Rishis attributed great importance to culture and stressed on the need for the
development of the inner faculties of a human being. They discovered various
methods of feeding, resting and revitalizing the body. After countless years
of experience and experiments they developed special systems of exercises for
increasing the strength, purity and power of all the faculties of man.
Rishis claimed that God could be attained through meditation because then
the mind eventually surrenders to a thought, which is subjected to long
periods of concentration without any interruptions. In meditation, the
performer attains a state of communion with his deity.
The rishis also preach
that for sublimation and evolution, every person must meditate on God
at least three times a day. They associate these times with the three
times of the Sun. When one gets up from sleep, he must pay homage to his
deity or the rising Sun to prepare for the day’s chores. He must respect
the mid-day Sun when he prepares to eat meals for his sustenance and the
setting Sun to express his gratitude to his Creator for the successful
completion of his day’s work. They also proclaim that the most auspicious
time for meditation is 3 am every day, because during this time, Mother
Nature is the most serene. It is called Brahma Muhurta.
In order to
attain spiritual progress, one must try to dissociate from worldly pleasures
and attachments. Hence they advocated that meditation is supposed to be performed
at a predetermined place, time and location for accelerated concentration. To
make this easier they constructed temples, which are highly energized holy places.
In India, saints and sages
have been meditating from time immemorial and they can be still found in many
holy cities and riverbanks. Most of them give up their food and clothes to attain
moksha or everlasting life. Saint Vivekananda is said to have meditated in the
Rock Temple in Kanyakumari, the Southern tip of India for peace. Nowadays even
common Indians have started to make a beeline to Ashrams which propose to teach
them meditation and concentration to attain peace in life.
In the Bhagavad Gita,
Shree Krishna teaches Arjun that a “YOGI” is one who is joined
to God. The path that leads to ideals is that of a yogi who consciously
and deliberately progresses towards divinity, which is the purpose of
creation. With yogic advance his mind gets purified and he later becomes
a Siddha Saint.
An ascetic is one
who undergoes voluntary sacrifices to obtain celestial powers, like going
without food or clothes for days, standing on ones head for hours together,
sleeping on a bed of nails, piercing ones body with sharp objects, etc.
All those who practice meditation,
concentration and purification of their mind and body senses are real Yogis.
There can be no higher state than this because they are nearer to God by way
of worshipping him. In worldly terms they have long hairs, and a
flourishing beard and wear saffron or white or black robes.
Almost most of the
Indian religions worship fire as a benevolent element. From time immemorial
the sacrificial fire has been an important item of our culture. Every
function, ceremony, worship or Puja starts with the worship of the fire
in some form or the other. Most of the Indian women perform a small worship
of the deity in their house with a special “ARTI” of a small deepam or
lamp and incense sticks. The importance of fire worship is mentioned in
all the Vedas and religious books.
Some modern thoughts
regard the Fire Worship as a primitive practice of campfire. But scientists
have established that performing a small domestic “havan” or fire worship
with ghee and other specified ingredients produces purifying gases like
ethylene oxide, propylene oxide, formaldehyde, butapropiolactone and acetylene
which boost up the spirit of the performer and the surroundings.
perform Havan in the ashrams to purify it and give it an atmosphere of good
health and prosperity. Fire worship is done in India, for prosperity, health,
victory, thanksgiving, good crop, bountiful rain, etc. Twigs and dried leaves
of some special trees, rice, wheat, til seeds, guggal, camphor, raisins,
coconut, vermilion and turmeric are used for the fire worship. Guggal and
Camphor are supposed to be good germ-killers. The burning of these items
in the fire along with the addition of pure ghee and the reciting of Mantras
produces beneficial gases according to the Rishis. They prescribe the morning
or evening as the ideal time for performing this worship. But the Tantriks
prefer to perform their Yagna at midnight, nearest to a cremation ground!
of India worship FLAME or JYOTI or DEEPAM,
as being the purest of the pure because it consumes all impurities but yet
remains pure by itself.
