We have deep respect for our ancient scriptures. As earlier opined by me in one of my earlier blogs, the teachings of Bhagavad Gita hold as much relevance today as they held when conceived and penned and in fact, Bhagvad has emerged as one of the greatest tools for learning modern management practices. We also bestow great deal of value on ancient medical sciences Ayurveda and Unani and some of the well known home remedies are used in Indian households for curing minor ailments, in preference to running to a Doctor prescribing anti biotics. However, as also opined by me in one of my earlier blogs that not everything ancient needs be good and all modern innovations be harmful. A video posted by a friend on social media by an acquaintance bolstered my belief that some of our past convictions may require updating.
The video had a Swamiji giving a discourse on what’s wrong with our modern habits that are causing severe health issues, including cancer. His advice was to immediately throw the following practices out of window, should we desire a long and healthy life:
(1) throw the wheat flour out and switch to healthy cereals like jowar, bajri, ragi etc. We have all heard about the gluten and gluten intolerance in some people, but very few alternatives can beat a hand rolled, hot, fluffy phulka and it’s nutritious value. It’s been our staple since ages not for nothing. More importantly, so much research has happened over the years that has led to green revolution and newer breeds of wheat have solved the problems of food shortage. If everyone switches over to alternative cereals there can be a severe food shortage leading to starvation and crisis.
(2) throw pressure cooker out for it doesn’t cook but crushes and blasts pulses and grains. His advice was to switch over to traditional means of cooking using firewood and handi. Pressure cooker is one of the smartest inventions that has revolutionised kitchen cooking. It preserves all the nutrients and saves phenomenal amount of time and fuel. Endorsing quaint ways of energy sapping and highly polluting methods of cooking instead of modern, energy saving, quick and hygienic methods to my mind is regressive.
(3) throw iodine salt out of window and revert to rock salt (kala namak). We know that how iodised salt has addressed the problem of goitre in the population. It has side effects such as high BP, but the remediation is to moderate it’s use rather than switch over to rock salt and develop iodine deficiency.
(4) use neem datun and throw fluoride toothpastes out. Indians have been severely lacking in oral hygiene due to insufficient care and use of stuff such as tobacco and pan masala. They have been losing teeth at an early age and bad breath can be nauseating. Swamiji wants us to go back to such primitive oral care.
(5) switch to vegetarian diet. To me, eating is something very personal and giving religious or health colour to one’s eating habits is sacrilegious. Leave taste apart, which is a matter of personal preference and choice, nutritional value of fish, eggs and chicken is well established and vegan diet somehow doesn’t measure up to the balance and nourishment of a non vegetarian diet, As aforesaid, eating is purely a personal choice and no body should preach such matters.
Hope my readers agree with me that in certain matters updated knowledge is better than folklore. We must wisely choose the best of modern and traditional.