Indians knew this medicine “Meditation” which checks high blood pressure and cardiac problems for anyone. Who looks for liberation from miseries and sorrow in life, meditation is the only medicine. Even centuries back Indians knew this medicine. The modern man is subject to all sorts of tensions and stresses that in turn, causes high blood pressure and cardiac problems. Even these ailments can be cured if one practices meditation. When one observes meditation, the energy collected in different centers of the body gets dispersed to the relevant areas. This regularizes the rhythm of the body. It is a known fact based on the scientific research, that when one is fully absorbed in meditation, the beta waves of the brain raise themselves to the wavelength of gamma and delta. The sages of ancient India chose to sit under the banyan tree to do meditation as it helps the body to extract all negative energies and replace them with positive energies.
Lord Shiva's holy Crataeva tree & its leaves have great medicinal value, to cure diabetes, rheumatism, phlegm, vomiting, tuberculosis, diarrhea, ear pain and pus. Crataeva tree is considered one of the favorites of Lord Shiva. All parts of the tree have excellent Ayurvedic medicines. Foreign agricultural universities foster crataeva due to its medicinal values. Diabetes, rheumatism, phlegm, vomiting, tuberculosis, diarrhea, ear pain, pus in the ear and all such ailments can be cured using crataeva. In the treatment of diabetes, crataeva has a unique role. One should not pluck the crataeva leaf on new moon and full moon days. Scientifically, changes in nature during the full moon and new moon days affect the tree and hence there is a restriction in plucking its leaves on these days.
Indian cooking is incomplete without turmeric being added sufficiently. Why? Down the ages, Indians have given much importance to turmeric in cooking and in spirituality. Turmeric is not merely a coloring agent. It is used in religious prayers. If turmeric is added to food, it cures all skin diseases, urinary diseases and kills germs in the intestine. Sometimes poison and filth enter our body through food and turmeric acts as an agent to curb such elements instantly. Turmeric is a proven cure for gas trouble and burning sensation in the stomach. If you apply turmeric paste on the skin, it softens the skin and gives it a glow. Thus turmeric is found to be immensely useful both internally and externally.
An Indian feast without ginger curry is incomplete and unscientific, says our tradition. It is not simply incomplete, but rather unscientific. Our Puranas and epics hail the glory of ginger. The first curry served at the extreme left on the leaf is that of ginger. The last to taste is also ginger! This tradition is still relevant. The medicinal value of ginger has been accepted by modern medical science as well. Ginger acts as a purifying agent for both the intestines. Ayurveda reveals that piles can be avoided if you consume ginger curd regularly. Condiments, stale food stuffs, undigested bits of food get easily digested in the presence of ginger curd. The modern science of cookery admits that a heavy meal without ginger curry does not digest properly.
Indian food are never prepared without using the below mentioned ingredients. These ingredients are scientifically researched and found to address all diseases. Indian food itself is a medicine. Ginger, fights against cold and flu and relieves headache. Coriander is rich in vitamins and minerals. Contains calcium phosphorous, iron, few vitamins from vitamin B complex group and vitamin C. Black pepper improves digestion, promotes intestinal health and stimulates the taste buds in such a way that, an alert is sent to the stomach to increase hydrochloric acid secretion, thereby improving digestion. Garlic reduces cholesterol and blood pressure and reduces risk of heart attack and heart diseases. Cumin powder has healing effects for nausea, infection, inflammatory problems, autoimmune disorder, high blood pressure, cholesterol levels and digestive disorders. Cardamom helps in reducing flatulence and strengthening digestive activities. It activates our appetite by acting on salivary secretion. It is a time-tested medicine for nausea, dry vomiting, motion sickness, vertigo and indigestion, in general. Turmeric Powder works as an antioxidant thus preventing the formation of cancer cells & is capable of controlling Alzheimer's disease. Cinnamon has favourable effects on brain function and memory. It soothes the stomach, helps prevent ulcers, reduces blood sugar and increases insulin levels.
Indians start the day with coffee to promote memory power. Yes, says our tradition. An average Indian starts his day with a cup of hot coffee. This drink keeps him fresh throughout the day. A study conducted by Arizona University reveals this amazing property of coffee. It has a chemical by name 'Caffeine' that contributes to the memory power of people even past their sixties. In aged people, memory power fluctuates. In the early hours of the day, they hold good memory power and afterwards it slackens. The presence of 'caffeine' balances this fluctuation. It is hoped that regular use of coffee can defend the onset of Alzheimer's that destroys the brain cells and reduces memory power. Coffee thus enhances memory power. Our forefathers adopted and recommended this drink for the future generation, not merely as a drink, but also as a defence to safeguards one’s brain.
Compulsory in India to enter the house only after taking a bath and drenching the dress after attending a funeral - It is customary that on return from a burial or cremation, one must take bath with the clothes still on, otherwise the spirit of the deceased would disturb you, says the belief. This of course is a superstition. But the secret behind this is a convincing one. Once a man is dead, his dead body emits large numbers of venomous germs into the atmosphere. Those who touch the dead body or go near it are all exposed to these germs. In order to wash them off and avoid chances of getting diseases, it is better to take bath. A shower in the cool water can restore the energy, whose waves start from the brain and spreads to the whole body, killing the germs. As the dress can also spread diseases, the tradition insists on their drenching and in turn washing them too. This belief observed here is driven by a strong sense of cleanliness and for the purpose of immunization against diseases.
Sages in India insist planting of flowers and medicinal plants in houses and temples. The older generations insisted on growing a collection of medicinal plants in every house. They served the purpose of first aid for common ailments. Some of them are treated as panacea for certain ailments as indigenous medicines. A flower by name coronaria, the favourite of Lord Vishnu, Lord Sankaranarayana and Lord Sastha, is in fact a medicinal shrub to cure eye diseases. Lotus, the favorite of the Mother Goddess too, has medicinal value. Crataeva leaf that pleases Lord Shiva and others used in the puja of all deities, are all in fact medicinal plants. Basil leaf helps the digestion process. Crataeva leaf is used for the treatment of diabetes. The neem tree and the margosa are other plants that adorn the home gardens have high medicinal value. Hibiscus reinforces the uterus of women. Its leaves are squeezed and the juice is used as shampoo. Jasmine is a major ingredient in certain Ayurvedic medicines. The flower of the plant by name Ixora Coceinea is an effective cure for scury in children.
