Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ganges - The Holy River

Ganges :
Ganges is called as 'Ganga' in Hinduism. It raises from western Himalayas flows to South & East through Uttarakhand. It joins in Bay of Bengal at Bangladesh. Ganges is very scared in terms of Hinduism and worshiped as Goddess Ganga. The Ganges is the longest river in India. The world health organization declared Ganges as the most polluted river.

Cultural Beliefs:
Ganges is a very sacred river, people believe bathing in river Ganges removes all sins. It's tradition in Hindu customs to use Ganges water.

Maha Kumbha Mela is the biggest festival for River Ganges approx. 10Crores people takes a dip in the water. Lord Shiva is the person who bared Ganges on the head. King Bhagiratha brought river Ganges to earth to purify their ancestors committed sins. The ancient texts stated that by touching Holy Ganges water clears all sins. By taking a dip in the holy water people will reach heaven after death. By dying near banks of the river will attain more morality and placed in heaven.

Interesting Facts:
  • The Ganges is the only river which came directly from heaven.
  • Ganges water will never decompose. They mix small amounts of Ganges water in other water bodies near to their living areas.
  • People bath and carry the water way back to their homes.
  • People leave dead bodies in the Ganges and treat it as purification.
Scientific Reason:
  • Ganges water is having very powerful anti-bacterial effect it killed ’bacterium Vibrio Cholera' virus which causes cholera in 3 hours.
  • Ganges water will not decompose like other water due to lack of oxygen when we carry it in a container. It will restrict anaerobic bacteria which will develop in closed container water, due to rich in oxygen. Ganges has the power to reduce biochemical oxygen demand due to this it can clean itself faster when compared with other rivers. You can't find insects or mosquitoes in the stagnant waters of Ganges.
  • Ganges water has Bacteriophage cells which produce anti-bacterial effect of water. By mixing Ganges water in other water bodies Bacteriophage will spread in that water and purifies it.
  • River Ganges will clean water which was spread around 2600 kilometer area within 24hours. Bacteriophage will feed on human wastes, pollutants and bacteria this is the main reason behind the tradition to take a bath in the Ganges.
  • Bacteriophage will develop quickly if the increased number of persons takes dip in Holy Ganges. Due to special Biological and chemical properties it will re oxidize itself very quickly. It was discovered dangerous
  • The E - Coil virus which causes dysentery and problems in urinary tract was killed in 3hours by Ganges water.
  • It was known fact people who are taking baths in Ganges are not suffering from any infection, contagious disease which spread rapidly in water.
  • By heating or any purification process Ganges loses its power.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Namaz - The Islamic Prayer

Namaz is Islamic Prayer for Muslims. Namaz is Obligatory. The prayer is order by Allah to the Prophet Mohammad. Every Muslim has to pray five times a day facing mecca with complete humility.

Cultural beliefs:
According to the Quran (Holy Book for Muslims), Namaz is remembering Allah to gain knowledge,peace and patience through recitation of the scripture.
The Quran contains instructions ordering as to do certain things and not to do certain things. According to the will of Allah Muslims has to obey the orders demonstrated by Prophet Muhammad. The instructions and deeds are called as ‘Hadis’.

Namaz Timings:
The following periods has to be followed for namaz as per the holy Quran:
  • Fajar- just before sunrise.
  • Zuhar: this is at afternoon. Mostly Followed on Fridays.
  • Asar-   till just before sun set.
  • Maghrib- After the sun sets and till the light disappears in the sky.         
  • Isha: This is offered before midnight.
  • Tahajud – This is offered at midnight(getting from sleep)         
Namaz is restricted during the following periods :
Immediately before sun rise, sunset and noon for about 5 to 7 minutes.

