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Olai Chuvadi: Secrets of Indian Customs and Belief Systems (A Scientific Approach to Indian Customs, Observances and Practices)

Item Code: NAM808
Author: Dr. Venganoor Balakrishnan
Publisher: Addone Publishing Group, Thiruvananthapuram
Language: English
Edition: 2015
Pages: 316
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.5 inch X 6.0 inch
Weight 450 gm
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business

Book Description

About the Book

Olaichuvadi verbally means palm leaf. All the traditional lore of ancient India used to be kept inscribed on chemically processed palm leaves, handled with piety and devoid of impurities. Thus Olaichuvadi began to represent the lore of ancient India passed over from generation to generation, which included codes of ethics, instructions on the observances and practices and the tradition at large, to be followed.

The title used for the book here, is quite relevant, for, it is nothing but an exploration on the worth and value of India's customs, practices and belief systems, which are seasoned by a highly ethical and philosophical approach.

Every entry in this book is in its essence, the legacy of Indian cult presented in subtle, vet simple tongue. Dr. Venganoor Balakrishnan's Olaichuvadi that originally appeared in Malayalam soared high in its massive appeal in a short time. Its translations into other Indian languages also turned out to be best-sellers in no time. Hence we bring out the English version for the benefit of the whole world for the ardent readers as well as the seekers of India's soul in her rich and varied heritage, in the sagacious rishi-dominant past, and highly scientific, yet saintly-looking tradition.

As publishers of a noble and unique work, we feel proud. However, we stand humble and modest before our expectant readers scattered over the world, submitting this great book for their approval and appreciation.


Writing is a sort of meditation. One has to stay tuned to the subject in all its dimensions keeping the mind ob- servant, yet unbiased, analytical yet critical and receptive yet unprejudiced. The compilation of Olaichuvadi which called for a decade s research work and study of Indian tradition spread over rather a wide canvas, in its every aspect, to the very minute details of practices, observances and beliefs, effected a transformation of my very person. My career as an enthusiastic, aggressive and investigative journalist ceased; a rather serene, philosophical and metaphysically awakened person emerged within.

Compilation of Olaichuvadi that influenced and transformed me, sold out in lakhs, enchanting the readers with its awesome revelations and new realizations regarding the customs and practices they lived on hitherto.

I remain thankful to the Almighty who accorded me the strength to assume my role in this vast world. And I owe much to my publisher and readers as well.


