Once an interesting true story appeared in a popular English magazine where a. fourth generation lady in a family wants to know why the Easter Turkey was. always cut in three and cooked where as in all other homes the Easter Turkey. was cooked whole The lady in question goes to her mother who tells that that. was how it was always done in the family and that she had learnt it from her. mother then the inquisitive lady goes to her grandmother who also tells her. the same story Then she goes to her great grandmother where she is told by. the great grandmother that cutting the turkey into three was the ONLY way. that the turkey was going to fit into the great grandmother cooker Observing. this practice the family had for generations been following the practice of. cutting the turkey into three until our inquisitive lady showed up. Like this customs traditions rituals and practices also have some basis And. sometimes it could have some simple and functional basis Many of the. practices customs and traditions or rituals must have started at some point of. time because of some need event Later on they get incorporated more as. practices as over the years the actual reasons are forgotten. Is there a scientific reason behind every tradition. Most of the practices customs and traditions have some basis some of which are. truly scientific The tradition might also be right under the conditions prevailing at the. time it was made part of the social conduct For instance when disinfectants Were. not known much the people have been using cow s urine Cow dung has been used. to plaster mud houses and mud floors People have been giving water hot drinks etc. to guests in silver tumblers the guests felt honoured as they were offered drinks in. cups made of a precious metal But the silver Metal served a specific purpose for the. host the metal was germicidal and so it helped prevent any infection that the guests. might carrying the women in the families were required to be kept in quarantine for. three days in order to prevent infection as menstrualtual discharge had some toxic. substances and also to give the women the much needed rest during the period. Most of the Tamil Hindu customs and traditions had some scientific reason behind. Most of the Tamil customs and traditions are derived from our ancestors Tamil has a. very long history dating back to thousands of years Education in ancient times was. derived from the elders and preceptors of a family Traditions and customs were. taught at a very young age and followed as part of life. Education brings about a transformation in every Individual We learn to question. reason and understand what ever we intend to do It may be very common experience. for today s young generation to question our elders when we are asked to follow a. custom or tradition, You may be thrilled and happy to know the real intention of the customs we follow in. our day to day lives, I have listed down a few Tamil Customs Traditions along with the possible scientific. reason with which I got convinced with Although a lot of care had been taken to. ensure the accuracy of the information given there is no doubt that there will be. some errors and omissions which in my opinion are inevitable and I regret these. errors and omissions,Few Tamil Customs Traditions, Majority of Tamils are Hindus by birth and they practice Hinduism following Siva sect. Saivaism These people are generally deeply religious but are never religious. fanatics They go to temple to pray whenever possible but not compulsory There is. no hard and fast rule on temple visits Every important step in the progressive life of a. child was a festive occasion for the parents and family and they celebrated with. appropriate ceremonies The Tamil man is devoted to his family and his life is family. centered and the family comes first, In Tamil culture the left hand is primarily used for personal hygiene purposes and. hence using left hand to receive or hand over anything from anyone is considered as. After attending a funeral both men and women stay outside the house Then they go. to the well and have a bath wash all their clothes and then only enter the house This. is preventing any infection from the funeral house This is more prevalent in the. villages I e Every person visiting the house of the dead person during the mourning. period is believed to suffer from pollution The first thing he is expected to do on. leaving the house of the dead person is to have purificatory bath Only after this bath. he is entitled by custom and usage to have a drink of even a glass of water or to eat. and enter the main parts of his own house The house where death was occurred is. considered polluted and cooking is not done for few days The neighbours supply. If anyone in the house suffers from an infectious disease like chicken pox a bundle of. Neem or margosa leaves are hung at the gates of the house indicating there is an. infection a brilliant method of isolation, Also Neem act as anti bacterial anti parasitic anti fungal anti protozoal and anti viral. thus helps in protection from all the micro organisms which are always ready to. invade in our body causing serious ailments Neem tree is commonly known as. margosa tree in English, On the forehead between the