Indian tradition of fasting helps in the purification of blood, digestive organs and clear urea and fat. All our Puranas and epics recommend fasting as a means of realization of God. Ekadesi Vrutha or fasting on a particular day is hailed as the most auspicious fasting. Simply sitting and avoiding food is not fasting. Instead, fasting should mean meditation and complete submission to God Purity of mind is a condition for the observance of fasting. Otherwise it is nothing other than starving. Full fasting is recommended twice a month on Ekadesi days and partial fasting again, twice a month on Shashti days. Modern science admits that fasting is advantageous to both body and mind. Prayers, meditation and virtuous thoughts cheer up the mind and give power of concentration and confidence. As for the body, fasting helps in the purification of blood and digestive organs. If you eat more, your intestines always remain full. A timely fasting clears these organs of waste materials. Digestive organs can enjoy the rest needed. The blood gets purified and clears off urea and fat.
Indian traditional families insist on washing the feet, removing the shoes and keeping them outside the house. A small pot with water at the entrance of the house in fact conveys a message. It silently asks the visitor to have clean feet and hands, to enter the house. A home is what gives refuge to us. Hence it should be treated as sacred a place as that of worship. When you come back home after an outing, do wash your feet, hands and face before stepping inside the house. It is quite logical to insist on this because it is part of hygiene. The person who comes from outside may bring germs of diseases and all sorts of filth on his body, especially on his feet. Washing them off using clean water, saves him as well as prevents others from these germs. We live in a modern world, advanced in every sense of the word, but the sense of cleanliness observed in Indian traditional families far excels what we have in other parts of the world. These healthy practices had great effect on the hygiene and health of our ancestors.
Indian folklores are aware of the scientific use of mango leaves. A newly built house, before being occupied, is adorned with mango leaves, especially during a house warming ceremony. There is a scientific aspect behind this custom. During the house warming ceremony, Guests in large numbers are invited who visit the new house to celebrate the ceremony. Naturally, the air circulated there, becomes impure. The mango leaves are said to have a property of purifying the air. That is why mango leaves are used for decoration. Our forefathers realized this and hence they used mango leaves in several other ceremonies. They used mango leaves to clean the teeth, because they knew these leaves can kill germs. Those who step into the wells in order to clean them are advised to lower a branch of mango tree with leaves into the well, swing it round within the well for a short time. The poisonous gases inside the well get purified.
Our Indian system strictly prohibits entering prayer places, temples and residences with footwear Modern medical science hails the arguments in favour of walking barefooted. Walking barefooted helps in effecting proper blood circulation of the body and ultimately leads to a healthy life. As one walks along a rough surface, pressure is incurred under the feet directly. This stimulates the functioning of the body, according to modern science. The nervous system under the feet that extends from the toe to the heel is directly connected to the internal organs such as brain, heart, kidney and liver. Therefore the stimulation received under the feet enhances the functioning of these parts. Acupuncture, the Chinese method of treatment in which needles are pricked under the feet is familiar to us. The effect of walking bare-footed is better than the acupuncture treatment. Hindu tradition thus prescribes entering sacred places, bare footed. We consider the premises of the temple a holy place and which have a high degree of positive energy. The ground is charged with magnetic power. Radiation of magnetic power into human body is good for health. The temple yard is exposed to leaves of medicinal plants and flowers that emit positive energy. The holy water used in the worship and bathing of the idol, falls on the ground that enriches and sanctifies the premises. Hence, placing one's feet on such a floor will have a positive effect on the devotee. A magnetic therapy, as termed by modern science, takes place while walking bare footed in the sacred places.
Indian tilak mark on the forehead absorbs the medicinal elements from the sunrays and transfers to brain. Indian tilak mark on the forehead with sandal wood paste, saffron and holy ash absorbs the medicinal elements from the sunrays and transfers them to the brain. A tilak mark on the forehead represents spiritual enlightenment. We usually put the mark on the lower forehead, between the two eyebrows, where Lord Shiva's third eye is supposed to exist. We use saffron, sandalwood paste or holy ash to put as tilak mark on the fifth energy centre in the body located in the middle of the forehead. A psychotherapist applies hypnotism, concentrating this portion. As one wears saffron here, it absorbs the medicinal elements from the sunrays and transfers it to the brain. Scientific studies in relation to sunrays and human body reveal that wearing sandalwood paste, saffron and holy ash at dawn or in the morning and in the evening respectively, helps in the healing of ailments and keeping the nervous system alert.
Indians wear Vibhudhi or “holy ash”. Pure Vibhudhi has many scientific qualities and is a preventive medicine for many ailments. Most Hindus apply Vibhudhi mark on the forehead, before chanting the prayers. Medicinal value justifies this practice. To obtain pure Vibhudhi, first collect dung of a cow that eats only grass. Burn it in the husk on the Shivarathri day and obtain the ash. Wash it in water, dry it again and offer it to Lord Shiva. This Vibhudhi is to be kept in a clean and holy place. Vibhudhi is used either wet or dry. It is capable of absorbing the swelling on the body and controlling the body temperature. Wet Vibhudhi applied on the forehead of a person suffering from fever, reduces his temperature. As per Hindu belief, applying holy ash on the body pleases Lord Shiva. One is supposed to apply Vibhudhi on the forehead, neck, shoulders andelbows. If Vibhudhi is applied on the forehead, it absorbs the moisture there. If it is put on the hind neck, again it absorbs the moisture and possible allied ailments.Ears - Seventy two thousand nerves join together and accretion of fat or swelling is possible in each nerve, in turn, it would lead to arthritis. But the presence of holy ash cuts short this possibility. Thus Vibhudhi is a preventive medicine for many ailments.
Indians visit temples in wet clothes. Modern medical science approves dressing in wet clothes lessens the heat in the stomach, thereby promoting digestion. It was believed that being dressed in wet clothes causes pain in the stomach. Many temples have tanks and rivers nearby and people visiting temples after a dip in them for purity of mind and body, was a regular sight till recently. In fact, wearing wet clothes is beneficial to the stomach. The food we eat and the liquids we drink contain several poisonous elements and they accumulate in the stomach. This poses a threat to proper digestion. Lack of easy excretion causes high temperature in the stomach, which in turn leads to diseases. Modern medical science therefore approves of being dressed in wet clothes as a means to lessen the heat in the stomach, thereby promoting digestion. Our ancestors prescribed it in the appearance of Godliness and their far sighted clever prescription has proved useful in safeguarding the body health.
Indian men should not wear upper garments while entering temples. In certain temples, it is a practice that men should not wear a shirt or other upper garments. It is believed that Godly grace fills in him as he stands at the door facing the idol, with folded hands. The rays emitting from each part of the idol from head to foot, reaches the devotee and enters each and every part of the body. Hence it is advisable for men to avoid the upper garments, while praying in a temple. Visiting a temple in wet clothes and a wet body helps the devotee absorb the divine grace more effectively. For women, it is not practical to resort to this practice. It would be humiliating motherhood. Exposure to the morning and evening sunlight has another advantage. It makes the body healthier by absorbing Vitamin- D in abundance.
