12 Scientific Explanations Of Strange Hindu Practices
Many people are unaware of the brilliant teachings and science behind Hinduism. Often obscured behind a veil of religiosity, these ancient teachings actually have a profound purpose. Below are few examples of day-to-day things Hindus do that have a surprisingly scientific basis.
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In Hindu culture, people greet each other by joining their palms – this is known as “Namaskar”. Generally, this is a symbol of respect. But pressing the fingertips together is said to activate pressure points which helps us remember that person for a long time.
Fasting has been used since ancient times in order to give the body a break from the difficult task of digestion. Only recently has research suggested there are major health benefits to caloric restriction — like reduced risks of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, immune disorders etc.
3. The Direction of Sleeping
Believe it or not, we all have magnetic fields which interact with the world around us. When we sleep with head towards north, our body’s magnetic field become completely asymmetrical to the Earth’s Magnetic field, which isn’t good. It causes problems related to blood pressure and our heart needs to work harder in order to overcome this asymmetry. Not only that, but when we sleep in the position, the iron in our blood starts to congregate in the brain.
4. Why Indian Girls Apply Mehendi/Henna On The Hand And Feet
Mehendi is a very powerful medicinal herb used in weddings. Weddings can be stressful events, to say the least. As the day approaches, that tension can build. Using mehendi on the hands and feet can prevent that stress from building because it cools the body at the hands and feet, which house the nerve endings in the body.
5. Applying Tilak/KumKum/Tika On The Forehead
On the forehead, between the two eyebrows, is a spot that is considered sacred since ancient times. It’s also an important nerve center. The Tilak is believed to prevent the loss of “energy”. While applying kumkum, the points on the mid-brow region are automatically pressed. It also facilitates the blood supply to the face muscles.
6. Idol Worship
According to psychiatrists, a person will shape their thoughts according to what they see. If you have 3 different objects in front of you, your thinking will change according to the object you are viewing. Similarly, in ancient India, idol worship was established so that when people view idols it is easy for them to concentrate to gain spiritual energy and meditate without mental diversion.
7. Why Temples have Bells
People who are visiting the temple should and will ring the bell before entering the inner sanctum where the main idol is placed. According to mythology, the bell is used to give sound for keeping evil forces away. However, the scientific reason behind bells is that their ring clears our mind by setting an intention for devotion.
8. Why Hindu Women Wear Toe Rings
It might come as a surprise, but wearing toe rings actually has science behind it. Normally, toe rings are worn on the second toe; a particular nerve from the second toe connects the uterus and passes to heart. Wearing the toe ring here will keep the uterus healthy by regulating the blood flow to it. According to some, it may even help to regularize the menstrual cycle.
9. Eating Spicy and Sweet
According to Ayurveda, our meals should be started off with something spicy and sweet dishes should be taken towards the end. While spicy things activate the digestive juices and acids and ensure that the digestion process goes on smoothly and efficiently, sweets or carbohydrates pulls down the digestive process. Hence, sweets were always recommended to be taken as the last item.
10. Cross Legged Sitting Position
Sitting on the floor and eating has been a time-honored tradition for millenniums. But in India, it’s a little different. It involves sitting in “Sukhasan” position. Sukhasan is a position normally used for Yoga asanas. When you sit on the floor, you usually sit cross-legged – In sukhasana or a half padmasana (half lotus), which are poses that instantly bring a sense of calm and helps in digestion.
11. Surya Namaskar
Hindus have a tradition of paying regards to the Sun God early. Waking up to follow this routine, we become prone to a morning lifestyle and mornings are proven to be the most effective part of the day.
12. The Tulsi Plant
Also known as ‘Sacred or Holy Basil’, Tulsi, has been recognized by the religious and spiritually devout in many parts of the world. The Vedic sages knew the benefits of Tulsi and that is why they personified it as a Goddess and gave a clear message to the entire community that it needs to be taken care of by the people, literate or illiterate. Tulsi has great medicinal properties: it’s a remarkable antibiotic, increases immunity, and helps the drinker prevent diseases, stabilize health conditions, and is even theorized to prolong life. Keeping Tulsi plant at home also prevents insects and mosquitoes from entering the house.
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