Showing posts with label Ashaucha. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ashaucha. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is The Ritual Impurity And Stigma Surrounding Menstruation In Hindu Societies?

All body secretions are regarded a source of ritual impurity in traditional Hindu culture (ashaucha).

During their menstrual cycles, women are regarded ritually unclean, and menstrual fluid is considered a cause of impurity.

Menstruation, on the other hand, is seen as a sign of good fortune since it signifies a woman's reproductive abilities.

The ceremonial observances and taboos for menstruating women range greatly between socioeconomic groupings.

Women are subject to just a few restrictions in certain organizations, such as a prohibition on visiting temples during that period.

Women are required to limit themselves to certain areas of the home and abstain from ordinary tasks such as cooking in other groups.

Although such a rigid practice may seem restrictive, many women valued this time off as a monthly break from their daily responsibilities, which would be handled by the other women in the family.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - What Is Maranashaucha?

Maranashaucha is a term used to describe death-induced ritual impurity (ashaucha) (marana).

Hair, spittle, pus, blood, and other biological effluvia are all considered causes of impurity, but a corpse is the most unclean of them.

Any death triggers the most virulent impurity, which affects the whole family.

This irrationality must be carefully restrained and managed via the funeral ceremonies for the sake of the family's safety (antyeshthi samskara).

The substantial ceremonial difference between birth and death may be seen here.

Although birth introduces impurity (sutakashaucha) to the family due to the body products associated with it, this impurity is seen as less violent since the birth of a child is an auspicious and life-affirming occurrence.

Death, on the other hand, is said to bring ill luck, so the family must not only deal with the impurity, but also with the inauspiciousness brought on by the death.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - How Is Leather Perceived By Orthodox Hindus In The Conext Of Ritual Purity/Pollution?


Because it is the result of a dead animal, many orthodox Hindus consider it filthy.

However, since the feet are considered the lowest and most unclean part of the body, they feel that leather is an ideal material for shoes.

As a result, many individuals put on their shoes by slipping their feet into them without using their hands, avoiding touching the leather with their palms.

Leather's connections with ritual impurity (ashaucha) make it unsuitable for other types of clothing—clothing that would be troublesome in the hot Indian climate—though it is now sometimes used for purses and briefcases.

People who didn't want to wear leather used wooden clogs instead; nowadays, plastic, rubber, and canvas are other alternatives.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - What Is Jati In A Hindu Society?


Jati means “birth” in Sanskrit. In Indian culture, the term Jati broadly represents a traditional social grouping.

There were hundreds of these groupings, which were deemed exogamous because there were stringent taboos against marrying outside one's jati—people from various jatis were seen as separate "species" of humans.

The traditional occupation of the Jatis, which they and they alone had the right to practice, was frequently used to designate the subgroup.

The jatis were ordered in society in hierarchical order based on the perceived purity or impurity (ashaucha) of their jobs, and this hierarchy provided the foundation for the caste system, a traditional Hindu social structure.


~ Kiran Atma

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - What Is Ritual Impurity?

Ritual Impurity is referred to as Ashaucha in Sanskrit.

Rules Of purity and impurity delineates the causes of ritual pollution and lack of sanctity that impede worship.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - What Is Inauspiciousness Or Ashaucha In The Practice Of Hindu Rituals?


This notion relates to occurrences or circumstances that, at their core, obstruct or threaten life, prosperity, or general well-being.

Auspiciousness and inauspiciousness, like purity and impurity (ashaucha), are basic concepts in Hindu life.

A lot of variables may contribute to unfavorable circumstances.

In other cases, inauspiciousness may be found in the present moment—in a bad hour or day, in exceptional phenomena such as eclipses, or in astrological conjunctions that are fundamentally unfavorable.

In such "dangerous" periods, one's activities should be severely limited, with the exception of absolutely required tasks.

Certain normally harmless activities may become inauspicious when combined with certain periods, and such activities should be avoided during these times.

Inauspiciousness may also be caused by specific planetary alignments in one's natal horoscope, or by creating a house or structure in an inopportune location.

Inauspiciousness is seen as a physical entity that is created by particular circumstances and then attached to people, families, or bigger groups.

Some of these unlucky circumstances may be avoided by abstaining from certain actions at certain times, while others cannot be prevented, such as the inauspiciousness caused by eclipses or other astrological conjunctions.

Whereas impurity (ashaucha) may be eliminated or destroyed by purification, inauspiciousness can only be passed on from one person to the next, most often through presents (dana).

More information may be found in Gloria Goodwin Raheja's The Poison in the Gift, published in 1988, and David F. Pocock's "The Evil Eye," published in T. N. Madan's Religion in India, published in 1991.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - How Important Is Hygiene In Orthoprax Hindu Ritual And Religious Practices?


Orthoprax Hindus (that is, Hindus who stress correct religious practice) lay great stress on cleanliness of their bodies and their immediate environment.

Although to the outside eye this scrupulous attention would seem to indicate a concern for hygiene, these actions are performed primarily to protect and retain religious purity.

In many cases, concerns for hygiene and purity overlap, as in the pervasive practice of bathing (snana) and the regulations concerning bodily cleanliness.

Both of these simultaneously remove dirt and impurity (ashaucha), but in other cases these concerns clearly diverge.

One example of this divergence is the way that household refuse is often simply put out in the street—a practice that keeps the home pure and clean, but which fosters unhygienic conditions directly outside the home.

Another example of this disjunction can be seen in the traditional use of cow dung as a purifying substance, or the way that the Ganges River is always considered pure, even in its lower reaches where it is full of sewage and industrial effluents.

These examples clearly show that purity and hygiene are very different concepts and that, from a religious perspective, purity is by far the more important of the two.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism And Hindu Theology - What Is Ashaucha?

The ritual impurity produced by contact with any source of pollution, which may take various forms, both physical and social, is referred to as Ashaucha. 

  • Purity and impurity are theological concepts that are fundamentally distinct from cleanliness and dirtiness, which are hygienic concepts. 
  • Cow dung, for example, is considered a clean material in traditional Hindu culture and is used to purify areas of land. 
  • It's also essential to understand that impurity is a normal part of life—everyone goes to the toilet every day, for example—and that being impure has no moral implications. 
  • Most body fluids are polluting, and any action that involves them, such as urine, feces, sexual activity, giving birth, or being born, makes one unclean. 
  • Contact with persons or objects considered unclean, such as individuals of lower social standing, animals, any kind of common dirt, or even road dust, may contaminate one's body. 

Social ties may also contribute to impurity. 

  • Because of the body fluids involved, the impurity from delivery (sutakashaucha) clearly affects the mother and child, but it also affects all other members of the immediate household. 
  • If a person has been exposed to anything harmful, the best treatment is to eliminate the source of pollution. 

Bathing with flowing water is the most frequent method of purification, since it eliminates less virulent pollutants by transporting them away with the water's flow. 

  • Bathing (snana) has the cleansing ability to serve as a precursor to many religious rites, one of which is meticulous cleanliness, both for the individual conducting the ritual and for the location where it is conducted. 

A body is the most polluting material of all, which is one reason why corpses are cremated on the day of death. 

  • The impurity of death (maranashaucha) is the most severe of all the impurities, and contact with a corpse has a ten-day effect on the whole family. 

Pauline Kolenda, “Purity and Pollution,” in T. N. Madan (ed. ), Religion in India, 1991, for further details.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.