A lamp is an earthen
saucer like container, filled with ghee or butter with a twisted cotton
tape immersed in it. It is lighted in every Hindu household and temple in
India. The cotton tape keeps sucking the ghee to yield a cool bright light,
a flame. In nature the flame is considered to be the source of infinite
energy of positive currents. If even number of lamps is kept side by side,
they cancel each other’s radiation and become harmful. This explains the
use of odd number of lamps for worship.
Great emphasis is also placed
on performing “ARTI” in India during worship of any deity. The arti flame is
moved around the idol for the devotees to have a good look of the deity, then
the devotees put out their palms to receive the arti aura, when their body’s
energy rises to the level of the flame according to researchers. The flame is
also considered a good germ killer.
Trees are considered to
be friends of man as they provide him shelter, food, fuel, and oxygen for good
living. In the Rigveda and the Atharveda some trees are deified, as “Vriksha
Devta” which are considered to be holy and the people ought to worship them.
The Pipal, Banyan, Goolar, Amla, Vilva, Sandal, Neem, Mango, and Babool are
the trees that are worshipped in India.
It is said that Gods and
the souls of pious ancestors rest on the branches of the Pipal tree and so it
is not a domestic tree, instead it is grown in temples and inns where people
come to worship. The Pineal gland’s secretions of humans make their brains alert
and alive. The chemical found in this secretion is also found in the Pipals’
juice according to scientists and hence it is called the Bodhi Vriksha.
The Banyan tree is of specialty
because it sends sap from above to the earth. This resembles the functioning
of the world, as it also needs sap or energy for its survival from above, God.
Married Hindu ladies worship the Banyan tree for a long and happy married life.
Lord Shiva patronizes the
Vilva tree as the only tree, which has three, leaves that sprout together like
a trident. The juice of the leaves is a relief to the Diabetics, and the pulp
of the fruit is supposed to stop diarrhea. The fruit called bel was a favorite
of Lord Shiva.
Another tree is the Asoka
tree which is known to relieve the worries of the persons sitting under its
shade. Sita is said to have been seated under an Asoka tree in Lanka during
The Hindus also worship
the Kadam tree, because Shree Krishna used to sit and play under this tree.
Rishi Chyavan patronized
the Amla tree for rejuvenating properties.
According to popular
Indian belief, Wherever Tulsi is planted, the place becomes, sanctified
as a place of pilgrimage and the sepoys of Lord Death dare not enter that
place. In India, the Tulsi is regarded as the most sacred plant. It is
a much- branched erect bushy plant of about 4 feet height. Its leaves
are aromatic and they have minute glands. The flowers are purple in small
clusters and the seeds are yellow are red.
According to scientists
the place containing tulsi plant becomes pollution free. The oil of the
leaves is capable of destroying bacteria and insects. The leaves have
mercury traces and are hence nowadays used in cancer curing Ayurvedic
medicines. The juice of the leaves cures bronchitis and stomach upsets.
The leaves’ paste cure all skin diseases and the decoction of the leaves
cures common cold.
Thick branches of Tulsi
are dried and cut into beads to make rosary beads, are else they are made into
necklaces which the devotees wear with faith. The ancient Rishis have ordained
that if a ghee lamp or incense stick or flowers are not available for performing
puja then Tulsi leaves can be used and this explains the importance of the worship
of tulsi in India.
During worship or rituals,
leaves from some select trees are used as essential accessories, but among them
all the Betel Leaf enjoys a place of pride in India. In Hindu weddings, a betel
leaf is tucked into the headgear of the bride and the groom. The use of betel
leaf is considered as a noble trait and on all auspicious celebrations, betel
leaf has become a symbolic item denoting freshness and prosperity.
The Skanda Purana
says that the Betel Leaf was obtained during the ocean- churning by the
Gods. The use of Betel Leaf in India is mentioned in the great epics,
The Ramayana and the Mahabharatha as well as in Buddhist and Jain literatures.