Indian tradition prevents women from entering temples during menstruation Indian tradition prevents women from entering temples and offering prayers during the menses period. Men should not be blamed for this, for it is not discrimination imposed on them. On the other hand, it is part of concern and recognition for them. In olden days women were given an exclusive bed and a room to stay in, during menstruation. The period was counted as days of impurity. She was denied permission not only to visit a temple, but even to come to the doorstep of the prayer room of the house. She was not allowed to go near medicinal plants as well. She could not approach even her husband. Men, who observed fast with a view to visit certain temples, stay away from home, cook food themselves and avoid the presence of women during this period. The body temperature of the women varies during menstruation. If they visit temple at this time, this difference in the temperature can have an effect on the idol. It is in order to avoid this adverse effect on the divine grace of the deity that this taboo is observed. It is scientifically proven that the presence of women during their period, cause the death of silk worms in the fields. Silk worms cannot bear a sudden change in the temperature, even by a little degree. The presence of women undergoing menstruation can transfer a lower temperature from their body and thereby affect the lives of worms. The position of the silk worm in its pupa is left as if absorbed in deep meditation. Therefore this taboo is quite valid.
Indian sages prescribed wearing Tulsi behind the ear, drinking Tulsi water as healthy and today's science has accepted the same. Traditionally, our ancestors wore a tulsi leaf behind their ears while offering prayers and even afterwards. Today we know that it has great scientific relevance. The most powerful point of absorption in the human body is right behind the ears. This medicinal element of the leaf is easily absorbed by the skin behind the ears. Therefore Tulsi, basil, is planted and grown with respect. Tulsi is considered holy and hence it should not be touched when one is impure. One should go round the plant chanting specific hymns. While plucking leaves or flowers, one is supposed to utter certain hymns. The holy plant should be left intact on Ekadasi, on Tuesdays, Fridays and in the evenings. A visit to a temple followed by consumption of holy water has certain advantages. Holy water when added with Tulsi leaves becomes more effective. It has the effect of medicine. In foreign countries, there is a type of pure water that is used, called 'clustered water'. American scientists have found out clustered water to ward off the dangers of widespread pollution. This is highly purified and includes minerals that keep the body healthy and alert.Two drops of clustered water added to a glass of ordinary water is a sure- shot health drink. Tulsi water has the same properties as clustered water. Celebrated Indian scientist Dr. T.P. Sasikumar has researched on this. He collected the Tulsi water, used to bathe the idol of the deity and conducted experiments on it. He found that this water had all the properties ascribed to the clustered water. Our sages knew the advantages of Tulsi water and hence they insisted on drinking it.
Our ancestors insisted on circumnutating the banyan tree for a valid scientific reason. Banyan trees are grown in the premises of all famous temples. Sages have made it a rule to circumnutate the tree when you visit the temple. Banyan tree lets out oxygen in abundance. The huge tree provides a cool shade too. Going round the tree exposed to fresh air is indeed a good exercise.Apart from oxygen, banyan tree produces ozone in a small quantity. As the density of ozone is higher than that of air, the ozone remains under the tree. Ozone purifies the air and destroys the germs in the lungs.
Indian woman is banned from lying prostrate before the deity while offering prayers, as this act causes dislocation of uterus in women. A prostrated worship requires the use of eight factors namely the chest, forehead, word, mind, cupped hands, eyes, knee and feet. While lying prostrate, toes of feet, knees, chest and forehead alone are supposed to touch the ground. Thus, one should lie down, stretch the hands above the head, fold them in salutation offer prayers, chant hymns, see the deity with the eyes and meditate on him, in the mind. This observance does not befit the body structure of women. Modern science too points out that this observance can cause dislocation of uterus in women and hence is not advisable for them. However simply kneeling before the deity and praying, will not harm them. Instead, it acts as an exercise.
Scientists admit that the chanting of the Gayathri Mantra makes a man brilliant and bold, fills him with abundance of positive energy and strength. It is believed that Gayathri manthram chanting contributes to one's intellect. In India only a specific group of people observed this manthram. They deliberately propagated an unwritten law that they were the sole authority on Gayathri chanting. But later on every section of people including the women folk started chanting this mantra. Apart from Indians, people all over the world now experience the potency of this mantra and enjoy its benefits. Om Bhur Bhuvah Swaha , Tat Savitur Varenyam, Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi, Dhiyo Yo Na Prachodayat. This is the Gayathri mantra. This mantra is called Devamatha, mother of gods. 'One who observes this mantra properly undergoes many positive changes and one becomes morally and physically strong enough to overcome all difficulties in life. Studies and experiments on the potency of this spell are being conducted worldwide. But the scientific aspect of this spell has already been proven. The amazing fact revealed in this regard is that Gayathri mantra can rouse the wisdom glands in the brain. The person who chants this mantra experiences continuous vibrations in his brain which keeps him vigilant all the time. This makes all his endeavours successful. When a person chants Gayathri Mantra once rhythmically in the prescribed way, about one lakh energy waves are aroused around his head. Scientists agree that exposure to gayathri mantra chanting makes a man brilliant and bold, fills him with over abundance of positive energy and strength.
Indian sages identify the flowers that can be used to worship God. Thaazhampoo flowers are not used in pujas. This pretty, sweet smelling flower is banned in pujas! There is a legendary story behind this ban. Thaazhampoo is said to have acted as an eyewitness to Lord Shiva. But she had lied. Hence she was duly punished and could no longer be used in pujas. But there is a scientific reason why the flower is kept in 'exile'. The flower lets out negative energy in abundance. When we examine the flowers used for puja, we find that they all have positive energy emitting from them. Our sages in the past knew that only such flowers could be included in the worship of God! One can get divine grace even from a deserted temple courtyard. This is owing to the style of construction of the temple. The premise of the temple emits geo energy in abundance. A person who steps into the courtyard receives positive energy. Dr. Prabhat Kumar Poddar has written in Sukritheedra, Oriental Research Institute Journal in October 1999. He conducted his research in an abandoned temple in Mamallapuram near Chennai. It was a Shiva temple with a broken Shivalinga or idol left without being typically worshipped.
Inspite of the neglect the courtyard of the temple showed the presence of a flow of positive energy. It is this energy that activates the devotee and fills him with a positive attitude and confidence. Burning camphor destroys poisonous germs. Indian sages realized this and recommended the practice for the benefit of mankind. In pujas, burning camphor and moving it in a clockwise direction around the idol of the deity is a common practice. Incense sticks are also burnt and placed before the deity. Atheists strongly argue that these are mere superstitions. Theists think these are performed in order to please the deity. But the fact is different. The smoke emitted from burning camphor and incense sticks lets out abundance of positive energy waves. The smoke of the camphor can destroy poisonous germs which in turn enhances the grace of God. The sages, who realized this long ago, recommended these practices for the benefit of mankind.
