Menstruation and Sabarimala

sign-forbidding-the-entrance-to-a-temple-for-menstruating-women-jaisalmer-BK0H0A

The verdict is out. now women of all ages can enter sabarimala,so many negative and positive reactions about this verdict.This itself is a sign the churning difference of opinion in the Hindu society about this subject, so much can be quoted from sastras and tradition about this subject. All that  was said at  those time would not be applicable today in 2018.One can bring in impressive Sanskrit words into this argument against women entering temples during menses, quote extensively by interpreting what ever said few hundred years back or few thousand years back generously buttressing the argument again with words like impure and pure.How many people are out there meticulously practicing the customs and practices laid out in  hindu scriptures todat?It is unfair under the circumastances only women to do that.

Menses is a natural process excreting the unused unfertilized egg periodically. dictionary definition is, “the process in a woman of discharging blood and other materials from the lining of the uterus at intervals of about one lunar month from puberty until menopause, except during pregnancy. “Similarly, defecation “is the discharge of feces from the body.”, Urination is, “the discharge of urine from the body”. Now all the above are simply the nature’s way of discharging unusable wastes from our body, waste excreted from different orifices.

Hindus were expected to take a bath before going to temples, so the physical body at least is kept clean before entering. Now how many of us do that? One might have taken bath early in the morning, might have used the  toilet to defecate or pass urine multiple times and yet may end up going to a temple , attend a yagna, religious ceremony, go to a temple without taking a bath again. This habit of doing what I have mentioned above has become a practice universally with Hindus of most ages today. we are not even aware of it and do that automatically. When I was a small child I was taught by my grandmother that I cannot enter the pooja room at any time of the day without a bath or  cannot go to a temple without  a bath. In case i do that she used to tell me that  I should stand outside the temple and pray. Most of us have left these practices way back. in most houses there is no place for a puja room, part of the kitchen shelf may be used for that purpose  and the menstruating women don’t open it, even thoughbtheymay be  in very near proximity to that. Earlier they were even prohibited from entering the main house. Is it followed now? it cannot be as the circumstances are different and we Hindus have seamlessly learned to adjust with that.

Hinduism is a way of life; the practices and customs are not integral part to that way of life. And unlike other codified faiths Hindu practices keep evolving and Hindus easily incorporate many other newer elements into it unconsciously and consciously. Most probably this taboo on menstruating women were in place because then the situation of hygiene was difficult to maintain , now sanitary pads to tampons have solved the problem.it is left to individual women to rest on those 3 to 4 days or work, we Hindus have the ability to change and adjust very easily  to practices as we find it logical and sensible to do that. It should be left to the physical ability of the woman to climb the sabarimala hills for dharshan. So many men who do the 60 days virutham do not strictly follow it. It has become more of a community fad than a actual pilgrimage. In most Hindu houses we have stopped many daily practices of “ nithaya anustana, many Hindu families don’t perform  many customary rituals  as earlier practiced due to a lack of time or plain indifference.

This verdict should be welcomed as progressive. It is one thing to say we Hindus will welcome triple talaq but not to these changes.Supreme court has not struck at any fundamentals of Hindu way of life.  And it cannot also as we are the only society that has evolved our practices over millennia with ease on our own without any conflict. The aim of a sanatani jiva  is to attain Ātmajnāna and to liberate the jeevatman to become jīvanamukta.That goal is  not even on the horizon for most hindus. There is no point in getting lost in this maze of physical practices and becoming a prisoner in it.