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Brhadharanyaka Upanishad - Chapter 6.4 (Menstruation and Agni)

Does Brhadharanyaka Upanishad (Br. Up.) Chapter 6.4 talk about wife beating..? When I read the traditional meanings, it does. But when I translated it, I did not find anything like that. Rather I find a design pattern matching between agni invoked in stri to menstruation in women.

I am translating Br. Up. Chapter 6.4.1 to 6.4.13 in part-1.

Executive Summary
This chapter is talking about how creation happened.

puruSa is the cause of creation and fruits carry the essence of that puruSa, because they carry the seeds and seeds are the basis of creation. Not just that, essence of one form is carried in another for furthering creation and that is the 'model'.

Like stone/mountain/land that emerges out of water, stri emerges out of puruSa to uphold that seed or nurturing creation. puruSa manifests as the 'atmanam' inside this striyam (or feminity). We perceive this atmanas as the 'aham' or 'self' between the breasts (heart) and middle of the eye-brows (brain).

Once the feminity/striyam is established, 'knowing' the puruSa by Stri is established. Multitude of worlds manifest by the vajapeyana yajna where the agni blazes in the middle, kusa grass lies underneath as the skin and creation progresses to that extent the play of puruSa executes. When striyam does not know the play of puruSa creation is lost.

There are multiple mortal puruSas/brahmanas who spur creation in different aspects. Whenever stri/evolute knows them, movement happens within stri, like reactants executing in the presence of a catalyst. Catalysts are the Purusa and reactants are the stri, the evolutes. The play of knowing the puruSa itself moves the creation.

The self drives/operates the indriyam, fame, wealth and good deeds on stri. In the stri without impurities, the illustrious (self) is summoned without impurities. In those Indriyas that manifest on Stri, except 'manas' all indriyas get kAmam by striking of some other affliction. Manas is controlled by the puruSa and becomes the yAmi.

The controller wishing kAma thus, in the fixed matter forms, by union of face to face, by touching of genitals, manifests anga by anga, from the hearts, leading to creation, while dirt-smeared bodies take pleasure in executing it.

Garbham is the wish of the controller. When controller not wishes, indriyas operate from top to bottom, prana to apana and flow of semen/seed does not happen. When controller wishes, indriyas operate from bottom to top, apana to prana and flow of semen/seed happens, stri becomes garbhini.

So how does the puruSa, external to stri, drive creation in stri, as creation is at the desire of puruSa..?

It's through agni in Stri. PuruSa invokes Agni in stri. When Stri just 'knows' the puruSa (does not interact), agni is invoked in Stri. This agni prepares the stri for procreation (like raw clay is is made ready by agni). A Yajna happens on Stri with ghee being offered in each strand of kusa grass. The wish is that prana, apana, putra, pazu and all our desires beyond sky are achieved and all barren no good deeds depart from this loka. This Yajna happens on Stri (driving evolution), where the performing learned brAhmana is the PuruSa who is external to Stri. With this Agni, Stri's desire (to procreate) never falls short. The transcendental manifests thus.

That's why whose giver of birth (any wife) finds herself in menstrual cycle, for three days, does not drink from metal vessel, does not allow man or woman toget in or to get out, at the end of 3 nights, takes bath and threshes rice to indicate she is ready for procreation.

PuruSa's invoking the agni on Stri is like the menstrual cycle of Stri or a woman. Due to that agni, the barren, no good deeds depart from her. This agni gets her ready for procreation like fire bakes the raw-clay pot. The desire of stri increases for procreation. Menstruation of a woman is the invocation of Agni in Stri to cook/bake the raw clay vessel for procreation and remove the barreness out.

Menstruating woman is analogy with respect to puruSa and Stri. Stri is totally independent of puruSa. Stri just by knowing puruSa has agni invoked in her to get ready for procreation, like a woman's menstrual cycle happens without any interaction with male and gets her ready for procreation. Probably this analogy became the basis of menstrual segregation practices adopted later.

For detailed translation

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