Why it is not prescribed to eat sweet and go outside?
Most of us have been perturbed and irked by the sudden jostle from our parents or specifically grandparents when we go outside home after eating something sweet. This sudden irk becomes more prominent during the night time, when they will give some salt in the hands and ask the person to lick it and them go.
The Garuda Purana states about the things to which the ghostly species are attracted to. They are attracted to pleasant as well as putrid smell of any form which works as a food for them. So, whenever someone eats a sweet item of any kind, the pleasant smell of the sweet attracts these species and hence, they become prone to attack by them. The attack may be subtle or gross, depending upon the level of piety of the individual. Pious persons are safeguarded by the destiny as well as supreme lord whereas impious may have to face certain strange happenings.
Salt, on the other hand is a pure substance. In Garuda Purana, the supreme lord Sri Krishna states to Garuda, “Know that sesame seed comes from my sweat and the salt originates from my body”. Salt, being pure and stronger than all other tastes, subdues the effect of sweet and hence, stops the pleasant as well as putrid smell coming from our mouth.
The eating of sweets after brushing one’s teeth increases the chances of tooth decay. And the more time elapses after brushing one’s teeth, the more are the chances. Also, sweet items are the most nutritive in nature. Due to high content of sugar, they act as the best medium for growth of bacteria. Whenever we move out, we are in contact with billions and trillions of them. These bacterial infections can cause variety of oral as well as digestive system diseases.
Salt, being strong and piercing in nature, makes the mouth saline and stops the bacterial growth to a very high extent. It acts an oral cleanser and mouth refresher, completely eliminating the chances of any of such diseases.
Science behind touching feet of elders
Whenever we see someone pious or advanced in spirituality, it naturally comes in the heart of an Indian to touch their feet and take their blessings. This custom has been prevalent since centuries and marks the respect which we give to our elders or someone who is senior than is in the matter of understanding the spiritual aspect of the human life.
The science behind touching the feet of elder goes like this:
The nerves that start from our brain spread across all your body. These nerves or wires end in the fingertips of your hand and feet. When you join the fingertips of your hand to those of their opposite feet, a circuit is immediately formed and the energies of two bodies are connected. Your fingers and palms become the ‘receptor’ of energy and the feet of other person become the ‘giver’ of energy.
Usually, the person of whose feet you are touching is either old or pious. When they accept your respect which came from your reduced ego (shraddha) their hearts emit positive thoughts and energy (kripa) which reaches you through their hands and toes.
Their blessing creates an aura which helps us to get to the higher understandings and gives the recipient some share of the piety which the elder has earned.
One of the gender role associated with females is appearing all fancy and decorated, especially after marriage. Though natural or internal beauty is the best asset yet external beautification has also become an important part. It is surprise to know that few ornaments, worn as symbol of married women, actually have scientific and health benefits. If they succor in health benefits then why not take the duo advantage.
Significance of toe ring:
Toe rings or commonly called as ‘bichiya’ are worn in pairs on the second toe of both feet. Some people may also wear more than one set of toe rings, for fashion or even tradition. Apart from the symbol of marital status, it has major health benefit.
A nerve from the second toe connects the uterus and passes to heart. Wearing toe ring on this finger strengthens the uterus. It also keeps the person healthy by regulating the blood flow to it and menstrual cycle is regularized. As Silver is a good conductor, it also absorbs polar energies from the earth and passes it to the body. These toe rings worn on a particular finger enhance the sexual arousal among the females.
Significance of wearing bangles:
Be it in any form ranging from choodha among Punjabis to ivory bangles among Rajasthanis, the material and designs can vary accordingly. Apart from being a jewelry piece, it holds important health benefit. Times when mostly the male members of the house were involved in physical work and ladies were engrossed in household chores the bangles helped the ladies to stay fit. Normally the wrist portion is in constant activation on any human. Also the pulse beat in this portion is mostly checked for all sorts of ailments.
