A Spiritual Perspective on Menses

– Dr. Athavale & Dr. Nandini Samant

Introduction

Menstruation is basically a physiological phenomenon unique to women. In many parts of the world, menstruation is still related to a number of myths and taboos. For example, it is believed in Afghanistan that showering during menses causes infertility. According to a cultural belief held by some sushi chefs in Japan, women cannot be sushi chefs because of menstrual cycles. They believe that menstruation causes an ‘imbalance in taste’ and therefore sushi cannot possibly be properly prepared by a woman. Menses is thought of as a disease in Iran. Traditional beliefs in Bolivia misinform young women and girls that the disposal of their menstrual pads with other garbage could lead to sickness or cancer, according to UNICEF. Such myths and taboos about menstruation present in many societies adversely impact on women’s emotional state, mentality and lifestyle.

Vedas have also advised women with menses to refrain from entering holy places, cooking, etc. However, this advice is from a spiritual perspective alone and needs to be understood in that spirit. Any distortions in the implementation of the spiritual science are man-made and need to be recognized as such. However, due to a lack of understanding of the underlying spiritual science the advice of the scriptures is vastly misunderstood and hence frowned upon by society in the present times.

This resistance happens in the case of other sciences too. For example, modern medical science advises people suffering from a contagious disease like flu (Influenza), to rest and to keep to their room to prevent infecting other family members. They are asked to cover their nose with a tissue while sneezing for the same reason. When the disease spreads rampantly in society to an epidemic level, such as the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 and Swine flu pandemic of 2009, infected people are forced to remain in isolation, away from society. All this is advised in the interests of the individual, family and society at large. It is not discriminatory to the person suffering from flu. We understand this because we are well aware of the science behind the restrictions. However, if an uneducated person from a tribal area traveling to a city suffered from flu and was advised to keep away from others, he could well feel ostracized. What would we think if he refused to believe the science and demanded to be shown the influenza virus! We understand that it would be in his best interests to believe those learned in that area, namely, the doctors. Similarly, Vedas are the authority in Spirituality. In this article we have explained the spiritual science underlying what the Sanatan Dharma says in the Vedas about menses and corroborated by research using modern scientific equipment. This is solely from the perspective of creating awareness in society about the spiritual aspects of menses.

Here, we will understand the basic principles of Sanatan Dharma and What happens at the subtle level during menstruation ?

Later (in upcoming article ) we will discuss the following topics –

A. Why is menarche celebrated ?

B. How can women by avoiding cooking or touching food during menses benefit themselves and society ?

C. How can women refraining from spiritual activities such as pooja or entering a temple during menses benefit themselves and society ?

D. Understand the underlying spiritual science and benefit from the advice of scriptures

Basic principles of Sanatan Dharma

To understand how Sanatan Dharma looks upon menstruation, let us get acquainted with some of its basic principles relevant to our topic.

A. Sanatan Dharma looks upon life as a continuum of births till the jīva (Embodied Soul) attains Mokṣa (Final Liberation or God-realisation). All efforts during one’s lifetime are looked upon from the perspective of ultimately moving towards Mokṣa.

B. Spiritual purity (Sattva subtle component) is looked upon as the foundation of any success or achievement. Subtle is that which is beyond the perception of the five senses, mind and intellect. Bhagawan Shrikrushna speaks of the 3 subtle basic components of the universe, namely Sattva, Raja and Tama

सत्त्वं रजस्तम इति गुणा: प्रकृतिसम्भवा: |

निबध्नन्ति महाबाहो देहे देहिनमव्ययम् ||

(Śrimad Bhagawadgīta Chapter 14, Verse 5)

Sattva is the component that represents spiritual purity, equanimity and knowledge. Raja represents action, excitement and passion, while Tama represents ignorance and inertia. Each person is made up of a proportion of these three subtle components. Depending on which subtle component is predominant in a person, he or she would be either Sattva-predominant (Sāttvik), Rājasik or Tāmasik. His or her value system, attitude and behaviour will be aligned accordingly. That is why, Sanatan Dharma advises spiritualisation of all aspects of life. Spiritualisation means making every aspect of our life such as our home and premises, bath, dress, diet, jewellery, music, dance, office work sāttvik and enriched with Divine consciousness (Chaitanya). This way our day to day efforts in life lead us to eternal bliss (God-realisation).

What happens at the subtle level during menstruation ?

According to Scriptures

The Scriptures refer to a menstruating woman as ‘Rajaswala’. This is because during menses the Raja subtle component in her is increased. The increased Raja is in anticipation of conception to nourish the baby. When fertilization of ovum and consequently conception does not take place, the excess of Raja is excreted from the body in the form of menstruation.

According to Ayurveda

As per Ayurveda, during menses the Apāna Vāyu is activated in the woman. ‘Prāṇa’ is the subtle vital energy which drives the various actions at the level of the various koṣas. There are 5 Prāṇas, each with a specific action. Activation of the Apāna Vāyu causes movement in the downward direction to facilitate the excretion of uterine tissue and also body toxins (Aām). The high Raja subtle component in the woman during menses causes an imbalance of the 5 Prāṇas.

