all of us together to put a full stop to such discriminatory practices. Let's show some courage to eradicate this practice, let's confront these things wherever we see them and let's start this from our own homes. 

I understand very well that many times it's not fair to judge past societies with current social values and knowledge. Here, I am not trying to do this, rather I am questioning beliefs of present societies which are based on past social or religious values. Because of these types of beliefs and superstitions, women already suffered enough. They are treated as inferiors or like a burden in many societies from the moment the fetus is known to be a female. I think time has come to get rid of all these types of customs and rituals. We have come very far from those medieval times. As far as I am concerned I don't care what any religion or scripture says about this topic, if I see this type of prejudice and discrimination I voice my opinion strongly against it, I question it. I know it may not change anything immediately but I do it anyway. Unless women themselves start questioning these type of beliefs we can't bring that change. I hope that more and more women will start doing it. I am sure we all can create a prejudice-free environment with our efforts and I am very optimistic about it.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic. 

[Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

96 comments:

  1. If you had a pad full of urine in your pants, you wouldn’t feel right to walk into some holy place or even near food would you?
    The women themselves must understand their own conditions and take actions accordingly.
    The only women who feel prejudice or discrimination against are women who are living comfortably with affordable tampons and don’t have any medical conditions. They forget that not all women are the same and some of these rules are good for them.

    The advice given to women to stay away from temples, cooking and not touching anything is good.

    You don’t seem to understand that each women are different and no one knows which women will suffer how and what problems they will be in.

    To ensure their rest these rules need to be observed.

    Women need to take time off work, not goto temples with their often smelly pants full of filthy blood and urine soaked in some tampon.

    The rest required at times when so much blood loss is taking place is wonderful.

    Many Women suffer depression, mood swings, suicidal, tiredness, heavy loss of blood for 5 days which no doubts cause faint, fatigue, unable to withstand heat in kitchen, many suffer migraine, suffer hemorragies, go to work then come home to work even more in these conditions, they suffer cramps, Fever, Muscle aches, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Dizziness and/or fainting, and the list is endless with different women.
    You just went onto some website tried to demonise some religion and culture and you then try to become a champion of some misguided cause without even thinking about what it means to women themselves.
    Yet another failed and misunderstood blog in the name of attempting to demonise God.

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    1. ohh man...this is just unbelievable...I know that you are very orthodox in your thinking but I didn't know that you think like this...

      What do you mean by 'pad full of urine'??? are you kidding me?? do you even know what menstruation is?? I am sure most or all women who read this will find it utterly disgusting and insulting, I feel really sorry for you, it's really sad that you think like this about one of biological process which is essence of womanhood..

      Most women very well understand their situation and they do behave accordingly, there is no need to stereotype them or punish them for this natural phenomenon, rather for women who don't know about proper sanitation methods should be educated about this phenomena and proper resources should be made available to them, it's utter disgusting to tell them that something is wrong with them.

      [The advice given to women to stay away from temples, cooking and not touching anything is good.]

      Not touching anything?? really?? man, which world are you in?

      [You don’t seem to understand that each women are different and no one knows which women will suffer how and what problems they will be in]

      I know very well that each person is different and each individual have their own problems that's the very reason you can not make a general rule for specific gender. Women are intelligent enough to know when and how much rest they need and as I said in ancient times when social/economic situation of women was not that good these rules might have made some sense but today they have no value. If one wants to offer them rest then there is no reason to treat them like an untouchable and put through more mental trauma, rather than one should be given total freedom so that they can keep their spirits high and positive rather than secluding them. Don't you think so??

      Some website?? demonize some religion and culture??

      really?? which website?? please provide reference, I will really appreciate and there are many articles written on this subject by women themselves, please go and read them, educate yourself. All opinions expressed on this blog are my own and which religion I am demonizing?? don't just write whatever comes to your mind, please provide some evidence.

      There is no relation between God and menstruation, I am not demonizing any God here rather you are by bringing your God into this discussion. And whatever symptoms you listed is really a broad list and some of them are really rare and associated with many, many other diseases I don't think people with those diseases are banned from touching things or and restrictions are placed on them...so get real, wake up.

      [Women need to take time off work, not goto temples with their often smelly pants full of filthy blood and urine soaked in some tampon]

      Please educate yourself about menstruation..man whatever you wrote about it so disgusting, I hope women read this and try to comment but may be they won't because whatever you wrote is really pathetic..I feel so sorry...get well soon, all women don't need any treatment for this natural biological process but I think you need and need it very badly.

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    2. He isn't demonizing God or even a culture, he is merely calling attention to the the practices that we as humans have institutionalized.

      Okay you want to know what it means to women themselves, here a is a woman answering you now; you who choose to hide behind the cloak of anonymous.

      Urine? Are you serious? You can control where and when you piss more than you can control your period.

      You talk about each woman being different in their experiences of menstruation, which is true, but then you still apply blanketing ideas, saying that they should not cook food and take rest.

      Do you even realize what day and age it is or do you still live by rules that are hundreds of years old. Yeah there is pain and moodswings and illness, but there are medicines to help with that because we don't live in a time where you can drop everything for five days and not work or go to school or whatever. This is something that I know keeps girls from going to school in some parts of the world and that's more repugnant than a small amount of blood and uterine tissue. Don't make rules for women because they are not inferior to you. IF they say they can work, they can work.

      If it is merely the smell you find offensive, get over it. What are you doing sniffing women's pants anyway? Also if I went on whether or not something personally offends me, I think most people in India might not be allowed out of their house because they don't use deodorant.

      Get over yourself.

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    3. "pad full of urine" ha ha ha.. the silly boy .. pitty on him

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    4. Mr/ Miss/Mrs Anonymous. Do you even understand the meaning of God? Its God who gave us life, its Him who is all powerful, supreme and he needs to stay away from a women for certain amount of days!

      God is not a statue, God is you. You are a part of God. The world, the culture has developed notions regarding things and now, they are being blindly follow. People put have put their common senses to rest and just needlessly go on believing in matters that are not even justifiable.

      And as you said, women are different, they face different issues during a period. Agreed. But , if someone wants to rest or if someone wants to work should lie in her own hands. How can you gerneralise. Take me for example, I am absolutely comfortable with my periods. I want to Pray, I want to cook, I want to exercise but, in the name of God I am being stopped to do all this. God wants to suppress my desires?God wants me to feel like a victim? If Yes, then sorry that's not my God!

      My God is Supreme, Kind, benevolent and giving.

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    5. Thanks Sansriti for sharing your views, we need to stand up and speak against any type of discrimination or unjust bias. Many times our silence is taken as an approval, so let's try to challenge any such outdated and discriminatory traditions, no matter from which religion or region they are.

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    6. Read VEDAS....Read santam dharm scriptures.....wht they said...is right....bcse vedas are not by humans....its by BHARAMA.....and who tell us about GOD....the VEDAS....so if its wrong for women...then its wrong and if this is ok for women then its ok..for them....we should not interfere.and today's humans make religion as comfortable as they be....so wht written in VEDAS are original..GOD has no need to change it...so do HUMANS cant change it....

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    7. Try to understand the gravity of difference between....devas,AVATARS and a God.....in temple devas and avtaars are...in whole universe the GOD and his energy is...

      Delete
    8. Try to understand the gravity of difference between....devas,AVATARS and a God.....in temple devas and avtaars are...in whole universe the GOD and his energy is...

      Delete
    9. psychopath.................... Oh God I wish you better get period ................... so that you can educate yourself............

      Delete

  2. [[What do you mean by 'pad full of urine'???]]
    I wrote that because you seem to have difficulty understanding what I write. Its by of example to make you understand ..but alas…………its useless to make you understand anything……………..
    My last replies on this then……………



    [[punish them for this natural phenomenon]]
    No one is punishing them. Only helping them but people like you are destroying the good things going for them.