two eyebrows a spot considered a major nerve point in human. body since ancient times The Pottu is believed to prevent the loss of energy The red. kumkum between the eyebrows is said to retain energy in the human body and control the. various levels of concentration, Note The blood supply to the face muscles is facilitated While applying kumkum the points on. the mid brow region and Adnya chakra are automatically pressed This facilitates the blood. supply to the face muscles The entire body emanates energy in the form of electromagnetic. waves the forehead and the subtle spot between the eyebrows especially so That is why worry. generates heat and causes a headache The tilak and pottu cools the forehead protects us and. prevents energy loss Sometimes the entire forehead is covered with Santhanam Sandalwood. Using plastic reusable sticker Pottu bindis is not very beneficial even though it serves the. purpose of decoration, Traditionally dressed Tamil girls stay at the main entrance to welcome the guest with Panner. Rose water Santhanam Sandalwood and Kunkumam Vermilion. APPLYING HENNA BEFORE AUSPICIOUS OCCASIONS, Henna is typically applied during special occasions like weddings and during festivals. Henna is applied to hair hands and feet and believed to bring good luck Our ancestors. have advised applying heena to hands to the bottom of the feet and hair etc especially at. the onset of rainy season, Note This was because during rainy season the susceptibility to get infected by germs. was manifold and henna s anti fungal and anti bacterial properties were believed to fight. those germs Though henna is seen as an adornment scientifically henna extracts show. antibacterial antifungal and ultraviolet light screening activity Henna is anti fungal and can. be effective against psoriasis A noncontagious inflammatory skin disease Henna is most. commonly used as a natural hair and skin dye but henna also contains a compound called. lawsone hennotannic acid which is the what gives heena its antibacterial and antifungal. capabilities Henna is effective against prevention of dandruff too. DURING MENSTRUATION WOMEN WERE NOT ALLOWED TO DO,ANY WORK OR COOK ANY FOOD ITEMS. This seems like a regressive thought that our ancestors suffered from but our ancestors. kept in mind the discomfort and trouble that a woman goes through while menstruating. suffering from cramps and exhaustion To keep women away from all work and to give her. the much needed rest this theory of banning a menstruating woman in those days and not. allowing her to cook because cooking was a major activity and the woman had to cook for. many members came into being Though over the ages it did become a notoriously. backward practice, We find that in olden days people took bath in rivers mountain pools waterfalls and the. seas This habit is in vogue even to day Pulanadal or river bath is described as a significant. act in all Tamil Classics The Tamil proverb Even if it be the humble gruel to consume. have it after a bath Summarise the significance Attached to the daily bathing ie Bathing is. an integral part of daily routine in every Tamil s life. The practice of regular oil bath men taking on Wednesdays and Saturdays and women folk. on Tuesdays and Fridays has been in vogue In Tamilaham from ancient period Its origins. are unknown Yet its significance can be understood by the advice of AVVAIYAR S. statement that one should is regular in Saturday s oil baths Athi 16. That a bath keeps us healthy through personal hygiene is a well known fact But there are. other aspects as well that are not well known Polygraphic studies proved that water. enhances electro magnetic activity In the context of this finding the practices like washing. hands and feet before entering temples and taking bath everyday worshipping with wet. clothes and offering prayer standing in the middle of water chest deep in rivers and tanks. etc seem to be more scientific than a mere act of cleanliness Human body is centre of. electric currents and impulses A continuous process of generation and consumption of. electric energy takes place in the human body More energy is generated in our body. whenever we are excited and battle various emotions as well as indulge in intense physical. activity However at night when we retire until the next morning this generation and. consumption level of power drops drastically This is the reason why we feel so lethargic on. waking up in the morning We are neither active physically non mentally Washing our face. immediately clears the cobwebs of drowsiness A bath certainly freshens up completely and. puts us in our best shape This happens due to the fact that water consumes the electricity in. our body This is known as Electro magnetic activity Therefore taking bath has more to do. with such scientific reasoning than merely cleanliness. DO NOT TAKE BATH IMMEDIATELY AFTER EATING, There an old Malayalam saying that emphasizes that if you see someone taking bath. immediately after having had a meal you should kick that person Though this is an old. saying it is based on scientific backing that if a person is immediately taking bath after a. meal the digestion process gets slowed down by a great deal as cold water activates certain. chemicals in the body that rushes the blood to the skin to keep it warm and the digestion. process takes a backseat So it was always advised by our ancestors to take food after. having a bath ie Bath will increase blood flow to the hands feet and body that causes the. amount of blood around the stomach will continue to decrease This will weaken the. digestive system in our stomach, START ALWAYS WITH SPICY FOOD AND END YOUR MEAL WITH SWEETS. 