Being an adamant and rebel creature, I always ridicule the rituals my granny and mother follow during these Diwali days. If only we realised that these “traditions” and not “rituals” have well-reasoned logic behind them! What quenches our thirst of curiosity and satisfies our ego and ignorance, is the amalgamation of myth and science.
I laughed when they forced me to have the sacrament (Prasad) of neem leaves, coriander seeds and sugar today, only to trace its logic on the Internet, back to grandma stories and school science lessons. Here is how it works:
Mythology and magic stories:
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Dhanteras is celebrated on the thirteenth day of the dark fortnight (Krishna Paksha) of the month of Ashwin, and is said to be dedicated to Dhanvantari, the doctor of the Gods. Hindu legends also narrate that during the big fight amongst the Asuras and the Devas to churn the ocean for the ‘Nectar Of Immortality’, also called Sagar Manthan, Dhanvantari emerged with nectar on this very day.
Sense and Science:
The deity Dhanvantari, on this day, is offered a Prasad of neem leaves, coriander seeds and sugar. Well, the origin of neem fruit is associated with the divine nectar, “Amrit”, due to its high medicinal properties and importance for a healthy living. One of the many uses of the coriander seeds is that it boosts immunity and cures cold and flu. The start of Diwali celebration also marks the start of the cold winter, hence they include coriander (Dhaniya) seeds. Sugar is considered as the instant source of glucose and it also adds a tinge of sweetness to this sacrament. Hence that completes the ingredients of the complete and wholesome potion on this day of Dhanatrayodashi.
Wish you a healthy living this Dhanteras!
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