The book Rtu Vidya emerged in search of answers to questions asked by adolescent girls and women in India during the author's interactions with them as partof Menstrual Health workshops, conducted over a span of a decade across rural India. In an attempt to decode menstrual practices, the author undertook a journey across India and studied various indigenous knowledge systems such as Sad-Darsana, Ayurveda, Tantra, Cakra, Yoga, Agama Sastra, Jyotisa Sastra, and several sub-texts from these categories. As a result, the book goes beyond just describing sultural practices and takes a deep dive into explaining the scientific and logical reasoning behind the origin of these practices.
This book is for all Indian women who have unanswered questions pertaining to menstrual practices, for menstrual researchers who will find a treasure trove of potential areas for research pertaining to menstrual health, for sportswomen to discover the ancient techniques that worked in sync with women's periods and not against it, and also for the feminist who assumes that cultural practices around menstruation are a taboo that needs to be done away with.
The correct understanding of the science behind menstrual practices, as given in this book, will help women prevent menstrual difficulties, develop a positive attitude toward menstruation, and learn to work in sync with nature's cycles.
Rtu (pronounced as ruthu) is one of the terms for menstruation in Sanskrit. Vidya means knowledge. Rtu Vidya is the author's attempt to bring together various indigenuos knowledge systems that provide information about the science of menstruation, which is relevant even to this day.
"What is pure, we do not touch. And what we do not touch, we call it a taboo. She (a menstruating woman) was so pure, that she was worshipped as a Goddess. The reason for not having a woman go into a temple is precisely this. She is a living Goddess at that time."
[Pujya Sri Amritananda Natha Saraswati]
Rtu Vidya: Ancient Science behind Menstruation Practices
Reading level: Adults
Paperback: 388 pages