Menstrual Taboo - Religious Views - Hinduism


In the Hindu faith, women are prohibited from participating in normal life while menstruating. She must be "purified" before she is allowed to return to her family, which has been presented as a negative view of menstruation.

This follows description in Puranas about Indra's 'Brahmahatya' (act of killing of Brahmin) and the mitigation of the sin Part of this sin was taken by women and is considered to be active during menstrual period. Therefore menstruating woman are forbidden from performing any rituals and contact with menstruating woman is also forbidden (with exception of small children).

However in some respects Indians view menstruation, especially first menstruation or menarche, as a positive aspect of a girl's life. In South India and also in the Assamese community, girls who experience their menstrual period for the first time are given presents and celebrations to mark this special occasion, though women who are menstruating are not allowed in the household for a period of 3 nights. This certainly does not mean that they are driven away from the house during the cycle of their menstruation. According to Kerala Architecture in a 'naalu kettu' which means house with four blocks; 'dakkini' the south block is for women and during the menstrual cycle women would confine themselves within the block and would not even enter kitchen or go to the north and east sides of the house nor would go near a temple.

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