Sleeping without clothes not recommended Even in a closed private room, it is not correct to sleep naked according to Indian ethics. This ban was strictly imposed on women in particular. Gandharvas or celestial beings would visit them during the night and sleep with them, if they lie naked. Modern science also insists that it is not correct to sleep naked. It is pointed out that several chemical changes takes place during the night. A naked body is fully exposed to these changes. It can harm the body, especially the genitals. Hence medical science warns against sleeping naked.
Ancestors in India advised the bathing directions Our forefathers gave instructions regarding how, when and facing what direction, one should take bath. In olden days, bathing was mostly a matter of taking dip bath in rivers or fresh water tanks. People avoid taking bath facing the west. Planets and stars move around the Earth from east to west. The magnetic power also moves around the earth from east to west. As you take a dip bath facing the west, the magnetic power will have its effect on your back. On the contrary, if you are facing the East, the magnetic power flows into the front side of the body, thereby magnetic power is received by the heart and other organs positively. Our forefathers urged us to dry the back first after a bath for a scientific reason. Old tradition says that two deities abide and reside within our body known as Sreedevi, the deity of gracefulness and Moodevi, the deity of inauspiciousness. As soon as we pour water on our head to take bath, both the deities leave the body and wait. They keep fighting as to decide who should possess the body first. The part of the body which is dried first is held by Moodevi, the deity of inauspiciousness. Hence if the back is dried first, the evil deity enters there and Sreedevi, the deity of gracefulness has no other option but to assume the face, thereby turning it graceful the whole day. Otherwise, if Moodevi abides in the face leaving the person looking gloomy, lazy and short - tempered. Apart from this legendary story, there is a scientific reason behind this belief. While taking bath, our body experiences cold on all parts. But, the most affected part is the backbone. If the backbone is exposed to cold, it will lead to ailments. Hence, immediately after bath, one needs to dry the back. This belief holds good only in the case of a dip bath in the cool waters of the river, in the early morning.
India glorifies the use of Betel leaf and also labels it auspicious Betel leaf is traditionally considered an auspicious sign. It is unique since it implies all deities. At the tip of the betel leaf abides Sree Mahalakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, in the middle, Sree Saraswathi, the embodiment of all knowledge, Jyeshta Bhagavathi stays on the foot stalk, on the left side of the leaf abides Parvathi, on the right Bhoodevi. Goddess Earth, on the foreside Lord Siva and overleaf Lord Vishnu. Apart from these deities, Sukra, Indra, Soorya the Sun God and Kamadeva all find their place in the leaf. In fact the presence of these deities represents high properties of the betel leaf. Indians insists that it is auspicious to chew betel in the morning, at noon, in the evening and at night. One Is not supposed to chew betel on days of fasting. In India, betel is used to remove worms. According to traditional Ayurvedic medicine, chewing areca nut and betel leaf is a good remedy against bad breath or halitosis. They are also said to have aphrodisiac properties. In Malaysia they are used to treat headaches, arthritis and joint pain. In Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and China they are used to relieve toothache.In Philippines, they are used specifically as a stimulant and are believed to strengthen the teeth and gums. In Indonesia they are drunk as an infusion and used as an antibiotic. They are also used in an infusion to cure indigestion, as a topical cure for constipation, as a decongestant and as an aid to lactation. Almost all Indonesian women use sirih betel leaves in bath water after giving birth as it shrinks the vaginal canal. It also counters unpleasant smells. The Indonesian government has endorsed betel leaves daun sirih as a natural medication against vaginal discharge.
Our culture makes us proud to know that the world is trying to learn what our forefathers had introduced several thousands of years ago. Thoppukaranam It is the Indian tradition to invoke the blessings of Lord Ganesh before starting anything. It is strongly believed that Ganesha removes any stumbling block in our endeavour. It is a centuries old tradition, to pray to Ganesha, by performing what is called 'Thoppukaranam' in Tamil. 'Thoppukaranam' is performed by holding the left ear with right hand fingers and the right by left hand fingers and simultaneously sitting and standing. This is repeated several times. Many Indians have been doing this since childhood without knowing the purpose for which it is done. Of course, we do believe that this 'Thoppukaranam' will bring a lot of good to us. Each and every routine action followed by Hindu culture is backed by some scientific truth. Unfortunately our forefathers have not passed on the secret or scientific truth to the next generation. Every exercise is mixed with religious belief and convention. Probably this is because our elders would have thought that these things can be enforced only under the guise of religious formalities or conventions. One such thing is 'Thoppukaranam'. We have come across several occasions where a person fulfils his 'prarthana' by performing 18 or 108 or even 1008 'Thoppukaranams' before Lord Ganesha. Yale University School of Medicine has introduced' Thoppukaranam' by naming it as 'Superbrain yoga'. According to sources, 'Thoppukaranam' activates the acupuncture points at right and left ears thereby activating the right and left brains. Fifteen minutes of 'Thoppukaranam' increases the brain power immensely according to sources. Such is the depth of the great Indian meaningful Sastras and Sambradayas. If we follow these age old practices we stand to gain in the long run. Let us be proud of our culture and hold our head high. It makes us proud to know that the world is trying to learn what our forefathers had introduced several thousands of years ago.
What is the importance of the direction East? East is the most important among the directions. Among the two magnetic circles around the earth that exerts its influences are from South to North and from East to West. The latter is healthier and congenial to human beings. The sun, planets and stars bestow their magnetic power around the Earth through this latitudinal circles and thus make these magnetic circles, fit for the existence of living beings. These circles account for seasonal changes, the richness of the soil and diversity of the flora and fauna . It is a healthy practice to lie with the head towards the East, while sleeping. The lamp for the morning prayers or during auspicious occasions, should face eastward. Buildings should have their main entrance facing the East. Shrines could be better installed in this direction in the premises. Sweeping the courtyard should begin from the East. It would be the ideal direction for setting up a stable. All auspicious ceremonies should be observed facing the East. This holds good with respect to marriage, birthday feast and wearing of new clothes. Wells and tanks are dug in this direction.
Indian tradition recommends the Dos and don’ts of food habits. Never consume honey and ghee together since their combination has the effect of poison if consumed at the same time. Curd or butter milk should not be accompanied by banana. Meals comprising rice should not be accompanied by fruits because the minerals in the fruits get neutralized. Vegetables consumed along with butter, harms the body. Do not consume milk or curd immediately after eating fish or dry fish, it entails a possibility of white leprosy. Rice from boiled paddy is recommended for people with a lean body. Wheat food is recommended for people with a fat body. Asthmatic patients have accumulation of phlegm in their body. Therefore they should avoid tomato, ash gourd and radish. Do not apply anything cold on head while taking bath. Those suffering from piles should not eat egg, meat and highly pungent food. Do not keep ghee in bronze vessels. Do not drink tea or coffee on an empty stomach in the morning. First drink a glass of water. Those suffering from ulcer or jaundice should avoid chilly or pickles in their food. Women during their periods should not eat sesame, pumpkin or papaya. Those suffering from skin diseases should avoid snake gourd, ground nut, fish, dry fish, pungent food, sour food, beans etc. Do not eat wheat food prepared with gingili oil. Those suffering from knee pain or arthritis should not eat meat and egg.