3 Rava Kesari Sweet,4 Jangiri Sweet,5 Banana Chips. 9 Vendaikai Kootu,10 Keerai Kootu,11 Cabbage Poriyal. 14 Vathal Kuzhambu, Our ancestors have stressed on the fact that our meals should be started off with something. spicy and sweet dishes should be taken towards the end The significance of this eating. practice is that 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 a last item. CONSUMPTION OF JAGGERY IN DIET AND IN SWEETS, Note jaggery is an excellent remedy for respiratory diseases The benefits of jaggery. includes its ability to cleanse the body and act as a digestive agent Jaggery also is full of. minerals Jaggery effectively cleans respiratory tracts lungs food pipe stomach and. intestines It pulls out dust and unwanted particles from the body It also helps in giving relief. from constipation, In India it is recommended to take a small amount of jaggery after having had a heavy meal. Jaggery facilitates the digestion process Jaggery activates digestive enzymes and speeds. up digestion Unlike sugar jaggery is very rich in minerals especially iron with traces of. other minerals While most of the iron in it comes through processing in iron vessels the. other minerals come right from the sugar cane juice since this juice does not undergo. refining or bleaching of any kind So jaggery is a very good source of minerals for the body. MEDITATION UNDER TREES, Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment after meditating under a peepal tree Peepal. trees have many medicinal uses Juice extracted from the leaves is used for eardrops. The bark is used to heal inflammations of the neck and glandular swellings Chewing. the roots of a peepal tree is said to help prevent gum disease Many rishis and. sadhus wrote great epics of literature sitting under a peepal trees. what is with trees and enlightenment, Note Hence sitting under a tree meant fresh oxygen for brain cells and fresh oxygen. activated brain cells and people tended to think wisely and intelligently. Even Sir Issac Newton thought about gravity while he was sitting under an apple tree. The four trees Peepal Gooler Banyan and Pakad are called to be the storehouse of Sun. rays The wood of these trees is considered very auspicious for Havans in Indian scriptures. Peepal tree has been given the prime importance among all these trees and worshipped. even today The reason is right from the root to its leaves the tree contains the medicinal. values and cures many diseases That was the reason our ancient sages recognized the. importance of this tree and declared Peepal tree is the abode of Gods and Goddesses. The veracity of the fact has been traced during excavation of an ancient civilization by the. name Mohanjodaro and Harappa It has been ascertained that the civilization existed around. 1300 1700 B C The findings establish that the inhabitants of that civilization Almost all. experts call the civilization proto Dravidian and many are of the opinion that they are the. ancestors of Tamils worshiped the tree known as Peepal in English or in. Tamil They belief that Women circumambulate the peepal tree to be blessed with children or. to gain a desired thing or person, The Peepal tree in Sri Lanka is believed to be 2147 years old It is one of the longest living. trees of the world Scientific research suggests that the Peepal tree is best. antidote counteracts or relieves a harmful or unwanted condition remedy to all kinds of. pollution specifically water pollution air pollution and noise pollution It is said that this tree. emits oxygen at night also,The medicinal values of Peepal tree. The ripe fruit is used to treat biliousness and heart diseases. It also relieves constipation,The young bark is used in binding bone fracture. The leaves of Peepal are highly effective in treating heart disorders It helps to. control the palpitation of heart and thereby combat the cardiac weakness. The bark of the tree is useful in inflammations and glandular swelling of the neck. Its leaves serve as a wonderful laxative as well as tonic for the body It is especially. useful for patients suffering from Jaundice, Its root bark is useful for stomatitis clean ulcers and promotes granulations. The powdered fruit is taken for asthma and the latex is used to treat warts. The juice of the bark is used as a mouthwash and to treat gum diseases. The root is used for rheumatic pains and the seed is used to treat leprosy. The peepal is used extensively in Ayurveda, If the leaves of the tree boiled with oil for some time and applied on the wound the. wound heals very fast, The bark of Peepal tree is used for boils and acne. The most important value of this wonderful tree is that a person dying with snake. bite can be cured and can get life, Its juice has an enzyme the stimulates child bearing capacity So people go around the tree. for want of a child by