Category: Beliefs and Practices

Toe Rings: Science and Style

toe ring

My silver pair of toe rings came as a Diwali gift from my husband. They are simple and ordinary, and look elegant on the second toe. Unlike the finger rings my toe rings are left “just enough tight”, allowing it to glide smoothly.

A symbol of married woman, toe rings are essentially a Hindu marriage custom. In most of the Hindu weddings, it is customary for the husband to put the ring on the second toe of his wife’s feet.

Today toe rings are a piece of fashion, a jewellery adorned by young and old alike. The consumer markets have  seen a variety with regard to shapes and designs. From the “plain Jane” to the enameled ones, to the semi-precious stones and the diamonds, the toe rings have also been shaped from metals and non-metals.

Indeed it has become a fashion accessory. But I was drawn to an article from a blog that came as a forward from a friend of mine. It spoke about “the science behind toe rings”.

Here, it has been observed that the toe rings are worn on the second toe of the right and left leg that connect  the “uterus and passes through the heart”. In other words, the rings press certain nerves in the body that “pertain to reproductive system”, keep it healthy and thus, help in conception.

Further, silver is the preferred metal because “being a good conductor, it absorbs the energy from the polar energies from the earth and passes it to the body, thus refreshing whole body system.”

Not once did I think,  “why women wear these toe rings, especially after marriage?” Never bothered to check with my mother about her toe rings. I would like to thank the unknown author for the valuable information.

As for me, I like the feel of the toe rings. It would be better to describe them as an adjusting pair that doesn’t hurt my feet, instead settles down comfortably, according to the shoes that I wear.

A Day with Camphor

burning camphor

Standing before the deities placed in the temple of our home, we begin our day offering prayers for our well being. The usual ritual includes lighting the lamp, incense stick, and burning the camphor. Incidentally camphor has taken a centre stage in my life, though my reverence began with it as a symbol of religion.

In fact, every temple in India makes use of camphor for arati (offering camphor lamp). Nevertheless, the cumulative effect of the camphor and the ringing bells turns therapeutic. It stirs various emotions and the mind goes into abeyance.

When I burn camphor and watch its progress, it reminds me of a stage by stage ‘purification of soul’; metaphorically speaking. Watching the ‘white, volatile, crystalline substance’ disappear, little by little, has often made me aware of the reality; and its perfume a reminder of cleansing.

Apparently, some of the practitioners of alternative and complementary treatment methods (e.g. Healing, Reiki) recommend the use of camphor. Probably, for those who deal with the ways of the subconscious and the spiritual, camphor becomes synonymous with well-being. Of course, religion and spirituality has had a deep-rooted relation.

Indeed, the medicinal property of camphor is world renowned, especially in home remedies. Be it an insect bite or cough, a pure camphor is crushed, mixed along with the relevant natural products and served as a cure. Interestingly, it has found its way into kitchen as a flavouring agent.   However, we have to make sure it is not the “easily available” synthetic camphor.

As the day comes to an end, following the ritual of lighting the lamp in the evening, I reach out the lit matchstick to the camphor. In an instance the fire catches, sways and takes the melting camphor along. It burns till the last flicker, leaving no past to worry about. My mind starts reeling.

Way to Good Life

Parched leaves had gathered the verandah. The house had been abandoned for reasons well known to the owners. Neighbours informed that vastu dosha (defects/deficiency in the house) was the reason for its abandonment. I could not believe my ears! A beautiful bungalow with no occupants; it’s unfortunate.

It is a conventional practice to consult a Vastu expert before laying down the foundation of the house, and going ahead with the laid-plan. Along with it, the desire to have a problem-free, safe and secure life with opportunity to wealth, success, and property, we human beings can never stop short of demands and means to fulfil the demands.

Vastu Shastra is considered a science of architecture and construction. An ancient practice said to have originated from India, Vastu Shastra unifies “science, art, astronomy, and astrology”. In simple terms, it is a science of “directions and elements of nature” in relation to man.

Unlike the step-by-step methodical popular books on ‘how to win friends’, ‘awakening the subconscious to gain success’, ‘positive thinking’, ‘social and emotional intelligence’, the alternative methods to good life takes a cue from age-old practices revived to the modern needs.

With a growing number of advertisements offering alternative means to good life, it becomes a matter of concern as to the authenticity of the approach. Of course, conventionally an alternative practitioner believes in word-of-mouth communication even today. The majority but prefer to brand building and latest media networks.

The beliefs are purely individualistic. And am sure we have referred to one of these means such as, astrology, numerology, Tarot Reading, at some point in life. Yet, when someone had recommended that I should add a few extra alphabets to my name for “growth and prosperity”, I declined.