India is a land of several customs and traditions, be it in dress, religion, social or food. They have been there for centuries and are followed more or less strictly even today. The reason is they were propagated almost compulsorily from the Vedic times because the sages realised that there were scientific benefits in following these customs. The scientific reasoning behind these customs has been explained in detail here.
Visiting temples is encouraged: A temple is a positive place and if we visit temples regularly, we will be healthy and happy. The scientific reason – It has been proven that temples are located strategically at a place where there is abundant magnetic and electric waves. And the ‘Garbhagriha’ where the main idol is placed, is the centre of the temple where the earth’s magnetic waves is maximum. The copper plates that are buried beneath the main Idol absorb the earth’s magnetic waves and radiate it to the surroundings. So, when we visit temples regularly and walk clockwise around the main Idol, we receive the beamed magnetic waves which are essential to have a healthy life.
Temples have Bells: People visiting the temple should ring the bell before entering the inner sanctum to keep evil forces away. The scientific reason- The ringing clears our mind and helps us to concentrate on prayer. The temple bell is specially made so that the moment we ring the bell, it produces a sharp and echoing sound which lasts for a minimum of 7 seconds, the duration of which is enough to activate all the seven healing centres in our body. The sound also creates balance in the left and right parts of our brains so that we are freed of negative thoughts.
Idol worship: Idol worship is practiced`more in Hinduism than in any other religion. The scientific reason – Researchers have found that man shapes his thoughts as per what he sees. So, when we view idols it is easy for us to concentrate to gain spiritual energy and meditate without mental diversion.
Worshiping Peepal Tree: ‘Peepal’ tree is not a useful tree in the common sense – it does not a have a delicious fruit, its wood is not strong enough for any purpose. But it is commonly worshipped and a small temple is usually built below the spreading branches of any Peepal tree. The scientific reason – The ‘Peepal’ is probably the only tree which produces oxygen in large quantity, even at night. So it is beneficial to spend some time under this tree. That is the reason why a temple is usually erected under it, as it wil encourage people to go often.
Worshiping Tulsi Plant: In Hinduism, the sacred ‘Tulsi’, has been bestowed with the status of mother Goddess and worshipped every day. The scientific reason – Tulsi has great medicinal properties – It is a remarkable antibiotic and taking Tulsi everyday increases immunity and prevents diseases, balances the body system and most important of all, prolongs life. Also, keeping a Tulsi plant at home prevents insects and mosquitoes from entering the house and snakes do not go near a Tulsi plant. Due to all these reasons the vedic sages realised that the Tulsi should be grown by all people and hence given a holy status.
Surya Namaskar: This is the Hindu tradition in which people pay respect to the Sun God early in the morning by offering water. The scientific reason – Looking at Sun rays through water or directly early in the morning is good for the eyes. Also by waking up to follow this routine, we become used to a morning lifestyle and mornings are proven to be the most effective part of the day.
Namaskar: In Hindu culture, people greet each other by joining their palms, termed as “Namaskar” as it conveys respect. The scientific reason -By joining both hands, the tips of all the fingers are pressed together which is said to activate the pressure points of eyes, ears, and mind, which helps us remember that person for a long time. Also, this way we can avoid the transfer of germs since we don’t make any physical contact!
Touching Feet (charan sparsh): When we see an elder or a pious person, we are expected to show our respect by touching their feet. In return, they accept our respect by touching us. Thus our reduced ego causes their hearts to emit positive thoughts and energy which reaches us through their hands and toes. The scientific reason – The nerves that start from our brain end in the fingertips of our hand and feet. When we join the fingertips of our hand to their feet, a circuit is immediately formed and the energies of two bodies are connected. Our fingers and palms become the ‘receptor’ of energy and the feet of the other person become the ‘giver’ of energy. In essence, the completed circuit enables flow of energy and a quick connect between two minds and hearts. To an extent, the same is achieved through handshakes and hugs.
Applying Tilak/KumKum on the Forehead: is believed to prevent the loss of “energy”. The scientific reason – When the red tilak/kumkum is applied on the forehead, between the two eyebrows on a spot that is considered as a major nerve point in human body, it is said to retain energy in the human body and control the various levels of concentration. Also, while applying kumkum the points on the mid-brow region are automatically pressed which facilitates the blood supply to the face muscles.
Indian women apply Sindoor or Vermillion from the time they get married: Unmarried women and widows were not allowed to use vermillion on their forehead. Sindoor was seen as a visible expression of a woman’s desire that her husband live long. The scientific reason – Traditionally, the red Sindoor was made at home from mercury compound and turmeric mixed with lime juice which would make it red. Due to its intrinsic properties, mercury, besides controlling blood pressure also activates sexual drive. This also explains why Sindoor is prohibited for widows.
Indian Women wear toe ring to indicate that they are married: Normally toe rings are worn on the second toe. The Scientific reason – A particular nerve from the second toe connects to the uterus and passes to the heart. Wearing a silver toe ring on this toe will keep the uterus healthy by regulating the menstrual cycle as silver is a good conductor and absorbs polar energies from the earth and passes it to the body.
Applying mehendi/henna on the hands and feet during the wedding: As the wedding day approaches, the excitement mixed with nervous anticipation can take its toll on the bride and groom. Application of mehndi can prevent too much stress. The scientific reason – Besides lending color to the hands, mehndi is a very powerful medicinal herb. Weddings are stressful and the stress can cause headaches and fevers. When mehndi is applied on the hands and feet which house nerve endings in the body, it cools the body and keeps the nerves from becoming tense.
Indian Women wear Bangles: The scientific reason – The wrist is constantly moved, and the blood vessel can be felt for the pulse. So, the bangles on the wrist cause constant friction which increases the blood circulation. Further more, the electricity passing out through the outer skin is redirected to one’s own body because of the ring shaped bangles, which have no ends to pass the energy outside but to send it back to the body.
Piercing ears: It was believed that piercing the ears helps in the development of intellect, power of thinking and decision making faculties. The scientific reason – Being Talkative fritters away life energy. Ear piercing is believed to help in speech-restraint and reduce impertinent behavior. Also, the ear-channels become free from disorders.
Sitting on the floor and eating: Sitting in the yoga, “Sukhasan” position and then eating helps in the proper digestion of food. The scientific reason – When you sit on the floor cross legged, it is believed to automatically trigger the signals to your brain to prepare the stomach for digestion.
Start with spice and end with sweet: It has always been stressed that we should start our meals with something spicy and sweets should be taken only towards the end. The scientific reason –Spicy things activate the digestive juices and acids and ensure that the digestion process goes on smoothly and efficiently whereas, sweets or carbohydrates slows down the digestive process. Hence, sweets were always recommended to be taken at the end of a meal.
Fasting : A complete fast is good for heath, and the occasional intake of warm lemon juice during the period of fasting prevents flatulence. The scientific reason – The basic cause of many diseases is the accumulation of toxic materials in the digestive system. Regular cleansing of toxic materials keeps one healthy. By fasting, the digestive organs get rest and all body mechanisms are cleansed and corrected. Also, fasting lowers the acid content in the body which helps people to retain their sanity.
Thus you can see that just like the old Indian customs and traditions, Vastu Shastra has been propagated with fixed guidelines because the ancient sages realised the health benefits that could be gained by following them. Read about it more in the posts on:
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