India, an abode to the world’s most extensive and diverse culture, has some incredibly interesting traditions and folklores. Right from ceremonies like lighting a lamp before beginning a religious procession to covering once’s head while entering a Gurudwara, there are traditions which have been followed by the people with complete credence and faith.
With the advent of technology and social media, there have been instances wherein the relevance and existence of these traditions is challenged in some way or another, however considering the fact that Hinduism is not a far off relative to Science, all these age old norms are perfectly backed up with sound logics that would not only satisfy an inquisitive person but would also help an individual to withhold these traditions with relatively more faith and trust towards them.
Come, fasten your seat belts and let us take you on a ride to unveil the reasons behind a few commonly practised customs at our households-
· Why do we worship Peepal Tree?
We have often seen a lot of people considering the Peepal Tree as pious and worshiping it at different religious ceremonies. Not only this, but the community also refrains from cutting down the barks or strands of Peepal tree. Ever thought why?
The only tree that produces oxygen during night is the magnanimous Peepal tree and our ancestors have started worshipping it, for the mere reason of its conservation due to this unique property.
· Does touching feet really offer respect to the counterpart?
Hinduism conceptualises the tradition of touching the feet of elderly. The key reason behind the phenomenon lies in the essence that when a younger person bends down and offers greetings to the counterpart, the latter emits positive energy which is radiated by a nerve in the brain and spreads out to all the body parts. This is turn, creates an entire circuit that channelizes the energies of one body to another who acts as a receptor while initiating the physical contact via touching the toes of the counterpart.
· Why do we fast?
Ayurveda observes the prime cause of disease occurrence as accumulation of toxic juices and materials in a human body. Fasting tends to provide rest to the digestive organs thereby cleansing the entire mechanism and reducing the probability of any chronic illness. Skipping the solid foods and relying on the liquid diet for a day or two, lowers the acid content in the human body and prevents the immune disorders.
· Why is Idol worship propagated?
Researchers claim that focussing on an object tends to increase the concentration power. Henceforth, our ancestors have initiated the concept of worshipping an Idol so as to increase the concentration and gain spiritual energy without any mental diversion.
· Why shouldn’t we lay our head towards north while sleeping?
Apart from the myth related to the occurrence of paranormal dreams, the scientific reason of not heading towards the north direction while sleeping is because while sleeping in such position, the iron in the blood starts accumulating in the brain causing some chronic disorders like Alzheimer’s, headache etc. Also, the magnetic field of the human body tends to be asymmetrical with the Earth’s magnetic field leading to the chances of high blood pressure.
· Why do we apply Kumkum and Chandan Tilak while performing a religious ritual?
The point on the mid brow is considered to be an important point of acupressure. While applying a tilak, and the nerve gets pressed upon, which facilitates instant blood supply to different body parts.
Aslo, Chandan/Sandalwood has a cooling extract and it tends to provide a soothing effect to the forehead.
· Why is sitting on the floor while eating, known to be good ?
Sitting on the floor in half lotus posture, or what is known to be half padmasan, is one of the core asanas while performing yoga. This tends to trigger the digestion process smoothly, maintaining the body balance brining a calming sense.
· Why do we ring the temple bell before entering the sanctum?
A bell is placed at the entrance of a temple, which is always rung before entering the inner chamber because the ringing produces an enduring sound which lasts for seven seconds and the echo is pretty much enough to activate all the seven healing centres in the human body which gradually increases the concentration.
· Why does tasting sweet curd at the time of exiting from home, considered auspicious?
In the ancient times, when there was no viable mode of transportation and people used to walk to far off places, the custom of having sweet curd came into picture. Curd keeps the body hydrated and sugar has calories which further controls the blood pressure. This was done to ensure the wellbeing of people, which later got adapted as a tradition brining good omen to the person.
· Why do we throw coins into a river while passing over?
Coins, in the bygone era were made of copper, which is a very essential element for the human body. By throwing the same into the rivers, the ancestors made sure that the people consumed ample amount of copper, as back then, rivers were the only source of drinking water.
Summing up, it could be said that, all the rituals and rites performed by our predecessors have now become an age old tradition, some of which are blindly been followed and the rest of which have lost their essence over the time.
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