WISDOM OF THE WOMB by Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD

Wisdom of the Womb

The above conversation (reproduced with permission) got me thinking about periods and what they can teach us. I find that my intuitive senses are heightened, and I have greater access to my own depths. I consider it a sacred time of month, and one which empowers me.

I didn’t always think of the period in this way. As an Indian woman, despite the radical self-definition my parents instilled in me, I still carried the burden of stigma associated with menstruation. And it was a time I associated with pain, rather than joy.

Where did it come from? My parents never shamed me about it. But TV and other cultural influences did. And it took a while to break out of that cycle and re-discover that sacred spiritual connection.

I am glad I met women who were bold enough to explore that ‘taboo’, and reclaim it for themselves – and they inspired me to do the same in my early 20s.

Eventually, as I listened more – the pain lessened. As I honored the impulses from my Womb, my Ovaries, my Sacral Chakra, my periods became more regular. And I began to enjoy them, and look forward to them.

Eventually,

My Womb began to Whisper in the Subtle yet Powerful language of Spirit.

What I’ve realized in reflection (from my own Indian cultural context) is this –

It becomes difficult to to consider the womb, and its monthly cycle of any value or spiritual significance when women are encouraged not to go to temples (or other sacred sites) when menstruating – as though the presence of sacred blood can anger the gods.

Mind you, this too in a culture that does not recognize the right of a woman to be a priestess in a temple – unless of course she is in her menopausal phase, or from a lower caste group serving her community.

In Nepal, for instance, women are simply not allowed to cook during their periods as their blood would then ‘pollute’ the food – despite no obvious contact between the two – in a land that paradoxically offers blood sacrifices of buffaloes and chickens to fierce female Goddesses.

So, If the womb and her cycles are seen as unclean, how can Woman see herself as the Vessel and Bearer of Spiritual Wisdom?

Which led me to ask …

When did the Divinity in Woman become separate from her Material Form?

When did we stop realizing the Goddess in ourselves, and instead, began to believe that spaces for creation existed only in temples, and not in ourselves?

I’m sure this isn’t just a ‘South Asian’ thing (nor is that the only way in which menstruation is seen in the region – the Shaktas and Tantrists have a different view) – but this refusal to see the Divine in the Human Womb, cuts across categories of identity such as: culture, region, religion, race, ethnicity, and so on.

As for me, I’m going to hold myself close at moontime, and listen to Her whispers, beckoning me from Within.

Blessings to all,
Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD
www.bairaveebalasubramaniam.com

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Image: By Lushess (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons [Inverted version of image]

About Dr. Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD

Hello everyone,

My name is Dr. Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD.

I was born in Malaysia, of ethnic Tamil (South Indian) heritage and have been skipping across the globe (North America, Europe, Asia) since I was 16 on merit-based scholarships and awards from various universities.

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I was one of those kids who read a lot and began using encyclopedias when I was 4 – in my early teens, I was certified as having a Mensan IQ of 172, in the top 2% of the global population, i.e. a genius-level score. (Thank you mum for letting me follow my own curiosity, for teaching me how to stand up for myself – and for the encyclopedia set). After finishing primary school at 11, I basically took my education – and my future – into my own hands. In other words, I am auto-didactic/a self-taught learner.

I finished my high school education at 13 after months of intense self-tutelage, completed my Bachelor’s in record time at 19, skipped a Masters, and then completed a 100,000 word doctoral thesis (PhD) at the age of 25. Here’s a link to an interview where I speak about all of this (in Tamil) – this was aired in July 2013 on the ASTRO network.

I consider myself a self-made woman, driving herself but acknowledging the role of roots, conditioning influences and the wider Universe in making that happen.

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In between all this academic ‘stuff’, I engaged myself with several years’ worth of social work, contributing what I could to the social, educational and general improvement of the Malaysian-Indian community, alongside my father Mr. Thannambikkai Balasubramaniam – the man who coined the phrase ‘Thanmunaippu Payirtchi’ (Self-Confidence Seminar) in the Tamil language and made motivational seminars accessible to all segments of the Malaysian-Tamil community.

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Speaking on stage is something that I have been very comfortable doing and have addressed crowds (in person) of about 3,000 people and have spoken on numerous Tamil-language radio and TV programs in Malaysia. I have also taught students ways to educate and empower themselves (as I did) and have raised awareness on the brain and its remarkable capabilities. Recently, I was also featured as a guest speaker on Intention Radio, a multi-national radio platform with a global audience.

You can also look at my LinkedIn profile to get an overview of the various professional and academic chapters of my life thus far. https://www.linkedin.com/pub/bairavee-balasubramaniam/40/56/82

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My academic interests have varied and evolved through different phases of my life. When I was little, I loved astronomy, astrophysics and neuroscience – and so began my first degree in the US (on scholarship). There I received an introduction to the liberal arts and my taste for politics and justice grew – I then switched my major and my university and studied International Politics and History in Germany. My life-perspective (as an ethnic minority, as a woman) kept evolving through this time and I found myself with a scholarship to study Gendered Ceremony and Ritual in Parliament as part of a 5-year research project at the University of Warwick, UK. Those who’d like to view my thesis can do so here: http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/54359/

Through my academic studies of the world and its political institutions, after years of study I finally realize that I am (and happy to be labeled as such) a post-structural, post-colonial, feminist academic. One who seeks to write and live by the works she invests her energies into – which brings me onto a totally different facet of my life – one which I am integrating into my public, social and academic identity (and vice versa).

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In addition to the identities described above  – I am a priestess, a holistic astrologer, a spiritualist, a writer, a poetess, an artist and a bunch of other things that I keep evolving into.My spiritual journey intensified when I went through several years of soul-searching during my PhD in the UK, and I have undertaken numerous pilgrimages to sacred sites in India, Nepal, the UK, Malaysia (so far) – all of which have deeply moved, transformed and awakened parts of me that I did not realize I had. Now I know, and here it is.

I run several pages dedicated to my spiritual and astrological explorations on FB which currently (as of 23.1.2015) reach nearly 10,000 people and continue to grow. I write regularly and publish on my FB public profile and network with spiritualists all across the globe.

One reason I wanted to make this profile and ‘go public’ as it were was to accept the different facets of my identity – a decidedly liberal academic  – a post-colonial, post-structural political scientist – a internationalist- a Malaysian-Tamil – an ethnic minority – a public speaker – a motivator – a priestess – a woman – a feminist – a Goddess worshiper – a star-lover – a poetess – and to demonstrate (to myself first of all) that they can all coexist in one person.

So here’s to co-existence and creation.

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Vanakkam, Namaste and Blessings to all,

Dr. Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD

Use the contact form below if you would like to get in touch