When I was a 10-year-old, my parents started sending me out to do small bits of shopping. I used to stay at my ancestral home with my grandparents in those days and my aunts and uncles, along with their families, used to come for yearly visits during summer holidays.
It was during one such day that I was told to go and buy a bathing soap. I went to the shop, and as I was looking around, I saw a big white packet that looked like soap. I told the shopkeeper I want that soap. He gave me a smile and said, “That’s not soap.” Then he gave me another soap.
When I came home and told them that the shopkeeper had refused to give me a bigger soap, they asked me what it looked like. When I described it to them, they all started laughing – something I did not understand. It turned out what I had asked for was a packet of sanitary napkins for women. That was my first brush with menstruation.
I am a single child and I don’t know how my mom managed to do it but I never knew about it at home. I used to hear boys talk about it snidely in school but I was never a gossip seeker or a gossip monger. So, I was not part of any groups and did not understand what they were talking about.
I slowly started realizing that something is going on with women every month but I blissfully continued living in ignorance through my college days without knowing much about it. After I started working, a colleague who later became a good friend to me came up to me one day and complained of stomach pain and pain in her knees and legs. I was trying to take her to the doctor when she said, “Stupid, it’s the monthly thing.”
I didn’t know what to do next so I took her home to my mom and told her to take care of her. I looked so dumb on that day I decided I should better understand what all of this is about. I googled and started going through the search results. I was very good in biology in school but I did not have the heart to cut open bodies. That’s why I decided not to study medicine. What I got to read about menstruation blew my mind away.
All beings in nature have an innate tendency to become a dominant species and procreation is one way of achieving this. Nature has provided us the necessary means and intelligence for procreation as well. All animals have mating periods and that is the only time they engage with their opposite sex.
Human beings display very different behavior and attributes from other animals in nature, and the reasons for this have been explicitly mentioned in the ancient texts. In the Old Testament and other such ancient texts, the Gods said: 1) Let’s create them in our image 2) Let them rule over the land, the seas and the animals.
To fulfill this purpose, our procreation habits and organs have been created differently. For instance, unlike female animals whose ovaries can store sperms of males for a long time after mating, ovaries of human beings do not have that capability. This requires that humans mate frequently and women are required to have frequent mating periods. This is why women have cycles of ovulation and menstruation every month.
Ovulation and menstruation cycles, the design of the womb, the ability to carry a child for nine months inside the body, the natural instincts that kick in to protect and nurture the baby after it is born and most importantly, the hormonal changes associated with each aspect – nothing more complex than a woman exists on this planet. The body prepares to procreate after the egg is produced at the start of ovulation. If the fusion of egg with sperm does not happen during a certain period, the entire process of ovulation is reversed and everything that was created during ovulation is converted to waste which is pushed out of the body. To push the waste out, a liquid medium is required. This is why blood is used and we call this complex activity as menstruation.
Now we have all heard how menstruation has been used to deride women and has been used in derogatory ways to even ill treat women. The ideal time between two ovulation cycles is 28 days and that is the time it takes to complete one cycle of new moon or full moon. So a woman’s monthly cycles are linked to nature’s cycles. I have read that without the moon, there would be no tides on earth and without the moon’s influence, life would not have been possible on earth. If this is not enough to define how special a woman’s monthly cycles are, there’s more.
The cycle starts with ovulation, then the egg is created, a certain time goes by when the egg is preserved, then menstruation starts and the body is cleansed of the effects of ovulation.
Once menstruation stops, there is a period of inactivity for a few days before ovulation starts again. Compare this with the creation of the universe as per ancient Indian texts. The Brahma day starts with the creation of the universe and then the universe is maintained and preserved for the entire Brahma day. At the end of the day, the Universe is destroyed. This is followed by the Brahma night when no activity happens. Then the next Brahma day starts and the cycle continues. The monthly cycles of woman are designed exactly like that of the universe.
The exact replica of Creation (Brahma), Preservation (Vishnu) and Destruction (Shiva); the Holy Trinity exists inside every woman. Doesn’t this make the women a divine creation? This is not the only instance where designs at the micro level have been found to mirror the designs at the macro level.
Here are a few more examples.
In certain tribes in Africa, during the menstruation cycle, women are supposed to stop all their work, move away from their families and stay in huts situated a little distance away from the settlement so that they can take rest. This is not because women are treated with disrespect; rather, they are treated as special because ancient cultures understood the importance and divinity of women and their monthly cycles.