Subtle picture of a woman during menses

The true measure and analysis of what happens in the subtle dimension can only be through the medium of the sixth sense. At the Maharshi Adhyatma Vishwavidyalay (Maharshi Spiritual University), we have seekers in our spiritual research team who can actually perceive subtle vibrations emitted by an object or individual. After studying these vibrations they sketch them on paper. We call these sketches ‘Subtle pictures’. They serve as spiritual x-rays and provide clarity about the true nature of the object or individual. The readings are then confirmed or corrected by H.H. (Dr.) Athavale to get the accurate values. The following subtle picture of a woman during menses gives us an idea of what happens during menstruation in the subtle dimension.

The above subtle picture shows how there is emission of Raja-Tama subtle vibrations from a woman during menses. As a result the environment gets charged with the distressing Raja-Tama vibrations.

Universal Aura Scanner study of a woman during menses

The Universal Aura Scanner (UAS) is a scientific instrument that has been invented by Dr. Mannem Murthy, a former nuclear scientist from India. We have used this instrument extensively since 2014 and have recorded more than 10,000 readings in various experiments. It is our experience that it gives accurate readings. We have presented scientific papers based on these studies since October, 2016 in 15 National and 48 International Scientific Conferences. For more details about experiments done using UAS please refer to http://www.ssrf.org/. For more information on the instrument and its usage, please refer to http://www.vedicauraenergy.com/universal-scanner/

Please note that an average object or person can have negative energy, but it is not necessary that the positive energy be present. The negative energy readings are of 2 types and are denoted by ‘IR’ (Infrared) and ‘UV’ (Ultraviolet). IR denotes a lesser form of negative vibrations, while UV denotes a more intense form of negative vibrations. The total measured aura (TMA) is a measure of the object’s or person’s negative energy, positive energy in addition to other miscellaneous components. The TMA of an average object or person is 1 meter. When the TMA of a negativity emitting person or object (which does not have any positive energy) is high, this high TMA is a reflection of its high negativity.

We used the UAS to measure the positive and negative subtle energies and the total measured aura around a woman during menses, after chanting for 15 minutes after this reading and after her 5th and 7th day head bath. This pilot study was conducted on 1 subject only.

From the above table it is apparent that during menses high proportion of both types of negative energy with complete absence of positive energy was found in this subject.

Negativity eliminating influence of chanting

We can also see that after 15 minutes of chanting ‘ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय।’ both the types of subtle negative energies in the subject were completely wiped off. Besides, positive energy was also found in her. This shows that if a woman, though high in Raja during menses, does chanting as much as possible along with her regular activities, the negative influence of menses at the spiritual level can be reduced.

The table also shows that on the 5th day of menstruation, after the subject had taken the head bath as prescribed by Scriptures, her IR negative energy reduced by nearly 40 percent, while the more intense UV negative energy disappeared entirely and positive energy was found in her. This subtle IR negative energy further reduces or disappears in the following days with an increase in positive energy as is apparent from the last column in the table.

(….to be continued)

 Dr. Athavale M.B.B.S., Clinical Hypnotherapist & Dr. Nandini Samant M.B.B.S., D.P.M. (Consulting Psychiatrist), Maharshi Adhyatma Vishwavidyalay

Subtle Effects of Music

– Dr. Jayant Balaji Athavale & Mr. Sean Clarke

Music can affect us at the physical, psychological and the spiritual levels. Physical and psychological impacts of music such as changing our heart rate or our mood are more well known, but the spiritual impacts are not known to the majority of people. The reason for this spiritual impact is because everything consists of the three subtle basic components of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.

Music too is made up of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Some types of music and dance are more Sāttvika and some are more Rājasika and Tāmasika. One’s choices in music and dance can increase Sattva or Raja–Tama in one’s life and in the environment thereby affecting one’s spiritual progress. It follows that if one listens to music that is higher in one of the components, it is likely to increase that component in us. Using a Universal Thermo Scanner (UTS), the Maharshi University of Spirituality conducted an experiment to find out how different types of music affect one’s consciousness.

1. Setup of the experiment

1.1 About the Universal Thermo Scanner

This instrument is used to measure the energy and the aura around any object (living or non-living). It has been developed by Dr. Mannem Murthy, a former nuclear scientist from Hyderabad, India in the year 2003. It can measure distressing vibrations along with positive vibrations emitted from an object. It is also able to measure the extent of the aura of the object into the surrounding area. When taking a measurement, the 2 arms of the scanner open out and the reading is taken based on how much the arms opened out in degrees. Only when the arms open out to 180° can the aura in relation to that aspect be measured.

