Thursday, September 25, 2008

'Science behind our Culture' in Karimnagar

Proceedings of the workshop on 'Science behind our Culture' in Karimnagar

Proceedings of Karimnagar Vedic Workshop on September 14th 2008
Theme : 'Science behind our Culture'
The workshop was conducted in the Vaishya Bhavan in Karimnagar. There were around 220 participants in the workshop. The participants were from various walks of life like Teachers, Students, Engineers, Doctors, Professors, Social workers etc. The workshop was inaugurated by Prof. Iqbal Ali, Vice-Chancellor of Satavahana University. He spoke on the need of saving our culture and its value.

Prof. Iqbal Ali inagurating the workshop

In the first session, Ranganji spoke on the topic 'Science behind Indian festivals & rituals'. He gave the various practices in festivals & rituals and then gave their reason. The questions & answers session after this lecture was full of vitality & audience participated enthusiastically.

In the second session, Ranganji spoke on the need of Family for a society. He gave examples of how societies where family system has collapsed are facing numerous problems. He explained how family culture is a foundation for a healthy society. There were questions & answers in this session also.

Ranganji giving the introduction to the workshop

Some of the questions on Indian culture which were discussed:

Why one should wake up at early morning?
An agency that conducts study on the learning defects in the children has approved of the practice of studying and learning in the early hours of the day to be highly effective.

Why one should perform Asana?
There are various scientific papers which prove the physical and psychological benefits of Asana. Different Asanas remove different diseases. Asanas can reduce various physical problems like blood pressure, diabetes and hyper tension.

Why should one brush his teeth through banyan-stick?
It strengthens the teeth.

Why should one take bath in flowing water?
Various dirty elements get accumulated in a stagnate water which can cause diseases.

Why should one take oil bath once in seven days?
Oil bath makes the body cool. Medicated oil that spreads throughout the body removes the germs that affect the human skin.

Why should one clean his body with river mud?
River mud can cure skin diseases and kills the micro beings that work against the body.

Why should one wear ‘dhoti’ or ‘Sari’?
Tight cloths stop the flow of air and create sweating and heat in excretory and reproductive organs.

Why turmeric is used for various purposes?
“Turmeric prevents skin diseases. It removes throat related problems while consumed” says Harvard medical dictionary.

Why cow dung is used to clean the house?
Cow dung can act as a very good germicide and it absorbs the good effects of ozone.

Why Pranayama?
There are various scientific papers that prove the effect of Pranayama in physique and cognition. For example: The paper of Naveen KV, Nagendra HR, Nagaratna R and Telles S: “Breathing through a particular nostril improves spatial memory scores without lateralized effects” (Psychol Rep 1997; 81: 555-561).

Why Mantra-meditation?
There are thousands of scientific research papers published related to Mantra-meditation. For example: The published work of Kory R and Hufnagel P, “The effect of the science of creative intelligence course on high school students: a preliminary report. In Scientific Research on the Transcendental Meditation Program: A preliminary Report. Vol. 1 (Eds D W Orme-Johnson and J T Farrow) p400-402. , Rheinweiler MERU press; 1977. Regular chanting of Mantra reduces Stress and depression and helps reduce bad habits & addictions. It gives extremely good response in the brain cells by way of producing curative hormones.

Why Tulasi and Bilvam are used in Puja?
Tulasi is the cure for cardiac disorders, and diabetes. It is an anti-microbial agent, that reduces primary urinary track infection. Tulasi and Bilvam emit various elements along with oxygen reducing air pollution. They protect from ultra-violet ray hazards. They can be used as medicines to cure throat related problems.

Why brass is used in Vedic rituals?
Microbiologists affirm that water stored in brass containers can help combat many water-borne diseases.

Why peepal tree is significant?
It gives oxygen for more than 20 hours a day and reduces air pollution.

Why Agni-hotra is performed?
Ash of Agnihotra enriches the potash and nitrogen. It can be used as good manure. Earth worms grow through ash in large number and they turn organic wastes into manure. Smoke of Agnihotra purifies the atmosphere and ozone and becomes responsible for timely raining. It has been proved that physical ailments, sickness and/or diseases become less in the houses where the Agnihotra is regularly performed. It renews the brain cells, revitalizes the skin, purifies the blood and prevents growth of pathogenic bacteria. It eradicates bacteria and micro-organisms. This will lessen the effect of atomic radiation to a great extent. It kills the germs of T.B., measles, smallpox and cow-pox. It leads to the purification of air, soil and water. There are various papers and books which discuss the effects of Agnihotra like "Agnihotra: The Message of Time" by Dr. Madhukar P. Gaikwad and "The Integral Science of Yagna" by Yug Nirman Yojna.

