Menstruation is considered to be "muci," or impure. For many brahminical families, temple worship and puja were their primary occupations. One cannot worship the Deity or perform rituals if one is unclean. The concern was that women would contaminate the offerings prepared.
Manu-smriti / Discourse V - Sources of Evil / Section IX - Other forms of Impurity
The 16 samskaras are:
1. Garbhadhana (Conception)
This samskara is performed by parents and consists of fervent prayer for a child in order to fulfil the obligation to continue the human race.
2. Punsavana (Fetus protection)
This samskara is performed during the third or fourth month of pregnancy. A priest recites Vedic hymns to invoke divine qualities ...
The reason that crows are linked to Pitris (spirits of departed ancestors) is described in this excerpt from the Uttara Kanda of the Ramayana. Once there was a Maheshwara Yagna (Shiva ritual) being conducted by Samvartta, brother of Brihaspati, on behalf of a king named Marutha. Since Brihaspati is the guru of the gods, the gods were in attendance. But ...
Why is Guru equal to Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshvara
This is because Guru is God Himself come in Human form. The Guru is the guide who knows the way to take the jiva to the top, which is re-union with God.
Sri Swami Sivananda says in 'Guru Tattva':
The Guru is God Himself manifesting in a personal form to guide the aspirant. Grace of God takes the form of ...
The Swami has every right to hold such an opinion. Ordinary Hindus also have the right to disagree with his opinion. The Swami does not have authority over Hindus.
Bhishma said in Mahabharata Santi Parva Section 132 that a man
"is said to be conversant with duty, who knows duty as depending on
all four foundations§".
§ These four ...
Hindus believe that every aspect of life is sacred. That is why each significant stage, from conception to cremation, is celebrated as a reminder that life is a gift from God which should be duly respected and lived according to His wishes. The nearest English word for samskara is sacrament, related to the phrase 'rite of passage'.
Although the number of ...
Animal sacrifice, when performed properly according to Vedas, is an exception to the general rule about not harming living beings. Here is what Adi Shankaracharya says in his commentary on the Brahma Sutras:
We proceed to refute the remark made by the pûrvapakshin that sacrificial works are unholy because involving harm done to animals ... Now from ...
The practice of separating menstruating women from the household is based in the concept of Ritual Purity & Ritual Contamination in the Vedic tradition. Ritual Purity and its understanding is a major aspect of any religious tradition. At its heart, there is a belief that humans exist in a natural state of uncleanliness, and this 'uncleanness' is not just ...
They imitate Krishna's pastimes.
The powders are supposed to be auspicious and well-scented substances like sandal, musk, turmeric, kunkuma and aguru covered with lacquer to form balls that dissipate upon impact. They are supposed to be thrown with love and create bliss in the target. This is how Krishna is playing with the gopis, but the modern imitators ...
One of the most visible external symbols of Hindu identity is the mark that many of us wear on our forehead. Origin of this practice is unclear. But, in ancient times, when the Varna system predominated, people used to apply tilaks differently that represented their Varna. Brahmins applied a white chandan mark signifying purity. Kshatriyas wore a red tilak ...
In addition to what has been answered by @cheenbabes - To quote specifically
it is still followed in 2014 when it is no longer a reason. Are there
any other, religious reasons for this?
In many sects within Hinduism, It is a command of God. Like in Swaminarayan sect, it is mentioned in the Shikshapatri Verse 174.
It's because the Sadagopuram, AKA Sadagopam or Sadari, is unique to Vishnu temples.
The Alwars (also spelled Azhwars) are a group of 12 ancient Vaishnava saints who lived in Tamil Nadu and are famous for their poetry in praise of Vishnu, which was pivotal in the development of the Sri Vaishnava sect (of which I'm a member). One of the most famous Alwars ...
The term "upa" means near and "nayanam" means leading. So Upanayam means "leading near". It's one of the 13 samskara prescribed by the Vedas.
What does the Sacred Thread signify?
The Janeu or yajñopavītam symbolizes the ability of the wearer to perform Sandhyavandanam and recite the Gayatri Mantra.
There is a variation in the thread count of yajñopavītam. ...
Changing the word order in Sanskrit does not reverse the phrase meaning. Meaning stays the same, because word relationships are indicated by inflection.
Word order gets customarily changed in Sanskrit poetry. Example:
namas te gaura vānī šrī mūrtaye dīna tārine
rūpānuga viruddhāpasiddhānta dhvānta hārine
gaurāvirbhāva bhūmes tvam nirdeštā saj ...
No. It doesn't support cow sacrifice though cow sacrifice is allowed during Yagnas.
Bibek Debroy's translation of BORI critical edition is critical edition of Mahabharta. You can read Anushasana Parva of BORI critical edition (Sanskrit) from here.
मासानष्टौ पार्षतेन रौरवेण नवैव तु | गवयस्य तु मांसेन तृप्तिः
मासानेकादश प्रीतिः ...