    [[as I said in ancient times when social/economic situation of women was not that good these rules might have made some sense but today they have no value.]]

    I would say at a guess that 50% of women still live in poverty in India and cant afford modern pads. I assume they still use old fashion ways.


    [[put through more mental trauma,]]
    What’s bad about sitting all day and tending to your needs. Many women are Im sure very thankful.


    [[Some website?? demonize some religion and culture?? really?? which website?? please provide reference,]]
    Do you really think I would give someone like a link to those website; because knowing you; the first thing you would do is spread all their filth for them.


    [[and which religion I am demonizing??]]
    By demonising God you are demonising all religions. Read your blog. You clearly demonise God and religions –5th paragraph.


    Any women are welcome to comment on my views. I just think you are desperately trying to wind them up and support your cause.

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    1. As expected, a comment which conveniently ignores all points I raised in my reply to your comment, absolutely doesn't give 'any' proof about all allegations leveled against me and my blog (not for the first time and now I am used to it).

      Please don't try to justify use of derogatory language under the name of 'trying to make me understand'...this blog is about my opinions about certain topics and issues and if you have anything to share about those issues then please share, use of such language is very pathetic under whatever name you want to use.

      [No one is punishing them. Only helping them but people like you are destroying the good things going for them. ]

      so you believe that physical seclusion is the right thing to deal with menstruation and it's good for women. I have seen many women are against this and they have right to choose their way, women who are OK with this should continue with this but this post is for the one who are against this practice, if you don't understand this simple thing then I can't help you in this regard.

      [[What’s bad about sitting all day and tending to your needs. Many women are Im sure very thankful.]]

      sitting all day and depend on someone else even for drinking water is not the comfort they want, leave unto women to decide what they want and what they don't.

      [[You clearly demonise God and religions –5th paragraph.]]

      I don't find anything in that para which demonize any religion or God, for you asking question it self might be like demonizing the thing, but according to me it's not.

      First of all they should feel your comment worthy of reply, I doubt that they will...and may be the words they want to use in their reply are not the one which one can type on this public forum, may be you can use such derogatory words but I am sure they won't...so you are lucky in that aspect but please don't count on that luck every time.

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    2. {{I would say at a guess that 50% of women still live in poverty in India and cant afford modern pads. I assume they still use old fashion ways.]]

      If they don't have access to proper sanitation methods and tools then also forceful physical seclusion under the name of religion is not the solution for this, educating then about sanitation and providing proper resources to maintain their health is the solution which is good for them and their families in long turn. Poverty can not be a reason for gender discrimination or suppression of any class of society.

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    3. To be physically secluded, constitutes punishment. I found it upsetting when I was a young girl to find that I was told that God didn't want to see me simply because of something my body did once a month that I could not help. It hurts to hear that you're dirty even when you bathe daily and take a thousand and one precautions to make sure no one knows that you're menstruating.

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    4. Thanks a lot Neha for sharing your views on this topic, I see that even in today's world it requires lot of courage and guts to comment on these type of issues.

      I have also seen that many women start hating themselves or start really feeling bad about being women and curse their luck or destiny to be born as a female, and all this happens mainly because of kind of treatment offered to them in society as well as in their own family and stereotyping of menstruation is one of them. It appears to be a very small or trivial issue but it leaves a deep impact on psychology of girls who get discriminated at so early age that too because of something they don't have any control over...Thanks again for your comment.

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    5. do u really go n smell ladies pants?

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  3. i laughed out loud at the whole "pad full of urine" comment. i'm pretty sure whoever anonymous is (and i'm going to ahead and say it's a dude who's never had a female friend, or sex ed, or is too young to know what a period even is... in which case, kid, go to school and pay attention. what are you doing online making comments on things you know nothing about? talk to your parents/guardians, they might be able to help you. maybe), is confusing a pad with a diaper.

    Dude, babies and old people who can't control their bladders are the ones who use diapers. pads are for periods. where the baby comes out and where the pee comes are from two totally different places. it's not like once a month, i lose all bladder control and pee myself for a week for no reason. that would be a medical condition.

    naw, it's just that women have babies. believe it or not, i have a uterus and it wants a baby. i mean, i sure as hell don't want one of those right now, but no one let me choose when my body would start baby mode. you, too, will someday go through what is called "puberty" and when your voice is cracking and hair is growing in some places where it wasn't there before, you'll understand.

    but boys and girls go through different things because that's what nature has us do- grow up, make babies, raise offspring, and hopefully make some more, until we can't cause we're old or dead.

    i mean religion is man made, which would explain a lot of the crazy ass rules they have, and sometimes those rules say that things that happen naturally are not things we should accept. which is just really odd, and those are the parts i tend to ignore because would God really make his children a certain way,and then tell them it's something horrible and they should be ashamed? i was born asian, female, 5'6" and two big brown eyes. i'm pretty sure God would love me anyway, even if humans wrote in a book somewhere that anyone under 5'7" is satan's spawn and brown eyes are prohibited from looking at the bible. no, i don't think it actually says that in there, but come on... same thing. these are things i can't help, but why should i be prevented from loving God and worshiping him just cause i'm... human?

    not allowing women in temples or sharing or whatever just cause they're not pregnant that month is, well, stupid. yea, maybe a gajillion years ago when it might have been a sanitary issue, it made sense. the bible, for example, says don't eat pig. that made sense, cause pigs are breeders for parasites and chances are, you eat some pork and you puke your guts out. therefore, pigs are not clean animals and you don't eat them.

    now, what? animals are vaccinated, cleaned, and the meat is often times treated to kill all harmful things. do we hold on to that rule from hundreds of years ago? that's silly. the world changes and the rules must change with it. if not, we'd still have slaves and you and i wouldn't be having this conversation online. you'd write me a letter, i'd write a letter back, maybe it'd make it to you via carrier pigeon, maybe a slave revolt keeps it from going your way.

    then again, maybe it would have been better. you'd be in school, hopefully receiving an education, and not typing up comments on subjects you don't know anything about, looking pretty stupid for the whole world to see.

    don't be like that.

    stay in school, kid.

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    1. First of all thanks a lot Sue for your comment..your and Neha's comments are much more important than the original post itself. Actually it doesn't matter much what I want to say about this issue or many other issues related with gender discrimination and suppression of females as long as females themselves don't speak up nothing will work. There is no doubt that religion along with customs and traditions like these play a major role in gender discrimination. I totally agree with you when you say religion is man made, and not only it's man made but it is institutionalized for the purpose of controlling other sections of society and continuously exploiting them, that's why that institution resists any sort of change.

      The issue here is not only about menstruation and stigma associated with it, but there are many stigmas which a typical women have to suffer in a typical religious or as they call it conservative or traditional society. Incidents like widowhood is considered as her fault and she is branded as bad omen, if for some medical reasons she can't bear a child of her own then it's considered as some sort of curse and many things like this are still practiced in many societies around the world and all this is practiced in the name of culture, traditions and religion.

      I am not against any culture, traditions or religion but I am against all those things which are designed to exploit particular class of our society, designed to keep them weak so that others can exploit them, we need to oppose them, fight to change these things, it doesn't matter which book recommends these traditions, which religions practice them, which cultures they belong, wherever we see such things we need to stand up and raise our voice against it. I thank you and Neha for sharing your opinion on this topic.

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    2. Thank you sue, for expressing exactly what all we women have in our mind, I love you and may God (if exists, m agnostic) bless you and love you back for being such a good person at heart and clearly sensible.

