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Why Menstruating Women Are Considered Impure And Unclean?

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Well there are two type of belief behind this Tradition. One is traditional belief i.e. what people believe and other is scientific belief . We will talk about both traditional and scientific (or ancient) belief with some of its history one by one:

◾Traditional Belief (what people think):

In India, menstruating women are considered impure and unclean. They are prohibited to enter in temple during menstruation because temple is considered pure and living place of god and goddess and entering impure women made them angry. The story behind this is:

According to Bhagavatha Purana, Indra had once disrespected Brihaspathi who was the Guru of all the devas. As a result of this sin, the asuras (demons) easily conquered the heavens and Indra lost his kingdom and glory. When he took refuge in Brahma, the latter insisted Indra to consider serving a young lad who is a braham-gyani as his guru until Brihaspathi is pleased. However, the lad had maternal affection for the demon clan as his mother was also a demon.The boy use to give yagna-havis (offering during havan which is consumed by the devas) to the demons too. Seeing this, Indra killed the young boy in a fit of rage. As the boy was in the position of a guru, Indra had invited upon himself the heinous of all sins, killing a guru. The sin took the shape of a ferocious female demon that followed and haunted Indra wherever he ran. Finally, Indra hid himself within a flower. Indra remained inside the closed flower for one lakh years and performed penance to please Lord Vishnu. With Vishnu’s grace, Indra was freed from the trouble of the demons but he was not cleansed from the sin of killing a Guru. To get rid of this sin and earn his kingdom back he requested the presiding deities of water, trees, earth and women to take a quarter of the sin. In turn he promised that he would grant boons to all of them. This was agreed upon. Here is how the sin was distributed trading a boon.

1)The presiding deity of all the trees accepted a quarter portion of the sin. The tree sap which oozes out of the tree bark is the form of brahma-hatya (killing a guru) and is considered as impure. For bearing this sin, Indra granted a boon to all the trees that they can regenerate and re-grow as long as they are not uprooted.

2)Varuna(Rain god) took a quarter of the sin too. The froth or foam that gets developed on water is considered as impure as it represents the brahma-hatya.Indra granted purity to water as a boon for accepting the sin. It is said that it is because of this boon that water has got so much of importance in Hindu rituals. It purifies everything. (Water has things which are impure but then again water purifies everything! Wow! I'm confused! )

3)Earth took another quarter of the sin. As a result earth lost its state of complete fertility and barren lands denoted brahma-hatya. The boon given to earth was the ability to refill its cavities over a period of time.

4)Women living in that aeon have accepted the last quarter. As a result they and their progeny had to experience the menstrual cycle once in a month which denotes brahma-hatya. As a boon, women were granted more pleasure in sex than men. According to Hinduism, God cannot be seen or realized without a Guru. Menstrual cycle denotes the sin of killing a guru. So women are forbidden to see God or indulge in divine acts during that period for its sign of impurity.

◾Scientific (Ancient) Belief:

On old days people use a common river or pond to fulfill there basic needs such as bathing and washing their cloths. When a women menstruate, they don't posses any napkin on those days, they used a ordinary unabsorbing clothes to overcome it. The used cloth contains a iron bacteria which is normally possessed in leaked blood. When iron bacteria mix with water it changes the water colour into a pale orange and makes the water to be unused. So the women during their menses time will not be allowed to bath, as a result of non-bathed and uncleanliness they are not allowed to take care of their usual works such as entering into the kitchen or pooja room.

One of the reasons is that a woman is considered impure (due to impure bleeding) during this time as she is losing blood, but along with that, heat and harmful toxins are also being excreted from the body. As such, her body will be week and she needs to take rest. By declaring them impure, family members wont let them do any work and they get enough time to rest. It is really mandatory Women have less Haemoglobin content and susceptible to fatal infections during this period. During the period the Women would have unhygienic smell and water may be infected if touched by her.
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