Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Seemantham - Ceremony for Pregnant Women

Seemantham is a pregnant women’s ceremony performed during the seventh month of pregnancy. The ceremony is mainly followed in south India. It is an ancient ritual celebrated by the pregnant woman’s parents to take blessings from elders for safe delivery. This function marks as a celebration for her fertility. Pregnant woman’s desires will be fulfilled by family on this day.

Cultural Beliefs:
The ceremony is performed to keep the evil spirits away and to have good health. People believe that pregnant lady should listen to “Vishnu Sahasranam”, because the music makes the mind of the pregnant lady mentally relaxed.

Sreemantham Procedure:
  • On an auspicious day all the women (friends, relatives) are invited to the seemantham occasion.
  • A kalasam (a big pot with water, mango leaves, Grass and Covered by coconut) are kept. The prayers are performed to energize the water by reciting mantras for one hour. 
  • 'Udakashanthi' - the pregnant lady will take a bath with this holy water.
  • The pregnant lady will be dressed up in new clothes, flowers in hair and gold ornaments are decorated. All The elderly women will put bangles (usually red and green color) to the pregnant lady and bless her to have a safe delivery.
  • Tamboolam (Turmeric, Kukum, Betel leaves, betel nuts) will be given by the pregnant lady to all the women.Some will offer them blouse piece, sweet or fruits also.
  • Husband will give saffron as gift to wife and bless her to have a safe delivery.
  • Seemantham means uplifting the brain of the baby in the womb.
  • By performing this kind of ceremony the pregnant lady will listen to good words of elders, the sounds of glass bangles, mind becomes purified by listening to the mantras. The happiness affects the baby in the womb.
  • Elders advice the pregnant women to read and hear good stories, listen to pleasant music that soothes to stay away from the tensions and conflicts as the mother impact will be on the baby.
  • Food has to be cooked as per the desire of the pregnant lady.

Scientific Reasons:
  • Baby memory cells start activating after the completion of seven months of pregnancy. Thereafter, the unborn child can record sounds and vibrations from its surroundings.
  • By doing this holy rituals baby can listen and become sharp and intellect.
  • Holy bath will give mental strength to baby and the mother.
  • The wrist part is always active on the human, so the pulse and heart beats are checked normally on the wrist to find out the health conditions. Bangles used by the woman are on the wrist part which has constant friction and the blood circulation level is increased. By wearing lots of bangles the nerves will keep the womb in active state. By this the womb muscles will function in a uniform way which creates a healthy atmosphere to an unborn child.
  • Saffron will remove fuss and cough from chest of the unborn child and improves the color of skin texture of baby.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ear Piercing

Ear Piercing:

Ear piercing is a Hindu ritual performed by the maternal uncle or the parents of the baby. The baby ears are pierced in the 6, 8, 10, 12 months after the birth. If it is not possible we can also do at 3rd year of the baby. At this age the baby can get less pain.

Cultural Beliefs:
  • Pooja has to be performed for Lord Vishnu, Rudra, Surya, Brahma, Chandra, Ashwini devatas, Saraswathi and cow.
  • Many people perform this ritual at the Snake Pit (Naga Putta).
  • This ceremony has to be performed on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday preferably mornings.
  • After Ear piercing mother has to keep Tilak for the baby to avoid (Drishti) evil eye. Baby has to be taken to the temple and Pooja has to be done.
  • Note: Never perform this ceremony on the day of stars bharani, krutika, arudra, aslesha, magha, jyesta, vishaka and moola.

Important Facts:
  • Ear piercing has to be done with hygienic conditions.
  • Ear piercing with gold needle is very beneficial.
  • Baby has to be held very comfortably so that her head doesn’t move when the ear is getting pierced. Offer a toy to divert the baby's attention.
  • Take the baby to an experienced practitioner, so that he locates the center of the ear lobe avoiding the nerve and exactly do piercing.

Scientific Reasons:
  • People believe by doing ear piercing we can maintain good eyesight.
  • There is a nerve in the ear that connects the brain. The pressure on the right ear can be controlled as the Kidney will be passed and the functioning can be maintained.
  • From the age of seven, the kidney functioning starts, till that time the bladder is not grown fully.
  • The brain and memory cells expansion is the most important factor. So one cannot remember what happens at the age of 4, 5 and 6 and can remember only from the age of seven.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Vaikunta Ekadashi or Mukkoti Ekadashi

Mukkoti Ekadashi:
Vaikunta Ekadashi or Mukkoti Ekadashi is a festival that falls in danurmasam. During the month Sun will be transiting in Vrischika raasi and will be entering into Dhanus raasi in the middle of the month.It is believed that vaikunta dwaram is opened on this day.Devotees believe that taking the darshan of the Lord on this day would pass through the door of the Lord to reach the Vaikunta.Special prayers and yagnas are performed at Vishnu temples on this day.

Cultural Importance:
According to mythology, In the Padma Purana, the Gods were unable to bear the power of 'Muran', a demon. They approached Lord Shiva, who directed them to Lord Vishnu. A battle started between Lord Vishnu and the demon. Then the Lord realised that a new weapon is needed to kill Muran.

Lord Vishnu wanted to take rest to create the weapon so he went to a cave named for the goddess Haimavati in Badrikashrama. When Muran tried to kill the Lord, who was sleeping, the female power that emerged from the Lord burnt Muran to ashes with her glance.
Lord Vishnu, who was pleased, named the goddess 'Ekadashi' and asked her to ask for a boon. Ekadashi told to the Lord Vishnu that people who observed a fast on that day should be redeemed of their sins.

