"Scientific Contributions[or glories] of Ancient Tamils"/Part:15:

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

Image result for BEGINNING OF THE DAYBEGINNING OF THE DAY:Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.-Benjamin Franklin.Early rising means waking up before sunrise. Waking up at this time means that the blood circulation in our body and mind is positive. Waking up after sunrise causes negative blood circulation and blood flow becomes sluggish. Late rising also induces baseless and negative dreaming and weakens the immune system.Benefits of rising early

The body and mind will stay fresh if you get up before sunrise
Constipation and indigestion will remain under control
The mind and mood will remain cheerful throughout the day
You will have sufficient time to think, plan and organise the day lying ahead of you
The power and capacity of the mind will increase
The memory will sharpen
The eyesight will not get weakened
Getting up early before the Sunrise is a must for the Tamils. (Silappathikaram: 14-5 to 13/14. ஊர் காண் காதை "புறஞ்சிறைப் பொழிலும், பிறங்கு நீர்ப் பண்ணையும்,..............ஓங்கு உயர் கூடல் ஊர் துயில் எடுப்ப-.......... ".).This is followed still in all rural parts and by a majority in the urban areas. Avvaiyar in her didactic poem the AATHICHUDI,  (Ref. 106) advised the children and youth to get up "BEFORE  THE DAY BREAK".[106. வைகறை துயிலெழு]

DURING MENSTRUATION, WOMEN WERE NOT ALLOWED TO DO ANY WORK OR COOK ANY FOOD ITEMS:This seems like a regressive thought that our ancestors suffered from, but our ancestors kept in mind the discomfort and trouble that a woman goes through while menstruating, suffering from cramps and exhaustion. To keep women away from all work and to give her the much-needed rest, this theory of banning a menstruating woman in those days and not allowing her to cook (because cooking was a major activity and the woman had to cook for many members) came into being. Though over the ages, it did become a notoriously backward practice.

Image result for Throwing Currency Coins into a RiverThrowing Currency Coins into a River:Many of us would have noticed our co-passengers throwing coins into rivers especially when traveling over river bridges.The general reasoning given for this act is that, it brings Good Luck back to us. It is also believed that it will bring back Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi to our households.Note:In the ancient times, most of the currency used was made of copper unlike the stainless steel coins of today.  Copper is a vital metal very useful to the human body. The intake of copper with water is very good for health. Throwing coins in the river was one way our fore-fathers ensured we intake sufficient copper as part of the water. Rivers were the only source of drinking water. Making it a custom by saying it will bring good fortune to us has ensured that all of us follow the good practice.
Image result for Take off his/her shoes/sandals before entering

Take off his/her shoes/sandals before entering:In the great Biblical story of Moses, when Moses, the hero of Exodus, approaches the “burning bush” he is asked to “take off” his sandals. The reason he is told by the “voice of God” from the burning bush is that it was “holy ground” that he was standing upon….In most of the religions, one is required to take off his/her shoes/sandals before entering the holy place, be it a temple, sanctum sanctorum or the altar.One can safely assume that it is because of general cleanliness.

Putting small pieces of Dharbai[தர்பை/hay]  during an eclipse:The practice of putting small pieces of Halfa grass (Dharbai in Tamil) during an eclipse may seem odd. Normally, the grass is made to float on any water body, including milk, during the eclipse. And after the eclipse, the grass is taken out and thrown and the water/milk used. To the casual observer it may seem a simple ritual. But in essence, the small pieces of grass floating on the surface of the water in the vessels actually disturbs the surface tension, due to which invisible infrared/ultraviolet rays which abound during an eclipse, does not affect the water body since the disturbed surface tension deflects the rays through refraction. Sounds incredible? Also, there is the added feature of Halfa grass that is believed to absorb negative rays. Hence, the practice of putting grass on water during an eclipse seems very much scientific indeed!

[Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam]


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