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  4. I fully agree with you! My family was quite open minded so I was allowed to do puja on these days. However one day when our family went to Indore with my uncle and their family and they didn't let me come to Ujjain. From that day on,I stopped doing pujas,getting myself involved in any religious activity. The so-called-god,who is accepting of all-even a murderer can't even tolerate a woman who has period? It's quite ironic that,Hinduism which celebrates motherhood,considers menstruation unclean! This subject has been a taboo. But it's very nice to see that people esp men are speaking up about this.

    -Yamini

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    1. Thanks a lot Yamini for your comments, I can totally understand what your anger and applaud your stance against discrimination which you faced. I feel sad when many people who practice untouchability like this don't even realize (even after telling them) that there is something wrong in it, you can find many people who rather defend these type of practices and justify them even today. But lets not surrender to those forces, may be they are more in numbers but together we can fight and will win this battle.

      Thanks again for visiting my blog and sharing your thoughts.

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  5. I'm not sure if stopping them to do things and all stuff is right or not. What I've heard and understood is that it depends from person to person's understanding.
    Some females who strongly believe say that it is coz the life, female egg, is destroyed and is flushed out and they're mental imbalance. But I mean everytime you have a ripe egg in your body, you just dont start reproducing. Mental imbalance? i didnt even get. Sometimes, I've seen females believe in these rules when they want to and sometimes they dont.
    Don't know if these things have been mentioned and/or authenticated in any of our hindu scriptures. Many of the things which have been followed in Hindus have found a very sound logic applicable in their times.
    I think most of the things are just forced on us in the name of religion because most of the HINDUS ARE GOD FEARING AND NOT GOD LOVING.
    Well I went through your blog Vinay. I appreciate your initiative but rather still not convinced about yes or no.

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    1. Thanks a lot for visiting the blog and sharing your thoughts. I agree with you that many of traditions or even rituals which are followed had some logic applicable to their times, some are even relevant today but I think you will agree that times have changed now, we have achieved so much progress in science and technology. We know many things about which our ancestors had no clue, we have better methods for hygiene, better drugs, communication and transportation methods compared to our ancestors. All this progress has made many of rituals or traditions out dated and we don't need to follow them anymore blindly, but still people do so, because they are scared to break the norm, they link their culture with all these things and want to preserve them no matter how outdated these things are.

      Sometimes things can be very confusing or misleading also, I follow very simple rule, whenever in doubt, study the topic in detail, try to collect as much information as possible from all sources and then use your logic. Most of the time this method leads positive results for me, I hope this will help you also. Study about Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) if you want to know more about emotional symptoms related to a woman's menstrual cycle, there is nothing magical about this, these things are studied in detail and lot of information is available (in books as well as on internet).

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  7. All these traditions are man-made..and not God made.

    I believe that anything forcing a women to feel inferior is all because in earlier times a Man always wanted to be superior than women.
    Time has changed and so we all should. its time to question old practices, ( which were valid in old times due to certain reasons).

    I cannot just take old traditions true only because they are old and were practiced from past so many years.

    In old times women were not at all decision makers and independent as they are today, due to which they were not able to question this kind of practice, but now time has changed , its an era of equality. We all should understand this.

    and I really feel sorry for those people who still think they are superior at time when their wife is going through her periods, and only because of this superiority complex they voluntarily do all kitchen work.

    Regards.

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    1. Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts, you are right that many of these gender discriminating traditions or rituals are man made, may be they made sense once but today they are totally outdated and we need to get rid of them. Believing in anything blindly without verifying the facts or understanding the logic behind it is not a good idea.

      We all need to question these type of outdated views, discuss them, debate them, by this way only we can reform the society. If you want to see how difficult is the fight for gender equality just go through comment section of other post on blog,

      http://selfrealization-vinay.blogspot.com/2012/05/chanakya-and-his-views-about-women.html

      and you will realize how still some people think, believe and defend the notion that women are not equal to men. Thanks again for sharing your views.

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  8. monisha bhattacharjeeSeptember 2, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    Today morning I was just wondering as in y on earth are girls not allowed in temples during period... I googled n I saw this blog ... M v happy by d original post.. people hav startd thinking about this superstitions n a standing against.. I believe that any olden days ritualsa superstitious which can't b justified with a scientific explanation... period has nothing to do with impurity...it a good feeling of a womanhood... Bt such superstitions a making things worst.... In olden days men made these rules so that women would feel guilty n inferior... Bt its v insane if women would still follow these stupid superstitions...

    I am staying in mizoram, whre these stupid rules has no place for n nothing wrong has yet happend here... Because females are respected...

    I realy appreciate u VINAY SIR for coming u against superstitions... i wish, once n for all women would stand against all these...
    Many will b helped from their sickness of following superstitions without putting their selfeffort to realise d present era...
    Eg- PEOPLE PISSING AROUND IN THEIR PADS...

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    1. Thanks a lot Monisha for sharing your views, you are absolutely right when you say that 'women should stand against all these'...all things which discriminate them based on their gender. In today's world women are demonstrating their caliber and proving their capabilities in each and every field they get opportunities, use of little logic and common sense should be enough to analyze if particular ritual or tradition is relevant in today's world or not, but many people fail to do so, then it becomes our (people like us) job to question them and challenge them, the battle will be tough but we need to fight it. Thanks again for visiting the blog and sharing your views.

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  9. I'm studying about stuff like that in sociology in college and its absolutely appalling how even educated people think of menstruation as filthy.The first comment was atrocious. The sexism is killing me. But I'm glad i came across this blog, thanks Vinay for blogging on said topic.

    We have adopted so many things from western culture, but despite the fact that we are loosing the positive characteristics of Indian culture to westernization, we have failed to adopt the no-sexism part. Is "standing against" these dogmas enough? I don't think so but what else can we do.....When are men and women going to be treated EQUALLY in India?? I wonder if I'll live to see that day and I'm pretty young at that.

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    1. Thanks a lot Poseidon for your comment, you are right in asking question about gender equality, situation won't change on its own, we all need to work towards changing it and fight will be long and tough because there are still many who live with those age old concept of male superiority. When every one will start asking questions like you society will be forced to change, raising questions, objecting to gender biased traditions and rituals is the first step.

      Younger generation have very important role to play in this fight, don't give up or feel frustrated, together we can bring the change.

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  10. Lovely post. I agree to all your points. I would like to add a few points. Please don't judge me just because I am adding these points. The problem is that anonymous ‘urine in the pad’ person has made everyone angry and everyone is going to judge me too. I AM NOT SAYING ALL THE POINTS BELOW ARE RIGHT. If I believe in something, that does not mean I do not respect others' perspectives. I won't force anyone to believe what I believe. (Look at the hard work I am doing cz of one person)

    1. In my place, we are not supposed to go to temple and go to praying room at home. We are allowed to go to kitchen, prepare food, and do anything we want. I have observed that my North Indian friends do not have these restrictions. (I am a South Indian.)

    2. My parents follow those customs of temple. They don’t say it but I feel they follow just to ‘fit in’ the society.

    3. Mom used to tell me that, in olden times there was a separate room and toilet for those days. And she used to explain me how difficult it was for women those days with no hygiene and pads. But now things have changed so much that it is difficult to imagine life where you can’t ease your back pain against a very comfortable couch or bean bag placed on bed. So, in a way, I am happy that at least there is this much improvement.

    4. Change won’t happen overnight. It takes time. Thanks to ppl like you and us who will lessen the time.

    5. If you even mention these stuffs to Indian Hindu priests, you will be banned from the temples. Only thing what we can do is not tell anyone at home that I have got period and go to temple with others.

    6. I remember once there was yearly Ganesh Chaturti pooja when i was 12 or 13. Even after having bath, I was repeatedly going for the nature’s call cz my stomach was upset. After I was back from the toilet trip, I was allowed to attend the pooja only if I again had bath. Cz it is considered impure if you had a nature’s call. Another day I saw my brother having the same problem. And in periods, you cannot actually have a bath n say it is done right? That is why we are not allowed in temples on those days. This is my mom’s explanation on why temples don’t allow this.