Paan has rich herbal
properties. It is invigorating and energizing, a killer of germs and bacteria
and an eliminator of cold. Before eating a paan, the stalk has to be cut,
the edges have to be trimmed and the veins have to be scrapped because
they may damage the brain. There are whitish and blackish betel leaves.
The black variety is said to be constipative and the white one eliminates
cold and is a digestive.
Coconut (Nariyel) in
In India, for success and
prosperity on all occasions, the beginning is done with the breaking of a sanctified
coconut. All religious functions and rituals start with the worship of the coconut
since it is regarded as the symbolic GANESH, the deity who helps in the successful
completion of any work undertaken.
is said to be the creator of coconut. Its hard kernel inspires one to do
hard work for attaining success. People get strength and improved eyesight
by eating the kernel. The sick and the elderly find its water nourishing
and ladies apply its oil for luxurious hair. It has glucose, phosphorous
and carbohydrates in good measures and so it is good for Diabetics. Germs
can’t penetrate its hard kernel so it remains intact for months together.
Ancient Indian doctors used
to burn its outer shell to prepare tooth powder, eyebrow creams and ointments
for burns. Every inch of the coconut plant is very beneficial to humans. Hence
Indians consider it a good omen to receive or give coconut fruits as gifts.
It is also called Shreephal because it denotes prosperity.
Lotus is a very important
symbol of Indian cultural heritage. It is mentioned in all the Hindu scriptures
because it is very sacred to the Gods. God Brahma and Buddha are depicted as
seated on a Lotus flower. Lord Vishnu holds a lotus in one of his hands and
Goddess Lakshmi also holds a Lotus flower. The Lotus is an appropriate symbol
of detachment from the surroundings, be it good or bad.
Poets have used the Lotus as a simile in praise of the feet of the Gods
and Goddesses. All the Vedas sing in praise of the Lotus. In the Yogasastra,
the six Chakras are depicted with the Lotus as the base. According to the
Mahayana sect of Buddhism, all the souls originate from the Lotus.
In India, the Muslim
rulers used the Lotus in their architecture, an influence of Hindu architecture
since the Muslims have no special significance for the Lotus. The dome
of the Taj Mahal resembles an upside-closed lotus, resting on its petals.
The lotus blooms with the morning light and closes its petals when the
sun goes down. So the sages accepted lotus as a unique symbol of unfolding
the spiritual qualities of man with the advent of light.
to the Hindu Yogis in India, inhaling air generates SH-Sh sound while exhaling
is associated with HM-HM and enunciated that SOHAM is the keynote of life.
Later they discovered that sound O was guttural and sound AM touched palate
and so told that AUM encompassed man’s total existence.
The Aum sound is vibrating
throughout the cosmos and it has three manifestations; those of creations,
preservations and destruction. Every time a person utters any letter or
word, he puts into operation any of these three virtues of AUM. The vibratory
cosmic energy- AUM does not maintain by food alone, but man’s body battery.
This invisible power flows through the human body and controls its actions
when uttered properly with reverence and concentration.
or Dot or Bindi
The starting point of all
shapes and forms is a point. Geometry describes the point as one, which has
no dimensions, but it still exists. A dot or point is the seed of language
expressed by sound, so it is the finale of the highest attainment.
A dot or point is the abode
of Shiva and Shakthi. Ancient Indian had an indomitable urge to communicate
his thoughts and so symbols were developed. Similar group of men and women adopted
different types of Tilak or linear symbols, which were further, segregated fro
man and woman to wear on their body to denote their sect and ideology.
Circular Bindi worn
by Indian women
study of human anatomy reveals that the forehead is the best place for applying
Tilak. Rishis declared that the junction of the nose-root and the meeting
point of the eyebrows is the most sensitive part of the body. The Agya-
chakra, or Wheel of wisdom, is located here and so is a vulnerable spot,
which must be kept, warm and protected.
