Skip to main content

Indian Customs And Traditions

If someone dared to ask you a simple question - "Do you follow Indian customs and traditions?" Most of the time the response would be negative. Because of being impressed by (and obsessed with) the Western styles and traditions seen during the British rule and afterwards, we follow them blindly and ultimately start ignoring our rich traditions. Many of us even feel shy to observe them. We have not bothered to understand our Indian culture at all. Our traditions have a scientific, logical, historical, social, and spiritual significance.

To establish the dignity of Indian culture and philosophy, we have to understand the logic behind each custom. Let me highlight a few here.


When we meet someone, we greet Namaste by holding two palms placed together in front of the chest, the head bowed down, and speaking the word Namaste (ˈnɑːməsteɪ' - नमस्ते). Namaste means Namah = 'I bow down' and Te = 'you'. 'I bow you'. First two words Na and Ma means 'not' and 'mine' respectively, expressing 'nothing is mine' without any ego and with full humility. It is a symbol used to greet, salute and a gesture for praise and prayer of the Lord. Namaste also expresses the wish that 'may our minds meet' and bowing down the head describes reducing one's ego to zero! Namaste is a gracious form of extending friendship, love, and respect.

Similarly, fasting is not to eat at all, eat only once, or eat only fruits and special foods during the day. Upvasa means Up = 'near' and Vas = 'God' for attaining proximity with God. Fasting saves time and energy of procuring food items, preparing, cooking, eating, and digesting food. It is a self-imposed form of discipline (Tapas) adhered to with joy. Fasting also gives a much-needed break to the digestive system and the body. Putting it all together, fasting is dieting for a higher goal of pleasing God, fulfilling desires, and developing willpower to control the senses and a form of austerity.

Om ('Oṃ', , ओ३म्) is a universal name of God - the Lord Ganesha. Chanting Om is to be done at the beginning of any work and for praying to God. The upper small curve shows head, large lower curve depicts the stomach, the side describes trunk and semicircle mark with a dot above represents the sweet ball (Modak) in the hands of Lord Ganesha.

Shanti is a permanent natural existing state of being and any noise breaks it! There are three types of problems: natural calamities like earthquakes, floods etc., human errors like war, accidents, and finally diseases of the body and mind. To address each one separately Shanti is pronounced thrice. First loudly to address God, second time softly for immediate surroundings, and lastly slowly to tell oneself. Anything spoken thrice comes true (Trivaram Satyam) and so Shanti is spoken thrice.

Well, if you are convinced about respecting the Indian culture by now, and follow these fundamental points sincerely, my purpose of writing all this is a success.

N.B. I am thankful to my friend Dr Maheshbhai Desai (Valsad) for gifting me a book by Br. Swamini Vimlananda and Radhika K - “In Indian culture...Why do we…”. The book covers more details and further knowledge of this topic.

Comments

  1. Very good👍 Namaste upvas Om & Shanti ni samaj saral bhasha ma lively lagi Congratulations🎉

    ReplyDelete
  2. Namaste.
    Appreciate you and your effort to make all understand our great culture..THANKS

    ReplyDelete

Post a comment

Optionally, you can also email your feedback directly to the author.

Popular this week:

Anavils - An Endangered Community

After Parsis, Anavils ( Anavil Brahmins , અનાવિલ બ્રાહ્મણ ) are the fastest decreasing community. The total population of Anavils around the world does not exceed two lakhs figure and that is also fast reducing day by day. Days are not far, beyond a century or so, when they will have to be seen/found in records, photos and videos. Why? Because,    - they get married too late,    - many are dying unmarried,    - they wait for the career to be settled before the first (and maybe the only) childbirth.

Gujarat – Introduction And History

A student of History has to understand Geography, Economics and Anthropology simultaneously. A person curious to know about world history has to proceed step by step, learning his own state first, then country and then only one can understand world history. Well, appreciating above facts, I am starting my study with History Of My State Of Gujarat . I have put it in order of time and later described important states and rulers.

