Couple of years ago, fresh out of college, armed with my science degrees and intoxicated on complex Maths – I would have sneered at the mere mention of superstitions. But I am changing my opinion for good. Let me explain why and what benefits you may reap from following some old Indian traditions.
In South India it is rather common to see women folk of a family decorating their houses with floral designs created by sprinkling of turmeric at the doorstep of the house. This is a ritual performed right after the morning bath. Elders would have taught us simply that this is an auspicious thing to do. It might get passed off as a superstition without any merits. But, on a careful examination of this practice one realizes the importance and benefit. You see, most insects like ants and cockroaches cannot stand turmeric. It is the most naturally available non toxic pest control solution. What an amazing idea – Encouraging art through beautiful intricate designs while implementing non toxic and non violent pest control.
Why is it a mandate to ring the Holy Bell while entering a Hindu temple. Just another Seemingly irrelevant ritual ? Not quite. You see, the Hindu temple bell is made of “AshthDhatu” ie an alloy of eight metals. Have you wondered why the tinkling of this bell is so nice to hear while a steel plate falling in the kitchen sounds so unpleasant ? It is because the Alloy of eight metals has special properties. It rings to a specific Frequency and vibration and has a healing character and calming effect on the mind. Call it a naturally available anti depressant.
Why is it a mandate to remove one’s shoes while entering a holy place, shrine or even one’s home ? Any scientist will tell you we are ultimately made of star ash(anyone that subscribes to the Bing bang theory ie). So basically we are made of the same atoms as the Car that you drive. So what has that got to do with walking barefoot ? Well, atoms as you know are ultimately made of Electrons and protons having a Negative or Positive charge. Electricity is nothing but the movement of electrons from higher concentration to lower. And the Brain performs various functions by passing electrical signals to different parts of the body through the vast network of neurons. So that establishes that there is lot of electrical activity going on inside the human body. And like all electrical circuits it is good to have any excess current get passed onto earth and keep the system stable. You can’t achieve earthing until you touch the earth with your bare foot. Our ancestors realized that walking barefoot all the time was not feasible. So they mandated at least taking off shoes before entering a holy place or home.
One more example before I leave the topic to be explored more in depth by the initiated. Hindu traditions restrict women from leaving their room or even going to the kitchen for 40 days right after child birth. Most people would see this as some sort of an oppression. But on a closer look, one realizes the merit of this ritual. A woman’s body undergoes a huge effort during childbirth and tends to be weak and needs time to regain strength. Moreover the new born’s health is tied to his/her mother’s health. The mother stepping out stands the chance to pick up a virus or germ and pass on to the baby who is very fragile. The mother is also weak and should avoid all kinds of physical work to regain her strength. So the folks came up with this clever ritual to ensure the mother and baby got the rest they needed and also avoided contact with the outside world thus reducing chances of an infection.
Chances are if you analyze any so called superstition, you shall find a hidden logic and benefit. What superstition did you learn as a child. I will be glad to hear. Leave a comment or write me an email. I am all ears.