Hope you are all doing good and enjoyed the Easter holiday.
I feel it has been so long since I have written the last blogpost. We chose not to post anything last week since it was good Friday, and wanted to respect that. I know that we both have been a bit lazy with the writing lately. I promise you guys that we will do everything in order to make sure to post something for you every week.
This weeks post is actually quite interesting. At least I find it very interesting. I am not sure, if you guys have experiences that we do something, which we claim is either religious or cultural, and we ask our parents, why we actually do that, and they just answer.... "Athu appadi tharn". I have gathered some facts that's I found really interesting, and wanted to share with you. Hope you guys enjoy as much as I did :)
In our culture, we greet each other by joining their palms – termed as “Namaskar.” The general reason behind this tradition is that greeting by joining both the palms means respect. However, scientifically speaking, joining both hands ensures joining the tips of all the fingers together; which are denoted to the pressure points of eyes, ears, and mind. Pressing them together is said to activate the pressure points which helps us remember that person for a long time. And, no germs since we don’t make any physical contact! Hmmm, that's interesting. I must admit that I never do that anymore. I used to dance bharatha naadiyam, and back then, namaskar was something very special to me. When I stopped dancing, I don't really feel I need to do it to anyone anymore. For me its only something I do for highly respected people.
- Sitting on the floor and eating
When we travel back to Sri Lanka for holidays, some of the families that we visit makes us sit on the floor and eat. For us, who is used to sit by the table on a chair, it seems weird sometimes. But....This tradition is not just about sitting on floor and eating, it is regarding sitting in the “Sukhasan”, which we know as sammadi koddi irukeekulla, position and then eating. Sukhasan is the position we normally use for Yoga asanas. When you sit on the floor, you usually sit cross legged – In sukhasana or a half padmasana (half lotus), which are poses that instantly bring a sense of calm and help in digestion, it is believed to automatically trigger the signals to your brain to prepare the stomach for digestion. I am not sure that those old ladies know the meaning behind, but maybe only that it's good for you.
When there is loyal thiruvilar, I fast. I used to be vegetarian every Friday for the last 15 years. Not anymore though. It's too difficult when you are only 2, and one of them is an atheist. So yea, it's not that I am trying to be vegetarian, but if I have the choice between veg and nonveg, I choose veg on s Friday. When I don't have the option, I don't make a deal out of it. Anyways, why do we fast, and what does it do to you?
The underlying principle behind fasting is to be found in Ayurveda. This ancient Indian medical system sees the basic cause of many diseases as 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. A complete fast is good for heath, and the occasional intake of warm lemon juice during the period of fasting prevents the flatulence. Since the human body, as explained by Ayurveda, is composed of 80% liquid and 20% solid, like the earth, the gravitational force of the moon affects the fluid contents of the body. It causes emotional imbalances in the body, making some people tense, irritable and violent. Fasting acts as antidote, for it lowers the acid content in the body which helps people to retain their sanity. Research suggests there are major health benefits to caloric restriction like reduced risks of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, immune disorders etc.... I know s lot of my white friends have started to add a meat free day.... The reasons behind this, is that we somehow cleanse the body by eating only veg, it actually makes sense then....
- Starts with spice and end with sweet
I am one of those people who will never say no to dessert. I eat sugar and sweets everyday. Nothing I am proud of, but I just can't help it. It has been a habit for many many years, and it's just hard to give up on. Our ancestors have stressed on the fact that our meals should be started off with something spicy and sweet dishes should be taken towards the end. The significance of this eating practice is that while spicy things activate the digestive juices and acids and ensure that the digestion process goes on smoothly and efficiently, sweets or carbohydrates pulls down the digestive process. Hence, sweets were always recommended to be taken as a last item.... Hm, maybe I should make it a tradition to eat sweet after every meal..... (I guess I am already doing it)
- Visiting the temple
I love visiting temples. There is some kind of peace and I simply just love the architecture. I love architecture in general, but the Hindu temples are absolutely amazing, and just the fact that they were able to build such amazing temples back in the days. There is other reasons why we should go to the temple. Temples are located strategically at a place where the positive energy is abundantly available from the magnetic and electric wave distributions of north/south pole thrust. The main idol is placed in the core center of the temple, known as “*Garbhagriha*” or *Moolasthanam*. In fact, the temple structure is built after the idol has been placed. This *Moolasthanam* is where earth’s magnetic waves are found to be maximum. We know that there are some copper plates, inscribed with Vedic scripts, buried beneath the Main Idol. What are they really? No, they are not God’s / priests’ flash cards when they forget the *shlokas*. The copper plate absorbs earth’s magnetic waves and radiates it to the surroundings. Thus a person regularly visiting a temple and walking clockwise around the Main Idol receives the beamed magnetic waves and his body absorbs it. This is a very slow process and a regular visit will let him absorb more of this positive energy. Scientifically, it is the positive energy that we all require to have a healthy life.
