Examining the Adharmic ideas powering the Sabarimala Narratives : #Feminism #Hinduphobia

Ojasvi Mishra.

Author Note : I discuss the perils of accepting feminism as an unquestionable and unaccountable ‘wave’ that shall represent women. Our acceptance and ignorance showcases the fundamental lack of understanding of the importance and root of equality and justice. Egalitarianism carried out in any name must be one that provides platforms for voicing our opinions not becoming the voice of people, it is the most hurtful forms of contempt and condescension. Feminism (in India) of today, inspired, rather replicated from the West is constantly questioning Santana Dharma, by virtue of barricading any form of discussion that defends it, this so called phenomenon is misrepresentative, non-inclusive and Hinduphobic but more tragically anti-logic. A classic example of the culmination of these contemporary adversities is the Sabarimala Case, a relentless battle fought by Hindu Women of Kerala against Feminism that refuses to present a platform to these women.

The case of Sabarimala unravels contemporary feminism and its duplicity as well as its hypocrisy. One of the major issues with the discourse of feminism is the fact that it is always spoken in the global sense. As much as the demolition of Cartesian Absolutism is necessary for intellectual dialogue it is paramount to break concepts down in indigenous forms and shapes. This is an effort to exhibit the distortions and contorts of feminism in the current times and that it is blot on its glorious legacy. Another issue is normalcy and institutionalized pseudo-feminism.

However, prior to delving into judicial, religious and spiritual facets of Sabarimala, let us establish a couple of things as following

1.’Brahmacharya’ ≠ Just Celibacy: It is a vow of giving up civilisational obligations and pursuing knowledge and ‘satya’ (ultimate truth) of life. It is process of spiritual progress where the human seed (i.e. sperm in the man and ovum in the woman) or ‘moolaadharam’ is converted into something advanced yet subtler; something ‘Ojasvi’ (powerful). In order to do so, there is a requirement of containing this ‘mooladharam’. Hence , the celibacy. ‘Brahmacharya’ is the culmination of ‘sadhna’ and ‘naistik kaumarya’(disciplined pursuit and life-long virginity).

2. ‘Sanatana Dharma is not sexist’– Possibly the most common misconception. Sanatana as a way of life that talks about sustainability which is inevitably diverse. The Bhagawata Gita says (paraphrased and translated) we shall at least acknowledge the differences and diversity we are exposed to in the minuscule part of the cosmos as there are way more unfathomable diversities we are unbeknownst to. There are many examples, I could enlist rituals and stories however, since here we speak of temples let’s limit our purview to it.

• The Bhagavathy Mandir, Chengannur is where Maa Parvati post-marriage settled with Shankar. It is a place where ‘Maiyya’ (mother goddess) is said to have attained puberty and so this temple closes down for men on those days when the Goddess is said to menstruate. In these days, only women enter, pray, celebrate menses and clean the goddess post-menstruation. A similar story is behind Maa Kamakhya Mandir, Assam.

• The Attukal Bhagavathy Mandir,Kerala is entered in Guinness World Record for largest gathering of women for a religious activity.

• There are various temples as accounted by me in a talk by transgender activist Gopi Shanker, who names the ‘Koovagam Festival’ in Koothadavar temple strictly for transgender population . It celebrates marriage of Arjuna’s Son Iravan to Lord Krishna incarnated as Mohini. It is Asia’s largest Transgender congregation and in my opinion the source of inception of “The Pride Parade”.

• The Jogappa Community which prays to the deity Yellamma is a transgender community of people with their own Renuka Yellamma Temple, Belgaon.

• The temple of Mannarshalla, Kerala has only women priests employed as a matter of tradition.

3. The case of age-restricted characteristics of the temple have been spoken of many times. It was vandalized, attacked and burnt by self-proclaimed women activists on 16th June,1950. A petition regarding the same entry rule was filed in the Division Bench of Kerala HC and a strenuous account was made in 1991. The society of Hindus and Kerala women have righteously been the saviours of this legacy. The case filed in 2016 wasn’t the very first. The incessant judicial verdicts should have been respected. In due course, we shall realize that this ‘Wave of Feminism’ was a reflection of submissiveness, populist supremacy and the intellectual bankruptcy of the masses. The Hindus had the chance of only on-ground protection as institutions, news channels all shut their doors and painted them as regressive and blind believers. As of 2016, thanks to the current government the intellectual platform for debate has been opened to Hindus as well.
4. The case details on 2016 that we must know are (source:https://www.sci.gov.in ) :