Namaz types:
  1. Farz : farz means duty and is compulsory and cannot  be avoided. This is divided into two sub-divisions as Farziayn (mandatory for all expect for the people who offer namaz five times a day and fasting furind ramzan)  and Farzikifayah (the responsibility of Muslim group cab be fulfilled if done in a group and isnot mandatory for all).
  2. Wajib : Wajib means necessary and is next to Farz in importance. A person who performs wajib will get the reward and the one who does not perform it is a sinner and is punished.
  3. Sunnath : Sunnath means what Prophet Muhammed did. There are two types of sunnaths namely Sunnathimuakkadah(Prophet Muhammed used to do and ordered his followers to do )and  Sunnath-i-ghair muakkadah(Prophet Muhammed used to do occasionally and is optional for followers)
  4. Nafil: Nafil means extra. A person who performs nafil will get the reward and the one who does not perform it is a sinner and is punished.
Interesting Facts:
  • Sajda is the unique postion for the regular prayers in Namaz.
  • Namaz is of rakaats,each rakaat is  series of seven postures. Each Muslim has to perform 119 postures in a day.
  • A Muslim has to practice namaz strictly and properly, he will be automatically fit and sound spiritually, physically and mentally.
  • Namaz is preferably performed at mosque but in case of any abnormal conditions like severe cold and heavy rains or illness we can do at home, but in any case we should not miss.
  • For women and girls Namaz is offered at home.
 Scientific Reasons:
  • Sajda(rest his forehead on the ground while the hands are placed at the sides ) is an exercise for people to cure medical problems for the human body. The advantage of Namaz psychologically is to give physical and mental relief to the person.
  • The position of prostration in Namaz makes the whole body in active motion. The hands are stretched
  • Specifically out and the forearm and arm muscles bear the weight. This is a good exercise for the muscles of upper limb.
  • Namaz is the postion in which the head becomes lower than the heart, so for the first time the blood flows towards the brain with full force whereas in other positions brain will be above the heart so it has to work against gravity to send blood to the brain. So the postion of namaz will increase the blood supply and has good effect on memory, hearing, concentration and vision.
  • People doing namaz regularly will have more will power and will cope the difficulties of life easily. Headaches and other defects will be less for them. The neck muscles will have the best exercise as they bear the load when the forehead lies on the ground.
  • The cervical muscles are important as the head rests on the cervical vertebra supported by cervical musculature. The head is rotated so the cervical vertebra is initiated. This is very important because the neck muscles will become strong due to the 34 sajdas offered in the prayers.
  • The position of Namaz has positive effects on the back muscles while doing namaz person will get up and get down so the back muscle will become stronger , so a person who offers regular prayers will rarely get backache.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Camphor - The Purifier

The camphor is a byproduct of tree 'Cinnamomum camphora'. Camphor is used in all religious activities in India. Camphor is burned as ritual after worshiping the god. It has been used in medicine and aromatherapy from ancient times. Camphor is made from bark or wood of the tree through distilling process. In modern times it was extracting from turpentine oil. Camphor is used in vapor rubs to cure cold and coughs.

Cultural Beliefs: 
People believe burning camphor before the god signifies the act of union and termed as fire scarifies to god - burning ego and arrogance before the god like camphor without leaving any trace. The burning Ego with pure knowledge leads unification with god. This camphor light drives ghosts, evil forces and negative energies away. Some of the countries use camphor oil other than using camphor for burning.

Camphor has many medicinal values. It has a pungent taste and strong fragrant odor.
  • In Ayurveda, camphor is mixed with oil to apply for inflammatory conditions, treatments like Arthritis, sprains, rheumatism and muscular pains
  • Camphor powder is used as cardiac stimulator.
  • Camphor oil is used for cough, cold, flu and fever.
  • Camphor is used internally in medicine for hysteria and diarrhea
  • Camphor is used to cure fungal infections of the toenails and warts, also used as ear drops.
Important Facts:
  • Camphor should not be used in aromatherapy massage, as it is highly toxic.
  • Camphor can cause vomiting if used more.
  • Patients suffering from diseases like Epilepsy and pregnant women should avoid camphor.
Scientific Reasons: 
  • Camphor purifies the air in the atmosphere and attains various medicinal benefits when we inhale. It acts as a germ killer, mosquito & fly repellent and limits spreading of the virus in that place.
  • It releases a dark smoke with bright light.
  •  It is used in aromatherapy to deal with major diseases like Measles, Typhoid, Asthma and several digestive infections.
  • A moderate dosage of camphor will used in sweets and special dishes.
  • People believe due its strong odor it acts as a snake repellent and placed in iron store for protecting iron against rust. Its acts cough suppressor.
  • Camphor absorbs through the skin and gives cooling effect.
  • Edible camphor is used in cooking for its aroma and healing properties.
  • The ancients used Camphor with alcohol to cure cholera.