A virus also called “Vishanu” in Hindi that is Vish means poison and Anu means atom is the smallest organism that is capable of spreading diseases once it gets into a living body.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.
As per the WHO advisory:
- “Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus are experiencing mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol-based rub frequently and not touching your face. The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).”
The most important gesture that is being accepted during this pandemic worldwide comes from Hinduism. Namaste, Namastey or Namaskar is customary Hindu greeting. Namaste is usually spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest. This gesture is called Añjali Mudrā; the standing posture incorporating it is Pranamasana.
Greeting everyone without touching them was adopted long ago in India. The reason is clear as maintaining hygiene in earlier times was difficult and therefore we Indians adapted practices that are self-explanatory. However, westernization had a major impact on Indians that they started following trends without a second thought.
Shaking Hands, Hugging and Cheek Kiss are some gestures Of greeting that are causing the spread of this virus much easier. It is time to realize that Indian culture has many logical and scientific reasons behind it. They were being imposed in the name of religion long ago because the population was illiterate and the only thing to make them follow rules was to practice lifestyle in the name of God.
Entering Homes after Washing Hands and Feet
In Hindu Vedic culture, entring homes with slippers or shoes is strictly prohibited. This practice is strictly followed in southern India. This is to ensure the cleanliness of homes and prevent any unwanted bacterias, viruses, and diseases of all kinds. Also if anyone enters the house then it is mandatory to clean their feet, hands, and face before stepping in. But this practice is abandoned in most parts of the country.
No Sharing of Food, Used Utensils
I too find it awkward to share spoons with my friends while sharing the lunchbox in college. In Hindu dharma and also in many other traditions sharing the same utensil is prohibited. Also, people used to drink water using their own hands as shown in the picture. This is certainly to maintain proper hygiene among the population. But the western culture brought many unhygienic practices like sharing spoons, plates, water bottles, blowing candles over the cake, etc.
Burning the Dead
Once the person leaves the body then the corpse is being burnt in the ritual called Antim Sanskar. It is purposely practiced to completely burn the body so that all kinds of viruses and bacterias could transfer to other populations. Also, the ghats were being situated away from the settlement along the riverside so that those who attended the funeral can take a bath and clean themselves before entering the homes. But unfortunately, a disease like Coronavirus was needed maybe to make us realize that one should have a proper logical reason before leaving a cultural practice. Think with an open mind about why we as Indians were following these practices for such a long time. There must have been a strong reason behind all this. Not everything that your Grandma says is illogical. Think about the future of Hinduism, what will we surpass if we start following things just because everyone was doing it.