Experiences of those surrendered, living at the center?

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Pink Panther

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Re: Experiences of those surrendered, living at the center?

Post05 Jul 2019

Thanks for the insights from the powder room! These are the small details of examples from the every day BK morality and values that reveal the superstitious and ignorant foundations of the BK culture.

Do what we tell you and become be self-realised!
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ex-l

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Re: Experiences of those surrendered, living at the center?

Post05 Jul 2019

Mann wrote:During periods, one was not allowed to offer Bhog ... I offered Bhog especially when I had my periods :). I don't think 'Baba' got angry at me.

I can imagine Lekhraj Kirpalani was blushing a little ...

Accepted things used to be much more orthodox and disciplined. You decide whether that was better or worse.

I wonder where and how all the rituals descended from? I will be honest, it is one part of Sindhi culture I know nothing about. In Nepal, a country the BKs had a special affection for as it was the last monarchy or something and therefore consider pure and where Mama Om Radhe would take rebirth, there is a problem of women, young and old, dying when they are sent to the traditional "menstruating huts" for the duration of their period. The new democratic government has tried to ban it, but the habit still carries on.

In North India today there are still, "institutes for ideal wives", or Manju Sanskar Kendra, teaching traditional Hindu views about all this sort of stuff, taken from scriptire or the guru. Relating to menstruation:
Papads will turn red and taste foul if a menstruating woman looks at them.
Plants, flowers will wilt if a menstruating woman so much as glances at them.
Keep evidence of menstruation out of sight of men, otherwise they’ll turn blind.
Do not speak to evil persons, menstruating women while pregnant, or else your son will be born a monster.

In all fairness, similar superstitions also existed in the West.

I remember Thursday was hair washing morning and the Sister would wear their hair down and wet until it dried. I think this was playing out some BK ritual going back to Mama's day. Either hairdryers were not sattvic, or too body conscious, or simple not invented yet for the BKs?

Was there ever any explanation of *why* they did their stuff, or was it all just "take it for granted and do as you are told ... conform, do not question?".

Could they come up with a plausible sounding spiritual explanation for it all?

It's funny because many of the early Western BK women would have considered themselves to be feminists ... and yet, somehow, they found themselves willingly subjecting themselves to what are likely patriarchal distastes.

Was there ever a simple, practical reason for it, eg before the invention of adequate sanitary equipment?
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Pink Panther

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Re: Experiences of those surrendered, living at the center?

Post05 Jul 2019

It is still the case that menstruating Christian women are not allowed to take communion, or not supposed to. I don't know if that is church dogma or a cultural practice/ tradition.
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ex-l

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Re: Experiences of those surrendered, living at the center?

Post05 Jul 2019

There are a few non-BK papers about the topic. What comes up a lot is how even talking about menstruation is a taboo, eg Menstruation related myths in India: strategies for combating it, Suneela Garg and Tanu Anand. J Family Med Prim Care (2015), and

Exploration of the foundation of menstrual taboos along the lines of culture and religion and its implications on the development of women.

There are even superstitious beliefs that lead to women resist using sanitary napkin because they are difficult to dispose them off, "afraid it might fall into the hands of someone who can use Jadu tona (black magic) against them". It appears to have become quite a social issue among some NGOs and there was a big political campaign based around a big temple that forbad women to enter it.

Is this an area that the BKs are active in?
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GuptaRati 6666

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Re: Experiences of those surrendered, living at the center?

Post07 Jul 2019

I do recall Sudesh, forbidding an prominent Indian-American BK Sister from conducting morning meditation because the Indian-American Sister was experiencing her period.

There is also the aspects of female pheromones from BK Sisters as they interacted with males in and outside of centers and the Dorm Effect.

The Dorm Effect has been demonstrated in women living in the same residence halls at universities, who estrus cycles would become synchronized after spending months living in the same residence halls. The same can be applied to Sisters living at the same centers month after month or year after year.

Here are some anecdotal evidence from professional Western women on synchronizing of estrus cycles in girls and women:

Cycle Syncing: Is It A Real Thing + Why Does It Happen?
Do women’s periods really sync up?

