Religion and science come together in these Hindu traditions that are linked to scientific explanations.
1. Throwing Coins Into A River

The most widespread reasoning for this tradition is that it brings good luck. However, in the beginning of currency, most coins were made of copper. Copper is a metal which is very useful to the human body. And as rivers were the only source of drinking water, throwing copper coins into the river imbues the drinkers with a healthy intake of copper. Mixing this with superstition assured that the tradition would continue for generations to come.

2. Bells of the Temple
By Thamizhpparithi Maari (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Thamizhpparithi Maari (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This is a tradition that is not exclusively held by Hindu people. When entering a Hindu temple one is required to ring the bell before entering the inner sanctum where the main idol stands. The reverberations of the bell sound clear our mind and allow for easier meditation and concentration.

3. Spicy Before Sweet
By SwatiGupta1986 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By SwatiGupta1986 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Traditionally, Hindu meals begin with many spicy dishes, and any sweet dishes are left for the end of the meal. This is due not only to long standing tradition but also to the fact that spices activate digestive juices and acids, while sweet foods slow this process down and should be taken at the end.

4. Tattoos
By AKS.9955 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By AKS.9955 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The art and tradition of applying intricate designs in temporary ink to the hands and feet is a well-known part of the Hindu lifestyle. The dye is derived from the Henna plant, which is also used for medicinal purposes. It is believed to relieve stress and even cool the body.

5. Never Sleep with Your Head Facing North

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The myth surrounding this tradition is that it is thought to invite ghosts and evil spirits to disturb your sleep. However, there are many who believe it is really to do with the magnetic fields of the earth and the human body. Sleeping with your head facing north means that your body’s magnetic field is asymmetrical to the earths and can disturb sleeping patterns.

6. Fasting

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Fasting has many benefits. The underlying belief is that many illnesses are caused by the accumulation of toxins in the body, and that fasting helps to cleanse these. 60% of the energy that we derive from eating, is used to break down the next meal, and abstaining from eating for certain periods of time can allow this energy to be channeled into healing the body instead.

7. Worshiping the Peepal Tree
By Raulcaeser (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Raulcaeser (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Peepal tree bears no fruit or beautiful flowers. Its wood is unsuitable for building of any kind. So why worship it? Through scientific study it has been discovered that the Peepal tree is one of the few which excretes oxygen even at night, making it truly invaluable.

8. Worshiping Idols
By Siva301in (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Siva301in (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Idol worship is very important to Hindu culture and customs. For the sake of meditation however it is a simple yet effective way of staying the mind and concentrating. Having a visual marker to focus on has been proven to help in relieving stress and aiding in meditation.

9. Wearing a Toe Ring
By Wikitanu (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Wikitanu (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Many married Hindu women wear a toe ring. This ring is generally worn on the second toe which is believed to have a blood vessel directly connected to the uterus and the heart. By wearing a ring it stimulates the vessel and regulates blood flow. It is also believed to regulate menstruation.

10. Worshiping the Tulsi Plant
By Madanpiyush (Own work Self-photographed) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

By Madanpiyush (Own work Self-photographed) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

The Tulsi plant is traditionally worshiped with the status of mother. It is taught that this plant should be cared for by everyone, literate or illiterate. It is a great medicinal plant that is a strong antibiotic. It can also warn insects and mosquitoes from entering a home.

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