Why women should not be allowed in Garbhagrih of some temples

I am deeply concerned with the new wave of activism of gender equality for entry into the sanctum sanctorum of few temples. These have been prohibited for many centuries and the new thinking of rubbishing all that is ancient without understanding the science behind the rules is worrisome. A shrill media campaign in the name of feminism, equality and modernism may destroy hundreds of years of profound decision making.
Deep understanding of profound subjects is needed. Complex issues of thousands of years cannot just be reduced to black-and-white. Cries of equality, feminism, rights and modernism are very well for public consumptions, but there is a need to reflect on the reason, rationale and understanding of disallowing women or men inside the garbhagrih of few temples.
The Hindu religion is not just about the superficial or the manifest or the symbolic, but about the complex energy dynamics that underlies the manifestation.
Actually the Nasadiya Sukta of the Rig Veda, the oldest of the Vedas says that first there was creation and that the Gods came later. So, the energy in the Universe that was unleashed by the Big Bang was later defined and structured into various forms of God and its shape, color, size and materials by ancient Rishis. Temples and religious places capture some of these powerful energies with form of idols, temple structures, rituals and various poojas. Pran pratishta or consecration of idols in highly magnetic and charged locations is done by powerful rituals during potent planetary positions. The power of those energies of the temples becomes more forceful during certain days of the week and during certain time of the year and at certain muhuratas. Praying with deep intent in these temples is supposed to lead to transformations and grace.
There are many, many different kinds of energies that affect our lives in various ways. Like the yin and yang energies of Chinese philosophy (the male and female energies), the Hindu Sankhya philosophy call these energies as Purusha (male) and prakriti (female). Shaivism and Shaktism call it Shiva (male) and Shakti (female). Shiv or Purusha is static, while Prakriti or Shakti is dynamic. If there are 12 Jyotirling temples for male energy (Shiva), there are over 50 Shakti peeth temples for female energy. Shakti is represented by various deities of immense power and different types of energies. Ancient India was not such a prejudicial society as now. Men and women had assigned duties and women were treated as equal partners and played a major part in religious activities like praying, fasting and rituals.
 The Indian knowledge system have tried to garner these powerful male and female energies by assigning shapes, colors, materials to various God forms, temple architecture, location and placement of temples and consecration of idols.  They have also assigned it days of the week when energy is at maximum level for praying. Days and time for festivals, meditation, eating, fasting and praying etc  based on the movement of planetary objects.
The planetary position during our birth and life affects us in different ways and because every individual is born during unique planetary positions, we all get uniquely affected by different Gods and places of worship (concentration of relative energy).
Do read Sadhguru Vasudeva’s extraordinary explanation on why women should not be allowed in Shani Shingnapur’s garbhagrih.
By the way, was reading on the internet about the temples that men cannot enter.
1.       The temple of Lord Brahma at Pushkar in Rajasthan is one of the most prominent temples of Lord Brahma. The temple dates back to 14th century. The householder’s (married men) are not allowed to enter its sanctum.

2.       Attukal Temple is a renowned temple in Kerala where Women are worshipped. The temple hosts Attukal Pongala festival, in which over a million women participate.Only women are allowed to participate in the Pongala ritual. The festival has figured in the Guinness Book of World Records for  being the single largest gathering of women for a religious activity.

3.       Chakkulathukavu Temple is another temple in Kerala dedicated to the Bhagavathi, and follows a peculiar  annual ritual called ‘Naari Puja’. On the first Friday of Dhanu  (December), the male priests wash the feet of female devotees who have  fasted for 10 days. This  system takes root in the belief that female devotees visiting on this  particular day are the incarnation of Chakkulathu Amma (goddess).

4.       In Assam, Kamru Kamchhaya Mandir is also such temple where only women is allowed to enter the premises during the time of monthly period. It is the temple of Bhagavati Maa, when Uma or Maa Sati waist was fell down here after having cut by Lord Vishnu Sudershan Chakra.   It is also an important Peeth of Bhagvati Maa. Devipuram Kamakhya Peetham with the female priest and devotees.

5.       One such temple is in  Muzaffarpur, Bihar.  During the time of special period day, only women devotee is allowed there to enter the Mandir. Even, Pujari of the Mandir is not allowed to enter the premises. 

6.       The temple of the Bhagwathi in Chengannur (Kerala) and the temple of Kamakhya Devi (Assam) where the Goddess too was believed to menstruate and followed similar rituals of menstrual seclusion, closing the temple for 3 days and then celebrating the end of her menstruation. In both these temples, the menstrual cloth is considered highly auspicious and is distributed among devotees. 

7.       One such temple of Bhagavati Maa is Kanya Kumari in Kerala.There also women devotee is allowed to enter. Male entry is prohibited there.    This is a famous temple of Kanya Kumari, where Kanya Ma Bhagawati Durga is worshiped by women only. 

8.       Santoshi Maa Varat is observed by only women or unmarried girls. I did not see any male on fast or on the Varat of Santoshi Maa. Sour fruits or prickle eating on that day is also prohibited. Though, male enters the Santoshi Maa temple for worshiping but hardly anyone is on Varat of Santoshi Maa.

      While I am a great proponent of equality and women empowerment, am not able to support this latest activism that has the potentially harm the profound science and balance of the Indian knowledge system. Please give your views.


Article by deepak

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