Traditions in Hinduism were considered mainly as superstitions, but with the advent of science, it is becoming evident that these traditions are based on some scientific knowledge and moved from generations to generations as traditions. Though the common people did not know science in it, they were following it very faithfully over the years. This article is an attempt to bring forward the science involved in these traditions and rituals. Ancient Rishis, which were scientists actually, did not tell the common people the science involved in these traditions, but instead related them with the God and religion, so that the common people would benefit from them.
Another contributing factor is that the Hindu traditions are made depending on the climate of India as Hinduism is the main religion in India. Even in India, there are different regions with different climate, so they vary from region to region.
1. Why every Hindu should have a Tulsi plant in front of his/her house?
Answer: The Latin name of Tulsi plant is ” Ocimum Sanctum.” It is also called as Holy Basil. For thousands of years, Tulsi has been worshiped by Hindus. It is considered as a sacred plant and it is necessary for every Hindu family to have a Tulsi plant in front of their house. The recent studies, have shown that Tulsi plant releases Ozone (O3) along with oxygen, which is very essential for ecological balance. World Ozone Day is celebrated on 16th September of every year, at which time some environmental organizations distribute Tulsi plants in large number.
Besides that Tulsi has lots of medicinal uses and is a very important herb according to Ayurveda. Tulsi leaves strengthen our immune system. So, the Tulsi leaves are mainly used for treating fever, common cold, cough, sore throat, and respiratory disorders.
Therefore, I think not only Hindus but all of us should have a Tulsi plant in front of our house.
2. Why Hindus worship some particular trees and not all the trees?
Answer: It is true that Hindus honor all the trees but some particular trees and plants are considered sacred and have been worshiped over thousands of years.
Some of the examples are Peepal Tree (Ficus religiosa) and Audumbar Tree (Ficus racemosa). These two trees are 24-hour oxygen generators and cannot be planted manually. They grow on their own mainly through the birds, which eat their fruits. Audumbar tree is associated with Guru Dattatreya, one of main Hindu deities and cutting or dishonoring the tree in any way is considered as a sin. Both of these trees are very important for ecological balance. So by associating them with Hindu deities, they have been protected, so that no one would cut them.
3. Why Hindus pierce ears of a baby?
Answer: After a baby is born, it is a general practice in Hindus to pierce his/her ears. Actually, it is a part of acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture and acupressure is not new to Hindus. Even it is said that these techniques originated in India and later they were conserved and modified by Chinese. Outer part of ears carry a lot of important acupuncture and acupressure points. The point where the ears of a baby are pierced is known for curing asthma. That is why even ancient Hindus used to wear earrings but now a days most Hindus do not wear earrings. They do not even pierce the ears after first piercing. The holes in their ears become invisible after as they grow up. Only Hindu female wear earrings as a tradition.
But there are males of some castes in Hinduism who wear earrings as a tradition till now.
4. Why Hindus do not eat meat on particular days?
Answer: Hindus do not eat meat on particular days, not limited but including:
Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays of every week, Sankashti Chaturthi, Angarki Chaturthi, Ekadashi, Gudhipadwa, Akshaytrutiya, Diwali (all the days) and many more auspicious days.
Amongst these, the reason for not eating meat on some particular days excluding weekly days is purely religious. Killing of animals is considered as a sin in Hinduism. So, people avoid eating meat at least on those auspicious days to maintain sacredness of that particular day.
The reason behind not eating meat on weekdays including Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays is that as a human being we need only a little amount of meat to fulfill requirements of our body such as iron, vitamin B12 and other vital nutrients. But human being basically is an animal and we get addicted to eating meat. As we all know eating excessive meat is not good for health. It can cause diseases like piles, kidney stones, colon cancer, blood pressure, heart attack, etc. Then also people cannot refrain themselves from eating flesh. Therefore, Hinduism has placed some restrictions by assigning the days to particular deities. E.g. Monday is dedicated to Lord Shiva, Thursday to Lord Dattatreya, and Saturday to Lord Hanuman. In this way, people have been assigned some religious restrictions and as most of Hindus are religious, they do obey this rule. In this way, they restrict the meat in their diet which is good for their health.
5. Why only some castes are allowed to eat non-vegetarian food and others are not?
Answer: Basically, who should eat and who should not depends on the occupation of a person. If you ask a modern doctor, he will simply tell you that if you have need for more calories and you do a lot of physical labor, then only you should eat nonvegetarian food. If your occupation is of sedentary type and you eat a lot of high-calorie food, you are bound to gain more weight and invite many sorts of diseases related to obesity.
The medieval caste system of India was based upon the occupation of a person. Therefore the people from a particular caste doing more physical labor were allowed to eat meat. For example, job of a Kshatriya was to fight with enemy and protect the people. So, they required a lot of energy. Hence, Kshatriyas were allowed to eat meat. In the same way, a farmer who requires a lot of physical work was allowed to eat meat. On the other hand, other castes like Brahmins who do Prayer and intelligent work requiring less hard labor were restricted from eating meat. In the same way, weavers, businessmen were not allowed to eat meat.
Aside from that, some nonvegetarian products like meat and chicken are hard to digest. If you do not have enough body movement, it will be hard for you to digest that food and you will be unnecessarily inviting the ailments.
6. We get the human body after our soul passes through 84,00,000 species.
Hindus believe we get a human body after our soul passes through 84,00,000 species. Initially, critics of Hinduism used to say that this is just a myth, so many species do not exist. But with the advent of science, it is revealed that there are about 84,00,000 species on the earth. So, the above statement is symbolic for the fact that human being is born through evolution and we human beings are the most advanced stage of evolution.
7. How Yogis float in the air?
You must have seen in some advertisements or in cartoon films based on Hindu mythologies that some Yogis possess the power of floating in the air while meditating. This can be explained with the phenomenon of superconductivity. This is a possible scientific explanation.
Superconductivity is a phenomenon in which the electrical resistance of certain materials becomes exactly zero, below a characteristic temperature, usually well below 0 degrees Celcius. For example, some cuprate-perovskite ceramic materials become superconductors at -183 degrees Celcius.
When the material becomes superconductor, magnetic lines do not pass through them and they float in the air. This can be easily demonstrated in the lab using liquid nitrogen and the superconductor material. The same principle applies to the body of the Yogi.
In Dnyaneshwari, written by Saint Dnyaneshwar, he has described his experience of what happens when Kundalini Shakti arises in the body. He has mentioned that it feels like Kundalini power drinks all the blood and eats up all the flesh in your body and your body becomes very, very cold. After some time, it again regenerates everything and your body becomes as fresh as a newborn.
It is quite possible that when the temperature of Yogi’s body decreases, it reaches to a point where Yogi’s body becomes a superconductor and hence, the gravitational lines do not pass through his body and he floats in the air. Though, there is no proof for this but it is quite possible.
Hence, it is not a superstition that Yogis float in the air. The ad makers who mock the Hindus in the ads by making fun out of the Yogis floating in the air should consider this fact.
8. Theory of atom was first put forth by Indian scientist Kanad.
We learn in our science text books that the everything in this universe is made up of atoms i.e. atom is the smallest parts of the matter and this theory was first put forth by Dalton. Hence, the theory is known as Dalton’s atomic theory. But this theory was first put forth by an Indian scientist Kanad before 500 B.C. It is not just a rumor but it is a proved fact. The evidence is there to prove this but still the credit goes to Dalton and not to Kanad.