When one enters the world of spirituality or probably when one reignites and channelises the already existing energy on the path of Spirituality and specifically on the path of Sadhana, one hits a good number of unknown grounds. This reminds me the time when I read Gurudev’s (I like referring to Swami as Gurudev) memoir wherein he said in a certain place that the world of Sadhana was very different for him since nobody knew what he practiced, and he did not know anybody around him from whom he could seek help from. 

Even though I was born and brought up in a pro-education environment and background, there were a few ground rules which were laid down right from the beginning. One of such ground rules is what I wish to throw light upon. It was that a woman undergoing menstruation shall not touch the Tulsi Plant, will not pray or go anywhere near the temple room in the house. Though to be honest, there were no distinctions made in terms of rooms where I could sit or for that matter, I was not barred from entering the kitchen or so. The only thing I was categorically told was that I should not do any spiritual practice. 

This led to two things. One being that there was an inherent discomfort and fear that I shall violate a spiritual custom / rule if I do not follow the instructions given to me. Two, when one begins a spiritual routine or practice of sorts and then has to stop for 5 – 6 days before they can resume, it completely breaks the flow, and it becomes all the more difficult to get back on track. 

I was introduced to Gurudev’s teachings in the month of June this year. What his teachings has done to me is a story for another day. The article though written by me and is saved on my laptop is yet to see the light of the day because I have not pressed the sent button. I feel I should first offer my prostrate obeisance at Gurudev’s holy lotus feet and offer gratitude to him in person before I can share it with others. As a side note, I am a very closed person and find it difficult to share personal experiences even if they are difficult. Asking for help is not natural for me. Though through Gurudev I have learnt to do that. 

Now coming back to the topic for today, after I was introduced to his teachings, I left no stone unturned to read his works, watch his videos, follow his discourses among others. In short, I behaved like a mad woman just wanting to inculcate and imbibe what he had to offer. One aspect that really caught my attention was when he said any menstruating women can perform all the Sadhanas he listed in his very comprehensive book ‘The Ancient Science of Mantras’. I resumed most of my practices and did not pay heed to the ground rule set at home. Though I did not enter the temple room, however I prayed in the room I shared with another family member of mine. I was told that I was violating spiritual rules and it is completely wrong. Additionally, it was further told to me that I was trying to be an intellectual of sorts. 

After having come back to work in a different city altogether, nobody got to know when that time of the month it was for me. However, a voice in my head always had this nagging question as to whether any wrong would befall on me by doing this. I researched on this issue on various places on the internet. However, as we know Prof. Google has its own advantages and disadvantages of being a Professor. One of the advantages being it has plethora of information. Disadvantage being it has its own share of unfiltered information since today most humans (if not everyone) have an opinion. This is one of the reasons, I have reduced giving my opinion on various issues because I feel if I do not make a great contribution on the topic, I better keep my mouth shut and pay attention to what other great masters and enlightened beings have to say on a subject. Most commentators on Youtube (well liked Priests included – views on their lectures would be lakhs and lakhs) quoted from various Hindu scriptures to state that one should not perform any practices during their periods. It left be disturbed and perplexed. I did not have access to Gurudev to enquire about this. 

A lot of you here will agree with me when I say that when one is ready to be a worthy recipient (I do not consider myself a worthy recipient at all, but I certainly have learnt not to treat myself as worthless as well. Courtesy Gurudev’s teachings), then help comes naturally without much force. I was serious this time on the aspect of wanting to resume my practices. I have no idea on how I chanced upon the writings of other authors on this website. Its divine grace as Gurudev puts it. I read consistently for more than a week for 6 – 7 hours daily as to what everyone had to say on various subjects. I also did search the os.me website for more views on this subject but could not find any. I searched the question answer section as well. Then I took the courage to pose a question on the ‘Ask a question’ section. I enquired as to ‘Can we continue chanting using rudraksha, L.S. and offer surya arghya during periods? https://os.me/community/spiritual-journey/can-we-continue-chanting-using-rudraksha-l-s-and-offer-surya-arghya-during-periods/#post-2217 I received responses. @srideviom https://os.me/members/srideviom/ categorically said there were no restrictions whatsoever. I had already by then read through her articles to know her level and indepth understanding of the spiritual world. It gave me a lot of courage and motivation. If the topic ended there, I would not have probably deemed it as a miracle. 

All of you must note that this is a serious issue which most female spiritual practitioners face i.e. the continuance of spiritual practices during menstruation.

However, what was very beautiful, and Gurudev’s magic was that the very next day, Sri Devi Om ji, the person I developed a huge amount of respect for wrote a long article detailing everything a female spiritual aspirant needed to know on this subject. These are Gurudev’s leelas. The article has the best heading “Menstruation and Women – Addressing a common concern for women” https://os.me/short-stories/menstruation-and-spirituality/. She reiterated the view that she had already performed core sadhanas when she was undergoing menstruation and all of those sadhanas gave her very good results. I was so spellbound. I am not sure if I am able to explain in words that a question bothering me since ages stood answered after I seriously sort for help on this issue. Infact, in one place, Sri Devi Om ji had said she was told by Gurudev that he has no issues with women entering the Ashram temple during menstruation and she wondered why Gurudev was giving her those added information. Infact, in my thank you note to her response in the ‘Ask a Question’ section, I had already profusely thanked her and pointed out in categoric terms that the question as to why Swami on his own volition gave her the added information stands answered. It perhaps was given to help seekers like me know that they are not violating spiritual rules of any kind. The miracles continued even today. You ask me how.

Today, this is the third consecutive day of this saga that another author named Rashmi Sharma https://os.me/members/rashmi-sharma/ wrote an article today titled ‘Normal Thy Name is Menses’ https://os.me/short-stories/normal-thy-name-is-menses/. She reiterated the aforementioned view as well. Gurudev, I think wanted me to focus on my spiritual life without any hesitancy. He wanted me to have courage and tread on the path without fear.

Thank you, Gurudev. Please accept my prostrate obeisance at your holy lotus feet. I am just a speck of dust in your holy lotus feet. Please don’t clean all the dust from your feet, lest I fall off.

Love & Gratitude Always,

Mahamaya

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