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Sikhism and Menstruation

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Neutral Singh, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. Neutral Singh

    Neutral Singh
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    Is menstruation viewed as taboo within Sikhi and if any restrictions are placed on Sikh women whilst menstruating ?

    Are there any sikh scriptural references to this, anything written down that fought against the idea of menstruation making women unclean, either within any of our texts or sayings of any Guru's, Sants or scholars regarding this issue. It would be of great help if anyone could point me in that direction or enlighten me further.
     
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  3. Amarpal

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    Mensuration and Sikhi

    Dear Khalsa Ji,

    Mensuration is a natural process. It effect is on personal hygiene. It has nothing to do with sipirituality. Earlier days, the products to stay clean were not available to women, that is not the case now.

    If for this reason the women are called unclean then men too are unclean; they carry their Shit in them.

    Sikhi is clear: Ek noor se sub jag upajaya, kaon bhalai kaon mande.

    Women are our future, they are not to be discriminated in the society.

    I have just now sent a detailed reply on this issue to Learningzone of yahoo groups.

    I request the Khalsa Ji who has asked this question will paste my response to learningzone on this site also.

    With love and respect for all.

    Amarpal Singh
     
  4. Amarpal

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    Dear Khalsa Ji,

    My detailed post on this issue is given below.

    Sikhi tells us how to live a life of householder with spiritual purity. Sikhi applies to men and women alike. Sikhi gives advice only on few aspects of life, i.e. Mental Purity through Naam, Contribution to the society through Kirt, and Seva through Wand Shakkna. Our Panth is a stand-alone modern religion; it does not draw sustenance from other sources.


    Sikhi does not interfere with the natural processes of life, which are all place, time, person and situation dependent for the solution; our Guru Sahib knew this very well. How to deal with Menstruation, which is a natural process, is not he task of modern religion; it is in the domain of hygiene and sociology. It has nothing to do with spirituality.

    You may please inform the individual (the one who has asked for information i.e. the researcher) that religions are neither mirror image of one another nor are they congruent. A religions should not be judged standing on the premise of some other religion, separated from each other by vast time span.

    Khalsa Panth enshrines equality among genders. Women are in no way inferior to Men. Please tell the researcher that Khalsa Panth, which is based on Sikhi, is a modern rational religion that has benefited from the progress made by mankind in the domain of knowledge.

    Menstruation is not an issue to be dealt by any modern religion. Khalsa Panth should not be evaluated standing on the premise of ancient time; it is a religion, which is in tune with modern thought. It is current. It should not be studied with ancient from of mind.


    There is no restriction on women during her periods. Though there are many Khalsas who have not shed their own past affiliation and still practice certain restrictions. It only means our sociology is lagging behind, nothing more. It is an indicator of our failure, my failure to educate our own members. It is an abrasion in our living.

    If one says that women is unclean during her periods it is because in the past she had not been provided with the means to remain clean; it is a matter of hygiene and not of spirituality. These days with what science and technology has provided, they remain clean.

    If some guy says women are unclean, then this man should also tell how he is clean when he is carrying all his shit in his intestine. Shit also is filth; no one wants to touch it. Why no religion talks about these unclean men. The reason is that it is the men who have designed the religion; they have never understood women.

    See the arrogance of we men. We try to deprive women of her individuality; we say the word man is deemed to include woman also. This position of men cannot be justified; just see the spelling. It is the word women that include men not he other way round. The all-comprehensive word for both the genders can only be woman and not man. Further, if we move away from language and view again this interpretation, then we find that biologically all men were included in women before their birth and not the other way round. Yet we close our eyes to reality shut off our thinking and say the word men is deemed to include women; logic does not support such assertion.


    Guru Sahib has said ‘Ek noor se sub jag upjaya, kaon bhalai kaon mandai’. The menstruation in women is the results of the same creation. We mortals do not cause it; it is a natural process. It cannot be the basis of discrimination of any kind. If it is practiced, it will be against the teachings of Gurbani. Being clean applies both to men and women alike and today’s science and technology provides products to remain clean.

    This arrogance is reflected in many of religious practices and social practices. Khalsa Panth does not recognise such discrimination; though in evolving Khalsa society, unfortunately, it exists.


    Women should not be discriminated. They are the future of our Panth. They give us birth; they give us our ‘Samskaras’.



    With love and respect for all.

    Amarpal Singh
     
  5. BabbarSher

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    I was not able to search on www.srigranth.org as was getting timed out.

    I found the following excellent article and the relevant extract from it:

    http://allaboutsikhs.com/books/kjs/06.htm

    Guru Nanak also condemned the idea of impurity of a woman in the days of her menstrual cycle. Guru Nanak said there is no impurity in it. It is a natural cycle. Actual impu­rity is in the mouth of a person who tells lies after lies. Impurity is due to bad qualities and not due to natural bodily function (SGGS., p. 472).

    Then he condemned the idea of impurity after the woman gives birth to child. There was a system to keep woman iso­lated from the rest of the family for some days after the child’s birth. She was not allowed to touch anything because her touching anything would render it impure. This impurity was called Sutak. Guru Nanak raised his voice against this evil practice. He said everywhere reproduction is taking place. Even the cowdung-cakes, used to cook food, are not free from it. The insects are reproducing, then, there must be impurity in fire also. None of the things we eat or use otherwise is free from life, which is multiplying every moment. He told that actual impurity is due to evil thoughts of mind. In Asa ki Var he says:



    If impurity attaches (to life’s birth),

    then all, all over, are impure.

    In the cow-dung and the wood too is the life of worms.

    As many are the grains of food, not one is without life.

    And, is not water life that brings all to life?

    How can then we believe in life’s impurity,

    when impurity is in our bread?