Pyramid Of Virgin Dreams

This is a novel depicting the story of an IAS officer’s life. Author Vipul Mitra is himself an IAS officer serving in Gujarat and living with his family in Ahmedabad. This book could take birth after ten years of thinking, writing and rewriting!  The title pyramid was derived from an Egyptian pyramid with a gigantic structure, a symbol of power stretching higher and higher into the sky. The author compares the pyramid with bureaucrats. He says the only difference was that one housed deceased Egyptian pharaohs while other housed living, conniving, tattling officers. There is a long (300 pages!) story of dreams those are virgin like unconsummated physical relation! You will read this novel to know what happens to Kartikeya Kukereja who meets his first failed love Revati Kapoor after both married and long gap of time passes. Revati desires to re-unite but does Kartikeya have the courage to hold on Revati? Honest? Mediocre? Coward? Does he ultimately succeed in fitting her in his life?  Th

Karmic Theory (Law Of Karma)

“Facing Challenges and Creating Destiny” by BK Shivani, Gurgaon National Conference on Mind-Body-Medicine, Mount Abu. August 6-10, 2010 What is Karma? Karma is work or energy going out in the form of 1. Thought, 2. Word and/or 3. Action. Resultant return of energy is in the same amount known as Bhagya (Destiny). The role of God is to ask you to do Karma and to help you to do RIGHT karma. Then whatever good/bad karma you do, the result is accordingly and entirely your responsibility. Because the result is Destiny (Bhagya). So don’t blame anyone else or God for anything bad. Do not try to blame someone responsible for your own deed and its result.

Long Vacation At Bengaluru

After voluntary retirement as Government Medical Officer, my wife Dr Bhavana (Devyani) wanted to have a vacation and I joined her. The long break of 14 days (2 weeks) was starting on date 9th March 2011 and ending on 23rd March 2011. We planned to stay at Rahul’s (our son) residence at Bangalore and return to Bilimora. Vacation - is stopping the continuous job/work and retire at some place at leisure. We know vacation is a change of activity and we did that. It is a recess, say a break or temporary cessation of routine work. Is vacation necessary ?

Jainism: Simplified

I am introducing here world spread religion having 5.5 million followers, mainly in India and abroad like USA, UK, Canada, East Africa and many other countries in one of the six greatest religions. Word "Jain" is derived from "Jina" meaning conqueror. "Arihant" is one who has destroyed his inner enemies like anger, greed, passion and ego.

Condolence

A few days ago, my mother (84) passed away of old age. I had an experience of being in a state of sorrow due to her demise. The article is an outcome of experiences following the incidence. I did realize the need and importance of true consolation to the grieved person. So I thought it is prudent to write from the heart words giving guidance. Condolence : It is expressing sympathy to a misfortune or bereavement (one deprived of relative because of death). Consolation : To give comfort or sympathy to an unhappy person. On the death of a close relative, a sudden gap is created due to the absence of that relative. Even the mentally strong person understanding every aspect of the event becomes shocked for a while. Here is the need of true consolation known as 'condolence.'

Three Decades Of My Nomadic Experience

I recently read the novel "Pyramid of Virgin Dreams" by Vipul Mitra. He affectionately described the pains and pleasures of multiple transfers because of his father’s job as DSP and later himself as an IAS officer. While reading it occurred to me, I have had a similar life of changing a place many times nearly every alternate year. So why not narrate my story and the article is here! A nomad means someone who lives by travelling from place to place - moving around all the while. I was a nomad for the initial 28 years of my life, staying and studying at more than 15 places. A year or two and change of the place again! 

Jealousy

My friend Dr Ashwinbhai Naik  asked me to share my views on the topic 'jealousy' and that created this viewpoint article. Jealousy is an emotion inherited by all of us. It has nothing to do with age, sex, intellectual level or financial status. This emotion is a negative one expressed according to the intensity of the feeling, and that is why some people can hide it even though they have it in the back of their minds.

Bhagavad Gita - Short And Straight

Have you read Bhagavad Gita - also known as Shrimad Bhagavad Gita? A positive answer is not much awaited and so this article - giving details in a precise and shortest way. Just read every line and try to be with me in this story-telling. I am sure you will end up with great surprises. BHAGAVAD GITA Here, Bhagavad means GOD.  Gita means singing poetry. The context of the story is a dialogue - conversation, taking place on the battlefield of Kurukshetra war between Lord Krishna ( kṛṣṇa ) and Pandava prince Arjuna.