We live in a world where the nuclear family is chosen over joint family, and people move on with their busy lives that family has become of lesser importance than personal and professional growth. As part of that, we have been slowly giving up our tradition and rituals because we have been thinking that they are nothing but “bullshit”. Part of the blame should go to our forefathers because they were ineffective in passing the rituals. They have not understood the science behind those rituals.
Here we debunk each Hindu ritual:
Chants before taking food
Hindus normally pray for few seconds before eating supper. This is done to activate the process of digestion because the prayer combined with a visual perception of food increases the flow of saliva in the mouth and the liquid activates generation of other digestive enzymes too.
While still sitting in bed after waking up, Hindus chant this prayer:
Karaagre vasathe Lakshmi karamadhye saraswathi karamoole sthithaa gouri prabhaathe karadarsanam.
The science is that when a person is sleeping, it remains in a horizontal position, but after standing, it changes to the vertical position (simple logic). So that this change doesn’t become sudden, this prayer is chanted. When a person is in the vertical position, the heart pumps blood more forcefully, and a swift change in position from horizontal to vertical can increase the chance of heart attack. (It has been estimated that 23% of heart attack deaths take place in heart patients when they suddenly get up and stand/walk from lying position at the various time in night.)
Also, after standing, another Hindus chant another mantra and touch the floor:
Samudra vasane devi parvatha sthana mandale Vishnu patnee namasthubhyam paada sparsam kshamaswa me.
The science, on the other hand, is that the biostatic electricity in the body is transferred to the earth through fingers rather than the feet, which in turn reduces the chances of arthritis and other nervous problems.
The motto behind performing a Pooja is “good will come if good is practiced”. We feel that after conducting Pooja all the bad things will go away and we will be able to achieve something. Also, we perform Pooja with family members and relatives which give the opportunity to improve the family bond. Praying to gods with smiling faces (prasanna vedanam) will also give us the psychological boost of feeling something good.
Revolving around a temple
Temples are more of a “quantum healing centers” than just prayer halls. They can provide positive energy to the body if a proper Pancha Suddhee has been maintained. Also, when a Hindu performs pradakshina to aswatha, it can purify the lung with the traces of ozone going into the lungs from the atmosphere. The aura is also generally positive with people chanting mantras inside the temples.
Attending temple festivals
During festivals, children and youth are given specific tasks to complete so that the festival can commence properly. This can help increase leadership skills, networking skills among the participants, while also increase spiritual benefits.
Every scripture has a bit of story to tell – be it about the highs and lows of someone’s life or be it about the pains and pleasures of life. These scriptures are the source of learnings for any reader.
Reading Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita is the ultimate source for life lesson. It is filled with stories and lessons that can be implemented in real life. Whenever there are difficulties, there are ways out and the book provides them with the solutions.
While visiting elders does provide opportunities to bond, it also gives opportunities to learn valuable lessons through the experiences of elders. Respecting them is another form of providing them the way to guide the society because they are the ones who have been through life and know more about it than young ones.
There is a culture of saluting the sun during the first rays of the sun and performing 7 yoga asanas following it. These yoga instances move all the skeletal joints of the body and are also known as “king of the exercises”. To do that, people have to wake up early, and there have been studies that one of the common traits of successful people is early risers. The yoga postures also provide good flexibility and fitness to people, even in old age.
Intestines are cleansed and the body is detoxified during fasting. Partial fasting will demand a change of food habit. This means that people who are partially fasting will be getting different types of micronutrients from different types of food sources.
Choodaakarna and annapraasana
Wearing the earring during the chhodaakarna is just like getting the first vaccination, and annapraasana is just like the first inovulation to the baby through hands of different people. The process is done so properly that the chances of germs and bacteria entering the body is less. Thus, the immunity of the baby is strengthened.
Sleeping with the head facing the north direction is considered to be a taboo in Hindu culture. But the science is that the magnetic meridian of the earth retards the blood flow through brain capillaries and affects the functioning of brain cells if the person sleeps with the head facing towards the north.
Not just the sign of a successful person, but waking early will give a person ample time to schedule the day and that way the person can achieve his daily goals.
Taking early bath
Hindus take bath every morning. It helps prevent skin diseases since it cleans all the decomposed products/salts/urea and other harmful substances in the body. It also helps maintain body temperature.
Hindus prepare Charamrita/Pachamrit while praying. The tulasi water has medicinal benefits.
Sandalwood Tilak in school prayer
Back in the days, there used to be a ritual where students put sandalwood tilak on their forehead every morning. (It is still in practice in very few schools around India.) This had positive benefits. Students could concentrate more since Chandan or the sandalwood is said to keep the mind in peace.