Science Behind Popular Indian Traditions – A Documentary Film by Vishruthi


This video was made by Vishruthi, D/O Smt Gayathri Girish, renowned vocalist. She has done this part of her college project work and turned out to be a great learning phase for her to learn intricacies of movie making.

I must say that she has done a fantastic job for her maiden attempt. The topic she chose and the way how it was presented is very effective and extraordinarily well-done. The quality of the work is also at par with professional media experts.

Personally, I learnt few things that I never knew before on our own culture!

Let us pray Periyava to bless Vishruthi with all success!

Enjoy this very useful video!



Categories: Announcements, Periyava TV

11 replies

  1. After just writing and posting that I did not get the video, the video has appeared.

  2. Somehow, I did not get the video in my email

  3. Really appreciable. Good job. Hara Shankara Jaya Jaya Shankara

  4. I appreciate Vishruti’s effort and give her my best wishes. This Blog on Sri Sri Mahaperiyava is a graceful blessing for us as His devotees and it should focus only on His pearls of wisdom and all activities surrounding His grace and Kanchi matam. If it is used as the venue for display of anyone’s talent, however gifted they are, then it will slowly dilute mission of this Blog. This is my humble opinion and no offense meant to anyone.

    • There is nothing wrong. This is a temple. Devotees come and offer their creative outputs to Him. Periyava talked about our culture till He attained mukthi. Please read Dheivathin kural for the length of those discussions. Sri Balaperiyava will be very happy to know that our next generation kids are attempting to spread our cultural values. We need to encourage them – particularly kids. They are our future. They are going to be our torch-bearers.

  5. This is an amateurish attempt. But it is natural at this stage. It is not only about some traditions that we do not know the logic behind. Do we know the logic behind the cell phone or email? Or the Microwave? Do we know how the Internet works or the computer? or even the TV? Or the modern cooking utensils that we use? We all take them for granted and use them. In fact, if we really understand the logic behind them and the RISKS, we would not use them at all! They are so risky to health Read a book like “Four Arguments For The Elimination of Television ” by Jerry Mander, and no sensible person would watch television! But our traditional practices do not harm us, even if we do not know the logic behind them. This is called “achara”- the conduct of the elders. In due course, we understand by experience.
    Take the crow example.
    If poison in the food is to be tested, any insect or animal or bird would do. Why only crow?
    In the Indian tradition the crow is associated with ancestral worship, but it is not itself treated as ancestor. In fact, in Sraddha, a Brahmin represents the ancestor!
    The crow is regularly fed in every Brahmin household every morning- that is part of Bhuta yajna, like putting Kolam at the front entrance with powdered rice, to benefit the ants.. The crow has some ESP powers. In the small towns and villages, we have actually seen that when a crow caws sitting on the compound wall, nearby tree or some place within or near the house or compound, we would invariably receive some communication, usually from some far off place, after a long time or we may even receive an unexpected visitor after a long time. From the way the crow sits or hops, from the way it caws- it has several ways- , from the direction it faces while cawing, we can often guess whether it is a message or visitor who would come , and even the type of message. These happened when we did not have modern communication facilities like telephone, email, etc, and telegraph was the only source of urgent communication. Such things are to be experienced before one can write about them.
    Of course, domestic dogs and cats also try to convey things, but not many can understand or interpret.

    Then, we should not call the temple Vigrahas as “idols”. No, they are not idols, but images. Every Deity is worshipped only in specific forms or images and these are not arbitrary. They are worshipped only in the specified manner, after invoking Divine presence in them through appropriate mantra, mudras, etc. Temples derive their power from the intensity and regularity of the worship procedure, and the association of great souls who have dedicated their tapas there. Temple lore is a vast subject and cannot be treated lightly. Nor can it be simplified. Above all, we should not call the Vigrahas as “idols”. No Hindu should do it.

