Ancient Indian Customs and Traditions: Insights for a Manager from Sri Sathya Sai


One needs Self-confidence which is akin to the foundation of a house and this leads to Self-satisfaction which is like the walls above the foundation. The house should be protected by a roof called self-sacrifice. In the olden days, there were no tents or such shelters. There were only regular houses, which had small doors. There is a reason to build small doors. Whoever comes to our house should be humble and respectful, bending the heads while entering the house. Everyone has to bend and enter. This signifies humility. For all the relatives who come for marriage, small houses were built and decorated with green leaves. Even the rich people used to decorate the house with green leaves. But nowadays people use synthetic leaves. There was a reason why they used green leaves during those times. Because of the huge congregation during the wedding ceremonies, a great amount of carbon dioxide was exhaled by people, which the green leaves were capable of absorbing. In addition to this, they used to sprinkle water mixed with cow dung on the ground in the front yard of the house, and decorate the floor with Muggu (line drawing designs also known as Rangoli) drawn with rice flour and turmeric powder. Modern people criticise such practices as crude or primitive, but this is not true. The rice flour patterns and designs on the floor in front of the house besides serving the purpose of decoration also serve as food for ants and such other insects. The cow-dung-water-mix spray serves as a disinfectant to fend off poisonous insects from entering the house. All the ancient practices followed by the ancestors in India which formed part of Indian culture, traditions and customs were based on such scientific principles and considerations that can be comprehended only through thoughtful study or enquiry.
An Indian housewife drawing the Muggu (Rangoli) at the entrance of her house
At this juncture, another such important feature deserves a special mention. In the olden times, when a woman would get pregnant, she used to be brought back to her mother’s house at an early stage and was sent back to the in-law’s residence, 5-9 months after the delivery. At the mother-in-law’s house, she may be over-burdened with household chores, which is not conducive for her health during pregnancy. Whereas in her mother’s house, she will not be required to do heavy work and will be provided with all facilities, amenities and other things to her liking besides the most precious psychological comfort. In the ninth month, the ‘Sreemantham’ ceremony would be performed. Why were such practices followed in the olden times in India? The intention was that the pregnant lady should not have any psychological or physical pressure and should feel absolutely at home which is good for her as well as the baby within. The mother’s psychological state may cause stress even to the child inside her womb because of internal bodily link. If the mother is happy, the child to be born would also be happy. 5 - 9 months after the birth of the child, the ‘new’ mother would get used to the new environment and would become fit to go back to her in-laws’ house. This would also ensure a safe gap for the birth of the second child which would be good for the health of the mother. 
 Sreemantham
Nowadays, ladies go to see movies when they are pregnant. On seeing movies, they go through reel-oriented fantasies and aftershocks which subsequently have an effect on the child also.  This would lead to the multiplication of ‘filmy-type off springs’ in the society. Previously it was not so. The pregnant women used to listen to Ramayana, Markandeya Charitra (story of Markendeya) or Prahlad Charitra (story of Prahlad). By listening to such good things, the child would also become good. In Mahabharata, there is an incident wherein Arjuna narrated the methodology of Padma Vyuha (lotus-shaped battle strategy) to Subhadra when she was pregnant. While listening to this, she fell asleep. But the child (in the womb) continued to follow the battle strategy. This theory was rejected by scientists before, but now the research carried out by some researchers confirms the authenticity of this theory that the experiences of a pregnant lady are experienced by the unborn child in the womb. One such experiment was when a scientist started giving apple juice to a pregnant woman daily.  After the baby was born, it was observed that the baby would drink only apple juice. In another experiment, a scientist started telling all atrocious stories to a pregnant woman who was underprivileged. Subsequently, the girl child that was born to her exhibited all detrimental traits when she became a young adult. These two experiments amongst many others validate this theory.

Indian culture is highly sacred. Its traditions and customs are valid and applicable even today, and would be so even in the future.  Youth should have strong foundation in spirituality even if they lack high educational attainments. Divinity is all-pervasive. It is present in minute as well as enormous things (Anoraneeyan, Mahatomaheeyan). With such spiritual conviction, management graduates may enter any organisation and would be capable of managing a large group of thousand people even in case of any unrest. Thus, spirituality is comparable to a citadel, which provides protection to you at all times. 

Note:

[i] A ceremonial sacrament celebrated in the ninth month after a woman is in the family way. 


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