In India some of the best combinations of food that contribute to our health. Milk and plantain. Spinach and chilly. Red chilly and coriander seed. Groundnut and jaggery. Beaten paddy and milk or ghee. Black gram vada and honey or ghee or banana. Jack fruit and honey. Rice and pounded pigeon pea or ghee. Green chilly and coriander leaf. Cucumber and salt and chilly power.
What are the effects of serving food on plates made of different materials Eating food served on silver plate adds to one's beauty. Since it emits positive energy, it contributes to a positive mental disposition. Plates made of bronze will harm the user. Aluminum is also harmful to the body. Plastic plates and vessels should not be used at all. If you eat food, served on plantain leaf, bilious complaints, skin diseases and rheumatism will be cured. It adds to the span of life as well. If you eat rice gruel using a spoon made of jack leaf, certain elements in the leaf help develop your intellect.
Why should we wear a ring in the finger of the left hand - Our sages have recommended wearing a ring in the finger of the left hand for scientific reasons. There is an important part in our brain called cerebellum. This part contributes to the efficiency of all our activities. There is connection between our ring finger in the left hand and the cerebellum through blood vessel. If we wear a ring studded with Navarathnas nine gems, it absorbs the energy of the sunrays and assimilates the required power of the planet befitting our body. It empowers our body. The ring helps the cerebellum work efficiently and keeps both our body and mind alert and active.
India - Rameswaram. Discovery of a 1,750,000 year old man-made Bridge by NASA, USA Proved Indian purana epic is true - This was built by Lord Rama of Ramayana between Rameswaram and Sri Lanka. In the Ramayana, Rama carried out an incredible, romantic and duty-bound undertaking to rescue his wife from Ravana, a magnificent King and religious Shaivite Brahmin, whose fascination for Sita caused his downfall. Kidnapping Sita, he flees India, forcing Rama to go abroad on a long journey to another ancient and foreign land, Lanka. Hundreds of temples mark the route, each a stop where Rama sought answers, guidance and spiritual strength to achieve his lofty purpose. This route, well documented in the Ramayana with descriptive geography, has been interpreted and mapped by Prof. H. Daniel Smith and Sitharam Gurumurthi. Many believe the Ramayana to be a true life story, a historical record of an ancient time, in India. Others discredit this theory and degrade the epic as a mere work of fiction. However, there is an interesting worldwide stream of research in the Absolute and Cultural Sciences, that is discovering more and more of the pieces of this ancient secret. Scientists mapping the Earth with satellite and other technologies are finding truth in ancient times claims Astronomers and physicists are beginning to discover links between the origin of the space and the Hindu concept of time and creation. Ecologists who believe in evolution are tracing parallels between the avatars and the stages of development. Rama’s existence is gaining credibility and validity with recent scientific mapping and research. In this regard, one of the latest finding of NASA USA is ‘Adam’s Bridge or Rama’s Bridge which is 30 km long, in the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka. According to Ramayana the great Hindu epic, the bridge was built to transport Rama and his team, hero of the Ramayana, to the island, to rescue his wife from the demon King Ravana. NASA Images Found 1,750,000 Year Old Man-Made Bridge. The NASA Shuttle has imaged a mysterious ancient bridge between India and Sri Lanka, as mentioned in the Ramayana. NASA recently discovered a bridge, currently named as Adam’s Bridge in the Palk Straits between India and Sri Lanka which reveals a mystery behind it. NASA says that the bridge’s unique curvature and composition by age, reveals that it is man-made. Legend as well as archaeological studies reveals that the first signs of human inhabitants in Sri Lanka dates back to the primitive age, about 1,750,000 years ago and the bridge’s age is almost equivalent. Rama is said to have lived in the Treta Yuga of our current Maha Yuga cycle. This puts his existence somewhere roughly between 869,103 and 1,296,000 years.
“Get away from death” - In Indian traditional prayer room, incense sticks and camphor cubes used on a regular basis and faith in such worship saved a devotee from the worst industrial accident and unprecedented death toll caused by the leaking of the MIC gas from the Union Carbide factory at Bhopal. Many who ran out fell dead on the way. One family was not affected by the gas; ‘Chottanikarai Amman’ guided them to the safest place in the house, “the puja room” where the atmosphere remained purified by the burning incense sticks and camphor cubes. True story follows - Shankar was woken up by the continuous knocking on his door. It was 2 a.m. Outside he heard some commotion. The knocking continued for some more time. Who could be the intruder at this hour of the night, Shankar thought for a while. The knocking stopped abruptly. He heard the main door creaking open. Shankar was sure that he had bolted and locked ‘the door before he went to bed. He could still feel the keys below the pillow. No one could have opened the door without his knowledge. His wife was still sleeping by his side. There was no one else other than them, in the house. Then who opened the door and permitted the stranger inside the house? He heard steps approaching the bed room. Soon he felt the presence of someone looming over him. It could simply be a vision due to a tired brain, he thought. In his tiredness and half asleep state, he might have been dreaming. But when he wiped his eyes to have a clear look at the intruder, the realisation came in a shocking flash of certainty. Somebody was standing at his bedside! The figure dressed in white was signaling to him to get up and to follow him! He rubbed his eyes again to confirm that he was not dreaming. The gentleman was still there, as real as his own existence. He could see the books he had left open on the table, could see the calendar hanging beyond on the wall. Shankar sat up and covered himself with a shawl and followed the figure. Though a bit scared, he followed the vague figure, as he wanted to know what trouble it intended. The figure led him to the drawing room and then to the verandah. Once outside, it enlarged in size and dissolved into thin air! Shankar stood breathless, suddenly feeling exhausted. Luckily, the supernatural figure did not harm him. By then, his wife had also come out complaining of suffocation. “What is happening? Why is there a commotion outside?” she asked. Outside, people from their colony were running, shouting “get away from death, there has been a disaster.” All types of vehicles were racing in mad haste crowded with passengers, all shouting “bhago”. It appeared as though some major explosion had occurred nearby. “Let us also get out of this place,” he told her “I too am feeling suffocated.” “Before making any decision, better make a phone call and find out what is happening” she advised him. The telephone was dead. He came back not knowing what to do. “Let us pray to ‘Amma’. She will guide us and keep us away from danger” she told him. “There is no time to waste”, he told her. “Do you want to die in this house inhaling poison when all sensible people are rushing out of their dwellings to keep away from death?’ “What guarantee is there that we would be safe outside?” she asked. “It is better to seek Amma’s blessings when we do not know what to do”. Both went to the puja room to pray. They remained there in the closed room praying till dawn, comforted by Her presence. At 6 in the morning, the telephone rang. Shankar came out to attend the call. “Are you still there?” Gautam, his cousin from Hoshangabad asked. “The whole colony of yours is bereft of any soul except you. How come you stayed on?” “We just remained here not knowing what to do”, he replied. “By the way, what caused the turmoil? Any bomb explosion?” Gautam replied, “It was the worst industrial accident the country has ever witnessed”. Gautam narrated all that had happened the previous night, the unprecedented death toll caused by the leaking MIC gas from the Union Carbide factory at Bhopal. The tragedy had also left an unaccountable number of people seriously affected. “You were lucky to have taken a decision to remain indoors” he continued. “You are the only family not affected by the gas. Many who ran out fell dead on the way. I am told that Ramesh and his family staying next to your residence had a tragic end last night while driving to escape the gas effect.” Shankar could not believe that their decision to stay in the house saved them. He narrated the conversation to his wife. Lila thanked ‘Amma’ for having guided them away from the lurking danger to the safest place in the house “the puja room“ where the atmosphere remained purified by the burning incense sticks and camphor cubes. Luckily, they were not exposed to the killer gas by being insulated within its serene environment. It was not the first time that he got such a guidance which saved them from instant death, Shankar remembered. It had happened before too, in entirely unbelievable circumstances. “At least now you will have to believe that ‘Amma’ is taking care of us” Lila said. “It was just a chance” he responded to tease her. “Fate did not want us to die so early”. He laughed as if enjoying a joke at her expense. “You can believe in chance and fate, but not on the grace of ‘Amma’?” she asked losing temper. “You still consider that life is controlled only by opportunities and chances and not by a Supreme power? Just because it is beyond your comprehension, you have no right to treat it as a laughing matter.” I agree that it was all due to the blessings of ‘Amma’” he said in a conciliatory tone. The incident did not have any logical explanation to offer, just like several other incidents in his life, Shankar recollected. Could it be just a chance that he woke up and followed that formless figure to find out the lurking danger outside? Or could it be due to the ardent faith his wife had in ‘Amma’ that saved his family from tragedy?
Sloka for lighting lamp - Light is considered as a symbol of auspiciousness, prosperity and abundance in the Hindu religion. Light brings brightness with it and removes the darkness. Light makes it possible to see things clearly. Following Sloka can be recited while lighting the lamp. This prayer is also known as ''deepa shlokam''. "Subham Karoti Kalyanam - as Arogyam Dhana Sampadah - Shatru Buddhi Vinashaya - Dipa Jyotir Namostute. Meaning: "I fold my hands before the light that brings prosperity, auspiciousness, good health, abundance of wealth and destruction of the enemy's intellect". Here, Darkness symbolizes enemy's intellect and with the arrival of light, darkness disappears. Likewise, Light, symbolizing God's Grace, destroys darkness which is enemy's intellect. "Deepajyothi Parabrahma - Deepajyothi Janardhana - Deepo Me Hara Tu Paapam - Deepaa Jyothir Namostute" Meaning: "I fold my hands before the Lord, the maintainer of this creation, in the form of this Light. I adore this Light, which destroys all the pains resulting from my omissions and commissions".
Prevents cancer - digests food, Eating on a banana leaf - When hot cooked food is served on a banana leaf, the upper layer produces chlorophyll which prevents cancer. And the sweating from the leaf due to the hot food being placed on the leaf, also helps digest the food. The banana tree is also considered to be very sacred in the Hindu religion and in the same way the banana leaf is used to offer food items to the god. The banana leaf is the cleanest leaf among all leaves. It is said that the banana leaf is coated with some particular chemicals on the top. This coating of the chemicals make the food very tasty and when they are consumed along with the food, it improves the digestion process and gives us ample energy. The banana leaf can be easily disposed as the dogs clean up the remaining food present in the leaf after eating and the cow eats the whole leaf that is disposed. Hot food served on a banana leaf absorbs the nutritional and medicinal values of the banana tree. The leaf is bio-degradable unlike plastic plates. Ghee and oil do not stick to the banana leaf and so enjoying these flavours are easier. It is advised to use fresh tender leaf as the dust and germs are minimized. Using banana leaf is eco-friendly and also enhances the taste. Banana leaves are used in functions like marriages, weddings, birthday celebrations and other celebrations at home. Food served to guests on a banana leaf is considered humble and respectful. The major advantage of the banana leaf is the space that is available in it. The basic Items like salt, pickle varieties, chutneys, dry sweet, aviyal, thuvayal, poriyal -and the main courses dal, kootu, curry, sambar, rasam, tamarind curry and curd, payasam, poppadom and vada, can be well accommodated in it. Banana or plantain is usually served at the end. If one eats on banana leaf regularly, the face and skin would be radiant. Fire victims, who have third degree burns, are made to lie on this leaf as it cools the person. The heat of the burn will be minimized to a greater extent. Thus banana leaf has a great part to play in the day-to-day life of people in South India.
Do we have celebrations like Sashtiaptapoorthi, Sathabhishekam for women too Certainly - These functions are not gender based. Basically these are conducted to ward-off certain doshas one accumulates by living a long life and to purify the souls from such doshas. Hence, these are not gender oriented and who ever completes the age of 60 or 80 or 100 should conduct these rituals. It is our ignorance that these rituals are only for men, which is not true. Our vedhas and rituals have never discriminated women in any form.
As per the laws in Singapore and in most other countries we cannot conduct Homam in the house. How do we conduct Grahapravesham in Singapore? Without Vasthu homam, Ganapathy homam and Navagraha homam how can the function be complete? It is inevitable. If one has to gain something one should be prepared to lose something. Earlier we were prevented from settling abroad. But today it is not possible as the world has become one small village and one has to venture out in search of wealth and knowledge. But as per Dharmasastra, you can still live abroad and should adhere to the rules and regulations of that country. However, whenever one finds an opportunity to come to our country they should conduct these rituals in temples or public places and complete the Prartha Karma.
Darbai grass significance - In ancient times, people used to have ceilings made only of Darbai grass. Darbai has a special medicinal value. It can keep snakes and poisonous pests and insects away from the house and keep the house cool. It has the capacity to remove the urea and creatinine in the blood. It has high conductivity and that is why it is being used where gold and silver are used. Owing to its intensive repulsive character, darbai grass is placed during Grahana days on food items to prevent the food from getting spoilt. Darbai grass is an important pooja item for prayers and Homams.