Petitioner – Kantaru Rajeevaru (head priest of Sabrimala Temple, The Tantri) VS. Respondent – Indian Young Lawyer’s Association and Ors. {Bhakti Pasrija(General Secy), Prerna Kumari,Laxmi Shastiri, Sudha Pal and Alka Sharma} • The 5-Judge Bench : CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Rohinton Nariman, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Indu Malhotra. (Judgement 4:1, in the favour of women entry, Justice Malhotra sole dissenting judge)

Ojasvi M. speaks to Divya N. about her article

Origins of the Sabarimala Temple

1. The Sabarimala temple at first was a temple for the deity Shasta (the offspring of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu incarnated as MOHINI). This is written in the ‘Skanda Purana’, here it would be apt to add that the Skanda Purana says –दशपुत्रसमा कन्या दशपुत्रान्प्रवर्द्धयन्।
यत्फलं लभते मर्त्यस्तल्लभ्यं कन्ययैकया॥ २३.४६ ॥

( एक पुत्री दस पुत्रों के समान है। कोई व्यक्ति दस पुत्रों के लालन-पालन से जो फल प्राप्त करता है वही फल केवल एक कन्या के पालन-पोषण से प्राप्त हो जाता है।) -“One daughter is equal to 10 sons. Whatever phala (fruit/gain) one gets from ten sons, same will be obtained by one daughter alone.) This effectively demolishes the sexist label.

In the ‘Brahma Purana’ it is said that Lord Ayappan is the avatar of Shasta. This temple in the time of Ayappan was renovated or to an extent remade by the king of the Pandalam Dynasty Raja Rajashekhara who was the adopted father of Ayappan erstwhile known as the Yuvaraj of Kollam- Manikanta. It is said the King was instructed to construct a shrine after Manikanta’s divine powers were revealed. He told the King that this was the place he vows upon ‘Naistika Bhramacharya’ (complete oblivion from societal life of sorts).
He himself asked the King to not allow the coming of the women in the menstrual age group. Hence ,the tradition.

2. The architectural attributes of the temple like others follow guidelines of the Chakra Sciences, Tantrashastra and Agamashastra. Like the Vastu Purusha Mandala is faced North-East to South-West the placements of parts of temples are according to our spiritual chakras. The spiritual progression ascents from SW to NE in the order
Moolaadhar –> Swadhistana –> Manipura –> Anahata –> Vishuddha –> Ajna –> Sahasrara. The construction of this temple follows these fundamental architectural features however the geographical terrain is pernicious to woman’s health (as we will see).

• The plot of the temple is diagonally traversed akin the earth axis model. The southwest part is the feet of the Vastu Purusha and is close to the Moolaadharam, this region is the entrance of the temple and the load bearing region. It signifies warmth much like the earth wherein according to the atomospheric cycles the south-west has more heat. The swadhisthana is the region of the flag post whereas the Manipura Chakra is left unoccupied as it is believed this is the region where the Vastu Purusha breathes ;this region is called Rangamantapa. The Anahata Chakra is near the heart and lungs , thus required to be airy. Visuddha Region is the throat area wherein the ‘ॐ’ chanting happens and is usually the region where devotees assemble further, the direction of Ajna and Sahasrara is North-East as the head should be cooler similar to the atmospheric earth principles.

• As accounted in Sinu Joseph’s Book ‘Woman and Sabarimala’ the chakras evoke each of the endocrine glands. In Sabarimala after a ‘vratta’ or a fast of 41 days and climbing 18 hills at entering one finds themselves in an architectural arrangement of dissolution (a Mokshadhama) whereas a woman of the menstrual age is in the phase of creation , the conflict of both will naturally cause problems , here the pituitary glands activates itself and triggers luteinizing hormone (LH) which causes secretion of testosterone which causes prolongation of follicular phase and non-lactational amenorrhea, early menopause and anovulation and PCOS/PCOD. She goes on further elucidating that there are several scientific researches which proves that women at higher altitude have poor fertility rates due to luteal dysfunction (‘MALA’ in Malayalam means hill and Sabarimala is on a hill, Mt. Athos in Greece and Mt.Omine in Japan have the similar explanation).

Hence, abolishment of age related restriction is a violation of a woman’s Right to Health as per Article 25.