    7. It took me to be 21 to start talking to dad about it in codes. Before that only my mom used to tell my dad about my "condition". Even now it is codes. But at my husband’s native, they all talk about it in the open even though they are quite strict about not going to pooja room on those days. But I am happy there is this much improvement.

    Contd.

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    1. 8. A friend of mine was explaining me how her friend had interrogating her whether she is having periods cz she is going to visit her house that day. I have seen a baby girl of 3 yrs who was crying because no one is allowing her to touch her mother for last three days. I can’t explain u what I felt. I don’t know how her mom might have felt. She might be ‘used to’ it.

      9. I don’t know about pure and impure stuffs and I don’t want to know. I am a spiritual person and NOT a religious one. When I go to meditate, I prefer myself to be clean. And I don’t feel clean on those days. That is the only reason I tolerate this temple rule. (I don’t know about others and this is my perspective. I am not forcing anyone to do that. If they want to go to temple on those days, I will support them to go.) Everything else they say is bullshit. If god had created us, he would not have created such things in us which would be offensive to him. And according to Hinduism, God created us. According to me, God is inside me and demon too. It is up to me which one I make strong.

      10. To the ‘urine in pad’ person: Let the women decide what they want to do. Touch things, not touch things, touch ppl, not touch ppl etc. Also I wish I knew your address. I want to send you a dictionary. Please check the meaning of sanitary pad and diaper. Do not confuse with them. Alas, it is easy to improve a person’s vocabulary but not to explain anything to a disgustingly sick orthodox person. I know some ppl like you but they know the difference between pad and diapers lol.

      11. Loved the perspective where God is scared if women with periods. God, the ultimate superhero, can destroy the demons but his powers are at stake if women with periods enter temples. Never thought there would be a funny perspective to this. (I am still laughing.)
      Please check my blog too.http://smilingpritz.blogspot.in/
      Have to say again. Great post. Loved every bit of it.

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    2. Thanks Pritz for your insightful comment and encouragement. Please don't worry about anyone judging you, this blog is not the place to judge anyone but we all are here to share ideas, discuss topics and issues and offer possible solutions. As you yourself experienced social stigma associated with certain issues like this one is too strong in some societies and cultures, we all (men and women) together need to fight against it, I agree that things won't change overnight but we all need to put our best efforts if at all we want to change these things. Gender equality is the need of present time and very important for bright future of our society, we cannot ignore ~50% of our population (females) and plan our future. Concept of gender equality is not against any country, religion or culture, as I said it's need of our generation.

      I visited your blog, it's nice, keep on writing and sharing your thoughts. Thanks again.

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    3. Thank u vinay for ur awesome views and also thanks to Pritz as u discussed ur own views in a different way.I cant write in good english but i am trying to explain my views also. I am a 22 yrs old bengali girl who was told in puberty that during my period i cant touch god. but in my house everythng else is allowed like cooking etc. earlier times i used to follow the "dont touch god those 5 days " rule. but now since one year i have changed my views. yes my society doesnt allow us to visit temple during period. but i feel my God will not disown me if i am having period,which is the first step of a women to give birth of a life. i feel very powerful on those days cz i feel i am complete and this is the power which only girls have..(may sound feminist though ) . so i visit temples on those days also. even i discovered myself that in todays life having sanitary napkins and tampons it is extemely unwise to follow these rules. and if a bloody tampon is impure then inside our body,a bladder full of urine or shit is also impure.isnt it? moreover it is extremely silly to compare the period blood and urine. "piss in pad" theory makes me laugh only. i also want to say, in kamakhya temple devi kamakhya also have period once a year in Ambabuchi. How could a woman(Ma kali) be angry if another woman touch her?

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    4. Thanks a lot Ria for sharing your views on this topic. I am glad that people like you are showing required courage to challenge some of these outdated customs which completely don't have any basis in today's world. You all are real catalysts of change and future generations will definitely grateful to you all for making them free of this burdensome traditions. Thanks again for sharing your opinion.

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  11. I am a mother of three, I am a Hindu but not practicing. I strongly believe in the Universe and its cosmic energy. The reason I have stopped practicing Hinduism is because of all it's ridiculous God fearing rituals, all man made and way too complicated. It tries to spread love but predominately spreads fear. The Buddhists have got it right!

    I, too, used to question why women were treated like dirt when on their periods. But no one could give me a logical answer. My womb has produced three beautiful children that I feel blessed and very grateful for. Even after birth, when a woman bleeds for around six weeks it is considered dirty!

    The menstrual cycle is one of the most amazing part of reproduction. The womb sheds its lining and is getting ready to embed a fertilised egg. What part of this is 'filthy'?

    My last point is Hinduism has a simple message for us to follow. Anyone can follow it every day, it cost nothing and it's mobile. But over the years it has been spiced, sliced with "shoulds" and "should nots" adding to it judgement.

    If you take a closer at look Hinduism, it has too many paradigms, how can a person, let alone women follow their joy and grow spiritually ?

    I feel in my heart I have been judged by religous people in my world, because I chose to question my faith

    Going off point here for a bit, I feel the Indian culture needs to progress to the present day and stop treating women like some glorified servants. India needs to start loving and respecting her daughters. Stop the killing of female fetuses, stop gang rapes, stop treating boys in the families like spoilt princes!!

    To all my fellow Indian sisters I wish you love and peace.



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    1. Thanks a lot Chandra for your meaningful comment, I really appreciate it, you have mentioned many important things in your comment. I am sure readers will get new insight into this and related issue after reading your comment. Thanks again for sharing your views, with efforts like this we can share our concerns and knowledge to move our society forward towards better and discrimination free world. Thanks again.

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  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  13. Well thats a great blog, considering that this question has been raised by a man. I am sure all the women out there except one anonymous women, would not enjoy been told- not to enter this part of the house, please take bath( read it cleanse urself) before touchin any thing or person in the house, or wait for a pettiest of thing to be given by other person since we are not allowed to enter our own rooms.

    very honestly i feel this rule or as is mentioned superstition was started as said before to provide the women rest during the painful time of the month and also because yes they didnt have any sanitary pads designed back then. I think that is why they were even made to sleep and sit separately, considering the normal used areas would be blood stained and NOT impure. Also about the temples, if you notice all the ancient temples were built in a very secluded areas, for eg hill top, forest, some caves, places were i would not think of travelling during my menses, and of course with no proper sanitary pads, definitely not.

    But if we consider all this today, u can go to temple in a car or bus, take medications, use the well designed sanitary pads etc. so this remains an old rule which can be changed, not followed or not bothered about. yes i avoid sittin on my favourite chairs and sofas sometimes just because i fear there might be blood-stains by some chance. Ya i would like if somebody cooks for me, does my share of work or let me rest during those days but only if they are bothered or concerned about me, and not because they think that i am dirty or impure. This is my personal opinion.

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    1. Thanks a lot Poornima for sharing your views, slowly but steadily by questioning we can change outdated traditions and rituals. I am glad to see that more and more people are questioning and I am sure something good will come out of all our efforts. Thanks again for sharing your views.

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  14. I am a teenage girl. Each year I look forward to Ganesh Chaturthi because that's the time my family celebrates a lot and its fun with all the poojas etc.(I am Maharashtrian)
    What comes next..my periods. I took it casually but my family was keen to keep me away from any religious thing possible, let alone the temple. I was especially hurt when the people asking me to keep away were aunts, mother, grandmothers... women! Periods are blessings and I can go on about how ridiculous this is but I think you've said it all. True, people like you and me will surely make a change.

    Hats off to you for bringing up this topic. And you are a man! I'm really glad that people are aware.

