Why are women not allowed to visit temples during her menstruation? Why will the pickle destroy if she touches it? Is there any scientific proof behind this or just the restrictions created by us? Despite the developments and advancements in every field, this is a traditional practice still observed in many Indian families.
One of the explanations is also given by Judy Grahn in her book Blood, Bread and Roses. In ancient times menstruating women were considered to have special powers during menstruation. These powers if not used properly could cause harm to others. In addition to this, practical reasons of predatory animals smelling the blood and coming to kill, would also have led to these women being kept in separate huts to protect their community.
Another reason behind this menstrual taboo goes like this. It is believed that during periods, women constantly dissipate energy from their body. Most religious chants are meant to balance out the energies in their body. This would interfere with the natural losing of energy that must happen in menstruating women to prevent excessive energy accumulation. Hence, menstruating women are told to keep away during such occasions, so that their natural processes are not disturbed.
One more reason points to the fact that women at the time of their menstruation are so powerful, that their offering to God drowns out the offerings of everyone else present in the temple. Hence, they are advised to stay away from places of worship during menstruation.
Also women are not allowed to wash her hair during the menstrual cycle. Maya Tiwari, in her book Women’s Power to Heal: Through Inner Medicine, explains this. Water is one of the five powerful elements used to bless, cure, heal, nourish, nurture, and revive the body, mind and spirit. Water, guided by its cosmic memory, can influence the flow of the menstrual cycle to its own strong beat – exactly what we do not want happening during menses.
Some people avoid cooking and eating with other people during menstruation. Eating is considered as a spiritual activity. Many Brahmins even today chant as they cook to ensure that the food has higher and positive energy in it. While eating, people scatter negative energy all around. In the normal course of things, we would not feel it. But if a menstruating woman who is sensitive to absorb all types of energies around her is in the middle of a group that is eating, she can get affected by the lower energies. This might be the reason why menstruating women were told to stay away from others and eat alone.
For the society to change, you need to change first!!!