Article 25 : Right to Freedom of Religion

25. (1) Subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of this Part, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion (https://www.india.gov.in)

Judicial and other aspects
1. There is enough scientific evidence that proves the detrimental effects of the geographical location of the temple on women’s gynecological health, thereby, violating Article 25-28. It is against the protection of the right of a woman to health.

2. The entry of the temple shall not be barred for people on the basis of caste, creed and class, thereby gender basis of exclusivity is legally implementable. Hence, comparing this case with untouchability under article 17 is a symptom of intellectual jaundice.

3. It proves the intellectual bankruptcy as well as pre-meditated propaganda when there is an effort to equate triple talaq and the Sabrimala Case as they are different on several grounds. One is an issue of personal laws while the other is regarding access to a place.

4. As pointed by Lawyer Advocate J Sai Deepak Iyer, the temples are not private properties and certainly not a public property. Hence, it is unconstitutional if one’s constitutional right subject to other’s rights is not considered.

5. There is no concept of declaration of period blood in Hinduism as impure. Infact it is one of the most celebrated processes.

6. It would be foolish to think that Sabarimala case can have a parallel drawn with Untouchability but there is a difference as highlighted by the aforementioned Advocate. The issues of Untouchability and Sati etc. were abolished by legislative action where people decided the anachronistic practice was deleterious as well as an anathema.

7.The entrance of REHANA FATHIMA AND BINDU AMMINI is unprecedented , propagandist and the fact that they carried a Sanitary Napkin in the premises is adding to the pretext. These are the women we shall be wary of.

Pseudo Feminism
• Women that belong to the Muslim Community are helped by the State Government. If it was truly a feminist move we would not have been expected to understand how Rehana cooks Beef on YouTube but prays to a Naistik Brahmachari. We wouldn’t be forced to understand why the Masjids are not being questioned but the Temple is.

• Women who run organization in the name of female emancipation like Trupti Desai, who are anti-Shastra, anti-Logic are creating unnecessary modern problems for women today.

• First we were represented by men, now we’re represented by women. We don’t want anyone to represent us, we have a voice, a mind, a cause all you need to is uplift us and give us the platform.

The aggressive ‘standing up for women’ is not needed. Especially,where the women of Kerala, the true Ayappan devotees unlike the agenda ridden FemiNazis who flew from Delhi, were not given a voice.

There was a major problem with way the court proceeded as well. There were no people , religious experts that were consulted. The judge bench itself did not have a Malayali. A Woman’s issue taken lightly is a problem.

The singular stakeholder among the Judge bench Justice Indu Malhotra voted against the adulteration and interference with the ages-old practices of us Hindus. She said it is in no way pernicious to women.

A pluralistic society and secular polity would reflect that the followers of various sects have the freedom to practise their faith in accordance with the tenets of their religion. It is irrelevant whether the practice is rational or logical. Notions of rationality cannot be invoked in matters of religion by courts,” Justice Malhotra

This issue reflects the deeply internalized , structural flaws in India’s polity. Hinduphobia, Pseudo-Feminism , Vote-Bank Politics (exemplified by the State Govt, MP Tharoor’s vacillating stands) , Vendetta ridden pop movements, total disrespect for Hindu symbols, lived Hindu history , lived Hindu culture , lack of any dharmic intellectual engagement by the so-called pillars of Democracy

• If we truly are feminists the discourse needs to move ahead and we shall ask why was just one woman in the judge bench? Do you know why? Because there is only one Lady- Judge in the entirety of Supreme Court. That is a feminist concern.

Maybe we need to move past cosmetic feminism , plastic feminism,fake feminism, pseudo feminism. Our discourse is required to be intelligent and relevant. We need progress from baseless questions regarding Hinduism-it is the oldest evidence of egalitarianism. Moreover, we need to move past discussing YouTube Vs. TikTok, and start discussing real issues that affect our history, our learning, our ideologies, our principles and contribute towards solid nation and narrative building.


Never Let Your Identity be a Punching Bag for the Self-proclaimed Intellectual Pugilists

Ojasvi Mishra
Ojasvi Mishra

16 thoughts on “Examining the Adharmic ideas powering the Sabarimala Narratives : #Feminism #Hinduphobia”

  1. Ojasvi your article has enlightened me. What a wonderful research you have done. More people should read this. So proud of you.

  2. Satendu Mahajan

    I am yet to come across an article which is so well researched , pins down the crux of the matter in brief and written with fluency , which is treat to read for any reader.
    Compliments to Ojasvi for providing an insight into the issue .

