Scientific reasons behind common Indian traditions is the article that shows the importance of our customs. Indian tradition is the breath of the future. Our customs and traditions are not just practices but a way of living. Probably it seems, our ancestors created a protocol for healthy life and termed it as tradition. Nowadays, some rituals have become a part of the mechanical routine. But the same can be performed with high interest if we get to know the science behind it. This article lists out some common practices and their benefits.
Scientific reasons behind traditional Indian greeting – Namaste:
Namaste is the way of greeting people in India. This gesture is common in many classical dances, yoga postures, and also in religious rituals. This gesture is also known as Anjali mudra in yoga. Namaste is derived from Sanskrit, Nama means Bow, As means I, and Te means you. So, Namaste means “I bow to you”.
The proper way of doing Namaste is to bring the palms and fingers of both hands together by touching each other. The fingers are faced upwards and the head is bent down. The hands joined so are brought to the chest (Anahata Chakra). This represents showering respect and love from within the heart. The tips of the fingers are major energy points. When the fingers are pressed together, the energy circuit of the brain linked to those points activates energy in the upper body.
Reasons for temples having bells:
When we think about Hindu temples, a picture of an eye-catching metal bell hung in front of the sanctum hits our eyes. We generally go to the temples, ring the bell, pray to the lord and come back. In childhood jumping to ring the bell was a favorite part for most of us. However, how many of you know the reason behind hanging bells in temples? Here it is. There is a shloka that says:
आगमर्द्धंतु देवानां गमनार्धम्तु रक्षसां |
कुरु घण्टाअरवं कृत्वा देवताह्वानं लञ्चनं ||
This means I start my prayer by ringing the bell so that the divine forces enter me and the demonic forces go out of me. Ancient temple bells were made of a mixture of different metals like zinc, copper, cadmium, bronze, gold, etc. A well-crafted bell produces the sound Om (Aum), also it echoes 7 times by energizing the 7 chakras of the body. Also, the sound of the bell creates harmony in right and left lobes of the brain. Thereby, increasing the concentration and bringing back the wandering mind.
Significance of visiting temples:
India is a land of temples. Whether popular temples or the unpopular ones in small towns, when we visit temples a wave of positive vibes flow within us. Whether the person is a spiritual being, a devotee, or even an atheist, visiting temples calms down our body and soul. The fragrance of incense sticks, camphor, and flowers, the view of magnificent idols, etc. activates our sense organs. Especially if we visit ancient temples, we feel a breeze of calmness entering us by washing away all the negative thoughts and mood swings. This is because temples are built in the areas where the earth has high electric and magnetic vibrations. The garbhagriha / sanctorum is built where there is maximum positivity. Thus, the temple floors absorb positive energy as they are good conductors. If we walk barefoot on these floors, it helps the positive energy to pass through the body. When we go around the temple in an anticlockwise direction (pradakshine) the body absorbs maximum energy.
Why do we worship murtis / idols?
I believe, as humans, we all have some role model to uplift ourselves to the higher self. Similarly, to attain moksha as explained in Hinduism, we need a role model called God. We, humans, are finite beings with finite thoughts. It is hard for us to connect with the infinite supreme being in this finite world. Moreover, it is hard to hold our ever-wandering minds in one place.
In order to focus our thoughts in one place to avail the benefits of maximum energy in temples or any rituals, our ancestors have initiated the idea of idols. The fact is that we do not worship idols, instead we connect to God through what is called as idols. It is just like we do not talk on the phone but we talk to some person through the phone. The murtis act like a bridge to fill the gap and provide comfort to vanish our sorrows. Furthermore, the splendid decoration of idols with robes and ornaments creates an impression of the supreme self and helps us to visualize the bliss.
Why do we worship the Tulsi plant:
Hinduism teaches us to respect every being, plant, animal, and even the smallest of the creatures. We worship many plants and trees to render respect for what they give us. Tulasi is one such important plant that is renowned over the globe. Each household in India has Tulasi as an integral part since times immemorial. This is because tulsi is believed to be the manifestation of goddess Lakshmi in plant form.
Texts also say that by worshipping tulsi one can get closer to the divine form of Lord Vishnu. Apart from these, this adaptogen herb reduces stress. It has a high medicinal value in Ayurveda which cures several ailments. Eating a Tulasi leaf every morning increases immunity and helps in maintaining physiological balance. Having the Tulasi plant in the house keeps the mosquitos and other insects away.
Significance of wearing bangles:
Bangles are an integral part of Indian weddings. Irrespective of state brides and to-be brides wear different bangles according to their tradition. Gold and silver bangles are our tradition. However, the colorful glass bangles set the trend. Nowadays, various bangles/bracelets of different geometrical shapes are trending in the market. However, glass, gold, and silver bangles still hold traditional importance. These bangles are considered auspicious and represent the husband’s longevity.
Talking about the scientific reasons, bangles hold various health benefits. Ayurveda says women’s bones are weaker than that of men. Hence wearing the gold/silver bangles helps in absorbing the environmental energy and transmits it to the body. As we all know, women wear bangles on the wrist area. The constant friction of the bangles with the wrist stimulates the nerve and helps in good blood circulation. Alongside, metals in bangles absorb the energy released by the skin and revert it back to the body. Furthermore, different colored bangles have different significance like., green represents prosperity and fertility, and red is for energy and good luck. Yellow symbolizes happiness and blue is for wisdom. While, orange, white, silver, and gold represent success, new beginnings, strength, and fortune respectively.
Significance of piercing nose:
Among many common Indian customs nose piercing also takes one of the predominant places. In some religions, women pierce noses at the time of the wedding. And some communities do it much earlier when the girl attains her puberty. Wearing beautiful nose rings is not just a talk of fashion, it also has some health benefits for women. We can witness that generally women pierce their nose on the left nostril. This is because the nerve running through the left nostril connects to the reproductive system. Hence, it helps in improving reproductive organs thereby reducing infertility. In addition, it also helps in reducing labor pain during delivery and reduces menstrual cramps too.
Dear readers, since this is a vast topic, I was not able to cover entire thing in one article. My upcoming article will have some more interesting facts. Keep an eye out on this website to know more such interesting and lesser-known information.