Here is an article reviewing pheromones:

Pheromones in sex and reproduction: Do they have a role in humans?
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ex-l

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Re: Experiences of those surrendered, living at the center?

Post07 Jul 2019

GuptaRati 6666 wrote:I do recall Sudesh, forbidding an prominent Indian-American BK Sister from conducting morning meditation because the Indian-American Sister was experiencing her period.

How would she even know?

I ask that to underline how far the BK leaders go in crossing adherents' personal boundary lines. It appears anything/everywhere is open access to them.

If it is just practical, like not leaving embarrassing red marks on the gudi or sari, then I suppose I could accept that as reasonable for a cult that spends so much of its time sitting, and traditionally did not have access - perhaps does not in some areas still have access - to modern sanitary protection.

But if the excuse is do to some unproven spiritual effect, where is the consistency?

I know for a fact some senior Sisters suffered from constipation (and sat on the guddi to lead meditation).

Which is worse, physically and spiritually, a period or constipation? A period or a headache or indigestion?

And then, if the "yogi" cannot overcome the physical pains, what hope have they overcoming the End of the World when it comes?

I take it all to its point of ridiculousness to suggest that it is not about anything mysteriously spiritual at all. It's just another element of personal invasiveness and control under which adherents are expected to conform to their inherited social mores.
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Mann

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Re: Experiences of those surrendered, living at the center?

Post08 Jul 2019

Sudesh asked somebody not to conduct meditation because she was menstruating ??

That's something new to me also.

What if that Sister never spoke about it to anybody? Some women find these few days very painful so it becomes apparent. And there were also some who faked it to escape the chores ... We had all the types at the centers :).

But if one goes to the depth of this question then, menstruation doesn't affect any spiritual growth ... I don't think so!

I have never heard of it in any of the centers I lived. Actually, every senior/ center-in-charge uses her own ideas, superstitions and illusions to run their centers in whichever way they please. There is no consistency at all.

I came from a non-Hindu background so I challenged all of this nonsense. I finally did what made sense to me.

Washing hair on Thursday morning was another ritual which made no sense to me. And women who were menstruating could wash their hair on the 4th day to become "pure" and then make Bhog/food. Can you believe it? Who else would calculate which day did the period start on? And what if it started at midnight ??

In a center which had 7-8 Sisters and two bathrooms, imagine all of them washing their hair between 5-6am to get ready and cook, prepare the classroom for meditation ... ! There was so much mess.

In one bhatti for teachers, I brought up this "washing-hair-on-Thursday-morning" ritual. There was no concensus on this either. But finally the zone-in-charge said, "wash your hair on Thursday early morning only if you are going to cook something which will be offered as Bhog". If you're doing anything else wash your hair when you want to ...

And, yes, none of the centers in which I lived had any hair-dryer. I think they thought of it as a sign of body-consciousness or being fashionable. Crazy women!

I am surprised that I lived like them, amongst for almost 2 years ... That's a lot.
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GuptaRati 6666

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Re: Experiences of those surrendered, living at the center?

Post09 Jul 2019

Three ways Sudesh could have known include the Sister informing her, Sudesh could have had access to the Sister's weekly chart, or Sudesh or another Sister are high powered empaths. We have to remember in those days, BKs submitted hard copies of weekly charts to centers-in-charge, with all of the details of events inside and outside of their brains and bodies.

I recalled one incident with a friend of mine, who was a medical student and is now a physician-scientist. He is a powerful empath, a gift of his which made the BKs quite uncomfortable. He is also handsome, creative, and a magnet for women. I once witnessed a female medical student stalk him for almost a whole day at a national medical conference. In one of his weekly charts he was crystal clear honest and reported that he was having visions and scenes of nude women.

The center-in-charge a female chauvinist and misanthrope strategically confronted him about his thoughts and visions in a public space, where members of the public were able to listen in on the conversation. While the Sister seemed heated, the Brother with clinical cool and blunt honesty confirmed his reported experiences and their conversation was abruptly ended by the sister-in-charge.
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