    I touch religious things, I go to temples, I pray when I'm on my periods and God hasn't given me horns and a pointed tail yet, lets see if my God is that weak to get pissed off by 15 year old girl. And I'm not the only one. All modern educated girls of today have started ridiculing the out dated customs of our religion. (I've discussed it!)

    LOL pad full of urine- (facepalm)(facepalm)(facepalm all over my face)

    You are helpless dude, want it or not...We are marching into temples :P

    (It'll be so cool to have reservation in IITs for not being able to go to temples 5 days a month ...60 days a year, 2220 days in a lifetime) Sorry, I strayed away from the topic.

    Maybe that's why I'm spiritual and not religious.

    And for now if I'm again in for a 'disown the girl if she is on her periods' situation, I'll keep it low.

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    1. Thanks a lot for visiting the blog and sharing your experience and opinion, I am glad to see that people like you have courage to analyze such customs and challenge them if they feel unjust or being discriminated. Believe me this is not small thing, not many people have this courage and conviction and you are doing a work of a reformer in your own way. Together we can change such customs and make this society a better place to live for all, where people won't be discriminated. Thanks again for your kind words about blog and sharing your opinion.

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  15. Do ny1 beleave in vibrations of area...the reason is they r kept away frm temples ...it can disturb the environment... Idk abt others.

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    1. Can you please elaborate your comment? What vibrations you are talking about? and how does they relate with menstruation?

      Delete
  16. Hi :) first of all, thank you for this post. Honestly one of the most sensible things I've read on this topic since I started searching for some answers.. To be honest, this whole rule never made sense to me for one simple reason : WHO THE HECK WILL KNOW IM HAVING MY PERIOD UNLESS I TELL THEM?! when I realised this, I started questioning the whole ostracizing thing. Another extremely valid point I read was the fact that if god (assuming he exists) was the one who gave me this, why am I impure to him? If anything, this should make me even more special and honorable to him because I got his special "gift" to be able to give life to this world. From young, I've blindly followed these rules, now that I've begun to think for myself, I see how senseless they are, especially considering the era we live in, as you have said. I chose to ignore the ignorant comment made by anonymous because I don't want to encourage such thoughts and would rather people read the more sensible ones that followed. Once again, thank you so much for this article. If more people started to THINK, we'd have a much less regressive and oppressive society.

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    1. I totally agree with your thoughts which you shared in your comment. Fist of all thanks for sharing your thoughts on this forum, you are right that once we start thinking logically and start questioning we can figure out many things ourselves while we look for answers to those questions. Actually this is the main purpose behind writing this blog; to make people think.

      I am glad that there are people like you in society who dare to challenge these age-old beliefs which discriminate based on gender. I am sure that slowly we can eradicate gender discrimination from society, it won't be easy struggle but if we are determined then soon gender discrimination will vanish from our society. Lets keep fighting against these type of discriminatory practices. Thanks again for sharing your views.

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    2. [[Another extremely valid point I read was the fact that if god (assuming he exists) was the one who gave me this, why am I impure to him?]]

      God also gave you how to pass stool. So would you walk around the temple or your own home withouth cleaning oneself? Its all about using some commonsense.

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  17. Hello Vinay. I am impressed with the concerns you have raised. I especially like the fact that, you say, you will question the prejudice - no matter who says it. You have my respect because, you are man, who has taken the time and effort to understand this complex and age old tradition, we seem to simply follow. I also read a couple of comments that people have written and I can understand that the beliefs are so deep rooted that, even to have an open debate, we seem to be so scared. I am thankful, you have voiced your opinion. I look forward to a day, when, we women can go about our jobs - freely, without being judged only because, we are blessed with a monthly affair called the period. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks a lot Sudaa for visiting the blog and sharing your thoughts on this topic. No matter what is our gender we need to raise our voice against all discriminatory practices. Gender discrimination is practices in many forms and at many levels in our society and we all need to fight it collectively. This blog post is really one small step in that direction. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and keep objecting to such discriminatory practices.

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    2. Vinay's write-up was an eye-opener and a thought provoking one. Found the responses hilarious, courageous and stimulating. Well done all of u.

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  18. Thank u vinay ji for sharing this articl n knowing many others view as of now am in my relatives pooja early mrng am nt allowed to touch anything n asking others y what happend made me feel sorry for myself n my parents wont keep such restrictions am very thankful for it...n felt happy to visit ur block ......!

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  19. Heylo everybody,
    What a Blog!!!! Mr. Vinay, U r indeed an "EDUCATED" man.
    Lemme share my experience.I was once told by my doctor Sister that the Menstruation blood is the purest blood of the body bcz it gives nutrition to the baby in the form of Placenta when the baby is conceived.The density of the blood depends on our food habits of 28 days.The month when we eat well, we have denser and more blood flow. Im a Bengali and this not entering temple funda was in my family too. Now, I am married to a Gujarati and in this culture, when a woman is menstruating,the pooja room is closed and no-one in the family is allowed to offer pooja for 5 days. (Thankfully Im the only woman who menstruates in the house!!). So technically my father in law gets to know when im chumming! As rightfully said above by someone,How will anyone know if I have got my chums or not? So, I dont mention about my chums at home.I offer pooja, eat prasad,and do everythng that I am not 'Supposed' to do during those days, and trust me,GOD HASNT BEEN CRUEL TO ME.:) Education and Religion mixed together gave rise to Customs.I donot want to hurt anyone's religious beliefs at home, but at the same time, I donot want to follow such things and thus I end up lying.And also, I have decided to bring my daughter up this way.!!!!-
    AB

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    1. Thank you AB for your kind words. I appreciate your efforts to share your views on this topic, we need to question all these gender biased traditions using our own ways or methods, I am glad to know that you have decided to educate your own daughter about these things. Slowly but steadily if we all make efforts in right direction we can change the world around us and make is as much as gender unbiased as possible. I am doing my bit and I am glad to see that there are many like you who are willing to do their bit also. Thanks again for visiting the blog, keep on sharing your opinion.

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  20. hi vinay.
    this is priyanka.i am getting married and my in laws are insisting me to sleep on chatai during menses.i want to prove them that this is not right.i want some strong mythological evidence that their thinking is just not correct. no god has commented to do like this . please contact me on dr.priyanka79p@gmail.com or 8275095822.or else give me your contact no or mail id so that i can tell u in detail.please help me.

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    1. Hi Priyanka,
      I understand your problem and concerns, many times it is very difficult for us to confront people, specially elders about these issues. It is wrong to force anyone to do anything against their wish, even for medical procedure which is necessary for health reasons Dr needs to take consent from patient, so whatever your in-laws are doing is wrong. They just can not force you to sleep on chatai against your own wishe during those days. It might have been a custom during pre-sanitary napkin era but it is no more needed, this simple explanation should be enough to make them understand that this practice is outdated and wrong in today's world. You can also follow the simple suggestions offered by Aahana in her comment. But I encourage you to stand up for your rights, we dont have to be aggressive or no need to create unpleasant situation but be firm on your stance if you think you are right. No God has condemned women to be treated like this, only some outdated books written by humans and some old traditions which started because of poor hygienic conditions of that time resulted in these customs which unfortunately people still follow blindly. There are many articles on this issue which might help you to understand it better. Your name suggests that you are a Dr so I am sure you yourself know that this is a natural phenomena, it is essential and integral part of womanhood so how can it be something bad or dirty. Please think over it, many times answers to our questions lie within our self, we need to discover them and once you do that you may not need any mythological reference but I will try to find one for you if I can but I don't think you should depend on them. Thanks again for showing your trust on forum of this blog to ask for help.

