by Doctor Rajan.
We are required to participate with a responsive body and spirits and take every decision with highest accuracy and efficiency in all our daily activities starting from driving your vehicle, working school, office, hospital, or shop floor of workshop. We start the car engine and do check all the parameters like fuel levels, charge of the battery etc., bring up the temperature of the engine to an optimum, see if any thing is in the way or any body is coming from sides, then move out. For this, our senses and reflexes have to be in a state of preparedness and perform all the daily activities in near perfect way. It is always better to have a check list for a vehicle or a machine. Similarly it is wiser to have one for ourselves. In many religions they have a set rules or rituals to be performed early in the morning, often they are not aware of the purpose behind these morning prayer. In Hindu culture they have a ritual to say a mantra as soon as one gets up.
Sit in your bed cross legged ( like in Padmaasanam or Lotus posture).Rub your hands together a few times and look at the lines on your palmsSay this mantra either in the form of a whisper or only in your mind.Lightly rub the palms and move them on your face.All this may be done by taking one or two minutes.
The mantra goes like this :
“KaraagrE vasatE lakshmiiH karamadhyE saraswati, KaramoolE tu govindaH prabhaatE karadarshanaM"
“KaraagrE vasathE lakshmi karamoolE saraswathi,KaramadhyE sthithougowri prabhathE karadarshanaM"
"Samudravasane devi parvatastanamaNDale.VishhNupatni namastubhyaaM paadasparshaM kshamasva me”.
"GangEcha yamunEchaiva godaavaree saraswathiNarmadaa sindhu KavEri jalEsmin sannidhim kuruh"
These mantras, of thanking god for having given us the rivers of life may be chanted three times, looking at the branching curved palmar creases. We can continue to chant the second prayer during bathing also.
Explanation: It is a common experience that after a good nights sleep we feel low, groggy and will not be in a position to do anything as accurately as after a little while. This is because, in the horizontal position, with our limbs outstretched, all the skeletal muscles are relaxed; the propriocptive (deep) sense of joint position and joint movement sense will be less efficient, the cerebellar, cerebral and the autonomic nervous system also will be in a state of depression. Senses like vision, hearing etc, are at lowest ebb. Performing any function like sudden standing and getting out of bed, in this sate, we feel unsteady and may even have a fall. So we need to have preparedness before we intend to do any function. Chanting these mantras taking one to two minutes and do the exercises will give sufficient time the reflexes to come back to normalcy and so we can avoid accidents.
Physiology: During sleep the blood pressure and heart rate go down because the sympathetic system also goes to sleep (except during the REM stages). The eye balls get adapted to darkness and the pupils are dilated widely, and this causes a feeling similar to what we feel while coming out of a theater after seeing a movie. The visual axes of the eyeballs will have become parallel and hence the focus on the objects will be inaccurate, thus creating a blurred image on the retina. It takes a few minutes for the convergence accommodation reflex to come back and the eyes converge again to focus on a nearer focal point (the palms), to form a clear image on the focal point of the retina. Now you are able to see clearly.
Defect or disorder of sympathetic system, may cause delay in reflex time and cause unsteadiness in young age itself. Diabetes mellitus with neuropathy is a common disorder which causes such a problem by giving rise to delayed reflexes and orthostatic hypotension. Immediately on standing, the pooling of blood in the lower parts of the body causes drop in blood pressure. Sitting in the bed cross-legged (may be for 30 to 90 seconds), the vessels bend and improve the peripheral resistance, and then standing for some time (20 to 30 seconds), help reestablish the vascular tone. During this short period, surging of hormones like adrenaline (epinephrine) and nor-adrenaline (nor-epinephrine) takes place. These hormones cause constriction of arteries and arterioles and the veins and venules and also stimulate the heart. The blood pooled in the lower limbs and the lower portion of the body gets pumped towards the heart more efficiently and the low blood pressure is made good. The stimulation of heart causes increase in heart rate. Restoration of blood pressure, heart rate improves the blood supply to brain and retina. Now you do not feel imbalance and can walk steadily and also converse with your head on your shoulder.Rubbing the hands on the face including eyes helps in stimulating the trigeminal nerves giving a refreshing feeling. It also helps bring the two sides of the brain start coordinating with each other through the interconnecting corpuscallosum fibers.In this ritual you are sitting patiently for a while and taking a good look at a near object, your own palms. Saying theses mantras reminds you of the life giving rivers, the power of knowledge and helps develop a ready-to-serve attitude and humbleness. Your understanding of yourself in relation to the world helps you take correct decisions like the GPS (global positioning system) helps the driver. Accidents and near-accidents cause a lot of stress-reaction. So it is better such simple exercises are inculcated in child hood so that it will help one to be more patient, fit and productive and avoid falling or getting involved in an accident/near accident.
In this ritual you are free to chant the names of your own gods and goddesses, and rivers if you so choose. But remember and appreciate the purpose behind the mantra that is hastiness upsets everything.
Hence our elders have coined a saying “ThaaLidavanu baaleyaanu". See the physiological truth that was understood by those original thinkers which helped them to build these mantras and establish this as a ritual. There is no need for any training course or to shell down money.
Sandhyaavandanam, PraaNaayaama and ‘Gaayathree mantra japa’, if added to this, suffices to keep your body and spirit, in every way, to be ready to take on anything through out the day. We should never forget that a sound mind and a sound body always go together. A little bit of waiting, patience and perseverance keeps your body, mind and spirit fit for a long time. Thus I have made some effort to explain one of the rituals observed in the morning time in India. This is just a humble beginning.