"Scientific Contributions[or glories] of Ancient Tamils"/Part:13

:"Science Behind the Ancient Tamil's Traditions & Customs":

In Tamil[or Indian,srilankan...] culture,We have seen people greeting others by joining their palms together. This is termed as “VANAKKAM",The Tamil way of greeting, as per Tamil traditions.This is the most common way of greeting others.Note that,while greeting others, we join both the hands together. Joining both hands ensures joining the tips of all the fingers together; which are denoted to the pressure points of eyes, ears, and mind. Pressing them together is said to activate the pressure points. This helps us to remember the person for a long time.The joining of hands at the level of the heart symbolically signifies the greeting from the heart/soul. Both hands join together at the palms straight across the chest signifies a salute from the soul, or a welcome from the heart.Some others say that it signifies, “I bow to the God in you” or “I bow to you” or “my soul bows to your soul”.But what is little known is that the five fingers represent the five elements – this is best expressed in Mudras. Mudras are very common in various dance systems like Bharatha Natiyam, Kathakali and Kuchipudi.The significance of the five fingers is
that Thumb stands for fire energy (which is why we have the thumbs up sign for success or victory?) Index finger stands for Air/Wind energy, Middle finger stands for space/Akash/Shunya – the ring finger stands for Earth energy (another reason for putting the ring on this finger) and the little finger stands for water energy.The true meaning of VANAKKAM is the neutralization of all the energies by bringing both the hands together so that each finger of one hand touches the corresponding finger of the other hand, to denote that the person does not have any powerful positive/negative energies to affect the other person. Thus, it is a true gesture of friendship and welcome.


Shaking hands often involve touching an other person. Even though it is a very friendly gesture, it can often transmit unfriendly germs. Sometimes, we might be uncomfortable shaking hands with a person who has a sweaty palm, or whose cleanliness we may not trust. But shaking hands in the corporate world is an accepted norm everywhere. Shaking hands is the most trusting gesture that we can see in day to day life, and is part and parcel of our everyday life. But is shaking hands the only way to greet? No. Just the other day, I was visiting a patient in the hospital, and the attendant was telling everyone NOT to shake hands, as it might transmit germs. This is especially true since we travel in buses, touch the doors, knobs, handles, purse, etc, and we do not know how much of germs we may carry….Whereas the Tamil way of greeting by doing VANAKKAM is so clean, and…..cool!


Tying Mango[மாவிலை]and Neem Leaves[வேப்பிலை] to the doors on auspicious days:

The general reason given for this act is that tying mango and neem leaves would not allow the evil powers to enter the house.Note that,on auspicious days and on special occasions, all of us gather at one place along with our relatives and friends. Photosynthesis is a process where in plants take in carbon-di-oxide and give out oxygen. This process helps in circulation of oxygen and in turn keeps the room temperature at an optimum level. Mango leaves and neem leaves are very effective in the photosynthesis process comparative to other plants. Neem leaves purify the bacteria too. In order to keep the temperature cool and to circulate air, we tie mango leaves and neem leaves to all the doors.

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Why do elders rotate crystal salt, lemon around head?:

“Dristhi” [கண்ணேறு/திருஷ்டி]is stated as an evil eye[a look that is believed by many cultures to be able to cause injury or bad luck for the person at whom it is directed for reasons of envy or dislike/'கண் படுதல்' (Kan padudhal) literally means 'casting an eye'(with an intention to cause harm)/தீய கண்பார்வை]] on the person who feels jealous about others. It is believed that if a person gets “Dristi”, he would be ruined or would fell sick due to the evil eye. As a cure and remedy to this evil eye, elders take dristhi by revolving salt or lemon around the person.Note that, Salt can be considered as the first antibiotic. Not only that, the salty and acidic substances would less affect the magnetic field. Keeping these properties if lemon and salt in mind, we revolve salt and lemon around the person.The salt and lemon when revolved around, it would kill all the bacteria around the person. It forms an aura layer of antibiotics around the person. Not only has this, revolving around the person balance the magnetic field too. This would make the person affected with dristi feel better.

[Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam]                                            Part:14  will follow.

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