Over the years, your support has made Women’s Web the leading resource for women in India. Now, it is our turn to ask, how can we make this even more useful for you? Please take our short 5 minute questionnaire – your feedback is important to us!
Celebrating fertility, worshiping the Yoni and revering menstruation- the source and giver of life. Read on to find more about the Ambubachi Mela.
Each year, in what is called the Ambubachi Mela of Kamakhya Devi Temple, a menstruating vagina is worshipped and a period blood stained cloth is offered as the Prasad. Shocked? Read on to find more about this unique affair.
Mythology says that Lord Shiva dropped 52 parts of his wife Sati’s body, after her death all over India and surrounding countries. The places where these body parts dropped are now called ‘Shakti Peeth’. One of these Shakti Peeths is the Kamakhya Devi temple, situated in Guwahati, Assam, India. These days, millions of people- men, women, religious individuals, tantriks and aghoris- all alike can be found visiting this temple worshipping a woman’s (well, a Goddess’) menstrual period.
Shocked? We Indians, who treat all talk related to periods, vaginas and fertility as a secret affair; our men, many of whom don’t even know why or how periods happen and our women who themselves are always a little more than sneaky when it comes to periods – how can a people with this mentality worship the number one open secret of India, that too, traveling miles and miles for it? Well, faith and religion can do wonders!
It is a belief that Devi Kamakhya’s uterus was dropped at this place. In fact, the pilgrims who come here do not worship any idol, they worship a rock that is in the shape of a vagina. A spring of water constantly keeps flowing from the rock, with apparently no known source.
It is believed that each year, during the monsoon season, the Goddess’s annual menstrual cycle begins and she (the vagina shaped rock) bleeds for four days. Her menstruation is celebrated as the Ambubachi Mela. Worshipers, a majority consisting of tantriks and men/women praying for fertility, visit the temple to get the Goddess’s blessings. Prasad can be in the form of water coming from the spring or a red coloured cloth- symbolic for a cloth stained with period blood. And the otherwise stereotypical mentality happily accepts the fruit of an otherwise tabooed phenomenon.
But here’s the catch. Before we (those of us who stopped giving two hoots about such taboos long ago) start feeling proud of this ancient Indian tradition, we must not forget that behind all the Pooja and celebration also lurks somewhere the thought – that a woman becomes ‘impure’ during menstruation. Yes, all the praying, chanting even the farming activities nearby are stopped because Mother Earth becomes ‘unclean’ for these three days. On the fourth day, her cleansing is celebrated and the pilgrims are allowed inside the temple.
So what does that mean? Celebrating fertility is fine. Worshipping the ‘Yoni’ – the source and giver of life is pious. But actually believing that periods is a natural and NORMAL physiological process for every woman is not right?
Millions of women and young girls in our country face constant discrimination from their own communities and families during the days they are bleeding. Women are told to not mention their periods to outsiders and especially men – with no real, fathomable reason behind such ‘prohibition’. Any prior knowledge about puberty or sex education to our children is a big no-no.
After everything, the Ambubachi Mela will, sadly, be no more than one of those ancient rituals that promise to show that women are stronger than men, yet does not actively contribute to the purification of our minds. After all, that’s why we pray, right? To purify our souls of our sins and wrongdoings?
This year, the Ambubachi Mela will be observed from 22nd June, 2017 to 25th June, 2017.
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views. Individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times. If you have a complementary or differing point of view, sign up and start sharing your views too!
Just your average pen-wielding person with a knack for thinking inside the box. read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 might have had a box office collection of 260 crores INR and entertained Indian audiences, but it's full of problematic stereotypes.
Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 starts with a scene in which the protagonist, Ruhaan (played by Kartik Aaryan) finds an abandoned pink suitcase in a moving cable car and thinks there is a bomb inside it.
Just then, he sees an unknown person (Kiara Advani) wave and gesture at him to convey that the suitcase is theirs. Ruhaan, with the widest possible smile, says, “Bag main bomb nahi hai, bomb ka bag hai,” (There isn’t a bomb in the bag, the bag belongs to a bomb).
Who even writes such dialogues in 2022?
Be it a working or a homemaker mother, every parent needs a support system to be able to manage their children, housework, and mental health.
Let me at the outset clarify that when I mention ‘work’ here, it includes ANY work. So, it could be the work at home done by a homemaker parent or it could be work in a professional/entrepreneurial environment.
Either way, every parent struggles to find that fine balance between ‘work’ and ‘parenting’, especially with younger kids who still need high emotional and physical support from their caretakers. And not just any balance, but more importantly, balance that lets them keep their own sanity intact!