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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

PMS? Don't go anywhere near the TEMPLE!!!!!

     I am tired of putting disclaimers. Well, just have a look at the labels. If you think you are uncomfortable with some or all of them then I would suggest you to read this instead. You are now warned and provided with an alternative, so let's start.

    On 11th of Oct it was khojagiri. My mom kept the milk in the moonlight. It is believed that the rays coming from the full moon enters the milk and whoever drinks that milk, his/her life is filled with prosperity. I was sitting at my computer desk when my mother called me and told me to bring the pooja ki thali. I just answered back "well why won't you take it yourself". My mother got angry and said she can't. I asked why. You should stop questioning everything, just get me the thaali. I said I want to know, maybe then I'll bring it. She said ask your father. Normally, I would have given up because if it concerns my father or rather he has forbidden mother from touching the resting place of the idol, maybe it is something serious (and for the good) (I just deleted one whole paragraph about my dad. To know more about me and dad refer this). But, this time I was adamant. I called my father and narrated the whole event and asked him about it. He just told me to question my mother instead and do whatever my mother is asking. I brought the thaali and asked her again. She got fed up and just blurted that it would be over when she achieves her menopause. I could see she was embarrassed. I don't know why but I was not. Instead I asked "what has menstrual cycle to do with religion?". She gave me a look that it was time for me to shut my mouth now. (shit, now I am not young enough to pass as innocent and curious)

     I was thinking all sorts of connections between menstrual cycle and religions. At the point when I couldn't take it anymore, I asked HER. She threw some light on it. She said, yes it is followed in every religion and when women undergo their menstrual periods, they are banned from entering temples, kitchens and not allowed to take part in any ritual. I just said, when GOD doesn't segregate among his followers then why do humans do it? I wanted to know more. She, being a woman, said she couldn't talk about it anymore (sorry you had to go through all that embarrassment). I had to know more. The next day I received a text from dad "that day you asked a question. I want you to search for menstrual cycle". I did a search on Google (not just menstrual cycle but a step farther, menstrual cycle and religion). Here are some results that I got.






I could summarize all above in a few points

1. As far as I know, Hinduism and Jainism follow it. The Muslim community does it too. And she was nice enough to tell me all communities do it.

2. It is believed that when a women is having periods, she is abnormal (true to some extent since her activities are quite eccentric). Science says its true. But, it doesn't insist on isolating women for that time. Some old and modern practices with their beliefs:-

a. Women undergoing menstrual periods are impure. Thus whatever they touch is impure. Hence, they aren't allowed to enter the kitchen and barred from doing daily chores. Since they bleed, and the blood is impure, they aren't allowed to enter temples which is a sacred place.

The reason? Science and religion agree on its origin. Like sperms are created every now and then in male genitals, females produce eggs frequently (to give you a better perspective, refer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menstrual_cycle). So, egg has to be replaced. The egg is 'destroyed' and then passes out of the body through 'blood'.We all know life starts from this egg. So the religious belief is that since 'life' is 'destroyed' and its remains are in that 'blood', that 'blood' is impure and so the women is impure too. And that's why impure women are isolated.

b. Women's behavior is rather sensual than normal during this period. So the muni's and pundit's that are there in temple get disturbed by the 'erotic' vibrations coming from such women. Hence, women are kept away from temples and rituals so they won't interfere. (If I wasn't serious about this topic, I would have laughed at their stupidity)

There was also one practice that was indeed a positive one. It said that when women go through this phase, they are healing. They should be relieved from their duties and be allowed to take rest. And at the end, they are given a bath so they can resume their duties towards the home. (this sounded nice, except the bath.Why is there a question of purity?)

     I am not a religious person. But I know enough that in every religion it is taught to show equality towards every human being (even if you show equality only for people of same religion, I would be grateful). When GOD doesn't favour anyone, nor does he detest who is impure (even if she actually isn't impure), who gave you the right discriminate? Tell me something, even if she (BODY) was impure, and believing that the interaction with GOD is through the SOUL, does it make any sense to ban her from the temple? Are you implying that her soul is tainted too? I have read articles. Women are quite active too within this period. SO the family takes advantage of this situation and give her more work, washing clothes, washing utensils, labour and what not. Following the belief that she is impure, women aren't allowed to sleep with the husband, forced to sleep in an isolated place. Not allowed to talk to anybody. Not allowed to pray, not allowed to touch the deity. Is it right to treat women like this?

    So, I think, people suffering from AIDS shouldn't be allowed to enter temples too. Aren't they impure too? Is there soul tainted too? Decades ago women weren't supposed to live after their husband's death. They were burn't alive on their husband's pyre. The act is known as sati pratha. Some time back widows weren't allowed to enter any auspicious event because they bring bad omen with them.