- Touching feets
To be honest, I am almost 32 years old, I have never ever touched anyone's feets. Which means I have never Karl vilunthu kumpiddathu illai. I don't know why, just never appeared for me to do it. Not my parents, not my in-laws, nobody. Apparently there is a reason why we do that. Usually, the person of whose feet you are touching is either old or pious. When they accept your respect which came from your reduced ego (and is called your shraddha) their hearts emit positive thoughts and energy (which is called their karuna) which reaches you through their hands and toes. In essence, the completed circuit enables flow of energy and increases cosmic energy, switching on a quick connect between two minds and hearts. To an extent, the same is achieved through handshakes and hugs. The nerves that start from our brain spread across all your body. These nerves or wires end in the fingertips of your hand and feet. When you join the fingertips of your hand to those of their opposite feet, a circuit is immediately formed and the energies of two bodies are connected. Your fingers and palms become the ‘receptor’ of energy and the feet of other person become the ‘giver’ of energy.
- Bells a the temple
When it's thiruvilar, and the Puusai is about to finish, we have the mani sound. It continues and at the end we actually just wants it to stop. It's loud, and makes me stressing. People who are visiting the temple should and will Ring the bell before entering the inner sanctum (Garbhagudi or Garbha Gruha or womb-chamber) where the main idol is placed. According to Agama Sastra, the bell is used to give sound for keeping evil forces away and the ring of the bell is pleasant to God. However, the scientific reason behind bells is that their ring clears our mind and helps us stay sharp and keep our full concentration on devotional purpose. These bells are made in such a way that when they produce a sound it creates a unity in the Left and Right parts of our brains. The moment we ring the bell, it produces a sharp and enduring sound which lasts for minimum of 7 seconds in echo mode. The duration of echo is good enough to activate all the seven healing centres in our body. This results in emptying our brain from all negative thoughts.
- Importance of the sleeping position
In my previous apartments I always asked my dad how I should place the bed. He is really religious and very much into traditions. I didn't do it when I moved the last time, because practically there was only 1 way to place the bed. I always wondered why it was so important. Myth is that it invites ghost or death but science says that it is because human body has its own magnetic field (Also known as hearts magnetic field, because the flow of blood) and Earth is a giant magnet. When we sleep with head towards north, our body’s magnetic field become completely asymmetrical to the Earth’s Magnetic field. That cause problems related to blood pressure and our heart needs to work harder in order to overcome this asymmetry of Magnetic fields. Apart from this another reason is that Our body have significant amount of iron in our blood. When we sleep in this position, iron from the whole body starts to congregate in brain. This can cause headache, Alzheimer’s Disease, Cognitive Decline, Parkinson disease and brain degeneration.
- The female toe ring
When the brides get married, she gets a toe ring on. My parents always told me, it was only virgin girls who does that. But wearing toe rings is not just the significance of married women but there is science behind it. Normally toe rings are worn on the second toe. A particular nerve from the second toe connects the uterus and passes to heart. Wearing toe ring on this finger strengthens the uterus. It will keep it healthy by regulating the blood flow to it and menstrual cycle will be regularized. As Silver is a good conductor, it also absorbs polar energies from the earth and pass
- The kunkumam poddu
Haha, writing this post makes me realize how little Hindu I am. I am not an atheist, I believe in all gods. I believe they are all the same, but with different names..... Al though I do not follow the traditions at all. I am not sure if it's because I have been working abroad for the last 10 years and lost the roots to my culture, or if it simply doesn't make sense to me. Anyway the reason why I don't wear poddu is because I simply don't think it suits me. I had arguments with my parents back then, but they understands that I don't really like it. The reason behind the poddu is quite interesting, although it will not make me use it anyway. On the forehead, between the two eyebrows, is a spot that is considered as a major nerve point in human body since ancient times. The Tilak is believed to prevent the loss of “energy”, the red ‘kumkum’ between the eyebrows is said to retain energy in the human body and control the various levels of concentration. While applying kumkum the points on the mid-brow region and Adnya-chakra are automatically pressed. This also facilitates the blood supply to the face muscles.
I got my ears pierced before I even knew it. That was how we used to do back then. My niece who is 7, got her ears pierced when she was 6, and only because she really really wanted to. Piercing the ears has a great importance in Indian ethos. Indian physicians and philosophers believe that piercing the ears helps in the development of intellect, power of thinking and decision making faculties. Talkativeness fritters away life energy. Ear piercing helps in speech-restraint. It helps to reduce impertinent behavior and the ear-channels become free from disorders. This idea appeals to the Western world as well, and so they are getting their ears pierced to wear fancy earrings as a mark of fashion.
There is even a scientific reason for why we wear bangles. Normally the wrist portion is in constant activation on any human. Also the pulse beat in this portion is mostly checked for all sorts of ailments. The Bangles used by women are normally in the wrist part of ones hand and its constant friction increases the blood circulation level. Further more the electricity passing out through outer skin is again reverted to one’s own body because of the ring shaped bangles, which has no ends to pass the energy outside but to send it back to the body.
I hope you guys learned something new today. So next time we ask our parents or other, why do we do this? Why do we do that. Trust me their stories which we sometimes find redicilous, might actually not be that stupid at all. There is scientific reasons behind many of our actions, traditions and culture, and I think it's important to respect those.
Until next time