The most popular forms used
or a dot, or a “U” shape or a trident shape or 3 horizontal lines with a dot
at the center called Tripund on the forehead and forearms. The wearers are advised
by the rishis to use a mixture of vermillion, lime, turmeric, saffron, musk,
agar, sandal and ash for men and sindur or vermillion on their skull-center
for the women, to provide warmth to the pineal and pituitary glands located
near the Thalamus.
The bindi is declared to
be very helpful for the good health of the brain, eyes, ears and the nose because
these applications maintain a fine pull on the veins and nerves underneath the
forehead, nose-root and forearm’s skin to monitor proper flow of blood. The
forebrain controls the decision making part of the brain. In acupressure methods
it is considered to be the most sensitive part of the body responsible for alertness
and hence the use of Bindi for the forehead is justified.
Mostly the business
community considers the Swastik symbol as the symbol of all- round prosperity
in India. The root of SWASTIK is SU+US; SU means benefic and US means
existence; so whosoever desires to have glory, prosperity, progress and
success is advised to invoke the Swastika Yantra.
The Aryans adopted
the Swastik as a symbol for the good of humanity. Then the Hindus added
some more arms to the Swastik to denote happiness in married life and
The sides of the Swastik
arms must remain on the right side, moving or stationary for positive vibrations
and benevolent results. BOVIS is a measure of the energy levels that surround
men or materials and the Swastik is supposed to have a formidable energy of
one million bovis, but in an inverse direction, the results become negative.
Indian Siddhants say that
the center of the Swastik represents the uterus, the origin point of the Universe,
the vertical line, Shiva and the horizontal line, the female organ. Their cross
forms the origin and evolution of the whole world.
Certain shapes represent
deities and when a devotee invokes the deity through the symbol, his thoughts
are concentrated and good results are got and one such omnipotent symbol is
the Swastik, which is widely used in India.
It is a common sight in
India, to see saints and rishis wearing small ball-like seeds in a string around
their neck. They are called Rudraksha Mala and a visit to any holy place in
India, can take you to shops that sell these bead-necklaces in all colors and
Rudraksha is the seed
of a fruit of a rare species of a tree found in Karnataka and in the Konkan
area. It is roundish with a cellular demarcation and has a central bore.
Each seed may have 1 to 21 cells and the seeds with one cell are of great
sanctity value. The most common variety is the seeds with 5 cellular divisions.
It has a beneficial
property of attracting healthy vibrations and so saints and rishis wear
them as necklaces. The Lord Shiva is also found to wear one such thing
in his neck. A real rudraksha seed shall sink in water and so fake ones
can be differentiated easily.
Its aromatic property helps
a devotee to get into deep meditation easily. Rudraksha seeds are not supposed
to be rubbed often because then they lose their charm properties.
It should be worn on the neck, threaded by gold, silver or woolen threads, so
that it remains in gentle touch with the body, which increases the body’s immunity.
The rudraksha thread protects
the wearer from lightings, accidents and brings him good luck according to Indian
saints and rishis. People with positive currents of energy should wear it on
their right hand and those with negative energy current on their left hands,
for good results.
The Brahmanas and some sects
of artisans wear the Sacred Thread as a symbol of their holiness when compared
to the common man. They are considered to be next to God. In India, a tuft of
hair in the back of the head, a rosary in the hand, a prominent bindi on the
forehead and a sacred thread along the torso are considered to be some of the
important symbols of holiness among the Hindus.
The sacred thread consists
of hand -spun yarn. Three equal lengths of the yarn are twisted to form one
length. After a sacred thread ceremony the person is given a sacredness status.
He is supposed to wear it as a cross-belt on his body.
The three twisted yarns
represent the Trinity of God, or the three virtues of life namely; pious living,
imperious living and vicious living. The 3*3 also represents the Navagraha or
the nine planets and also the nine outlets of the human body. The threads are
bright white and so they also add to the aura and moral strength.