    Two days back my mom confessed. She said she knows that it is wrong, she was taught this by her mother, and her mother by 'her mother' and so on. But, when you are living in the society, you have to have think of that too. Tomorrow if someone comes and sees me what will they think of me? I had to agree with her. Sometimes, knowing that it is wrong doesn't matter. I consulted more friends. One of them said "rule banane wala bhi insaan aur rule todne wala bhi insaan, ye galat hai sirf pata hone se kuch nahi hota, wahi follow karna padta hai jo duniya sochti hai" I couldn't agree more. I don't know if it's a social evil or not, because I have seen masses following it. They so proudly speak of equality when they have a gaping hole in their religious belief which they choose to ignore.

1. I think this belief should face the same fate as many others that once prevailed.

2. One of my fellow bloggers was kind enough to guide me. Thank you for the help. She has two posts on related issues


3. I was supposed to wait for dad to come home discuss further on this topic. I couldn't wait one single day. He believes that it is wrong, that's all I wanted to hear.

4. All said and done, stay Blessed ^_^


  1. I would like to see this rule banished. However, I too respectfully do not enter any temple when in my periods, for the sheer fear of something may go wrong :| Sad state of affairs.

    I visit Gurudwara though.

    This is one reason, why I have limited visits to temples...hardly once a year sometimes not even that, but I pray at home.

  2. The rule should totally be banned.Its as dated as the others.Even i don't visit temples during periods for the fear of something going wrong, as that is what has been imbibed in us since childhood.Women are treated as outcasts and its degrading.I totally agree with your views.Kudos for picking up the topic.

    My world,my thoughts,my musings...

  3. Wow,you really did lots of research on this topic,its good..but to be honest I dont have much to say coz i think I dont have enough knowledge to state my opinion here..i follow as I was thought

    good job anyway

  4. I came across your post via Chintan. I also wrote a blog on the same topic (http://pkperception.blogspot.com/2011/10/taboo-i-dont-think-so.html). First, I didn't know anything about PMS. My friend, a girl, told me check it on the net. I didn't know how to go about writing a blog, but thanks to Chintan's blog, I felt it's good to write about it, so wrote. Great blog, worthy read.....:)

  5. Sincere respect for thy post.
    We are the people who forms a society so if each individual look through this perspective i hope one day the evil against women will be abolished.
    Its never a woman's fault but still she is punished ruthlessly.
    We need to a bring change.
    Its a necessity.

  6. It's actually nice to know that somebody, a guy, has gone to all that trouble to know all this better.

    True that women are isolated and considered impure. Would you believe that my childhood friend's family still makes her sleep outside the house and use separate utensils during her 'time of the month'?

    I have never believed in it but over the years accepted that it'll take a long time to take the superstition out from religion and replace it with logic.

  7. I think you're being rather nice about this instead of say taking an extreme view...which I do...I think it is ridiculous!!! It's not a 'rule' per se anyway and it depends on the people around you whether you pay heed to such traditions or not. Great though that you did write about it...not too many people, especially men, seem to be aware of this.

  8. @chintan
    One could overlook the disallowing to enter the temples since it is followed by masses, but total segregation should be stopped. women should be treated as humans and not like some disease during this period

    yes, it's being practiced since many generations. Thanks :)

    look it's not about knowledge, it's about awareness. If you have experienced this then you should know that it is wrong. Some women said they were doing it just because they were taught so by their ancestors. They didn't really knew that they were being treated as dirt.

    I went through your post. I am glad more men are concerned about this issue. Thanks :)

    @Reicha Ahluwalia
    thank you :)
    a change is indeed needed

    yes, it will take a long time

    it's not a rule, but then masses are doing it. 90% of the families in my society follow it. Even if you don't pay heed, you have to answer the society. And for how long do you expect to play deaf to all the talks behind your back.

    Thank you all for stopping by and thanks for your comments. Stay Blessed ^_^

  9. Well, long long back, they'd make the woman sit in one place cos they didn't want blood all over the house.
    Also, women need rest and thats why they were made to sit in one place. Umm the bath was to wash off the blood, I'm guessing.

    Its really nice to know that a guy has gone through so much trouble to get to the bottom of this :)

  10. @happy go lucky
    yes there are positive parts too, like you said they are given time to rest. But the other aspects are like an assault on her womanhood :-/

  11. Very true.. But I don't follow the society norms but norms say stay away from the deity.. But you can forbid the girl from entering a temple but you cannot forbid her from thinking about god even when she ios considered to be impure.

  12. I also came to know about this "barring rule" when I came to college. I also don't step inside a temple or any other religious place when I'm going through this phase. But I seriously hate this kinda practice. God even forgives murderers and rapists, then why abstain a woman from entering a religious place just because she's having periods?

  13. Religion is sexist..because its created for or by humans depending on your perspective..and humans despite in the recent decades of work at lessening it are sexist ex: @ airports female security guards for female passenger good or bad its still sexist..barring women from religious places because of their period doesn't seem very right..not touching the deity or religious artifact I can understand..not because the women is not pure but simply because their not exactly clean and these days its a form of respect rather then when in the past it could have been as happy said because sanitary napkins weren't available anyway truthfully if a women wanted to break this rule it wouldn't be so difficult no one would know so I think the decision is enough in my hands for me to be comfortable with it

  14. Ps: it is nice to know a man has taken interest in this!