Reinventing ancient wisdom

silhouette photography of woman doing yoga
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The Corona virus has put the world in the tizzy. What comes to my mind is the wisdom in the ancient Indian way of life. Earlier people would wash their hands and feet before entering the house. Our elders always left their shoes outside the house and came in bare feet or wore their wooden slippers at home. Little did we realize that besides the hygiene of leaving the outdoor shoes outside, the wooden Khadaaon was acting as an insulator too. There was no loss of energy to the soil too. How much thought would have gone into the evolution of the ancient Indian culture! Sadly it has been pooh-poohed in the past; in the wake of modernization. But all of a sudden, everything has changed. Yoga, Meditation, Natural foods, Namaste, Vastu… everything Indian is what the world is turning to. In the last few years Yoga has become the most elitist thing to do. Earlier it was for the uneducated and so called regressive, now it is the most happening thing in the world of fitness – physical as well as mental fitness.

The Indian ‘Namaste’ or ‘Namaskar’ too is the advisory the world over now. The word Namaskar literally means Namah-Sakar i.e. I bow to the Divine present in you. It is a beautiful way of honoring everyone while greeting. In today’s Corona-ridden world, the advisory is to remain at arm’s length from each other. So Namaskar is the most obvious choice! The Indian way of life is scientific and sustainable. It is good for us as well as good for the planet. The ancient Indians ate on ‘patalls’ made of dried leaves; they drank from earthen ware pots or copper vessels. Everything was bio-degradable.

I recently met someone who said that there is a new fad of using copper water bottles. The market is flooded with copper utensils. People drink water from copper vessels, thinking it to be very good for Detox but it really doesn’t serve the purpose. He said that for the proper effect of the copper vessel one should stand on a wooden board and scrub the copper vessel with a coarse brush. Then to wash it, the tap should be opened with the help of a wooden spatula. At this I raised my eyebrows… he continued… scrubbing the copper vessel with a coarse scrubber would ‘charge’ it. If we open the tap with our bare hands; the energy created would get earthed. So we should open the tap with a stick or wooden spatula or alternately ask someone else to open the tap.

man sitting beside river painting

After filling, the vessel should be placed on a wooden platform to retain the charge and left overnight. Consuming this ‘Charged’ water in the morning is great for cleansing and detox! Phew!!! As he was speaking I was transported back to my Nanka house. My Nani would scrub a copper gaagar with left over coconut fibre and ash while sitting on a wooden plank. She would then wipe it with a cloth (not rinse it). A wooden stick was tied to the tap and she would nudge it to open, then fill the gaagar and get up. She would walk in her wooden slippers to place it on a wooden table for all to consume. How very scientific! Our ancients did everything for a reason!

The difference between then and now is that they did everything as it was told to them, without questioning. Today, we want to know the ‘Why?’ of everything. Though it is good to be curious and know everything for yourself, but if you are not able to get to the bottom of the
riddle perhaps it is more sensible to follow it rather than reject it. Because there is surely a deep reasoning behind it! Our elders stressed upon putting a drop of mustard oil in the nostrils and ears. They also advised keeping a small piece of camphor in their upper pockets and a Munakka or Mulathi in the mouth while stepping out. In Covid times all of these hold good because the oil creates a barrier that’s hard for the virus to cross. Camphor is a great air purifier. The Mulathi or Munakka are strong immunity boosters and keep the saliva flowing into the stomach.

Let’s put our ancient wisdom to good use. I hope we will not lose the war against Corona and that we will never lose the lesson it is teaching us!

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