1. Would you like to join the IL team? See open jobs!
    Dismiss Notice
  2. What can you teach someone online? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice
  3. If someone taught you via skype, what would you want to learn? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice

Me so "duh"!!!

Discussion in 'Queries on Religion & Spirituality' started by JustAni, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. JustAni

    JustAni Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,055
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Female
    Hi you all!!!

    I feeling so silly & a lot of you might rightly feel that I am so stupid, but I just had to get a major clarification.

    I sincerely want to begin reading The Ramayana & The Bhagwat Gita.

    I want to know if there is any particular day when I should begin doing so, for both books. And Can I read both of them one after the other, beginning with The Ramayana & then The Bhagwat Gita?

    I am aware that during your periods you aren't supposed to light the lamps, go into the prayer room, etc. But Can you read sholkas? As at present when I have my periods, I do stand & pray, but avoid touching any part of the mandir (at home). After a head bath on the fourth day, I put the tikka.

    Please clarify...

    Anita
     
  2. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    9,047
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Trophy Points:
    340
    Gender:
    Male
    Hi Anitha,

    I was simply bowled over by the sincerity of your request and the reverence with which you approach the holy books.

    This site is full of experts and authorities on the subject who will guide you on to the right day, the right method, the dos and the donts.

    But as an Indian who had the blessing of reading the two great books you have mentioned, I thought I will give my two cents on this topic.

    Ramayana is a love story and Gita is a lesson for life. While I dont mind them being treated holy and sacred (of course they are) that should not prevent us from enjoying them and from savouring the beautiful messages they provide to us. Read with a poet's heart not with a lawyer's head or worse still, the priest's mind.

    Anitha, please do not just read the slokas without knowing their meaning. If you can read the sanskrit verse, it is just fine. Otherwise get a good book in English or the language you prefer and start reading . First finish reading the entire book in one stroke, as if you were reading Sydney Sheldon. (For Ramayana and Mahabaratha you can try Rajaji's Books or Kamala Subramanians books. They are good to start with. Then you can go to Valmiki or Kambar)

    Then try to slowly read page by page, verse by verse, word by word and savour the richness of our scriptures.

    I want you to keep this simple aphorism in your mind before you start the holy task. God is love. He/She is even more loving than our own mother. So He wont mind all these silly things like periods, odd days, inauspicious moments and all. Of course you should maintain cleanliness and personal hygene and that too for your own sake - which you would any way do. Apart from that there are no restrictions.

    When I read Gita for the first time (I read Chinmayas commentaries) I read it in the bed room, read while travelling in the bus and read even in those days where I could not bathe because of my illness.

    Only with this kind of involvement, you can begin to understand at least a part of what these Great books contain.

    When you read 66th sloka in the 18th chapter of Gita, When the Lord says, "sarva dharmaan paridyajya" you will be crying out of love. And once you do that you need not have to read any more holy books

    Happy Reading Anitha. If you love reading stories read Ramayana first.
    Otherwise start Gita. Gita is short about 702 verses. And read from the very first chapter.

    If you have any doubts you can post it here. I will make an attempt to clarify, if I happened to know.
    sridhar/varalotti
     
    sindmani likes this.
  3. JustAni

    JustAni Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,055
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Female
    Thanks Sridhar & Varalotti for you views.

    I have the Bhagawat Gita, which has the sankrit shlokas, the translations & the meanings in English. As far as the Ramayana is concernend, it is in Hindi, just the shlokas & meaning... Ramcharithrimanas...

    Any more advice is welcome.:2thumbsup:

    Anita
     
  4. vidyasarada

    vidyasarada Senior IL'ite

    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear Anita

    Varalotti has already given you enough good guidance.

    But just felt like sharing some thoughts with you, woman to woman.
    When you have genuine interest in reading and understanding works like the Gita and our epics, there is no need for you to fear anything. Respect should be in our minds. Mere ritualistic bathing, putting flowers on the book and reading the shlokas mechanically will not take us to any heaven.
    I saw in your profile that you speak Tulu. So you may understand this kannada line from Purandara Dasa:

    "Manashuddhi illadavage mantradha phalavenu
    thanu shuddhi illadavage theerthada phalavenu ?
    Mindalli phalavenu meenu mosalegalanthey
    Iddalli phalavenu srisailada kaageyanthey
    horage mindu, olagey meeyadavara kandu
    Beragaagi bidde purandara vittala. "

    Women need to observe personal hygiene for their own good. Other than that, there is no great sin attached to periods. Just think of it this way: Saliva is an "impurity". But we have always have saliva in our mouth and it is that same mouth that recites prayers. So long as we are not disrespectfully munching food while saying prayers,it is not wrong.
    If God made people, it is the same God that made woman's biology too. Can the all merciful God treat his own creation as second-class just because of what he himself gave her ? Sensible requirements of Cleanliness and Hygiene became senseless "rules" because of misinterpretation by bigots. Also, in olden days it might have been difficult to maintain cleanliness during periods. (Remember, there were no bathrooms in the house;and bathing and washing had to be done in the common pond or river at dawn only )

    There are many sects who do not consider periods "unholy". They even visit temples! But some people are used to some practices. You can choose to do what you are comfortable doing, what your heart tells you to. Whatever you choose, dont have any superstitious dreads of "inviting god's punishment" and such other "supposed to" things.

