Regarding the Mahamantra and Menstration

The other day I was teaching a wonderful young girl from the 10th Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, about the life and pasttimes of Lord Krsna, and was testing her about her knowledge of sankirtaning the harinam aka the mahamantra.

When asked to chant the mantra, she did refuse, upon further questioning, it came out the she had been told that she is not allowed to chant the harinam when she is in the bleeding-out phase of her menses.

I told her that to my knowledge this was not correct practice, but I would indeed research it for her.

I spoke with a vedic authority, of the Caitanya Vaisnavism line of our Hindu faith and was answered this way: “No .. this is not true .. chanting can be done at any time , under any circumstances” So says I ” that is what i told her, so do you think that this is just a popular misconception masking as popular practice…[and] what would be a good sastric verse to quote to get her to [understand?] ” Yes .. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says in the Shikshatakam: “niyamitah smarane na kalah” … There are no hard and fast rules for chanting”

So there we go, for Caitanya vaisnavs there is not this restriction. I personally believe it is a popular practice that has grown from popular belive, but is indeed errant and not sastrically sound.

While many faiths do have a sort of distaste, if you will, for menstrating women, believing that women become ritually impure from their menstation, I beleive that is an imposistion brought upon women by men to again, control them in everypart of their lives. Now these men think they can tell women even how to pray and serve their God?

Women are women and will remain as such. You are just as beautiful, smart, and talented during your ‘off weeks’ as during your red days. Love and be strong in your faith at all times, and do not restrict yourselves from God during your bleeding period. Menstrual flow is a cleansing gift from God, not a punishment. Your womb, during this time is preping itself to bring another divine gift into the world. What could be more worth your prayers?

Do not let this foul, misgynistic, Judeo-christian belief of womanly impurity influence our Indian culture and our faith.

Dear ladies, as always continue to pray without ceasing…


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