  3. What an amazing discovery this girl is. Read the article and saw her interview- couldn’t help but get impressed both by her writing as well as oratory. Though I may not agree entirely with what she has written but the research, flow of thought and conviction of arguments is commendable. In her brief interview she comes across as a knowledgeable and supremely confident girl who knows what she is talking about. It’s a complex topic by any yardstick and to address it in this fashion is nothing short of remarkable. She’s indeed a revelation and may God bless her with a bright future.

  4. Amazing Research! Glad to have another IK standing up for what’s right! A point that I’d like to make, is, the women who would like to visit Swamy Ayyapa can visit Him in the temples where he isn’t observed to be practicing Brahmacharya (There are many, Mulamkunnathukavu, Panamukkumpilli etc. ). Sabrimala mandir is one such mandir where he is a Brahmachari, and women of Kerala, rather women who follow Dharma, will never go there and risk breaking the rules.
    Best of luck!

  5. Absolutely wonderful Ojaswi..great research work ..after a long time read about something which has gone into the root cause so beautifully.. well done😘👍

  6. Absolutely wonderful Ojaswi..great research..after a long time read something which has gone into the root cause so beautifully..well done keep up the good work

  7. Gaurav Tripathi

    Really well presented. Excellent research and examples while relating with present world scenario.
    Keep up the good work💯

  8. This is a well-researched article and I appreciate your efforts in researching a lot about the issue. But I disagree with your premises and the stance that women should not enter the shrine.

    Point 1: ” ‘Brahmacharya’ is the culmination of ‘sadhna’ and ‘naistik kaumarya’(disciplined pursuit and life-long virginity).” And how is it exactly related to women visiting a Brahmacharya. To a person who is undertaking intense sadhana, do you think gender matters. THe ultimate aim of Advaita is to let go of all identity, be it caste, family, gender, wealth, etc. A enlightened person is not going to differentiate between male and female.

    Point 2: “The Attukal Bhagavathy Mandir,Kerala is entered in Guinness World Record for largest gathering of women for a religious activity.” . Per se, there is no legal prohibitions on men keeping pongal. Ofcourse, people will troll him and look at him strangely, but again I repeat, there is no legal requirement that only women shall celebrate Attukal pongala.

    Point 3: “The temple of Mannarshalla, Kerala has only women priests employed as a matter of tradition.” – No, you are confusing between Mannarshala Amma and general priest. THe day to day rituals are mostly supervised by men only, the Mannarshala Amma is more of a Amritanandamayi figure who blesses anyone who visits her at the temple. Yes, she does take part in the rituals, but there are male priests too.

    Point 4: “It was vandalized, attacked and burnt by self-proclaimed women activists on 16th June,1950.” No it was Christian planters who did it.

    Point 5 : “• Petitioner – Kantaru Rajeevaru (head priest of Sabrimala Temple, The Tantri) VS. Respondent – Indian Young Lawyer’s Association and Ors. {Bhakti Pasrija(General Secy), “. Speaking of Kantaru Rajeevaru, you should him why his family used to regularly let in women in the past(before 2010 especially)

    Point 6: “He himself asked the King to not allow the coming of the women in the menstrual age group. Hence ,the tradition.” Proof for this claim?? Kerala Medival history is very well documented. Let the Pandalam palace provide historical reference for this claim.

    Point 7: “She goes on further elucidating that there are several scientific researches which proves that women at higher altitude have poor fertility rates due to luteal dysfunction”. Then how is it safe for 8-10 year olds?

    Point 8: “Hence, abolishment of age related restriction is a violation of a woman’s Right to Health as per Article 25.” Not exactly, eating sugar/fried foods too causes harm. Does that mean people shall have no rights even to consume fried snacks?

    Point 9: “There is no concept of declaration of period blood in Hinduism as impure. Infact it is one of the most celebrated processes.”. Not exactly. The manual “Tantrasamuchayam” followed in Kerala temples explicity explains how any(not just period) blood is impurity and the rituals to be followed if any blood is spilled inside the temple. Thus arose the custom of women not visiting the temple during periods. So, yes, women are “impure” during periods according to shastras, but so are men who have received a blood injury.