In India, the Zoroastrians
wear such a sacred thread around their lumbar region. According to their belief,
the belt keeps their lumbar region vertebras in position and gives
In ancient times,
the rishis of India placed copper pots atop temple pinnacles to escape
the calamity of lightning. But fungus developed on the pots and reduced
their efficiency and so they gold-enameled the pots with gold.
The Rishis wanted
water all year round to quench their thirst, so they developed a container-
a Kalash and they were happy that they could enshrine God Varun in the
Kalash and thus the worship of Varun started with the worshipping of the
Kalash. The Rishis also ordained that every ceremony should start with
the worship of the Kalash.
According to Indian mythology,
The mouth of the Kalash represents Vishnu, the throat - Lord shiva, Lord Brahma
adores the base and at the belly all Goddesses are established and thus in a
small pot they established the presence of all gods and goddesses.
In India, on most of the
ceremonial occasions, a pot filled with clean water, with fresh mango or betel
leaves placed at the mouth and a coconut placed on top is kept near the entrance.
It is also decorated with Swastik symbol and other ornamentations.
Centuries ago in India,
the Gurukul system of education- residential Institutions for overall
development of students, were situated in forests away from the crowded
townships. There the insiders were constantly under beastly attacks and
so bells were rung on the sighting of deadly animals to frighten them
off. The metallic sounds were also found to attack bacteria and germs
through scientific research.
To create very effective
sound, a bell was found to be the best device since when it is made of
8 different metals, it produced the most resounding echo, which can spread
in all directions. In India, regular rhythmic ringing of heavy and light
weight bells has been made compulsory during the time of worship in most
of the temples, so as to invoke the deity’s blessings.
Research has proved that
that the sound of a standard bell can cure physical as well as mental diseases.
Loud sounds of the bell or the blowing of the conch, gets 27 cubic feet of air
in an area of 1220 sq.ft, purified and it is taken to be the most economical
way of purifying the environment.
For worship, blowing
of conch, a type of shell, bells of different dimensions, the beating of metallic-alloy
plates, Jhang, Majira, etc are very common in India.
The Conch Shell or
Shankh was obtained as a gift from the ocean - churning by the Gods. The
spiral formation inside the conch -shell is symbolic of infinite space.
All naturally occurring conch shells yield cosmic sounds, which can be
heard by holding the shell close to one’s ears.
God Vishnu accepted
an attractive conch shell with its mouth on the right side, and another
with a left-side opening adores the hand of Goddess Lakshmi.
The blowing of the conch
shell heralds important events and auspicious celebrations and calls all the
faithful for the worship of the deity. On the battlefield of Kurushetra in the
Mahabharatha, every morning the blowing of the shankh, symbolized the starting
of the war. Every great King and Army- Chief had his own precious Shankh
or conch shell.
shastra - Indian astrology
(For more imformation click on the link)
In India, Vaastu Shastra,
the details about the different dimensions of buildings, temples, forts, townships,
houses, etc is a great emerging science in the field of architecture. Architecture
is not just raising buildings to limit space according to Indian Rishis. It
is a form of science where, constructions are made in harmony with the laws
of Creation. A particular proportion of materials, a combination of colors,
a particular timing to start the construction is some of the things to consider
giving good benefits for the occupier of the construction to be erected.
The principles of VastuShastra
are based on physical geography, rainfall, isobars, winds, ocean currents, natural
vegetation, climate, water resources, mineral resources, population, etc. Vastu
Shastra is basically the utilization of living space so that it harmonizes the
person with the elements by working in harmony with the earth’s magnetic currents.
In India, as per Vaastu
Shastra, North and the East are the most auspicious. Plot of square, rectangle
or trapezium can be selected but not a triangular one as this may block the
energy waves. Northeast is the air zone, so the drawing room can be located
in this direction. The main entrance or water resources of a house can also
be located in the North- East Zone. The South- East side is dedicated to fire,
so kitchen can be in the Southeast or Northwest but not in the Southwest as
this may bring sickness to the members.
According to Indian Rishis,
the following of the Vaastu Shastra principles brings good-fortune or at the
least averts any bad-luck for the occupants.