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Celebrate Menstruation as Basic Requirement, Says Hindu Scholar

Thousands of years of foreign dominance had distorted our thinking on this issue of vital importance

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Menstruation, Hindu Scholar
The world cultures covered in the book include Indic traditions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Pixabay

Hindu scholar and author Nithin Sridhar says menstruation should not be considered shameful but should be celebrated as a basic requirement of womanhood, as an integral dimension of feminineness.

Talking to IANS, Sridhar, author of “Menstruation Across Cultures-A Historical Perspective,” said thousands of years of foreign dominance had distorted our thinking on this issue of vital importance. Most Hindu communities celebrate menarche as the beginning of womanhood and not an event filled with shame.

Sridhar was in the Taj city to interact with women’s groups and offer his perspective on this crucial subject.

Sridhar offered an interesting journey across civilizations and religions delving into a difficult topic. “My book book has come at a correct time too when the Sabarimala issue is dominating our news with misinformed and confused debates all around.”

Menstruation, Hindu Scholar
Menstruation should not be considered shameful but should be celebrated. Flickr

He compared the different attitudes to menarche, menstruation, pregnancy and womanhood in different religions and countries.

“Of course the focus is mainly on the Hindu or Sanatana Dharma attitudes but the subject should surely be of great interest to all of us concerned with social, cultural and political issues,” he added.

“In my book, there are detailed reviews of menstruation notions prevalent in India and in cultures across the world. The world cultures covered in the book include Indic traditions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism; ancient civilisations like Greece, Rome, Mesopotamia and Egypt; and Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam,” Sridhar said.

Two themes of special focus in the book are: Impurity and Sacrality. While they are often understood as being opposed to each other, the book examines how they are treated as two sides of the same coin when it comes to menstruation. This is especially true in Indic traditions and pre-Christian polytheistic traditions like Greco-Roman, Mesopotamian and Egyptian. Impurity and Sacrality complement each other to form a comprehensive worldview in these cultures.”

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“I have also examined how the understanding of impurity in Abrahamic religions differs from those of polytheistic cultures. As part of the examination of the sacrality attached to menstruation, a special focus has also been given to the deities of menstruation in polytheistic cultures and to what Ayurveda and Yoga say about this essential function in a woman’s physiology.”

Sridhar is a civil engineer by education who gave up his profession for the cause of Hinduism. He is the editor of IndiaFacts, a popular online magazine for sustaining Sanatana Dharma. He has previously authored a book, “Musings on Hinduisma”, a primer for students of all ages wanting to know more about Hinduism. (IANS)

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Here’s How You Can go Environment-friendly During Menstruation

Cotton is a breathable material and absorbs moisture. Try to restrict the number of hours spent in a lacey or satin underwear

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An alternative for plastic sanitary pads.
Making of better sanitary pads in process.

Use menstrual cups, biodegradable sanitary napkins or organic tampons to ensure you are environment-friendly during menstruation, suggest experts.

Anupriya Kapur, Founder, Imbue and Deep Bajaj, Founder of PeeBuddy and Sirona, have shared some tips that can help you remain hygienic during periods.

* Biodegradable sanitary napkins: Use biodegradable or cotton sanitary napkins or tampons during menstruation. They are good for your skin and lessen the itchy feeling and rashes.

* Switch to a sustainable eco-friendly menstrual hygiene products like a menstrual cup or organic tampons. If not comfortable with inserting the product up your vagina, try reusable panties/cloth pads.

* Don’t dispose your sanitary waste in plastic bags. Instead, wrap it in bio-degradable paper or use Oxo-degradable sanitary disposal bags.

Menstruation, Hindu Scholar
Menstruation should not be considered shameful but should be celebrated. Flickr

For your own hygiene:

* Switch to cotton underwear: Cotton is a breathable material and absorbs moisture. Try to restrict the number of hours spent in a lacey or satin underwear.

* Get out of sweaty clothes: Wet or damp clothes multiply the risk of bacterial infection in the intimate area. Take a shower and change into fresh and dry clothing post gym/working out or post any form of physical activity. If you can’t shower after swimming or working out, at least change out of your bathing suit or sweaty clothes.

* Don’t forget to change your pad and tampon: With the invention of high-absorbency pads and tampons, it’s easy to forget how important it is to change them regularly. But it’s important to change pad or tampons every three-four hours.

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* No scented products: Douching is a practice of cleaning the vagina from inside which is unnecessary. You don’t need to spray water or any chemicals inside to clean it. However, the external genital area/vulva requires gentle care. Use natural, scent free products, and stay away from anything which promises to make your vagina smell like a bed of roses.

* Never use two pads simultaneously: Some women who experience heavy flow, tend to use two sanitary pads at one go to control the flow and prevent staining of clothes. This, however, is a bad idea as it can cause infections in the vaginal region. Stick to one and keep changing it often if the flow is more. (IANS)