Ahmedabad: "Women will take birth as dogs in their next life if they cook for their husbands while menstruating, and men who eat that food will be reborn as bullocks, as per religious texts."
This utterance was part of a sermon delivered by Swami Krushnaswarup Dasji of Swaminarayan Temple in Bhuj in Gujarat. The swami belongs to the Nar-Narayan Devgadi of the Swami Narayan sect.
Notably, the religious leader is associated with the temple which runs a college in Bhuj whose principal and female staff allegedly forced more than 60 girls to remove their undergarments to check if they were menstruating for "breaking a hostel rule that girls having their periods are not supposed to take meals with other inmates".
The principal, hostel rector and a peon of the Shree Sahajanand Girls Institute (SSGI) were arrested on Monday over the alleged incident which occurred on February 11.
"I don't care if you do not like my views, but this is all written in our shastras (scriptures). If a menstruating woman cooks food for her husband, she will be definitely born as a female dog in her next life," Swami said while delivering a sermon in Gujarati, the video of which has gone viral.
"....It is certain that men will be born as bullocks in their next life if they consume food cooked by menstruating women."
Krushnaswarup Dasji also warned men from consuming food prepared by menstruating women.
Scolding women for being "careless" about their menstruation, which he likened with "penance", Krushnaswarup Dasji can also be heard asking men to learn cooking.
"Women do not realise that period of menstruation is like doing 'tapasya' (penance). This is written in our shastras. Even I do not like to tell you all these things, but I have to warn you. Men should learn cooking...It will help you," he said.
The time and place of the video clip are be known. Such videos of sermons are available on the temple's dedicated YouTube channel.
As per the website of the Swaminarayan Temple, Krushnaswarup Dasji was initiated in the order in the year 1995.
SSGI, a self-financed college having its own hostel for girls, is run by a trust of the Swaminarayan Temple, Bhuj.
According to girl students, the incident took place on February 11 when more than 60 students were taken to the washroom by a woman staffer and made to remove their undergarments to check if they were menstruating.
A probe by the Krantiguru Shyamji Krishna Verma Kutch University had revealed that the girls were checked because the hostel has a rule that girls having their periods are not supposed to take meals with other inmates.
However, hostel authorities had decided to check the girls after they came to know that some menstruating girls had broken the rule and took the meal.
Principal Rita Raninga, girls' hostel rector Ramilaben Hirani, college peon Naina Gorasiya and one Anita Chauhan were arrested by the police under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).