Did women in ancient Bhārat recite the Veda-s, perform agnihotra and wear the yajñopavīta? Who were Ṛṣika-s, Brahmavādini-s and Yoginī’s, and how did they attain that state? Why are the rules of religious practices similar for women and the śūdra varṇa? Can women and the śūdra varṇa officiate as temple arcaka-s, and how would this impact them and the temple?
Varṇa Vidyā provides answers to all those who wish to know the science behind the dharmaśāstra rules for women and the śūdra varṇa. Going beyond the sociological understanding of varṇa based on jāti-guṇa-karma, this book takes a deep dive into the biological basis of varṇa dharma to answer questions about women and the śūdra varṇa, especially in the context of religious practices.
More than 100 saṃskṛtam verses from smṛti-s (Manu, Yājñavalkya, Parāśara, etc.), the Bhagvad Gītā, Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, Upaniṣad-s and Tantra texts have been covered in this work, revealing their subtle meaning. Several published studies and modern scientific theories have also been included to ease the understanding of the present generation.
The book not only answers burning questions of the present time but also explains the science behind the spiritual path prescribed for women and the śūdra varṇa. In the process of decoding the rules for women and the śūdra varṇa, the science of varṇa dharma itself stands revealed as an unintended consequence.
Sinu Joseph is the author of Women and Sabarimala and Ṛtu Vidyā, which describe the science behind the traditional rules and restrictions for Hindu women. She holds a BE in electronics and instrumentation engineering and chose to work in the social and developmental space.
She’s done extensive action research in menstrual and reproductive health since 2009 through various NGOs and travelled across Bhārat, interacting with thousands of adolescent girls and women directly to get a first-hand experience of menstrual practices and their impact on women’s health. She’s written extensively on unearthing the science behind native practices and bringing forth a unique narrative, which is the Bhāratiya perspective on menstruation, through her book Ṛtu Vidyā.
Sinu has studied several Hindu temples, religious restrictions owing to menstruation, and their impact on women’s menstrual health. Her books unravel the advanced scientific knowledge lying hidden in the cultural and religious practices of Sanātana Dharma.