The Bangles used by women are normally in the wrist part of one’s hand and its constant friction increases the blood circulation level. Further the electricity passing out through outer skin is again reverted to one’s own body because of the ring shaped bangles, which has no ends to pass the energy outside and send it back to the body. This maintains the blood pressure and results in stability and patience.
Birth and end of mortals are a law of nature; everything that has been created by the supreme energy will vanish into it one day. In spite of being aware of it, it’s not easy to let go off someone close to our heart. Yet we have to bid farewell to our beloved ones with a heavy heart. Rituals and ceremonies are performed in both the beginning and end of a soul’s journey on earth to transform the human life into a learning and memorable experience of soul.
The ceremonies and acts involved after death of a human is a sensitive issue among society, often accompanied with various myths and superstitions that need to be dispelled. “Despite the country’s space programme which has sent satellite to Mars, many people in the country still believe in lot of superstitions and evil social practices. There is lack of awareness about scientific temper in the society which is the reason for such superstition,” said by President Pranab Mukherjee in an article published in The Indian Express.
Here few of the myths are considered, justified with facts and scientific reasoning.
Why to take a bath right after attending the funeral ceremonies?
Once a person is dead, the body begins the process of decomposition in five major steps including, Initial decay, Putrefaction, Black putrefaction, Butyric putrefaction, Dry decay. As the body loses the ability to fight against bacteria, at times it may prove to be harmful. Since most of the ceremonies are performed near a river, the temperate environment of India makes it more favourable for growth of bacteria. Moreover the scavengers are usually found near cremation grounds that are a major carrier of germs. So keeping the health and hygiene into perspective, bathing proves to be beneficial and it also refreshes the grief struck family members of the dead.
Why are Hindu women not allowed to go to funeral?
To be more clear and precise, none of the source of Hinduism has mentioned about the concept of ‘women are not allowed at the funerals’; in fact at the time of Mahabharata women did take part in the funeral rites. Usually the rituals are performed by the eldest son of the family but if there is no male in the family, then women can also perform those rites. In few of the societies women were prohibited because of the children and other old members at home. Women have a lot of responsibilities at home so the long journeys and the funeral ceremonies may turn to be difficult for them as they can’t stay away from the too long.
Aren’t dead bodies full of dangerous bacteria that can make the living sick?
The microorganisms involved in the process of decomposition are not necessarily disease causing organisms. In one of the Oliver Morgan’s article, he says, “most viruses and bacteria that do cause disease cannot survive more than a few hours in a dead body.” So this is more of a smell and psychological issue rather than health issue. In extreme cases, if the patient is suffering from some contagious disease, then easy precautions like covering the face and hands while handling the dead body must be taken.
Organ donation is against our religion?
As per a report by Shaunaka Rishi Das of the Oxford Centre for Vaishnava and Hindu Studies, most Hindus take the view that after the soul has departed, the body is no more than a machine, and there is nothing to stop the parts being shared with others. In fact Hinduism has mentioned ‘daan’ and ‘dharma’ as niyams in the list of 10 Niyams. So the selfless act of sharing and helping the needy is not against Hindu religion. Moreover most of the major religions approve of the humane act of organ donation. President Mukherjee says, “India has a rate of less than 0.2 donors per one million population. India suffers from organs shortage of gigantic proportions. An estimated two lakh people in our country are diagnosed with organ failure every year, needing transplantation as a life-saving mechanism.”
So these are just few of the common myths, which are prevalent among our society that needs to be validated with a proper argument. Awareness is must, especially among the rural sections of the society to get rid of such superficial arguments or rather follow them with a rational approach.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
All you ladies out there just be cautious as the devil of blood is right here every month and be prepared for peek-a-boo. Get set to stay away from the kitchen to temple to any pious work as its time to stay aloof and feel deplorable about yourself. “You are not allowed in social gatherings, stay away from here…You are impure!!” As soon as something like this pops up, it fills us with thousands of questions within us. We are compelled to consider ourselves impure and most of us simply accept it rather than discovering the rational point behind it.