Universal Thermo Scanner
For more information refer to: http://www.vedicauraenergy.com/universal-scanner/

1.2 Methodology

Four clips of music were selected for the experiment

1. A music track by a popular heavy metal band

2. A compilation of sounds by Marconi Union called Weightless

3. Indian classical music performed by Pandit Bhimsen Joshi

4. Holy songs sung by a Saint of the highest level – His Holiness Bhaktaraj Maharaj

Please refer to the following link to listen to the clips – https://www.spiritual.university/spiritual-research/experiments/subtle-effects-of-music-using-universal-thermo-scanner/

1.3 Steps in the experiment

  • One individual from the Maharshi University of Spirituality took part in the experiment.
  • A baseline reading was taken of the subject using the UT scanner before the experiment.
  • The subject listened to the first clip for 5 minutes and thereafter a reading was taken of him with the UT scanner.
  • Then the subject was left alone for 20 minutes before listening to the next track. This was so that the subject’s aura would return to the original baseline reading before commencing listening to the next track.
  • Similarly, the subject listened to the second, third and fourth clips for 5 minutes each with a 20-minute break in between listening to each clip. A reading was taken of the subject using the UT scanner before (baseline reading) and right after (impact) listening to each clip.

2. Observations

The UTS instrument allows one to measure four types of energies emitted by a subject: infrared, ultra-violet, positive and total measured aura. Infrared and ultra-violet readings are considered as reading of a negative nature by the scanner. Also, only if both the arms of the scanner open out to a full 180 degrees can the distance of the aura of that aspect be measured. If the arms of the scanner open to less than 180 degrees, then it means that there is no aura in relation to that aspect.

Observations of the subtle effects of listening to each type of music are listed below –

3. Analysis and Conclusions

Based on the observations, listening to heavy metal had a spiritually harmful effect. Incidentally, in a separate study, lab rats who listened to a music track from the same band showed impaired learning ability and they turned aggressive and cannibalistic (Wertz, 1998) as compared to a control group.

The impact of listening to the clip of relaxing music was spiritually neutral. Interestingly, scientists have recently stated that this clip is the most relaxing piece of music ever (Forbes, 2016), so relaxation does not necessarily equate to spiritual benefit.

The artist singing the clip of Indian classical music is Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, who is one of the most celebrated artists in Indian classical music. Listening to this music did have a spiritually positive effect on the subject. More research needs to be done to determine if this positive effect was due to the extensive training of the artist, due to the genre of the music, vocals, instruments or a combination of these factors.

The subject benefited the most spiritually by listening to the song sung by a Saint. The benefit was far greater than that from listening to the clip of Indian classical music. This was despite the fact that the Saint had not received any formal training. Generally, an artist with more training is held in higher esteem, but this experiment indicates that conventional musical training may not be the main factor in determining the spiritual positivity of the music sung.

4. Spiritual science underlying the effect of each of the music clip on the subject

4A. An orchestra lacking in the Sattva subtle component produces music that is spiritually harmful :

If the various aspects of a musical composition such as its objective, music composer, the composition, instruments used, presentation, etc are lacking in spiritual purity, then the music created becomes spiritually harmful. This is the reason why ‘Heavy metal’ music was found to be spiritually harmful.

4B. Due to its foundation of Spirituality, Indian classical music is spiritually beneficial, whereas due to lack of a foundation of Spirituality, even the world’s most relaxing music is not spiritually beneficial :

Music is a medium of God-realisation. Indian classical music has a strong foundation of Spirituality. That is why, it has the capacity to create spiritually pure vibrations. The higher the spiritual level of the composer, the higher the proportion of spiritually pure vibrations emitting from his music. Such music is spiritually beneficial to the audience. (Mrs.) Anjali Gadgil (Sangeet Visharad)

4C. Reasons why devotional song (Bhajan) sung by His Holiness Bhaktaraj Maharaj is spiritually beneficial:

4C 1. Blessings of His Guru : His Holiness Bhaktaraj Maharaj wrote and sang bhajans as His spiritual practice (Sadhana) as per the instructions of His Guru. That is why, His compositions have the blessing of His Guru.

4C 2. High spiritual level of the singer : There is Divine consciousness (Chaitanya) in the speech of a person with high spiritual level.

4C 3. Lack of ego : His Holiness Bhaktaraj Maharaj always said that ‘His Guru got the bhajans written and sung by him’. Thus, He did not have any ego about His poetry and singing. That is why, His bhajans are enriched with Chaitanya.

4C 4. The topic of the bhajan being spiritually pure : All the bhajans by His Holiness Bhaktaraj Maharaj are on various aspects of spiritual practice and spiritual experiences in a seeker’s journey. Thus, the topic of the bhajan is spiritually pure (Sāttvika).

4C 5. Origin of the word and sound being one and the same : The poet writes the song. Then the music composer composes suitable music or the poet strings words as per the given music. For poetry and music to emerge together is very rare indeed. However, in the case of bhajans by His Holiness Bhaktaraj Maharaj, the words and the music have always emerged from the same divine source. That it why, there is lot of Chaitanya in the bhajans.

– Dr. Jayant Balaji Athavale, Founder, Maharshi Adhyatma Vishwavidyalaya, & Mr. Sean Clarke, Spiritual Research Team Member, Maharshi Adhyatma Vishwavidyalaya, Goa