One of the oldest and also the richest of religions, Hinduism has many such practices which we may follow just so because our mothers told so or because our nanis did so. And there are also many myths and superstitions attached to them. But to be truthful, they are not just some old bunch of crap that our ancestors made us do because they had nothing better to do themselves.
You will really be surprised to know that our fore-fathers were way ahead of their times and knew a lot about the health and mental benefits of many things that we do not know so much about even today. They smartly moulded them in the form of customs for us to follow in the name of religion so that we anyway follow them and avail those much needed benefits even if in the name of rituals or worship.
1. Why We Greet With Namaste
Namste is the way of the Hindus to show their respect and humbleness to the others. When we join our palms in the form of Namaste or Namaskaar, the pressure points located on the tips of our fingers are pressed together which activate them. These are the points that are connected to our eyes, ears and mind; hence increasing their health condition and help us to remember the person we are greeting for a long time.
2. Why We Apply Tilak or Kumkum on Forehead
The mid of the eyebrows, where we apply the bindi or tika, is the main nerve point in the human body. By putting the red kumkum dot there, we increase the level of concentration and retain our vital energy. It is also the point ofAdanya chakra hence while applying the tika, we press the point, allowing more blood flow to the facial muscles.
3. Why We Pierce Our Ears
Indians believe that piercing ears are a way to restraint speech and increase the calm composure leading to more listening and less speaking and hence, also saving energy. It is a way to develop intellectual power, enhance decision making skills and increase thinking ability.
4. Why We Apply Mehendi on Hands and Feet
Henna is not only a great way to decorate and beautify hands and feet but also has many medicinal benefits. It has a cooling effect hence, when applied to the bride it relaxes her tense and stressed nerves and prevents nervous breakdown, headaches and other stress related problems common during a wedding.
5. Why We Wear Bangles
Wearing bangles increases the blood flow in the wrist area due to friction between the skin and the bangles besides since the blood vessels are more topically located there. This also regulates and reverts the electric waves generating in this area, back into our bodies since the bangles are round in shape and do not have any end for the signals to lose to the environment.
6. Why Married Women Apply Sindoor
Made by mixing grounded turmeric-lime and mercury, sindoor has two major health benefits besides being symbolic of a married woman. It regulates the blood pressure and increases sexual drive, owing to mercury’s intrinsic properties. This is why widows are prohibited using sindoor. Moreover, since it’s red in colour it also increses the sexual drive in both the partners; red colour knowing to exert that effect in humans. It also helps to relieve stress.
7. Why They Wear Toe Rings
Generally worn on the second toe, toe ring is not just another jewellery that married women wear. It also has a scientific reason behind it. The silver metal of which the toe rings are usually made of are good conductors hence conduct the polar energies of the earth to the body. Another important reason being, the second toe has the nerve connected to the uterus and passes to the heart, hence, wearing toe ring on this toe strengthens the uterus and regulates the blood flow as well as the menstrual cycle.
8. Why We Sit Cross-legged on the Floor and Eat
The cross-legged position or the sukhasana as in Yog, is a pose that brings calm and relaxation to the body, as is clear from the name itself; sukh meaning happiness. Therefore, sitting in this position to eat, automatically triggers the brain to prepare the stomach for the digestion of food.
9. Why We Eat Spicy Food First and End with Sweet
Spicy and tangy food triggers the digestive enzymes and ensure smooth digestion process of food. While sweet items being heavy on carbohydrates makes the digestion slower. Hence, in Hindu tradition meals are always commenced with spicy and ended with sweet dishes.
10. Why We Fast
Fasting is not just a mode of showing our devotion towards God. It actually helps in aiding good health by promoting detoxification of the body and cleansing it from inside. After long periods of salty, oily and myriad other foods that we intake, the digestive system weakens due to excessive and continuous work. Thus, a regular or even an occasional fasting period gives it a chance to rest and therefore rejuvenate.
11. Why We Do Surya Namaskar
Suryanamaskar is the Hindu way of paying tribute to the Surya Bhagwan or the Sun God. By doing so, we help ourselves in two ways. First, we wake up early and make it our habit thus, incorporating a healthy lifestyle and second, the morning sun rays are good for the eyes, hence, it keeps them healthy and bright too.
12. Why We Do Not Sleep With Our Heads Towards North
We know that the earth has a magnetic field with an imaginary magnet aligned in the North-South direction. And our body too has a magnetic field of its own, pertaining to the heart and it’s blood flow. So, when we sleep with our heads towards North direction, the two magnetic fields become non-aligned and cause various health problems such as heart diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, brain degenaration, Parkinson’s disease etc. This can explain our mythical beliefs of inviting ghosts on sleeping with head towards North.
13. Why We Touch Feet
Hindus have a way of showing respect to the elders and the enlightened by touching their feet to seek their blessings. When we touch somebody’s feet, it marks the state of our reduced ego or shraddha and when they accept this respect, their hearts are filled with a positive energy or karuna that completes a circuit of cosmic energy flow; letting it flow from their feet to reach our fingertips and thus, connecting our minds and hearts.
14. Why Males Bear a Choti
In Yog, Bhramarandhra is the highest or the 7th chakra of the body consists of the thousand petalled lotus of wisdom. The knotted shikha or choti at the Adhipati Marma, the highest and the most sensitive spot on the head where the nexus of all the nerves is located, helps protect this centre and preserve it’s energy or Ojas.
15. Why We Worship Peepal Tree
Peepal though useless in terms of strong wood for furnitures or bearing any fruits; it is still worshipped like God. Why? It is because, since the ancient times we had known that Peepal is one of the few trees that gives off oxygen even in the night time, thus, to protect this life enriching tree, we related it to God and religion.
16. Why We Worship Tulsi
Tulsi or ‘The Holy Basil’ is given the status of mother by us. It is so because the Vedic sages knew the importance of the plant. It is a great medicinal herb that has many health benefits. Tulsi when taken in tea or other wise, regulates body systems, prevents diseases, stabilizes health conditions and increases immunity. It is very effective in keeping away mosquitoes, insects and even snakes.
17. Why We Worship Idols
Idol worshipping is the basis of Hinduism. We stress on worshipping idols since they help in strengthening concentration. When you are free to imagine, you are more likely to wander off but when we have a specific idol to concentrate on, we are more easily able to meditate without any mental diversion and thus, gain spiritual energy.
18. Why We Visit Temples
Our temples are so built strategically as to have the positive energy flowing inside them. The Moolsthanam or theGarbhagriha where the main idol of the temple is situated is in the centre and beneath it is a copper plate buried, which attracts the magnetic field of the earth and let’s us absorb those waves when we walk round the idol in the form of Parikrama. This is however, a slow process, and with regular visits to the temple we are able to build a the reservoir of positive energy within us.
19. Why Our Temples Have Bells
It is customary to ring the bell before entering the inner sanctum or the Garbhagriha of a temple. The sound of the bell is said to be pleasing to God and ward off evil spirits. However, scientifically speaking, the echo produced by ringing it, lasting at least 7 seconds long, creates a unity in the right and the left parts of the brain, enabling us to fully concentrate, disposing off any negative energy and thus negative thoughts and also activating all the seven chakras of the body.
20. Why We Throw Coins In Rivers
Although, it is considered to be a devotional practice to pay homage to the God and also to bring one luck, it is however an ingenious design made by our fore-fathers to ensure adequate intake of copper by us. In the ancient times when there were only copper coins instead of today’s stainless steel ones, making it customary to throw coins in the river water ensured we take in enough copper in our drinking water.