    Nanak: impurity goes no otherwise save by being wise.



    Further the Guru tells about the actual impurity:

    The mind’s impurity is covetousness;

    the tongue’s impu­rity is Falsehood.

    The impurity of the eyes is coveting

    another’s woman, beauty and riches.

    The ear’s impurity is to hear and carry tales.

    Nanak: even the purest of men, thus bound,

    go to the city of the Dead. SGGS., p. 472



    On the basis of these ideas he described Sutak as an illusion of mind:



    All idea of impurity is illusion of mind,

    which attacks those who are in the duality of Maya,

    The creatures take birth and die through His will through

    His Will one comes and goes.

    To eat and drink is pure:

    For the Lord hast Blest us with these in His Mercy.

    Nanak: they who Realise the Truth through the Guru,

    to them Impurity sticks not. SGGS., pp. 472-73
     
  6. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    well said. Veer Amarpal Ji has put it all very well. IN Gurmatt this type of "physical" so called impurity is not deemd attention worthy at all as it is a natural process.

    And how is menstrual blood "dirty" or "unclean" anyway. It is the same as any other blood we all carry in our bodies..this is nature's way of a cycle of birth and blood needs to be shed to carry out this activity...but that doesnt make the blood dirty/unclean.

    Secondly the Male chauvanists who promote this idea ( mosty the hinduised SANTS/BABAS/DERAWALLAHS who themsleves know Gurmatt very little and depend heavily on fairy tales/sakhis etc)..conveniently forget that many of these huge bellied "sants" themselves have PILES ( a condition due to too much sitting on ones backside)..and they carry "no protection" ( while every modern lady does)...and in piles too blood drips out..and that blood is definitely dirty..... and what about "gas" flatulance etc.

    Sorry to be so blunt but i have no patience with these so called parcharaks of "gurbani" who totally ignore the fundamentals GURBANI sets out and promote their own pet ideas and fallacies in the from of Sikhi Parchaar. many a time such a "sant ji" has banned women paathis from participating in their Akhand paaths due to such outdated/wrong/totally ungurmatt beleifs. A SIKH WOMAN is entitled to do anything a SIKH man is entitled to do...Do Akahnd paath, sehaj paath, chaur sewa, be a memeber of the PUNJ PIYARAS,...NO QUESTION S asked. GURU JI said SO in His GURBANI.

    jarnail Singh
     
  7. vijaydeep Singh

    vijaydeep Singh
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    Ek Oankar Wahiguru Ji Ki Fateh

    das salutes the vews of Gyani Sahib and Amarpal Singh Ji,

    If mensurated lady is not allowed in any Sikh function then it is just a cpoying of Brahmanical idea.As only in hindu temples such tabbo is in function.

    In fact what comes out during period is discarded female egg.Infact all males are product of fusion of that egg with male's input.

    Hating female with same is like hating our own body.

    If Das gets such 'sant' (As Gyani ji Told)with pile then das will tell him to go for surgery.

    Anyway das was only wondering that there are some Jathas in us who are more After Kachhera being ritualastically worn by female.

    Das did talk to a missioary on this account.He told that female can wear safty pads under Kachhera and there is no tabbo.Das is interested to know that does anyone has obejection in that ?

    Because by going with Kachhera only without safety pads may put female in embaaracing positionn in Sangat.So be it any bloddy Deradar with piles due to eating more then needed or not doing kirat(Labour) or any Sikh sister with mansuration there must be a good safety mechanism so that in Sangat there must not any emmbarracing situation.

    Das is writing it in there as some ritualistics Jathas may prefer that nothing must be worn under Kachhera,This is rediculous.
     
  8. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji ki Fateh.

    Veer Vijaydeep Singh Ji,

    You are absolutley correct in questioning the ritualistic "insistence" on just kachhera..and "nothing" inside the kachhera. NO where is it stated that one must NOT wear anything ( like safety sanitory pads/etc) next to your body, ...and by doing so it violates the Rehat maryada...IMHO a menstruating lady can wear sanitory protection, a tight panties to keep it all in place and then and over that a kachhera can be worn..and Sikh rehat maryada will in no way be affected in any way. This is entirely LOGICAL. Anything or anyone that says contrary to this is being illogical and stubborn male chauvanist. Sikhi/Gurmatt is not that "weak" that it can be threatened by just a few drops of menstrual blood...HA HA YES this does "threaten" the MALE POLE POSITION of the Sant Babas who want the power to "dictate" maryada to all and sundry as and when they decide...that is WHY..they can prance around in PUBLIC with just kacheras under their big cholas ( NO PYJAMA)..but a Lady Sikh CANNOT do that as ( their naked legs will excite them !! I ask these hypocrites as to what type of sikhs are they that the mere sight of a lady's legs excites them in the Guru's darbar..I was flabbergasted to listen to a Tape of a Famous Baba Ji talking about this..he says" Ladies and Men dont sit mixed in the Darbar because an accidental touch of a lady's GODA may excite a man and impure thoughts will arise and simran will be interrupted..and he goes on to say that as for him being a sant baba and all that spirituality.. mere sight of a lady's legs makes him lose all concentration in kirtan etc..wah wah wah sikhi of these frauds )

    This is the reason we must insist on GURBANI VICHAAR/LEARNING/STUDYING.... to dispell such misconceptions doubts wrong ideas being propogated in the name of Gurbani/Guurs/Gurmatt/Rehat etc. The more our youngsters learn Gurbani and Vichaar the more the LIGHT of GURBANI will dispell the veil of Darkness FALSEHOOD. Gurbani and Gurmatt are so LIBERAL/FREE of Falsehood/misconceptions/etc that Sikhi is the Best and easiest religion to follow.

    Jarnail Singh
     

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