India is a pristine land of innumerable traditions and rituals although despite having belonged to this rich society we lack the understanding behind several rituals and brand them superstitious and meaningless.
In this blog we will do analysis of some Hindu rituals, reading this blog till the end i am sure you will be amazed and proud to know how thoughtful our ancestors were in designing various rituals and customs for our holistic well-being so without any further delay let’s get started
What is the significance of Navratri?
Ever thought of it, well literally Navratri means nine auspicious nights it is observed once in the beginning of summer and next in the beginning of winters.
if you observe the pattern it is celebrated at the two junctures of seasonal change as the seasons change the inner chemistry of human beings also changes during this transition the body’s immunity goes downhill we are more vulnerable to infections so observing fasts was found to be an intelligent way to handle the situation, even if you are not fasting it was advised to keep your diet light during the Navratris this so-called superstition was not only a way to prevent diseases but also a smart half yearly detox routine.
Whether it is Ayurveda or Modern Science both are unanimous about the benefits of fasting, even spiritually ancient seekers and saints found Navratri nights to be more conducive for sadhana overall navratri is an opportunity for the people to grow physically as well as spiritually
Ever wondered why is the Peepal tree worshipped?
This is because the peepal tree exhales extremely high amounts of oxygen during the day, women were advised to walk around the peepal tree early in the morning for ideal hormonal balance and easy conception.
The purpose of keeping an idol was to give them reason to follow this practice diligently apart from this Ayurvedic scriptures talk about numerous medicinal uses of various parts of the peepal tree.
Then you might have also heard someone saying that ghost resides on the branches of the peepal tree at night the fact is that the peepal tree due to its dense nature also releases very high carbon dioxide during the night naturally anyone sleeping under the people tree will be oxygen deprived so this is nothing but a good example of how metaphoric language was used to simplify something complex which later gets construed as a superstition.
Why the Tulsi plant is considered sacred?
Well Tulsi is a natural antibiotic which reduces stress, increases immunity, longevity and has a peculiar ability to keep the insects mosquitoes and snakes at bay.
Today even modern scientific research has acknowledged its medicinal properties.
Have you wondered if there is any basis to the makeup worn by Indian women?
Apart from its aesthetic appeal eyeliner was designed as a way of applying cooked medicinal herbs such as Haritaki and burberry to the eyes to clean and prevent them from infections, Gold jewellery worn by Indian women is not merely a status symbol but it regulates the body temperature and enhances immunity then you will be amazed to know that the bangles, nose ring and earrings was an intelligent way of constantly pressing the acupressure points which help women regulate menstrual cycles and maintain an ideal hormonal balance.
During weddings bride and grooms apply mahdi on the hand and feet as mahdi leaves produce a cooling effect and reduces stress of the busy wedding days all in all all these rituals have certain meaning behind them.
Ever thought why Indian Puja involves so many precise rituals?
Whether it is a Temple, Mosque or a Gurudwara these are the places with high positive energy the devotees are asked to walk barefoot inside the place of worship as the positive vibrations can easily be absorbed through feet.
During the aarti of a deity the cone shell would invariably be blown as it is done even today since villages were generally small and the sound of the shank would re-sound all over the village those who could not make it to the temple would stop whatever they were doing for a few seconds and mentally bow down to the almighty.
In Islam this is achieved through the azan the calling of the faithful prayer also the sound produced from the shank is believed to purify the environment.
Then applying tillak is another common ritual it is applied on the spot that lies between our eyebrows referred to as the agni chakra the significance of applying tilaks at that point helps to conserve subtle energy of our body and keeps us focused.
Our ancestors found that the sandalwood, turmeric and saffron paste is quite effective if applied on the agna chakra this also explains why women wear a bindi at the same spot.
Have you ever wondered why yagna was performed?
It might seem like a futile exercise of burning herbs etc to ashes although it is a sophisticated process practice since the vedic times to purify the surroundings.
Many modern researchers too have acknowledged its benefits likewise key lamps and agar battis were used to create a positive aura
Then there are some rituals in India which have a symbolic meaning for example when we offer a coconut at the feet of a deity we symbolically offer our own head implying total surrender to the divine by detaching our ego from the self
There is a deep meaning as to why lotus which is also India’s national flower is used in poojas as the lotus leaf never gets wet even though it constantly remains in water symbolizing the man of wisdom who doesn’t get swayed by sorrow or joy
If you have ever observed when camphor burns it leaves behind nothing at all but a soothing fragrance its use in the puja and it is also to mark the burning of ego and purifying the environment practicing and understanding the deeper meanings of such rituals keeps the head light and ego low Never sleep facing the north as you will get scary dreams I am sure you have heard this well there is a reason for it as we all know that earth is a large magnet with north and south poles it has a strong magnetic pull towards the poles living in the northern hemisphere if we keep our head to the north and stay in the same position for seven to eight hours then the magnetic pull will put an undue pressure on our brain this may also be the reason why you sometimes wake up groggy even after a long sleep well you might not be getting scary dreams but it definitely affects your health so any direction other than the north is ok .In Indian culture to face east while sleeping is considered the best.
Do you know what is the concept behind doing a prayer before a meal?
The ancient practice of eating on the floor and having meals using your hands is highly effective in assimilating the maximum nutrition from the food.
Let us take this forward and understand why Indian meal no matter which religion you came from always started with a prayer, it’s no brainer that prayer instantly calms down our mind and when we eat with a calm mind we are able to eat food with more awareness which again leads to better assimilation of nutrients.
Our ancestors stress the fact that every meal should start with a spicy food and end with a sweet what is the reason behind this theory?
It is well known that when we eat spicy foods the body secretes digestive juices ensuring a smooth and efficient digestion process thus a meal starts off with spicy courses first and sweets at the end not only gives us a pleasant taste but are also associated with the feelings of satiety.
So after reading this blog, you’ll have a clear explanation about how Indian superstitions were well thought of considering the various aspects of life.