aspiration of the air emanated by the tree Also this is the only tree that. emits oxygen even in night whereas other trees emit oxygen only at day time by. photosynthesis Most plants largely uptake Carbon dioxide CO 2 and release oxygen. during the day photosynthesis and uptake oxygen and release CO 2 during the night. respiration Some plants such as Peepal tree can uptake CO 2 during the night as well. because of their ability to perform a type of photosynthesis called Crassulacean Acid. Metabolism CAM However it is not true that they release large amounts of oxygen during. the night Trees will continue to photosynthesise as long as there is light there is always. some light at night like moonlight etc but its intensity is less hence provides less energy for. photosynthesis, As peepal tree is huge it gives lots of oxygen during day lots of carbon di oxide during the. night So people feel giddiness or breathlessness at night when they stand under this tree. People think that there is a ghost or evil sprit under the vast trees like Banyan Peepal. NOT EATING DURING ECLIPSE AND STAYING INDOORS, Solar eclipses and lunar eclipses have been dreaded natural phenomenons and continue to. scare people even now, NB long before the scientific revelations threw light about the harmful radiations coming out. of the solar eclipse and the negative effect it could have on eyes and health our ancestors. gave a religious touch to eclipses and prohibited people from venturing out during eclipses. and eating anything during the phenomenon knowing the harmful effects the radiations could. BEGINNING OF THE DAY, Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise. Benjamin Franklin, Early rising means waking up before sunrise Waking up at this. time means that the blood circulation in our body and mind is. positive Waking up after sunrise causes negative blood. circulation and blood flow becomes sluggish Late rising also. induces baseless and negative dreaming and weakens the. immune system,Benefits of rising early, The body and mind will stay fresh if you get up before. Constipation and indigestion will remain under control. The mind and mood will remain cheerful throughout the day. You will have sufficient time to think plan and organise the day lying ahead of you. The power and capacity of the mind will increase,The memory will sharpen. The eyesight will not get weakened, Getting up early before the Sunrise is a must for the Tamils Silappathikaram 14 5 to 13. This is followed still in all rural parts and by a majority in the urban areas Avvaiyar in her. didactic poem the AATHICHUDI Ref 106 advised the children and youth to get up. BEFORE THE DAY BREAK, Which direction should a bed face for peaceful sleeping. 1 A Tamil treatise on almanac The Varshaadi Nool says Sleeping eastward is good. sleeping southward prolongs life sleeping westward and northward brings ruin. There are two Tamil proverbs which run thus, Vaaraatha Vashvu Vanthaalum Vadakkae Thalai Vaikkakkuudathu meaning Even in. the heyday of sudden fortune one should not lie down with head to the north and. Vidakkei ayinum Vadakku akaathu meaning Even the head of the dried fish should not be. placed northward, The Ayurvedic physician seats his patients facing eastward before diagnosing the disease or. administering his medicine,2 Vastu sleeping direction. Aintiram Ainthi ram is a Tamil text on Vastu Shastra attributed to Mamuni Mayan. The Science related to numerical order enables one to know the principles of role of number. space order nature of inner space and significantly know the potency of micro structure. Mayan s Aintiram page 347, Sleeping with head resting in the East enhances memory health and spiritual. inclination It is usually advised by Vastu Shastra Consultants to plan the children s. room in such a way that their Vastu sleeping direction comes out to be east This leads. to higher concentration and retention power, Vastu Shastra highly recommends this direction as your usual sleeping position with. head towards the South This is believed to provide sound sleep and increase the. wealth and prosperity in the household, This is not a very advisable sleeping position Vastu Shastra says sleeping with head. resting in West might cause disturbed sleep due to nightmares some major illness and. tendency towards violence, The Vastu sleeping position with head in the North direction is strongly opposed It. might cause major illnesses and sleepless nights for the person sleeping in such a. We are advised to avoid sleeping with our head to the north or west. I quote the following lines from a Book of Moral codes of Sangam Era Achara Kovai on. the subject of Sleeping, We all know that our planet has a magnetic pole stretched from north to south with the. positive pole at the north and the negative pole at the south Now health scientists tell us. that we too have a similar magnetic stretch with the positive pole at the head and the. negative one at the feet, It is common knowledge that like poles repel and unlike poles attract not only scientific but. also in social spheres When we lay our heads on the north side the two positive sides repel. each other and there is a struggle between the two. Since the earth has a greater magnetic force we are always the losers