According to the scientific definition, “Menstruation cycle refers to the cyclic, physiological discharge through the vagina of blood and mucosal tissues from the non-pregnant uterus; it is under hormonal control and normally recurs, usually at four week intervals, in the absence of pregnancy during reproductive period of the females”.
So this is a natural process which is essential for the female body and I don’t think that there is anything to be ashamed about, in accepting your body hormonal changes. During these 5 to 7 days, there are numerous myths and superstitions which are yelled upon you and probably few of them are quite funny and unreasonable.
Relation between Menstruation and Moon:
It is believed that the lunar cycle of moon and menstruation cycle are connected as in ancient times females used to menstruate as per the cycle of new moon to full moon. In fact the first calendars were based on the moon cycles and menstrual cycles. The lengths of both the cycles are approximately the same i.e. nearly 28 or 29 days. Scientists have also proven that the exposure to moon light during these days cause certain changes in the body and the menstrual cycle is also influenced by the moonlight.
Do not enter Temples or attend religious gatherings:
Women are restricted to enter the holy places and even today this myth is carried out in our society. Most of the temples and religious places have placed a large board outside, “Menstruating women are not allowed to enter”. On observing it carefully I wonder that how am I so unclean and what has my periods got to do with worshiping. So the basis behind this statement is that all the religious practices emit energy in the environment which directly affects our human body. During this period the female body is already releasing high amount of energy so she is advised to remain away from temples so that her natural energy release is not disturbed.
Do not touch the Pickle:
Girls are often told to stay away from touching the pickle as she is considered impure and her touch may spoil it. Seriously, can you beat that! Till today I had only heard that food get spoilt because of bacterial or fungal action but it can also get spoilt by my touch, strange myth. During ancient days this myth was strictly followed on the same pace as Brahmins avoided the shadow and touch of untouchables, similarly the touch of menstruating lady was avoided. Her touch was considered unfit so anything touched by her was not fit for consumption. As pickle often needs extra care and it gets spoilt by change in temperatures so our elders tried to blame ladies for it rather than the temperature change.
Do not enter the kitchen or cook food:
The idea of not entering the kitchen is much more prevalent in the hard core Hindu society. Apart from considering this period as a sin, the basic reason behind this ritual makes true sense. During menstruation period, the females are continuously releasing energy and turn weak and feeble. They are also prone to infections as they are sensitive and their menstrual waste is also unhygienic. Thus females are advised to rest for preventing the chance of infection through food and water and maximum rest is required for her body.
Do not wash your hairs:
When our elders scolded us for washing our hairs during menstruation period it sounded so funny to us. Now when I discover an acceptable logic behind it, this myth seems reasonable. As our body is weak during this period, extra energy is wasted while washing our hairs. As our vagina is exposed for a longer period of time during hair wash, there are also chances of infection from the dust in the environment and vice versa. Another reason for it is that the flow of blood reduces when it comes in contact with clean water, which is not advisable. Thus washing of hairs should be avoided for the first three days, at least.
Menstruation is a sin, therefore painful:
Ever heard anyone saying, “You are paying for your sins, your menstruation pain is a curse upon you”? Sounds weird! In earlier days people used to believe that menstruation is a curse and the pain varies according to your evil deeds. This is just a mere superstition and menstrual cramps are natural, it has nothing to do with your karmas. The blood flowing out of the uterus is thick with clots or lumps, so it becomes difficult for regular smooth flow. During first two days, the thick blood leads to rhythmic contractions in the body which causes cramps in the abdomen and backache. So from the third day onwards the blood flow becomes thinner and easier to release.
So India being a highly religious country, we value our traditions and norms but please raise your voice against the unreasonable myths and stop accepting the ideas as the way they are imposed upon you. Every idea has a rational behind it and the next time somebody instructs you during menstruation period, just let them know the logic or ask reason from them.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja