Can We Fast During Periods In Hinduism

Hinduism is an ancient and vast religion revered by people around the world. Periods are an important natural process that all women go through, while rules and rituals concerning menstruation vary in different religions. In Hinduism, can women fast during their periods?

As with all religions, Hinduism has its own set of rules and customs surrounding menstruation. The Garuda Purana, an ancient Hindu scripture, states that women should avoid all religious rituals during their periods and take rest instead. It also states that any ritual performed during periods is ‘inauspicious’. According to another Hindu scripture, the Manusmriti, it is not only forbidden to fast during periods, but women should also not indulge in any religious rite.

Despite this, there are certain Hindu communities in India that allow women to fast during their periods. In these communities, menstruating women are allowed to observe their fasts and fulfill their religious vows. These acts are considered auspicious and a source of grace from God. Similarly, in some Hindu temples, women are allowed to do puja or full moon prayers during their menstruation. This is done because it is remembered that Goddess Parvati, who is considered one of the most divine entities in Hinduism, observed a long fast when she menstruated.

But there are also debates about the practice of fasting during periods in Hinduism. Some scholars argue that since Hinduism emphasizes purity and cleanliness, fasting during periods is improper and even forbidden. Other scholars have argued against this view and have stated that there is no basis for the notion that fasting during periods is ‘inauspicious’. Despite this debate, the practice remains controversial and many Hindu women choose not to fast during their periods.

It is clear that there is no single answer to the question of whether women can fast during their periods in Hinduism. While some Hindu scriptures and communities allow or even encourage women to fast during their periods, some other scriptures and communities consider it forbidden. Ultimately, it is up to the individual woman to decide whether or not she wishes to fast during her periods, taking into account her own religious beliefs and practices.

The Role of Dharma in Hinduism

The term “dharma” is central in Hinduism and refers to important ethics and practices like obedience, loyalty, honesty, and justice. According to Hinduism, it is important for people to follow their dharma in order to attain spiritual liberation. Therefore, it is up to each person to decide whether their dharma should include fasting during their periods or not.

In the Hindu tradition, it is accepted that different women may have different opinions on whether they wish to observe religious vows or not. Some may choose to fast while they are menstruating, while others may abstain from doing so. This choice is respected and seen as a matter of individual preference.

However, it is also important to understand that since dharma is based on the individual’s conscience, what is considered ethical in one situation or by one person may not be considered ethical in another situation or by another person. Therefore, it is up to the individual woman to decide if fasting during her periods is in keeping with her religious practice or not.

Hindu Women in Other Settings

Hinduism has a long history, and its customs and traditions vary from community to community and even from country to country. For example, in some communities, Hindu women are prohibited from participating in religious rites and rituals during their periods. They are expected to take rest instead. In other communities, while fasting is not prohibited, women may still abstain from doing so due to their own personal beliefs.

In countries such as the United States, the guidelines and rules concerning menstruation in Hinduism may not be as strict as they are in other countries. Therefore, it is up to each individual woman to decide if fasting during her periods is right for her.

The final decision to fast or abstain from fasting during periods must come from the individual’s conscience. It is important to remember that in Hinduism, women are respected and their personal choices are respected. Therefore, even if the scriptures or the community forbid fasting during periods, it is up to the individual woman to decide what is best for her.

Healthy Practices During Menstruation

While it is important for women to observe their own guidelines and rituals with regards to menstruation, it is also important to keep in mind the health aspects of this natural process. During periods, women are usually more prone to feel tired and weak, and therefore keeping up a balance between prayer and ritual and rest is important.

Furthermore, eating healthy, nutritious food and avoiding processed and junk food is always a good idea. Exercising and meditating can also help women stay in shape and keep their bodies healthy during menstruation. Finally, it is also important to get enough sleep and rest to cope with the physical and emotional changes that occur during this time.


The question of whether women can fast during their periods in Hinduism is a complex one, with many interpretations and personal choices. While some scriptures and communities prohibit fasting during this time, some communities allow or even encourage women to fast. Ultimately, it is up to each woman to decide if fasting during her periods is in line with her beliefs and practices. In addition, taking care of one’s health and observing healthy practices such as eating nutritious food, getting enough sleep, and exercising are important during menstruation.

Jennifer Johnson is an experienced author with a deep passion for exploring the spiritual traditions of different cultures and religions. She has been writing about religion and spirituality for the past ten years in both print and digital platforms, engaging readers in meaningful dialogue about the soul's journey through this life. With degrees in Comparative Religion and English Literature, she brings an insightful perspective to her work that bridges the gap between traditional knowledge and modern theories. A lifelong traveler, Jenn has lived in multiple countries exploring various paths to understanding faith, and her dedication to learning new things is palpable in every piece she creates.

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