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  21. Hey Priyanka,
    I might get lil philosophical here, but considering u r a doctor(assuming this from ur name and email id),its unfair that an educated person like u is actually 'wasting' her time in giving explanations.We will provide u the needful mythological explanations, but in the mean time u can think abt 3 things:-
    1. Put the chatai, but dont sleep on it, ull be in ur room, so lock it!
    2. Ask people to check the calender.. If it says January 2015.. then tell them to come out of prehistoric era..
    3. DNT WASTE UR TIME.... if u know what i mean...:)..

    Good luck...
    AB

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    1. hi AB ,
      got a big smile when i read the 3rd line
      yes i am going to break this relation but in my way thats dr.priyankas style.
      will give him mythological and scientific reason that his thinking is absolutely wrong.
      the surprising thing in this scenario is my better half is also a doctor .
      he and his family believes in GURUCHARITRA.they believes in DATT lord

      being a doctor i have many scientific reason.but mythological reasons i could not find. yesterday i found references in DASBODH written by Ramdas Swami ki all things are during menstruation everything is pious .which was written 350 years back.

      want to break this relation.but in very proper way given reasons scientific and mythological also,
      please help me

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    2. Thanks Aahana for your suggestions I am sure Priyankaa will find them useful. I am glad that there are people who are willing to help others in whatever way they can. Thanks again.
      This is interesting article on BBC news you both might find it relevant to the topic of discussion,

      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-29727875

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  22. https://mythrispeaks.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/menstrual-taboos-and-ancient-wisdom/
    please go over that article it does give a fair idea of points raised here. thanks

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    1. thanks for sharing your views on this topic.

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  23. First of all thanks a lot for the great blog.!!
    I am a brahmin girl (south Indian) who suffered a lot by this untouched rule during my periods. I don't believe that so called 'stay away and take rest' tradition/system. I had been following forcefully this rule since my age of 16-17. Untouched rules are strictly followed in our community. During period I had to wash my clothes, utensils, bedsheets(all bed clothes n mat I use) and all those things which I touch. I had to wipe floor where I sleep. Had to take head bath twice on 4th day and again 5th day.
    How the 'REST' word comes here ?? Instead we feel restless and frustrated.
    Our elders (ladies) treat it as punishment and dirty thing. How can we feel this tradition giving us rest ?
    I always used to ask them why women called as unclean during that period, but asking question of no use there.
    Fortunately my husband dont believe in such things and after getting married am free to take actual rest at MC. :)

    --Lovely

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    1. Thanks a lot Lovely for sharing your opinion and experience with us, this is why we should question such gender biased rules and traditions. These things are enforced without much thinking and deliberation. I am glad to know that you found a life partner who thinks logically and rationally but don't forget to question such traditions whenever you come across them, may be you can bring that desired change in someone else's life by challenging such customs.

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  24. Hi vinay...felt so good to read your post and also other women around here... My marraige is on the 12th of April... And I am still in a worry whether it will concincide with my mensuration date... I've taken a tablet as precautionary.. But that was only today ...I don't knw what's gonna happen!!! My fiancee is very supportive ... But is there any sin as sun if it indeed coincides?? All you women and vinay your honest suggestion matters...

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    1. First of all many congratulations to both of you (you and your partner) for entering in new phase of life. Don't worry at all, there is no sin or bad omen or even anything remotely bad if your menstruation cycle coincides with your marriage date (or for that matter with any other date). Menstruation is as natural as hunger, thirst or any other biological process. We don't consider other routine biological processes bad so how this can be any bad? Rather it is the essence of being a women, it is necessary and integral part of creation of human life in natural way. There is no sin and there should not be any guilt or shame associated with it.

      The tablets available in the market are for convenience, normally one should take it 3-4 days before a period is due. They help women to postpone this cycle if it can cause any inconvenience to them but it is not recommended to use them very often. It is better to consult gynecologist if you have any questions regarding this issue they can advise better.

      Please don't worry and enjoy new chapter of your life. I am glad to know that your fiancee is very supportive. Most probable tablets will show their effect and even if they don't then also don't worry, it is not a big deal at all. Once again congratulations and my best wishes to both of you.

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  25. Heylo People, I have to share this story with u guys! It been a while now, but I had to let u guys know abt this.:).Okay, it so happened that we got a new apartment in Blore and he had to do the griha pravesh puja last month.The pandit told me (as usual) to be clean. As in all the ladies who would enter the house and sit for the puja had to be "CLEAN".{Now imagine, whoever was invited, we had to ask them.."AAP CLEAN HO? TOH HI AANA"}. Thankfully I dint bang my head.
    And my MIL said to take pills, She calculated my chum dates from feb... and etc etc etc etc...:(.At one point I thought my chum date was a NATIONAL ISSUE... INDIA WANTS TO KNOW!) So, ya... I got my infamous chums on the very date of the puja, I sat throughout, performed every bit of it as I was the one along with my husband who had to do all the rites.I did inform him, and he dint seem to bother much(The educated lot I say!!). I had to hide my stained clothes and washed them a MONTH later!!!....
    I had taken pills during my marriage last year,for the 1st time, and it "SCREWED" my cycle.So, ladies, never do that!. Also, if I would kill a thousand people but still donot perform puja during my chums, God will not be happy, will he? Think abt it....... LOGICALLY!...

    Enjoy Womanhood, We are indeed the blessed ones.
    AB

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    1. Thanks AB for sharing your experience, if we all keep on questioning and challenging outdated traditions and discriminatory practices then only we can expect them to go away. We all have to do our bit and then only expect that one day it will result in bigger change. It is good to see that people are sharing not only their opinions but their concerns and experience on this forum. Each one of us can be instrumental in initiating a change in our own household or neighborhood, thanks a lot for sharing all this.

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  26. Read this VInay and stop being a nitiwit dumb flak

    https://mythrispeaks.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/menstrual-taboos-and-ancient-wisdom/

    to all the ladies who were told not to enter temple on their menstruating days:- people who told u this were stupid dumb flak and if u believed them that makes u even more stupid so... njoy ur self demeaned existence n stop spreading stupidity.

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  27. Hi.. Nice one. I hope maximum people read it, understand it and change their thinking. I alsways used to question when my mom used to ask me to stay away from temple during periods. I did reaseach read about the biological process, and now I am clear in my thoughts. Since she s my mom sometimes i used to get annoyed and angry , not a big deal, even she started to understand. but it became a serious thing after my marriage, that to in a brahmin family, which hav more strict rules. you can not enter ktchen, attend any function, or even have to be in a secluded room for 3 days. I live in a diferent city with my husband, but when ever I have to visit them I make sure that I dont go during periods. I make excused about why I am not able to come. But sometimes it has happened that I got my menses while I am there. My husband says just dont tell anyone and no one will say anything. I do that, but feel guilty at the same time, that I may hurt their feelings if they get to know somehow. Its painful, as its not their fault as well. They are grown with these things and never questioned anybody. And its even difficult to make them understand specially at their age and when u r the only one to question their tradition. I hope I will be able to make them understand some day.

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  28. i started doing pooja at my home during periods .....n i belive that god is there ...n i m child of that god ...so any day or impurites cant stop me for meeting to that power of love which god gives me n every time n day i can thank that power ...i do all pooja n pooja works during these days........

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    1. I salute to your courage and thanks for sharing your views. People like you can only bring the desired change. Thanks.

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  29. i started doing pooja at my home during periods .....n i belive that god is there ...n i m child of that god ...so any day or impurites cant stop me for meeting to that power of love which god gives me n every time n day i can thank that power ...i do all pooja n pooja works during these days........

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    1. Great Leena ...proud of you.

