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    Problems in Spirituality
    related to Women’s Menstruation 

        Disciple: Yes. I have another question. Women seem to have been excluded from certain religious practices. Why is it so?

        Guru: Not excluded. They are kept away to avoid certain problems. Confinement is one. The other is her periods. Yet another problem is the possible difficulties she may face to maintain the required discipline as a single person in society. When all these are considered, it is felt that it is not suitable for women.

        There are also occasions when males are kept away. Men have been excluded from certain primary functions, because women can perform these far better with more skill and understanding. Convenience originally was the deciding factor in all practices. These evolved into customs in the long run. It is not easy to make young men and women work together. So such team work had to be avoided.

        During periods women have to be looked after. Otherwise they get certain diseases later. The Hindu custom is to quarantine them for three days' rest. During the first three days there is a certain emanation from the body. It is a negative influence on persons who are thinking of God, if it gets into people's body through touch or breath. Also menstruating women become vulnerable to evil entities which exist up to the Vetala region -abode of devils and lowly evolved souls- which can prompt them into indiscriminate actions.

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        Some devas and devis -lower gods and goddesses- are affected by this. A person with darshanam -spiritual inner visions- can perceive how they are affected.

        Apart from my experience through darshanam, there is another instance to quote. It is Narayana Guru's experience described in a treatise entitled Daivachintanam. Various entities in the spirit World, which interacts with our World unseen, are mentioned therein.

        Some entities approach menstruating women to drink menstrual blood. There are entities that defile the women’s minds too. Prompted by these airy beings women sometimes turn against loved ones during this period.

        Women have been kept away for yet another reason. There is a notion that women should not take up sanyasa, renunciation. That is an incorrect notion. Consider the Puranas -Hindu epics, sacred literature- which mention a number of women who had stayed with rishis -seers. Sabari, Anasuya, Priyamvada, Sanghamitra are all examples. If the Puranas are examined, countless such instances will be seen.

        Disciple: Even Ravana's wife, Mandodari, should be highly esteemed then…

        Guru: Yes. There are many perfectly chaste women. Mandodari is one such.

        Disciple: We would like to know then how this discrimination against women has crept in?

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        Guru: Inner peace has always been a vital concern of men of knowledge.

        The renunciate is the one who can guide people towards peace, thereby helping the World as no one else can. Social action of this kind makes the renunciate an individual beloved by society. A king with all his power could not become the object of people's love to this extent. There was no weapon to counter the influence of a renunciate.

        Some power-hungry priests, had discovered an alternative system of ritual to the sanyasi's -renunciate's- way. This system was craftily made use of by the temporal ruler to keep the sanyasi out.

        Disciple: What was that alternative system of ritual?

        Guru: The Brahmin priests keep menstruating women away from rituals for certain periods convenient to them. The absence of women was filled during rituals by ‘Yoni Mudra’ -esoteric hand gestures symbolizing women-, over the pit of sacred fire. The priest’s symbolism substituted real elements. The priest himself substituted the sanyasi, renouncer. Women slowly got distanced from religious practice. This eventually reduced their status in society itself.

        Women were also degraded by the misuse of certain occult practices by the rishis -seers.

        Disciple: What are those practices?

    Next Chapter: Siddhis (Ocult Powers). Kalpaseva Techniques

    Any Questions?

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