    Wishing you all the best
    Vidyasarada
     
  5. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    33,568
    Likes Received:
    3,746
    Trophy Points:
    490
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear VS,
    Very well written, my dear friend !
    What is the use of chanting any namavali or shloka with a heart full of ditraction, pre occupation, hatred for somebody, vengeance wtc?
    It is only the attitude of love to fellow human beings ( which is love of God) that counts.
    Anita, whatever lies within your "comfort zone" of thought process - please go ahead & do it !
    Love,
    Chithra.
     
    sindmani likes this.
  6. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

    Messages:
    2,654
    Likes Received:
    175
    Trophy Points:
    155
    Gender:
    Male
    Dear VR and VS,

    Both of you have written so lucidly, it instantly dispels all misconceptions. Pls do answer doubts more often, it clears our past baggage of thought.

    If I am not wrong, I think there is an Adiparasakthi kovil in TN, where we can visit even during menstruation. Chengannoor Bhagavathi has a 'thirupoothu utsavam' when she gets her Holy Periods.

    affly
    Vidya
     
  7. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    9,047
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Trophy Points:
    340
    Gender:
    Male
    Dear Vidya,

    I think you are referring to the Melmaruvathur Adhiparasakthi temple. I think they allow women during menstruation.

    The Chenganoor Thirupoothu Uthsavam cloth is auctioned and I hear that it is already sold upto the next forty years or so.

    Thanks VS for the explanation and the Purandaradasa Song.

    There is no harm in menstruating women reading Gita or other holy scriptures. I am surprised how a natural process which is a sign of potential motherhood, a divinity to all the religions, can be considered as unclean.

    But unfortunately this has been drilled down into our womens minds for long. So women feel distinctly uncomfortable themselves. And with that kind of guilt-laden mind, if they visit a temple and some problem comes, they might think that it was because of that. A family elder who shares similar views gave me a balanced view. Let menstruating women not visit temples beyond the Dvajasthambam level. They can enter temples which do not have that dvajasthambam and all.

    This is just to give allowance to a belief that has been ingrained into the female psyche for hundreds of years.
    sridhar

    Dear Anitha,

    Start reading Gita right now. I am not that competent to say, "If you have doubts, I'll clarify." But as a lover of Gita, I would request you to share with us any good points which you might come across. Happy reading.
    sridhar
     
  8. vmur

    vmur Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Female
    Excellent points by all.

    Perhaps more than other people, Indians are a product of their culture - so much so that Hinduism is rightly called a way of life rather than a religion.

    Now we all have some taboos growing up in India. For example we would not put our foot on books ( books are an embodiment of Saraswati). However clean your foot is, no amount of rationalization would make you stand on a book - or eat with your left hand for that matter ;-)

    So, only you can answer this question for yourself.

    Do you feel strong enough during your periods, bold enough to make a departure from the norm ? Then go right ahead, the Bhagavad Gita is the perfect book for a seeker with mettle.

    On the other hand, if you want to start your journey by being on the side of "tradition", that is perfectly fine as well. Bide your time, make a tactical retreat as Sri Krishna advised many times :).

    Regards,
    Vidya
     
  9. Manjureddy

    Manjureddy Gold IL'ite

    Messages:
    601
    Likes Received:
    569
    Trophy Points:
    188
    Gender:
    Female
    Hi

    I agree with all above about following the heart in matters of worship.

    One more temple like Melmaruvathur:
    The Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati is an important shakthisthal, the place where Sati's Yoni fell following the destruction of Daksha's Yagnam. A ritual called Ambuvaci held here marks the period when Shakthi is said to be menstruating. It is celebrated as a fertility festival, though the temple remains closed as a mark of respecting her privacy.

    Yes Vidya(vimur) we cannot bring ourselves to touch anything with our feet because of civility, and in the case of books, reverence. I dont think that has anything to do with the purity-impurity factor.
    But eating with left hand ( unless in case of amputation of the right one ) even after dettol-wash, never ! Ingrained taboos !:tongueor maybe force of habit ?

    But I have heard my grandmother say that according to some scriptures, the Yajaman's ( the person getting a Yagam performed) wife/wives would be allowed to take part by maintaining prescribed distances from the Agni according to the day of the period ( first day - more distance, last day-less distance etc) but for "purity's" sake, they will not touch the articles used in the Sacrifice. Regret now, never found out about those scriptures when grandma was alive.:icon_frown:
    Manjula
     
  10. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,310
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    70
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear All,
    A lively discussion on purity and impurity.....thought i will add my two cents, since i recently faced the same question from my students. we were dancing in the temple for shivrathri and my little student , just 12 years old, who just got her periods recently was not able to perform for these reasons.....since she was upset and wanted to know why God will not let us in on those days, her mother(srilankan,) and me decided to explain and also let her not have such thoughts, so i told her to come and dance , but not enter the inner sanctom only!
    But what i actually wanted to say here, was anyway she was not upto it, had pains etc and did not come! So isn#t it not true that we ourselves most of the time feel sick and tired and dont want to actively partcipate in anything.....that could also be a factor why we were left to be alone, maybe to get some rest and peace!....What do u all think....sometimes i feel why cant we have that old system itself...that too when i see people suffering from so much pain and still have to carry on with their work!

    So maybe we need to have mental balance to meditate on God and understand, more than the purity factor....could that also be true!? :confused2: :confused:
     

Share This Page