    If we have to call anything “scientific”, we must be able to prove it by observation, experiment, repetition, by cause-effect relationship, by induction. In respect of the claims made here, ( eg. Vinayaka under the peepal tree) is there any objective proof? About the benefits of Abhisheka tirtha, is there any actual proof? Even when we perform abhisheka tat home, we take the tirtha, but with a mantra- it is the mantra that is the secret behind the power. ( It is only in case of rare temple Vigrahas, like in Palni that the abhisheka tirtha had medicinal power- that was due to the Vigraha having been made of a special combination of rare chemicals.] Today, neither the honey, nor the milk, nor the other ingredients including the water are pure!

    Eating in the Indian tradition is a sacred ritual.It is anctified as a yajna- it is called prana agni hotra. So, it is not just filling the stomach with food to satiate hunger. It is attended with appropriate mantras and gestures, inducing a specific spiritual and psychological state.
    Western science classifies food as acidic,alkaline etc, and on the basis of the minerals, vitamins and other chemical contents. But we go deeper, into their ultimate effect on the body as vata, pitta, kapha, which can be easily proved. Beyond it are the three gunas we associate with food-they are psychological states and cannot be proved in a lab, as the presence of chemicals and minerals can be proved. They can only be proved with more subtle forms of attention and equipment, and long sustained observation, and study of effects. Has any Indian done any experiment in this regard?
    The good intention behind this video is appreciated. But the contents do not justify the heading. In fact, the contents will prove contentious, as many statements made are about beliefs, not scientific reasons, It is a pity, because even the available sources are not fully utilised. In such matters, one needs a qualified guide or mentor. Enthusiasm alone will not do.
    I am not saying the contents are not good. They stand on their own as statements of some HIndu beliefs and customs. But really no scientific reason is offered to justify them.
    The moment we make claims about being “scientific”, but are not able to prove them, we are weakening our case, and inviting ridicule.
    Youngsters taking interest in such subjects is a welcome sign, but they need well informed guide.

  6. Good attempt. However I wish she had done a bit more ground work on this 12 min video.

    1. At the start it mentions Bharatham as a land with 7000 year old history. Really?? How many millions of years ago did Ramayana happen in Trethya Yuga? What about the Krira Yuga that happened millions of year before? When history is quoted we should be pretty careful with the timelines.

    2. One of the examples in this video talks about the subject of treating crows as ancestors. Though the narrator starts questioning if feeding crow is feeding ancestors she goes off topic and says feeding of crows is to test if there is any poison it. So is that the only reason why we feed crows? So if a crow does not partake our food do we all assume the food is contaminated and throw it all away? What about the Sastric reason behind it?

    Sri Periyava says in Deivathin Kural not every ritual we do should be analyzed and linked to a scientific reason behind it. He would say some may have a scientific reasoning and some may be visible to the naked eye or perceived by our senses. Rama Rama

    • You answered Sri Nanjappa’s question – not all beliefs should be analyzed..Point here is that we need to encourage such creative work towards protecting our culture while I understand that there is more learning also needed on the creator side…Besides that learning will be her life-long learning. Have we learnt all? Can I list 10 things that we may not know? Maybe in her next attempt, she will improvise, make extra steps to perfect things….

      • // Can I list 10 things that we may not know? //

        Not just 10, more than a billion we do not know. “Kattadhu Kaiman Allavu, Kalladadhu Ullagalavu”.

        The point I was trying to make was when the creator takes a topic and presents please put in a bit more effort on the veracity. As you rightly mentioned in our other comment, they are our next gen torch bearers and if they are going to make statements like our tradition is 7000 yrs old, feeding a crow is to test for poison, etc. it will create a wrong impression and set a wrong precedence for the youngsters who are watching it.

        I’m sure this mini documentary was watched by a few seniors before it got published and I’m surprised how they didn’t catch it. All the more reasons, for all of us to learn the right things from the right source. Rama Rama

  7. very nice video and excellent choice of words in the explanation

  8. very commendable work

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