The same question has been asked by Yudhishthira to Bhishma in Mahabharata, Anushashana Parva, SECTION XCI.
"Yudhishthira said, 'By whom was the Sraddha first conceived and at what time? What also is its essence? During the time when the world was peopled by only the descendants of Bhrigu and Angiras; who was the muni that established the Sraddha? What ...
Nothing specific, but Manu Smriti says this:
8.299. A wife, a son, a slave, a pupil, and a (younger) brother of the full blood, who have committed faults, may be beaten with a rope or a
But, in another chapter, it also says this:
4.164. Let him, when angry, not raise a stick against another man, nor strike (anybody) except a son or a ...
There are three types of debts as of Pitris, Devas and Rishis. One can be freed from debt of Pitris by providing a son, from debt of Devas by doing sacrifices and from debt of Rishis by pupil-ship.
It is stated in Satapatha Brahma 1.7.2.
Verily, whoever exists, he, in being born, is born as (owing) a debt to the gods, to the Rishis, to the fathers, and to ...
Yes, yoga is a core part of Hinduism just like meditation is a core part of yoga. Go through any Upanishad and you will find mention of some form of meditation there. For example, consider the following:
स्वदेहमरणिं कृत्वा प्रणवं चोत्तरारणिं ।
ध्याननिर्मथनाभ्यासाद्देवं पश्येन्निगूढवत्॥ [Sve. Up. - 1.14]
Making own body the lower wood, ...
It is because of the male chauvinistic people in the society who have snatched all the religious right from the women including that of the vedic studies and vedic rituals etc.
In the recent centuries we saw that widow's suffered a lot of torture after the death of husband. At some places they were tonsured, they were kept isolated and forced not to wear ...
Yes there is. Chapter 124 (pg 30) of Volume 4 of Narada Purana mentions various vratas performed on Full Moon days. One such is Kojagiri Purnima.
Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped on this day. Lamps are lit and milk puddings are kept in the moonlight which are then offered as prasada to the deity.
A wake should be held at night enlivened with dance and songs. ...
After the initiation into the Gayatri Mantra (i.e after Upanayana), for the Dvijas, performing Sandhya becomes a Nitya Karma - which means a rite that one has to perform daily without fail.
Failure means accumulation of sins and falling from the caste etc. Benefits of performing it daily is obviously getting rid of all the sins, remaining healthy, and ...
The concept of Upanayanam is steeped in symbolism. A Brahmachari is allowed to wear a Yagnopaveeta of 3 strands, a householder 6 strands and a householder who has performed his Shastyaabdhapurti (60th birthday) is allowed to wear 9 strands. The 9 strands are also worn to signify the last 3 strands as a substitute for the Angavastram. Each 3 strands are tied ...
Tilak, a mark of Hindu Sanatan Dharma, comes from the Sanskrit word ‘til’ which means sesame seed. The sesame seed has great importance in yagnas and charity. A tilak is imprinted on a person’s forehead because it is the location through which one can channel Divinity, thus enhancing the spiritual character of an individual.
Wearing Tilak (and/or Chandalo)...
Nothing very definitive but some indications are given in the Bhavisya Purana:
Then Bali and Kalki Devi approached Narayana in the form of Vamana who
in turn enabled a Brahmana called Kama Sharma and his wife Devahuti on
the banks of Yamuna River; he blessed that this couple would give
birth to Bhoga Simha and Keli Simha. These two sons would stay ...
The book Dharma Bindu(Essence of all Dharma Shastras) quotes Daksha Prajapati,in the context of discussing "Sannyasa Dharma":
Dakshan Prajapati affirms:
Trimshatparaamstrim shadaparaan trimshacchhapara –tah paraan,
Sadyassannyasanaa deva narakaattraayete pitraan.
On account of Sanyasa of a person in a vamsha, Pitru Devatas of thirty
To add to @cheenbabes answer,
Here is why women were not allowed to perform any rituals:
Puja should be done only with Sattva dominant body and mind
During the Menstruation period, there is "Rajas" nature dominant in female body (high emotional activity).
Why is Tulsi considered Sacred
The theological explanation is,
Hindus regard it as an earthly manifestation of the goddess Tulsi, a consort of the god Vishnu. The offering of its leaves is mandatory in ritualistic worship of Vishnu and his forms like Krishna and Vithoba.
While the psychological explanation could be because of the medicinal and ...
The acarya of a particular institution will have the right to decide the matters based on scriptural injunctions. However, those who are faithful to that acarya will follow the ban and not others. Generally speaking, depending on an individual's nature and motivation he or she will worship a particular personality or energy. This topic is very ancient and ...
@KeshavSrinivasan has already given a fantastic answer on the origin of the practice, but I would like to address the purity aspect which you brought up.
Everyone can in fact receive the Sadari, but there are differences in the way it is presented. Most people who arrive at the temple in everyday clothes will receive the Sadari placed once on their head (...