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    2. realy proud of you leena. ppl like you will change this world

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  30. Thanks a lot for initiating this topic on this blog. I feel there is no relation between menstruation and God or Religion. In olden days women may be told not to touch things and live separately during their periods because of lack of proper sanitation, to give them rest etc. But we need to change as per times. I am a Hindu Brahmin but it pains me to see that the Hinduism practiced today is so full of hypocrisy. Customs have changed in families, even the so-called educated ones only to suit individual needs and convenience. For example, earlier women did not enter the kitchen or cook during their periods. This system was ok because there used to be joint families which had other women who would cook. But with rising nuclear families people changed this thing and now let women cook because now no one else is available to do the cooking other than the single woman present at home. Families have done this for convenience and not because they have changed views on menstruation. At times things are changed mostly for convenience and at other times same old illogical practices are followed in families during religious functions. Older women in the family suddenly become aware and attach a lot of importance to periods when there is some religious puja etc. At other times they are indifferent to the same woman who is having her periods and who is still working in the house continuously without rest..

    Most of the people see God in the wrong perspective. We describe God as formless, omnipresent and omnipotent. How would such a God who is basically a form of energy become impure due to a woman's menses or due to anything else for that matter.

    One more thought crossed my mind. Don't we allow babies and small kids wearing diapers inside the temples? Does anyone check or guarantee that the diapers are clean when the baby enters the temples and runs here and there? If that is ok. why does the same rule not apply to women who are having periods and are using proper sanitation?

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    1. Thanks a lot Amruta for visiting the blog and sharing your views on this important topic. I really appreciate your desire to express your views, actually it is people like you who have capacity to bring the desired change. Not every social change needs big movement or street protests, we can change many things like this one by challenging these outdated rituals on personal level. You really have very good understanding of this issue and put your points in very effective way with very relevant examples. I once again thank you for sharing your views and making this post even more relevant. All the very best.

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  31. I just visited this blog and m glad to know that people are making efforts to correct atrocious and disgusting thoughts of people like tht guy "anonymous" in first comment. I was shocked to read his thoughts. The subsequent clarifications he tries to give for his thoughts were equally appalling.
    Trust me, the gods that I knw of, never bothered to ask me if I was "impure" before they blessed me.
    I mean being religious is very different from being staunch and holding on to ancient taboos. So please , if someone tries to tell me about 'impurity & bleeding" , I want to ask tht person that out of the whole million good things about any religion or spiritual thing....is "mensuration" the only thing that caught your attention? Seriously? Tell me how well u knw ur scriptures? How well do you practice the compassion and love taught in every religion? how abt helping the un-priveliged ones?
    Phew !!! its high time that people like these come to the senses that its life and everyone has equal right to it. How I talk to my god...when I talk to my god ...can't be dictated by any laws.

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    1. Thanks a lot Shailja for sharing your views on this topic, it is important for people like you to raise their voices against such discrimination, I am glad that you and many others are doing that. I am sure our questioning of such gender based traditions from any culture will bring the desired change. Thanks for playing your part in efforts to bring that change.

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  32. ANONYMOUS - WHAT AN ANIMAL? YOU FOR REAL?

    Have you tried sharing your 'Understanding of Menstruation Process" with your MOTHER?

    Try it! Am sure she is right one to take you through the "Divinity of Womanhood".

    And about God -
    GOD IS EVERYTHING YOU SEE, FEEL, HEAR, TOUCH AND SENSE.
    HE IS WITHIN US - THAT'S RIGHT YOU IMMATURE - INSIDE OF YOU AND YOUR RESPECTFUL MOTHER [ Irrespective of she is within her Menstruation Days or Not].

    Hence - Next Time - Before Taking Up on Women - Mature First.

    Have quoted a couple of examples of ACTUAL/TRUE IMPURITIES, in its most simplest form.
    Take your gut and read.
    If possible - UNDERSTAND & LEARN!

    1. " Raping women, going back to mother, wife and daughter, performing holy rituals with complete devotion - THIS IS FILTH".

    2. "Unable to hold your leakings, and fantasizing a woman - In front of god - THIS IS BEING UNCLEAN!".

    3. " Taking on women, instead of your own dick - THIS IS BEING IMPURE".

    I'LL ASSUME THIS WILL SUFFICE.

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    1. u deserve a clap aditya. well said

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  33. hi vinay..
    i read your blog
    very impressive..
    even i m facing the same problem.today is 4th day of navratri..
    and this time i m suffering from periods ..
    at my home ,i m alone to do this puja.my children are vry small and my husband dont have time to all this puja path...
    so i m getting very confused..
    so tell me friends what to do next..
    kya mughe kal ki puja karni chahiye????

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    1. Pooja aur periods ka koi sambandh nahi hai, you can go ahead and do pooja, if you believe in God then these biological things don't make you pure or impure. How can a natural process can be bad? You need to take proper precautions for hygiene and cleanliness that's all.

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    2. Excretion also comes in natural process...then why a person should clean his ass or body before doing worship......we play...we get dirty...thn why we should wash our hands before eating food!.....Read VEDAS...because vedas described...bhagvad geeta described everything....don't tell anybody anything related to dharm if u dont have proper knowledge about them....first go through vedas...u will knew...mensuration cycle is impure or not...

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    3. Excretion also comes in natural process...then why a person should clean his ass or body before doing worship......we play...we get dirty...thn why we should wash our hands before eating food!.....Read VEDAS...because vedas described...bhagvad geeta described everything....don't tell anybody anything related to dharm if u dont have proper knowledge about them....first go through vedas...u will knew...mensuration cycle is impure or not...

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  34. Read guys this link full you will realize what problem it creates.

    http://www.aypsite.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=704&whichpage=1

    Women should practice devotional activity with celibacy up to 12 years (time varies person to person) then they will realize why women are not allowed to do devotional activity during their period. Ancient women are habituated of these things.
    Kundalini syndrome(spiritual emergency) kind of things happens, excess energy flow in nervous system due to more sexual energy formation in the body. It is for safety of women not to show inferior. Today's men and women are bhogis not yogis.

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    1. Thanks Mrityunjay for sharing your views, can you please provide me link for some research papers published in reputed peer reviewed medical journals about the claims of Kundalini syndrome. It will help all of us to understand it in much better way, if this is so common and obvious then I am sure medical science must have documented it and also commented about it so please share those references otherwise talking about various myths is of no use. We already have lot of crap about why women should do this and shouldn't do that without any logic and reason please don't add more junk into that pile, it won't help. So please share some reliable, authentic references. Thanks

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  35. I'm not a pundit on religious belief's nor am I in the know how of any scientific or social explanation as to why women are barred from religious places during their menstruating time. I had myself tried to find a logical explanation for this ban/bar from various sources for several years and ultimately the most reasonable and logical explanation that I found was from a Tantra Sadhak from Guwahati, Assam. I do not vouch for the credibility of the explanation but felt to be religiously/spiritually logical. The explanation that came forth from the Sadhak was that the Gods, Devas and all other higher being eat through their smell organ i.e., the nose. Any foul smell repels Gods and other such higher being and that is the reason why the practice of lighting incense sticks to keep the temple and other religious places is followed in Hindu Culture. Menstrual blood emits a foul smell and it repels the Gods and the other higher beings. So, according to the Sadhak, the menstruating women are not allowed to enter temples and religious placed during that period. The explanation seems to have some logic, though in spiritual realm and cannot be tested on the anvil of scientific reasoning.

