Menstruation taboo in Hindu Dharma: Can I go to temple while having periods?
Uday sir, I can participate in pooja (offering to deity) while menstruating? Is it a sin to have periods? Does it create any negative energy or vibes? Why did our ancestors prevent us from going to temple during menstruation? Is there any scientific, scriptural backing to support picturing the menstrual cycle as taboo?
Menstruation is a normal, natural phenomenon or process of change in the physiological system in the female body. According to our Dharma, everything in this universe is divine. Hence it’s also divine and the presence of God exists in even menstruating blood.
Having said that, if I were a woman, I wouldn’t go to temple or attend puja during periods. The reason is NOT scriptural or scientific, it is just common sense.
As you know, Vedic scriptures respect women. To best of my knowledge, Vedic traditions do not see menstruation as taboo. I think Vedas are not talking about this subject. There were no restrictions on women to perform rituals. Or at least I never came across a passage which is saying woman’s body is impure or that she cannot do poojas during menstruation.
On the contrary, Vedas hail women.
“Moon gave them (women) purification; the Gandharva, sweet speech; Agni, perfect purity; therefore verily women are always pure.”(Yajnavalkaya Smriti).
“According to the law women cannot be contaminated. They never become (entirely) foul, though month by month they face temporary uncleanness.” (Vashistha Dharmasutra).
Agamas also hail women. Shaktagamic says menstruation is NOT inauspicious or impure. It is actually celebrated and also considered embodiment of auspiciousness/sanctity.
In Tantric tradition, the menstrual discharge is looked upon as something very powerful and divine (Matrikabheda Tantra).
However, some unimportant Smritis and Shastras that came at a later period talk about Menstruation as taboo…
(Excerpts from my book: MANTRAS and RITUALS: THE LOGIC OF HINDU SCIENCE. For further reading: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B093Z2M52M ) You may visit Amazon site of your respective country and search “B093Z2M52M”
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