Language of the Gods and Sages. Mantrs are chanted in Sanskrit. When Scientists of NASA were attempting to develop a computer machine-friendly language to suit the programming for demanding operations, they found out that Sanskrit perfectly suited every requirement of their expectation – A surprising Factor for NASA, USA America - 1,000 years old living spoken language with considerable literature of its own. Besides works of literary value, there was a long philosophical and grammatical tradition that has continued to exist with undiminished vigour until the present century. Sanskrit has long been termed as the language of the Gods and Sages and is supported with facts. Today, everybody requires scientific facts and support for any claim. The word “Sanskrit” means “complete”, that is, it suits every element and occasion in the universe. When Scientists of NASA were attempting to develop a computer machine-friendly language to suit the programming for demanding operations, they found out that Sanskrit perfectly suited every requirement of their expectation without having to intervene in the grammatical exchange of words. For example, if one has to Say “Lisa reads a book”, exchange the words in any other language would render different meanings and sometimes meaningless like “book reads a Lisa”. But Sanskrit is the only language in the whole world, where exchange of words refers to the same meaning all the time. Any interchanging of words in an expression of Sanskrit would literally mean the same and hence is quite easy to use it for machine language as they are generally built and based on matrix arrangements. Usage of Sanskrit means fewer matrixes and hence faster programming. While vested interests groups claim that Sanskrit is an extinct language, is still practiced as conversing language of many especially a place in Karnataka where around 5000 people of a particular sect practise Sanskrit as their mother tongue. All the prayers are conducted in temples and outside and the mantras are chanted in Sanskrit language, so it has been turned as the language of the gods and sages.
Coconut – is a very important item for the pooja and prayer conducted in temples. There is no pooja, prayer, festival and function conducted in India without coconut. The first and far most required holiest item for any auspicious occasion is coconut. The Scientific Research on coconut has yielded amazing findings. The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV, cancer, dental care and bone strength. Due to the various health benefits of coconut oil, though its exact mechanism of action was unknown, it has been extensively used in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicinal system. Hair care: Coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrition ingredient for hair. It is an excellent conditioner and helps in the re-growth of damaged hair. Stress relief: Coconut oil is very soothing and hence it helps in removing stress. Applying coconut oil to the head followed with a gentle massage helps in removing mental fatigue. Skin care: Coconut oil is an excellent massage oil for the skin as well. Coconut oil forms the basic ingredient of various body care products such as soaps, lotions and creams used for skin care. Heart diseases: There is a misconception that coconut oil is not good for the heart as it contains a large quantity of saturated fats. However, coconut oil contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing various heart problems including high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The saturated fats present in coconut oil are not harmful as it happens in case of other vegetable oils. It does not lead to increase in LDL levels. Weight loss: Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight. Digestion - Used for cooking, Coconut oil helps in improving the digestive system and prevents various stomach and digestion problems including irritable bowel syndrome. Coconut oil also helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Healing: When applied on infections, it forms a chemical layer which protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria and virus. According to the Coconut Research Centre, coconut oil kills viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, SARS, etc. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia and gonorrhoea. Coconut oil helps in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases. It also helps in dissolving kidney stones. Diabetes: Coconut oil helps in controlling blood sugar and improves the secretion of insulin Bones: Coconut oil improves the ability of our body to absorb important minerals like calcium and magnesium which are necessary for development of bones. Dental care: Calcium is an important element present in teeth. Since coconut oil facilitates absorption of calcium by the body, it helps in getting strong teeth. HIV and cancer: It is believed that coconut oil plays an instrumental role in reducing viral susceptibility of HIV and cancer patients. Finally, coconut oil is often preferred by athletes and body builders and by those who are on diet. The reason behind this being that coconut oil contains lesser calories than other oils.
Rudraksha Beads have been worn by mankind for thousands of years for good health, religious attainment and fearless life One can escape from untimely death by wearing Rudraksha, The Tears of Lord Siva that are Rudraksha, the original Vedic Beads of power worn by the yogis of India on the Himalayas for thousands of years to maintain health and to gain self empowerment and fearless life on their path to Enlightenment and Liberation. The Electromagnetic Properties of the Rudraksha Beads improve concentration, focus and mental stamina. Due to these same properties it was found that wearing these Beads around the heart reduced and controlled stress levels, blood pressure and hypertension resulting in the feeling of tranquility and calmness. Rudraksha Beads were found to be ideal for focused Meditation and other Spiritual Practices. Research has proven that Rudraksha have powerful Electromagnetic, paramagnetic and Inductive Properties that vary from the different Mukhis or facets, the different number of divisions found on the surface of each Bead. They also found that wearing or performing Japa with a particular Mukhi or set of Mukhis of the Rudraksha Beads created specific electrical impulses that are sent to the brain through the process of galvanic skin response stimulating certain brain centers that transfer information. This Bioelectric Stimulation affects the Biochemical System in the brain creating a positive impact on the activity of neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin levels that is evidenced by the positive transformation in the personality, mindset, outlook, charisma and the confidence of the wearer. It was also found that those wearing Rudraksha Beads were able to experience reduced stress reaction to unexpected levels that were normally possible only with continued doses of tranquilizers. The Alpha State produced in the brain boosts the confidence and inner strength of the wearer significantly and as a result the heart beat, circulation, function of endocrine glands and activity of neurons and respiration is normalized in the physical body. It was proven that wearing of Rudraksha controlled heart beat and had a positive effect on Blood Pressure, Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Palpitations and Lack of Concentration. It was also found that Rudraksha Beads have anti ageing properties based on their Electromagnetism.Generations who have worn authentic Rudraksha Beads have repeatedly confirmed that they have experienced considerable relief from the debilitating effects of high blood pressure, stress, hypertension, depression and other mind related problems. The Vedic Puranas also show, there are more powerful Rudraksha Beads from 1 Mukhi to 21 Mukhi each capable of aligning our mind and the positive energies around us to specific aspects of health, happiness, spiritual fulfillment, prosperity, creativity, intuitive ability, material fulfillment, family harmony, attraction, self empowerment and fearless life. A man with meditation and perseverance and a wise man who wears Rudraksha gets rid of all the sins and attains the supreme goal of the human life. It means that Rudraksha mala must be worn at the time of worshipping Lord Shiva. A man who performs Vedic rituals, chanting mantras, yajnas etc without wearing Rudraksha, gets no virtue of fruit. The wearer of Rudraksha not only makes Lord Shiva happy but