Why cow is important in Indian culture?
Cow is the most useful animal. Cow milk is one of the most widely used ingredients of medicines and food supplements. Milk products like ghee, butter and curd are also useful mainly in many things especially in ‘Agnikarya’. Cow dung is good manure for plants. Urine of cow is a significant ingredient of many medicines. Cow’s horn is used as a musical instrument called ‘Sringa Vadya’. While cow dies, her skin is taken for making drums. Bull works hard and useful in plowing.

Why one should keep silence while eating?
If one makes gossip while eating, he becomes completely unaware of what he eats. He starts to devour the things which lead to various health problems. Therefore scriptures say that one should be completely aware of food when he eats. This is also a kind of meditation.

Why should one eat food sitting?
Joints in body experience movements to a considerable degree while we eat. This imposes much burden to the joints. This burden is alleviated when one sits and eats. Eating on heels prompts excess consumption which is injurious to health.

Why one should not cover the head while sleeping?
It affects the proper respiration. Oxygen intake becomes less.

Why one should circumbulate the temple especially in the first month of winter? The air which spreads in that particular time has medicinal effects as it spreads directly from ozone.

Why one should fast in auspicious days like Ekadashi?
Fasting helps in purification of blood and digestive organs. If one is prone to eat more, his 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 rid of urea and fat.

Why to go to temples?
Temples are the centers of our culture. Group prayer and group meditation is more effective which are possible in temples.

What is the significance of temples?
Temples are not mere prayer halls. They serve as art galleries. Engineers make beautiful sculptures in temples. Dancers dance and musicians play music. Gold smiths make ornaments for the temples. Farmers plow in temple lands. Barbers shave the devotees. Garland makers make garlands for the temple deities. Resonance of Vedic recitations spread throughout the temple. Pauranikas narrate various stories in temples. Temples also serve as research institutes as various scholars of various shastras deliver discourses on various topics. Thus all occupations are involved in temples and all occupations are divinized by submitting them to Divine. Through the income generated by temple of Venkata hills, many colleges and schools are run; many hospitals exist; many poor people are fed; many educational aids are offered.

Why conch and bell in temples?
A study conducted proves that sound of conch can activate several brain cells. Sound and resonance of bell improve our sustained attention and concentration.

Why coconut is significant in our culture?
It helps to do away bilary troubles. It can stop vomiting and cure fever. It is a great cure for rheumatism, bile, and phlegm. It kills the disease germs of stomach. It lessens the body temperature. Skin diseases disappear.

Why to light lamp?
Light represents consciousness, God, discriminative power and wisdom.

Why there are various festivals in temples?
Good gatherings develop our psychological strength and happiness. The great festivals like Rathotsava or car-procession bring wonderful social unity.

Why various gods are worshiped?
Anything can become an object of worship which can elevate, purify and culture the heart. No external material object is God in any Indian philosophy. The purity of heart, the wisdom, the peace, harmony, love and pure consciousness is taken to be God in Indian philosophy. Any external object which can take us to that God can be worshiped.

What is the significance of pilgrimage?
Going to different pilgrims with devotion not only purify our heart, but also establishes national integration as various places and rivers of the nation are seen with the eye of sanctity. For north Indians the place of sanctity is Rameshvaram of south and for south Indians the place of sanctity is Kashi of north. This improves the national integration.

Why diversity in Indian culture?
While there are different ethnic groups in a country, each ethnic group has its own conception of God, its own way of worship, its own way of dress and food habits and language. Generally the fittest or strongest ethnic group forces all other ethnic groups to adopt its own way of life and its own way of worship and its own idea of God. For example: All different ways of worship and different conceptions of God disappeared from the gulf countries and only one way of life is prevalent throughout gulf. But on the other hand in India each and every ethnic group however small it can be, is freely allowed to have its own way of life that includes different ways of dressing, food, languages and worship. This shows the magnanimous heart of India which has developed tremendous creativity throughout India.

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