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Indian Culture Vs. Science –Part 1

Contrary to the world believe and considering the present stage of India’s development many of you will be surprised to learn that India of ancient times was much more scientifically advanced than we realize. Most of the belief and practices of Indian culture which we blindly follow today had some important relevance and still remain so.

Most of the people in the younger generation are probably not aware about it and therefore does not have very high esteem about various practices. They do not even think twice before making the mockery of it.

It will be my earnest endeavor to throw light on some of the beliefs and practices of Indian culture that are or have been scientifically valid.

1. Piercing of ears (Karnavedha)

Karnavedha, or the ear-piercing, is a tradition that is being followed since ages and has a scientific basis behind it.  In my family only, many children died after child birth and then my father onwards they got their ear-pierced. Miraculously, all the children survived after that.

In Rajasthan the children including the male Rajputs still get their ear-pierced. Ayurveda advocates ear piercing on the grounds that it prevents diseases like hernia and hydrocele. It is also believed that ear piercing regulates the menstrual cycle in girls and prevents hysteria and other diseases. Indian physicians and philosophers believe that piercing the ears helps in the development of intellect, power of thinking and decision making faculties.

2. Worshipping of Peepal tree

‘Peepal’ tree is worshipped everywhere although except for its shadow we don’t get any benefit from it or any of its part. However our ancestors knew well that ‘Peepal’ is the rare tree which produces oxygen even at night. So probably in order to save this tree they related it to God/religion. Cutting of a Peepal tree is a big “NO” in Indian Culture.

3.  Having Tulsi plant in house

In Indian culture ‘Tulsi’ plant is worshipped as mother. The Vedic sages knew the benefits of Tulsi and that is why they personified it as a Goddess giving a clear message to the entire society that it needs to be taken care of by all the people. Tulsi has great medicinal properties and has remarkable antibiotic properties too.

Consuming Tulsi everyday in any form increases immunity and helps in preventing many diseases. Tulsi plant if kept at home prevents insects and mosquitoes from entering the house.

It is believed that snakes do not go near a Tulsi plant. Probably that was the reason why ancient people grew lots of Tulsi near their houses.

4. Whitewashing house before Diwali and lighting of Diyas

Diwali happens to fall during the months of October or November which marked by the start of winter season and end of rainy season. After the heavy downpour of Rainy season many homes needed repair and whitewash before the onset of winter. In addition the Diyas attract and kill many dangerous insects that are left after the rains.

5. Throwing coins into a river

In Indian Culture throwing coins into a river is a good omen. However, as per the scientific relevance in the ancient times, most of the currency at that time was made of copper which is very useful to the human body in small traces. Thus, making throwing coins in the river as a part of custom ensured that we took sufficient copper as in those times rivers were the only source of drinking water.

6.      Joining both palms to greet and clapping during religious ceremonies

In Indian culture, people greet each other by “Namaskar” which is denoted by joining their palms as a mark of respect. We also tend to clap while worshipping. Scientifically speaking, both these activities ensure pressing of 39 Acupressure points for almost all organs in our palm leading to innumerable benefits.

Pressing palms together is also said to activate the pressure points which helps us remember that person for a long time. Moreover, no infectious germ transmits since we don’t make any physical contact.

7.     Wearing toe rings by Indian women

The scientific reason of wearing toe rings by married Indian women on their second toe is that a particular nerve from the second toe connects the uterus and passes to heart. Wearing toe ring on this finger not only strengthens the uterus but also keeps it healthy by regulating the blood flow to it and regularizing the menstrual cycle.

8.     Applying Tilak on the forehead by men and Bindi by women

The spot between the two eyebrows on forehead is considered as a major point in human body since ancient times. It is one of the most important chakra out of the seven chakras in human body known as “Ajna” Chakra/3rd Eye responsible for perception.

The Tilak, Kumkum or Bindi is believed to prevent the loss of “energy” from between the eyebrows and control the various levels of concentration. While applying Tilak, Kumkum or Bindi the “Ajna” chakra point is automatically pressed. It also facilitates the blood supply to the face muscles.

Many meditation techniques guide us to focus on this point.

This is just a beginning of our profound Indian culture. In the coming blogs, I would be throwing more light on various interesting Indian cultures and their scientific base. Till then enjoy getting enlightened by the above blog.

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