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  36. Dear Mr Vinay.. Thanks bro for taking up this issue.. I am a south indian professor teaching MBA kids who grew up hearing all this nonsense. Yeah for sanitation it made sense back then. But luckily my family were working women right from my grandma who started as a PG math teacher in the 1930s and fought in the freedom struggle. So we never stayed home or stayed away. Of course staying away from temple and pujas were there but more out of habit among the elderly. But then I have also gone to temples and attended poojas during my periods and well I am perfectly alright. Now a days I hardly get go to temples with my busy working schedule and two kids. And I choose to rest and relax when I do get my periods especially the first 3-4 days because after my kids were born, the bleeding has become a bit too heavy. My doctor says I am alright otherwise so no medication is taken unless I am at work or very busy. Then maybe a tablet or two on the second day. I believe in prayer anytime and I am not particular about the time and place. My temple is a place where I go to be at peace, relax and reenergize. And having a period has never stopped me from doing so. Just that with my heavier flows I sometimes skip work and just stay home and relax. My husband and everyone else talk about period troubles openly so there is need to hide or be ashamed. As for cooking my hubby anyway shares the load and I have no trouble there. I want to bring up my daughter the same way. No God can harm you for something so natural. And if my period is going to make God powerless, well then it is not God anymore. Right.

    As for that smelly pants and stuff.. I dont know mine never smelled till now. The only time I ever smelled any blood was after my babies were born. Each time the bleeding was "fragrant" - a very sweet scent which I found totally surprising. I dont know if any other ladies out there have had this experience. But believe me this was such a beautiful thing and I have associated it with my babies and their birth. Otherwise I dont find any smell as such. Maybe if you are less hygenic you might stink. But I was raised otherwise.

    Only observation I have had is that the bleeding changes according to the food one eats during the past month as someone mentioned somewhere here. Its all about what the body stocks up in anticipation of a baby. So eating right drinking loads of fluid and using proper hygiene and sanitation is the key to managing your periods well. It is just another fact that makes me a woman. Like my vagina and my uterus which together gave me some of the best moments in my life. Nothing to hide. Nothing to be ashamed of. Just proud of who and what I am.

    Thank you Vinay. Stay happy ladies.
    Regards. Lakshmi Menon

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    1. Dear Lakshmi,
      Thanks a lot for sharing your views and experience. Actually your comment is much more relevant than the post itself. It is people like you who challenge these taboos in real sense, I am really glad to know that you got such a supportive family, I salute them for their progressive thinking.

      You expressed everything so nicely in your comment that I have nothing more to add. I recommend all readers to read this comment to get more insights about this issue.

      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. Stay happy, stay blessed.

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  37. To all the others who have a dozen other explanations and reasons... Grow up and educate yourself. Learn about the human body and how a woman's body works. How babies are made. And I am not talking about sex here. How the foetus is formed and grows up in the uterus. Why periods happen. Now a days so much learning can be done online. Use it. Think and understand. Stop spewing rubbish.

    Having a period must not stop girls from attending school or work and being normal. If they have a period related medical condition which requires rest or treatment then it is a different matter. Then it is best left to a doctor to take care. All we can do is help and support them in getting well. Think of it just like when you get fever or stomach upset or any other illness that requires medical attention. Otherwise a lady having periods is normal human being who is to be treated with respect and understanding as any other person and you yourself.

    Dear sisters, forget the less educated, superstitious and plain nutty cases. Do not waste your life on them. Respect yourself as an individual. Life would end if women never had periods and stopped giving birth. How can a baby's birth be impure? How can blood and tissue be impure?? Then every man who cuts himself is impure. In fact almost all of our country is unclean and impure if we look around us objectively. In a land where cow's urine and dung is considered holy, how can women's blood be unholy?? And what about all those stinking men and half or full naked sadhus who throng our temples and religious places with no thought of bathing?? And the holy places full of dirt, dust, rotting flowers, leftover food, rodents, insects and waste?? Do you think God likes to stay there ???

    God would not be God if we could de-energize or pollute it with our blood or smell or our body. Because if we could it simply means we are superior to God. Then let them start praying to us !!! ROTFLMAO

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  38. what lakshmi says is right. im going through such practices treating me as an untouchable. the worst part is im nt allowed to touch my 6 month old baby during those days. really worst. such practices r followed in my parents house and thank god not in my inlaws/hubby.

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  39. hi interesting conversation....i am a women right now menstruating...and guess what il meditate on Adhi shakti after i write this...i go to temple...and light oil lamp as well unless or until im in pain and cannot get up.....If Aghories can be accepted by shiva and adhi shakti...im pretty much sure a menstruating women wd not be that big a deal.....

    these laws were made so that women cd rest in an age when there were no washing machines and dish washers to help....when there was not such thing as a sanitary pad......so best way is to add logic to things and decipher the meaning.....

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  40. Hi very interesting conversations. Our minds are made in such a way that if we do puja or go to temple some thing bad happen.

    No. It is wrong. My personal experience, my husband goes to sabarimala after doing 45 days deeksha. I do cook for him when I am in periods and I too did puja in periods too.

    I HV made my mind that I HV to change myself first before commenting on this discussion.

    I'm the change. Are you?

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    1. Great, this is a way to move forward. Fist bring that change in yourself which you desire to see in others. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  41. Hi, I came across this page while trying to make up my mind about whether or not to take up the yearly "lakshmi puja" in my house from my mother-in-law.
    She is recently been widowed and as such considers herself "unfit" for carrying out pujas and therefore feels the needs to hand it down to her daughter-in-law. One of the criteria she said was that I should not have my period, and that in case it does come, i can have a pill. Or else we will discontinue the puja at home. I would like to cntinue the puja.
    Now crux of the matter is this: I am a non practicing Hindu, come from a family of at least 4 generations of non practicing Hindus, the so called modernised urban educated Indian set. I had been told that our (moms) family had become non practicing to do away with irrational ritualism. I have passed through life blissfully unaware of these customs, as many many others, till as an adult many are pointed out to me, or else I'm asked if I'm a "brahmo". I had been taught by my elders at home to question everything that occurs around me and be an aware individual in every aspect of my life.
    Not so in my In-laws setup, which is full of ritualism.. however this is not forced on me, and im free to do as I like, and my husband is also free of ritualistic practices, though he empathises with his families beliefs.
    Now I would have liked to continue the yearly puja, for my husbands and childrens sake, as an example of carrying forward an Indian tradition as opposed to becoming totally westernised. But I would like to do it in my own questioning way, and also do away with the accompanying prejudices.
    Unfortunately there seems to be no option really - it is a case of all or nothing, especially since neither me nor my mom-in-law want to have a confrontational "eye-opening" discussion. Ie do the puja fraught with all its encumberances as it has been done these last 50 years, or give it up. No change by an educated "westernised" daughter-in law will do.
    Should I retrace the steps taken by 4 - 5 generations of my family to free India of ritualism and embrace the puja as is where is from my mom-in-law, or march my children forward in the western direction, and let my husband miss his diwali tradition. Since marraige, do feel that a yearly puja like this can help keep one rooted to ones Indian-ness.

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    1. Thanks a lot for sharing your experience related with this topic. According to me 'confrontational eye opening discussion' should be the last resort, we should always try to explain our logic and rationale and allow other side to counter it with their logic. Be assertive about your points, but try to avoid undue aggressiveness. Many of these rituals are harmless traditions, there is nothing wrong to practice them, provided we get rid of discriminatory acts or rules associated with it. This is what I do in my family, I agree that this may not be possible always, but any change requires lot of effort and patience.

      These things are not going to change overnight, it will need persistent efforts from people like you. My advice is, please don't undo whatever your family has achieved in 4-5 generations, it is a remarkable achievement and you need to appreciate it. At the same time, if you want to continue traditions practiced by your in-laws, please practice them based on your own values, don't accept anything blindly or under pressure. The attitude of any side should not be, 'either my way or highway,' we can always find some middle ground which is acceptable to both sides, please try this method first. If this doesn't work, then you are free to choose whatever you feel appropriate based on your situation, after all there cannot be a universal remedy which will work for all under all situations, we need to find our own solutions based on our own needs.

      All the very best, I am sure you will find a solution for this problem. Please continue sharing your views. Thanks again.

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