and rise in the. morning with headache or heaviness, But when we lay our heads in the southern direction there is mutual attraction and we wake. up fit fresh and free unless afflicted by some illness. We also know that our planet revolves itself from west to east and sun s magnetic field. enters earth from east side This magnetic force enters our head if we lie with head on the. east and exits through feet promoting cool heads and warm feet as per the laws of. magnetism and electricity When the head is laid towards the west cool feet and hot head. result an unpleasant start for morning, Now we may realize why the ancient people said that our intellect improves by east facing. head or house and life lengthens with the head facing south. Throwing Currency Coins into a River, Many of us would have noticed our co passengers throwing coins into rivers especially when. traveling over river bridges, The general reasoning given for this act is that it brings Good Luck back to us It is also. believed that it will bring back Goddess of Wealth Lakshmi to our households. Note In the ancient times most of the currency used was made of copper unlike the. stainless steel coins of today Copper is a vital metal very useful to the human body The. intake of copper with water is very good for health Throwing coins in the river was one way. our fore fathers ensured we intake sufficient copper as part of the water Rivers were the. only source of drinking water Making it a custom by saying it will bring good fortune to us. has ensured that all of us follow the good practice. Joining both palms together to greet others, In Tamil culture I have seen people greeting others by joining their palms together This is. termed as VANAKKAM as per Tamil traditions This is the most common way of greeting. Note While greeting others we join both the hands together Joining both hands ensures. joining the tips of all the fingers together which are denoted to the pressure points of eyes. ears and mind Pressing them together is said to activate the pressure points This helps us. to remember the person for a long time,Vanakkam The Tamil way of greeting. The joining of hands at the level of the heart symbolically signifies the greeting from the. heart soul Both hands join together at the palms straight across the chest signifies a salute. from the soul or a welcome from the heart, Some others say that it signifies bow to the God in you or bow to you or my soul bows to. But what is little known is that the five fingers represent the five elements this is. best expressed in Mudras Mudras are very common in various dance systems like Bharatha. Natiyam Kathakali and Kuchipudi, The significance of the five fingers is that Thumb stands for fire energy which is why we. have the thumbs up sign for success or victory Index finger stands for Air Wind energy. Middle finger stands for space Akash Shunya the ring finger stands for Earth energy. another reason for putting the ring on this finger and the little finger stands for water. The true meaning of VANAKKAM is the neutralization of all the energies by bringing both the. hands together so that each finger of one hand touches the corresponding finger of the other. hand to denote that the person does not have any powerful positive negative energies to. affect the other person Thus it is a true gesture of friendship and welcome. Shaking hands often involve touching an other person Even though it is a very friendly. gesture it can often transmit unfriendly germs Sometimes we might be uncomfortable. shaking hands with a person who has a sweaty palm or whose cleanliness we may not. trust But shaking hands in the corporate world is an accepted norm everywhere Shaking. hands is the most trusting gesture that we can see in day to day life and is part and parcel. of our everyday life But is shaking hands the only way to greet No Just the other day I. was visiting a patient in the hospital and the attendant was telling everyone NOT to shake. hands as it might transmit germs This is especially true since we travel in buses touch the. doors knobs handles purse etc and we do not know how much of germs we may carry. Whereas the Tamil way of greeting by doing VANAKKAM is so clean and cool. Tying Mango and Neem Leaves to the doors on auspicious days. The general reason given for this act is that tying mango and neem leaves would not allow the evil. powers to enter the house, Note On auspicious days and on special occasions all of us gather at one place along with our. relatives and friends Photosynthesis is a process where in plants take in carbon di oxide and give out. oxygen This process helps in circulation of oxygen and in turn keeps the room temperature at an. optimum level Mango leaves and neem leaves are very effective in the photosynthesis process. comparative to other plants Neem leaves purify the bacteria too In order to keep the temperature. cool and to circulate air we tie mango leaves and neem leaves to all the doors. Why do elders rotate crystal salt lemon around head. Dristhi is stated as an evil eye a look that is believed by many cultures to be able to cause. injury or bad luck for the person at whom it is directed for reasons of envy or dislike Kan.
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