Lord Vishnu thus declared that people, who observed a fast on that day and worshiped Ekadashi, would attain Vaikunta. Thus came into being the first Ekadasi, which was a Dhanurmasa sukla paksha ekadashi.

Interesting Facts:
The ekadashi of the hindu month margashira( according to lunar cycle) is observed as Vaikunta Ekadashi or mukkoti ekadashi(equivalent to 3 crore ekadashis) by South Indians.

Devotees who seek salvation(moksha) believe passing through this gate will beget them the special mercy and blessing of Lord Vishnu. They fast and chant prayers of Lord Vishnu. Fasting on this day is equal to fasting of all the 23 ekadashis of the year. Some stay awake throughout the night by chanting prayers of Lord Vishnu.

People observe fast on every Ekadashi, the eleventh lunar day of every fortnight. They don’t eat cereals and pulses on this day. They drink only milk and tulsi(holy basil) water. Some take fruits.
Ladies wake up early in the morning and draw huge Rangolis in front of their houses and devotees rise early and visit temples early in the morning.

Vaikunta Ekadasi is celebrated with great importance in Tirupati Balaji Temple, Srirangam Ranganathaswamy Temple, and Bhadrachalam Sita Ramachandraswamy temple.

Scientific Reasons:
This is the month where in the northern hemisphere, winter solstice occurs. The early morning atmosphere is rich in ozone. The air pressure in the atmosphere rapidly changes in the surroundings on a full moon day or on the new moon day. The Sun-Moon-Earth combinations in the orbital path, when distances itself at every particular interval (i.e. every 24 hours of for every full circle the Earth rotates). When it occurs, accordingly the pressure in the atmosphere too changes drastically and varies from day to day.

One can observe this from the increasing high and rough tidal waves in the ocean. But from the immediate next day onwards, the pressure recedes gradually thus improving that the atmospheric pressure too reduce. So, particularly on the 11th day from New Moon or Full Moon days, the pressure is somewhat very light or nil.

If one has to go with an empty stomach on any other day, the atmospheric pressures will put on him or her more strain where in on the Ekadashi day, the problem is minimal or nil. So the body never takes the pain while we cleanse the bowel system and thus refreshing the whole body mechanism - specifically the liver/stomach/bowel and the system movements.

Those who observe Fasting on Ekadashi days are keeping fittest health, cleansing their bowel system and mostly free from frequent ailments. People have lot more mental peace, by way of self-realization and inner soul. That reflects them to more and more devote to the spiritual path! Yes, this sort of penance also gives them a stronger feeling towards spirituality, thus making them pure in body and mind.

The phases of moon will have an influence on our body(made of fluids) and mind.So our elder people have recommended us to do fasting,meditation based on the moon cycle (ekadashi). Ekadashi fasting is broken on the next day dwadashi by taking fruits like gooseberry,turkey berry etc which helps in removing toxins.Also Fasting helps in purification of blood and digestive organs. The intestines will always remain full if one eats more so a timely fast helps in clearing these organs of waste materials.The blood gets purified and rid of urea and fat and the digestive organs can enjoy the rest needed

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Henna/Mehendi - Natural way

Henna is natural plant used for hair dying and is used to apply on hands and legs known as Mehendi. The color of the Henna and Mehendi will be for some weeks. There are various designs that can be applied as Mehendi.

Cultural Beliefs:
Mehendi will be applied on the hands and legs at the time of marriage, festivals and some important occasions. Even the gods are seen with Mehendi in their hands.
Applying Mehendi to brides at the time of marriage is a traditional ritual; it signifies the love and affection. The darker the Mehendi strain on the hand is the stronger the bond with her husband. It is also believed as a representation of fertility.

Important Facts:
  • Henna paste is a mixture of water, henna, lemon juice and sugar, which is a natural and healthier alternative when applying for hands and legs.
  • Henna is mixed with tea decoction, curd, lemon juice and eggs and applied to the hair as a natural dye and as a conditioner.
  • Baldness can be cured with henna when mixed with mustard oil.
Scientific Reasons:

  • Henna has many health benefits and has many nutrientsIt is used as a sunscreen.
  • Henna reduces the bacteria on the skin which causes infections. It removes the fungus in the nails.
  • Henna makes hair lively, shiny and acts as a conditioner. When applied for white hair it gives a natural color.
  • Henna strengthens and heals split ends in the hair and cures dandruff.
  • Henna is used for cooling, when applied the blood circulation will be affected.
  • Henna is used for the treatment of dysentery by preparing the powder with henna plant seeds and ghee.
  • Henna leaves are applied to the burns caused by fire. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Nose piercing

Nose piercing:
Nose piercing is a Hindu ritual, where nose rings are worn on left or right side or both sides of the nostril. Nowadays it became a fashion accessory and is worn by everyone.

Cultural Beliefs:
Mainly females used to do nose piercing at the time of marriage to honor Goddess Parvathi.
It is a sign of marriage.

Important Facts:
  • Nose piercing has to take place at the age of five to seven years old.
  • In ancient times, it was believed there is a connection between the nose and sex. Males having a large nose were a sign for a large sexual organ and a woman with a small nose will have small sexual organs and have the least desire for sexual pleasure.

Scientific Reasons:
  • Nose piercing can control the respiratory problems, fits, hearing problems and blood pressure.
  • This is a breath regularize to eliminate the poison that comes out while breathing carbon.
  • The nose piercing on the left nostril is linked with the female reproductive organs. Females are likely to have fewer pains during the deliver time and at the menstrual time as the vein are pressed through the piercing. The gynecological problems can be cured.
  • The carbon that is produced during the sex can be minimized by wearing the gold or silver ornament in the nose.
  • An ophthalmologist says that it is difficult to control the women who wear the nostril ring, as this will control the brain wave length.