Orthodox Hindu attitudes to menstruation / Nicole Hembroff

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Hembroff, Nicole
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Religious Studies, c2010
Although menstruation is a biological process that occurs for women of a sexually mature age, many cultures associate it with symbols that shape and affect women's lives within these societies. This thesis examines orthodox Hindu beliefs about the origin and meaning of menstruation, which is fundamentally viewed negatively (i.e., adharmically). Drawing upon sources from the earliest to more recent Dharmasastra literature, the thesis demonstrates that orthodox Hindu menstrual taboos derive from menstruation's adharmic associations, which in turn affect attitudes towards women. The Dharmasastras also attempt to realign women with dharma by prescribing appropriate roles for them and act in tandem with the Hindu goddess tradition. Orthodox interpretations of Hindu goddesses configure these deities to serve as dharmic models "for" and " o f women, thereby transmitting dharma to women in ways that are perhaps more meaningful, accessible, and effective than the sastric literature alone. iv
viii, 102 leaves , 3 leaves of plates : ill. ; 29 cm
Menstruation -- Religious aspects -- Hinduism , Menstruation -- Social aspects , Menstral cycle -- Religious aspects -- Hinduism , Hindu women -- Health and hygiene , Hindu women -- Social conditions , Dissertations, Academic