pleases Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, Ganesh, Kaartikeya, Durga, Indra, Aditya and the ruling deities of the nine planets. Rudraksha Beads have been worn by mankind for thousands of years for good health, religious attainment through Japa and fearless life. Wherever Rudraksha is worshipped the Goddess of wealth always stays there. One can escape from untimely death by wearing Rudraksha. Rudraksha assists in awakening of Kundalini the self pleasure point. Rudraksha is helpful for worldly and heavenly attainments. Rudraksha can make the whole family live together in peace and harmony. Rudraksha is best known for its biomedical properties and in controlling stress, Hypertension and blood pressure. Rudraksha help increase Self power and invoke Self love. They also enhance the Charisma of the wearer. Rudraksha can cure various dangerous diseases like small pox, epilepsy, whooping cough etc. and heal the most poisonous wounds, if used as a prescription, in a specified method. It gives peace of mind to the wearer, stimulates the mind and sharpens the intellect. Rudraksha bead is a divine gift from Lord Shiva to mankind for helping them to combat their miseries and sorrows. Therefore these divine beads can be worn by any body irrespective of age, sex, caste, creed, culture and location. However it is desirable that certain precautions be taken while using Rudraksha since it is a divine gift and therefore very pious. While purchasing a Rudraksha one should make sure that he is purchasing a genuine Rudraksha. The beads do not work at all if not strung correctly. While wearing a Rudraksha for the first time, it is advisable to get them energized with a proper Puja. Rudraksha beads are worn as pendants and bracelets on wrist or Upper arm. They may also be kept in the Puja room for benefit of the entire family. A Rudraksha mala, Bracelet or a pendant can be made using gold, silver or copper or simple thread. A Rudraksha mala should be cleaned once a month after soaking in tap water for 15-18 hours. Use a hard plastic brush to remove any dust or impurities. Avoid wearing beads during bath as the soap and grime enters the pores of beads and are difficult to clean. One may periodically apply sandalwood oil to the Rudraksha bead so that they remain shiny and perfumed. Children may also wear Rudraksha depending on the nature of their emotional and health concerns. Rudraksha should not be worn while attending a funeral. It is recommended to avoid wearing beads during sexual intimacy. The best way is to keep the Rudraksha in Puja place before going to sleep and wear the same next morning only after taking a bath. Worn while eating non veg, drinks, toilet hours, menstrual cycle for ladies provided the beads are kept in hygienic state and one does not touch the beads with soiled fingers.Family members should not keep interchanging Neck Malas, Japa Malas or Rudrksha beads.
Food is essential for human life. However, humans view food as much more than basic sustenance. Many people like certain foods better than others and some people love their ethnic food. Most Indian cuisine is identified by similar usage of spices and use of a greater variety of vegetables compared to other cuisines. Flavours and aromas unlike any other cuisine, characterize Indian cooking and Religion. Geography and climate influence the cuisine as well. Indian cuisine is considered to be spicy by many. Most Indian dishes contain a delicate blend of spices. The basic spices are ginger, garlic, chilli powder, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander powder and cumin powder. Other items are mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, dried red chillies and curry leaves. Sweets are very popular all over India and are usually made with ingredients rich in fat like sugar and ghee or melted butter. ‘Jalebis’, luscious pretzel shaped loops fried till golden crisp and soaked in saffron sugar syrup can be had from any street vendor in North India. ‘Kheer’ or ‘payasam’ are equivalents of the rice pudding and ‘Kulfi’ is an Indian ice cream made in conical moulds and frozen. Tea is drunk as a beverage in India. Tea from the hills of Darjeeling and Kalimpong are boiled in milk and water and served with a liberal dose of sugar. Filtered coffee is a favourite among South Indians and is a very sweet, milky version of coffee. Paan is served as a digestive after some meals. The dark-green of the betel-pepper plant is smeared with little bit of lime and wrapped around a combination of spices like crushed betel nuts, cardamom, aniseed, sugar and grated coconut. It is an astringent and is believed to help clean the system. One of the main influences on Indian cuisine is the Hindu religion. In this religion there is much emphasis on vegetables because many Hindus are vegetarians for ethical reasons. Over the years, Indians have used a vast range of different vegetables like spinach, tomatoes, cauliflower, potatoes and green beans to make different vegetarian dishes. Some other popular Indian vegetables include eggplant, okra, cluster beans, beetroot, cucumber and white radish. For example, Brahmins, in the Hindu religion are strict vegetarians. They do not eat either fish or eggs. In addition, most Hindus do not eat beef. Cows are considered sacred in India and are worshipped by Hindus. Pork is also not eaten much because pigs in India are not raised in good environments, so eating pork can lead to different diseases. Most of the people in villages do not eat pork. Indian cuisine changes across the geography of India. Most of the coastal areas use fish and coconuts in cooking. The desert states, Rajasthan and Gujarat areas, use an immense variety of dals and achars to substitute for the relative lack of fresh vegetables. Another state, Andhra Pradesh, located in the southern part of India, is unfairly accused of using excessive amounts of chillies. In the coastal states of West Bengal and Kerala, the people consume a lot of fish. All along the northern plain, from Punjab through Uttar Pradesh, to the eastern side of India, the main crop cultivated is wheat. People from these areas use wheat flour to make chapattis Indian bread and other closely related breads. Rice is served with almost every meal in India, so Indians have created a variety of ways of cooking it. The aim is to produce dry, separate grains. The basmati rice and sonamasoori are different kinds of rice, which cook really well and give a nutty result. Indian food is also very unique compared to other cuisines with regard to spices, aroma, and way of cooking. There are many more kinds of styles under Indian cuisine. These are just the basics of Indian cuisine. There is a lot more to Indian food, so the best idea is to try out the food! Visiting an Indian restaurant for dinner is a unique culinary experience. When you walk through the door, the fragrance of Indian spices fills the air, subtly teasing your taste buds and whetting your appetite. Many Indian restaurants even offer a buffet where you can choose among a variety of freshly cooked food. Although you may have come for the taste, Indian cuisine can also be quite healthy. Indian food helps cure arthritis. Many Indian dishes are seasoned with curry, a mixture of of healthy spices. One spice prominent in curry is turmeric which is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. A study published in the journal “Arthritis and Rheumatism” confirms that this brilliant orange spice reduced joint swelling in arthritic rats. Although, large scale human studies are needed to confirm its effects on people, some patients have reported significant improvement in their arthritic symptoms after adding curry based foods, to their diet. Turmeric is also being investigated as a possible treatment for brain ageing and cancer. High in fibre - Indian recipes frequently use chickpeas and lentils, both of which are high in fibre and resistant starch. The fibre found in legumes helps to lower cholesterol levels and promote a healthy heart. Most Americans don’t get enough fibre in their diet and Indian food is a tasty way to boost fibre intake. Owing to their fibre and resistant starch, legumes are one of the most filling and satisfying foods available. Indian desserts are healthier overall - Indian desserts are usually made with whole grains and fruit which make them healthier than traditional American desserts. Some Indian desserts are lentil based which means they are higher in protein and iron than traditional American desserts. Many Indian desserts use yogurt instead of ice cream or heavy cream; but choose Indian desserts carefully as some can still be high in fat and sugar.