Rules for Women to Cover Body, Head or even Face – 29 Mar 09


In some Ashrams here in India they have strange rules. Especially rules as to how women should be dressed for example that she should cover her arms and even her head or hair while she is at the Ashram. But some women are just absolutely different in their nature and culture, are not used to and do not feel good if they have to be dressed in this way. You will not feel good with these rules because you do not have your freedom. Maybe you will even develop feelings of guilt because subconsciously it gives the feeling that your body is somehow wrong. Then I always think about why these women are there? Why do you choose this place for you?

I have even heard about some places in which women, who have their menstruation, have to show it with a certain sign or bracelet. Then they are treated just like untouchable and they are not allowed to do many things. This is very disrespectful for women and just ignoring it that this is a natural rhythm and cycle. In our Ashram we do not have these rules because we want everybody to feel free to live as they want.

I do not feel good with some cultures in which there is the rule for women to cover from head from toe so that nobody can see any part of her body. I am not in favour of this. I do not like it and feel that this is a way of abusing your own body. You do not love and respect your own body if you feel that you need to cover it. Do not feel guilty or bad about your body, God made it and it is wonderful. Respect your body and love it.

Today Melly arrived at the Ashram and we are very happy that she is here. We also had fun on the roof today when we were flying kites. We always did this as children and played the whole summer in this way. For me it was the first time again after 22 years. You will not see any Swamis here who fly kites but I enjoy it and that is how I do it.

Click here to see pictures of today's fun on the roof

4 Replies to “Rules for Women to Cover Body, Head or even Face – 29 Mar 09”

  1. I too think that covering up is a way of abuse. Even women who feel totaly fine about it don’t realize that it is in their subconscious to have to hide and just because the women themselves accept it does not mean that it isn’t harmful to them. This is one of the things that is hardest for me to be open minded about, when a woman is meant to feel ashamed and to hide. It is one of the few things that literally makes me sick. There is so much pain that I see in it.

  2. Harriot: I dislike it as well, but I would say it is the most important time to be open minded when you come across something that makes you react so strongly.

  3. James: Normally I would agree, and yet there are certain injustices that I think it is okay to literally disagree with. there are certain abusive practices that we should mourn over other people having to suffer. The open-mindedness comes when you don’t judge. though that is especially difficult in this case for me. I see where you’re coming from.

  4. I was discussing this topic with a friend the other day. She works with a man who is Muslim and lives in the West. He is a very nice guy and accepts Western culture in many ways. One day, she went over to his house and found out that he still makes his wife wear a burka, which covers her body, head, and hair. Some even cover everything except for the eyes. Apparently, he didn’t adopt this aspect of Western culture. When my friend asked him why, he said that he would never want another man to see his wife’s hair. But it’s just hair! Everyone has hair… if anything, I think eyes are more personal, unique, and soulful. But this is a cultural and religious tradition that is very hard to erase in people’s minds. Interesting.