    Point 10: “The entrance of REHANA FATHIMA AND BINDU AMMINI is unprecedented , propagandist and the fact that they carried a Sanitary Napkin in the premises is adding to the pretext.”. I agree, they were attention seeking whores, but why did the devotees attack genuine 40 year old who had her uterus removal surgery done. Many devout women came, but when people threatened them, they went away. This is what happens when you turn genuine devoteees away. You open the door to women of disrepute.

    Point 11: “Notions of rationality cannot be invoked in matters of religion by courts”. Okay, here comes my counter-arguments. Notions of rationality cannot be invoked, but the right to visit a temple is a fundamental right. Who are you to judge I am not “qualified enough” to visit a temple. There is difference between visitation rights and ritualism. For example, some Kerala have a dress code for both men/women that they shall not wear jeans. Now, this may sound irrational, but the point is if I still have access to the temple as long as I followed their rules, but here I have no rights at all.

    I am asking you certain questions. Answer me if you wish to.

    1) Do you know the famous Vivekananda Rock was once prohibited for menfolk as it was said to be inhabited by a female spirits. It was Vivekananda who challenged it to expose the supersitions of the Hindu people. I guess, in present times, he would be called an “Activist”

    2) Do you know it is actually Malayali Tribals who believe womenfolk shall not visit their holy hills. have you heard of Agastyamala where women were denied entry and finally police had to intervene. Do you know Sabarimala was predominantly controlled by tribals before 1900s when finally roads were laid? Do you know Hinduism as practised in kerala practised in Kerala imposes no restrictions on women visitation and even men/women stand in the same line/queue?

    3)Do you know entry to women is fully allowed in Achenkovil and Aryankaavu, other 2 “original temples” of Aiyappa? If there, why not here?

    4) You talk of 41 day pilgrimage. Do you understand not everyone follows this rule and people trim the rule? For example, I kept a vrat for only 7 days. But no man stopped me from visiting the shrine. What is your objection if a woman keeps a fast for 7 days(in between her periods) and visit the temple just like 80% men do?

    5)Are you aware that the 41 day rule is applicable only for people who wish to climb the 18ampadi. THere is an alternate way for people who have not kept any vrat. And women were allowed in this area before 1991. Nobody objected to it. What is your objection to the pre-1991 system?

    6) Are you aware not everyone have their first periods by 10 and not everyone has to wait for menopause till 50? My mother had her uterus removed by 45, yet she was denied entry by these self-righteous fools. Who the hell are you to judge my mother’s eligiblity and devotion. Even by “oral traditions”, she is eligible, yet how can the law arbitrarily curtail her rights?

    I appreciate your in-depth research, but you have lesser idea of local customs here. Sabarimala movement is a black movement and it resembles pro-blasphemy protests of Pakistan. Sad, so-called leaders of Hinduism wishes to encourage culture of superstition in the community.

    1. 1. Pls understand the context before Agressively typing away to glory. Many news channels have aired Brahmachari as Celibate, this was a fact against that misrepresentation. Prabhu Kesarinandan is also a Brahmachari but all genders are allowed even in his Janma sthaan temple.

      2. Where have I mentioned that women are not allowed in the Attukal temple?
      Yet again argument for sake of it.

      3. The Mannarshala fact is derived from the interview of Swami Chidanadapuri , Faculty Calicut University, Kerala.
      Think before questioning the bright mind.

      4. Don’t rearrange the respondent and the petitioner, it has been stated correctly. The source is attached next to it which is a governmental pdf file.

      5. The 1950 incident is celebrated as the initiation of the Wave of Feminism by left. The feminazis were an active part of the torching.

      6. What ever wrong the Tantri’s family, the staff or the devoutees have done is extraneous to the subject.

      7. Why don’t you prove that king of Pandalam Dynasty hasn’t said it.

      8. I have called Bindu Ammini and Rehana Fathima, women to be wary of and propagandists. Your inelegant words of agreement I wish to not associate myself with.

      9. 8-10 years old girls widely do not attain menarche.

      10 . No where, I repeat nowhere are there texts from any School of Hindu practice which classify ANYBODY as impure.

      I have worked very hard on the content and have produced facts from the most reliable sources. The editorial team of IK has spent weeks on verification. Your finality has no value especially when you diminish your credibility by ludicrous arguments, extraneous rebuttals as well as questionable words.
      Do not dimiss other people’s hard work. Why don’t you write an article and publish it somewhere and visibily show the readership your sources.

      In the end I just hope you find help and peace ,so you don’t vomit your negativity here and hamper the sanctity of the temple, this website and the article.

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