1Can mass prayer heal ailments21
2Will the faculty to forgive add to one's longevity?22
3Will meditation lead to salvation?23
4Why is crataeva leaf used in temples of Lord Siva?24
5Is getting up in the Brahmamuhoortha as prescribed by the sages beneficial to students?25
6Does peace of mind in turn contributes to a healthy body?26
7Why is gruel and ghee recommended for breakfast?27
8Is it advisable to plant night -blooming trees and plants near the house?28
9Is vegetarian food sathwika (substantial) food?29
10Is it right to say cooking is incomplete without turmeric added sufficiently?30
11Why is a feast without ginger curry incomplete?31
12Will coffee promote memory power?32
13Why should not one swing the leg?33
14After attending a funeral, is it advisable to enter the house without taking bath?35
15Do birds that avoid eating ants have longevity?36
16How is cat auspicious to a house?37
17Is mongoose enemy of snake?38
18Will the rays of the setting Sun add to one's charm?39
19Won't mother sea keep dead body?40
20Why were medicinal plants insisted on in houses?41
21Why should the house face East or North?42
22Can we set up kitchen in the Agnicon (South-East corner)?43
23Why should the bedroom be in the South-East direction?44
24Why is there window opening to the East, in the kitchen?45
25Why should not one sit on the door frame?46
26Why should we observe fasting?47
27Eating to the fill, you feel sleepy, why?48
28Why should not one place feet on a winnower?49
29Should we keep a kettle of water at the entrance of the house?50
30Has purity of mind and body anything to do with conception?51
31Why should we let a carrying woman listen to moral stories?52
32Will it be a girl-baby if the movement of the foetus is comparativey more?54
33Will a she-foetus accord a larger belly?55
34Why shouldn't we kill the ants bearing eggs and moving?56
35Why do we adorn a house with festoons of mango leaves during house warming?57
36Why is cow considered sacred by the Indians?58
37Why should we get up turning to the right?59
38On getting up, why should we sit chanting spells for sometime?60
39On getting up, why should we touch the earth with our hand and honour it first?62
40Why should there be a morning walk prior to a dip bath?63
41Why shouldn't we smear oil on the hair and body on days of fasting?64
42Is it advisable to apply oil on the body after a dip bath?65
43Is it advisable to walk bare-footed?66
44Should one face North East corner while brushing?67
45Why should one take oil bath?68
46Why should not one construct house while one's wife is carrying?69
47Why shouldn't carrying women watch trees being cut down?70
48Can we use comb on the head of the new born baby?71
49Why is Brahmi advisable for children?72
50Why should we write 'Ohm' on the tongue of the infant?72
51Should boys be given glowy names?73
52When should the rice food be given first to an infant?74
53Is it a sin to take bath in a tank belonging to another person?75
54Is the setting Sun as powerful as the rising Sun?76
55What are the timings one has to avoid looking at the Sun?77
56Should we bow and touch the feet of the parents in salutation of them?79
57Is it essential to. wear Tilak mark on the forehead ?80
58Sandalwood paste is not applied down the waist. Why?81
59Why one wears Vibhoothi (holy ash) ?82
60Is it advisable to. wear Vibhoothi all over the body?83
61Why do. we pluck Tulsi (basil) leaf and place it behind the ears ?84
62What is the use of visiting temple in wet dress?85
63Why should the shoes be remo.ved while entering the temple?86
64While entering temple, can men wear upper garment?87
65Can women enter temples during menstrulation ?88
66Why should one observe reverential circumbulation?90
67Why should not one complete a circumbulation around the Siva temple?91
68Why human voice is confined to chanting in temples?91
69Is Tulsi holy water effective?92
70In Hindu temples, the devotees are not permitted to touch the priests. Why?93
71Is flag postthe backbone of a temple?94
72Should banyan tree be circumbulated?95
73Is it advisable to. look at the Sun during eclipse?96
74Why should not one stand right in front of the idol and make prayers?97
75Is it advisable for women to. lie prostrated before the idol?98
76Will Gayathri chanting stir intellect?99
77Why should offerings given to the deity?100
78What is the relevance of the bursting of fire-works as offering to deity?101
79Women are supposed to offer Ponkal (a kind of sweet broth) to Mother Goddess. Why?102
80Why is the sounding of conch considered great?103
81Why is the sounding of a bell important?104
82Why is Thaazhampoo (flower of species of screwpine) not used in poojas?105
83You get divine grace even from the temple courtyard. Why?105
84Why do we need an interval before the foundation work of constructing a building, starts ?106
85'To err is human but to forgive is divine' Why is this proverb relevant?107
86Will too much consumption of salt make one thirsty?108
87Will stolen food cause hiccup?109
88Is falling and breaking of salt container a bad omen?110
89Why should one eat food, sitting?110
90Why is light supper prescribed?111
91Should we walk a little after supper?112
92Can a water snake "deny you supper?"112
93One should not sweep the yard at dusk or night. Why? "113
94Should we recollect the day's activities before going to bed?114
95Why should not one sleep with his head towards the North?114
96What is the right age for marriage?115
97Daughters-in-law are not sent to their house on Saturdays. Why?116
98What is 'Nishkramana Samskara'?117
99What is Choodakarma Samskara?118
100What is Upanayana Samskara?118
101Why should the rite ofVidyarambham observed?119
102What is 'Samavarthanam' ?120
103Will the baby start talking delayed if there is an early growth of teeth?121
104Will denial of feeding on milk cause hair fall of the newborn calf?122
105'Step on cowdung and you will get sweetmeat' . What does this saying mean?123
106Is the howling of fox a bad omen?124
107Should we take bath on seeing a bad omen?124
108Why should not we leave the bedroom windows open at night?125
109The papaya tree should not grow above the roof Why?126
110Does chameleon drink blood?127
111What is the use of scarecrow?127
112Why should not one plant a lime tree?128
113Can the split coconut be kept face up?129
114As the sugarcane blooms, its owner suffers. Why?130
115Will it rain if the frog croaks?131
116Should the tamarind tree on the South be preserved?131
117Frogs should not be thrown stones at Why?132
118It is not fair to call a man setting out on a journey, from behind. Why?133
119One should not cover the head while sleeping Why ?134
120Why should not children play with shadows?135
121Fasting on new moon day fetches blessing. Why ?135
122Why should not we observe fasting on new moon day Shashti ?136
123Will observance of Pradosha fasting please Lord Shiva ?137
124Why should women keep fasting on Monday and Friday?138
125Why should fasting be observed on Saturday?139
126On the day of fasting on Tuesdays the observer is not supposed to dig (cultivate) the land. Why?140
127While observing fasting on Wednesday, why should not one journey towards the North?140
128What observance offasting is prescribed for Thursday?141
129No return journey is auspicious after the setting of Hesperus. Why?142
130Why should one cover his face while sneezing?143
131Why should the corn seeds be soaked in milk?143
132Why should the Pisces in the Zodiac be considered in digging a well?144
133Pooja room (prayer room) should be constructed in Virgo in the Zodiac. Why?145
134Why should not one boast oneself?146
135Is dance more than an art ?147
136Is casting curse effective?147
137Why do we need festivals?148
138Is burning camphor useful in any way?149
139Can mustard seed tackle the effect of evil eye?150
140How did grandmothers solve the problem of aversion to food?151
141Should the bride be received with a lighted lamp?152
142Is the 'holy water' really effective?153
143Is it advisable to sleep with crossed hands resting upon the chest?154
144Should woman sit on man's left side?155
145Can the dog espy Yama dhanna, the messenger of death?155
146Is it a healthy practice to keep shaking the leg?156
147Can we go to sleep naked?157
148What posture of sleeping is prescribed for women?157
149Who are eligible to wear ochre dress?158
150What is the ethics of taking alms?159
151Day sleep of a woman and night sleep of a dog are alike. How?160
152Will there be water under the fig tree?160
153Will Koel (black Indian cuckoo) come if you eat licorice?161
154Gnashing of teeth brings harm. Why?162
155Is asparagus an all curing panacea?162
156Why should not one shirk supper?163
157Why should not oil lamp be placed on grinding stone?164
158Sitting on the grinding stone causes harm to parents. Why?164
159Eating uncooked rice will bring harm to mother. Why?165
160Don't talk while eat. Why?166
161Vacant grinding stone should not be worked. Why?167
162Do not carry a single coconut on head. Why?167
163Do not raise legs while lying face down on the earth. Why?168
164Carrying women should not step out of the house during night. Why?169
165Broom and winnower left together cause danger to the head of the family. Why?170
166Shoes should not be left face down. Why?171
167Don't sell cow on Tuesdays and Fridays Why?171
168Don't sit resting your head on hands. Why?172
169Don't eat burnt coconut. Why?173
170Three people should not go together on a journey. Why?173
171Butter milk and milk should not be kept side by side. Why?174
172Do not lend-seeds kept apart for sowing. Why?175
173Do not take bath while you are sweating. Why?175
174Do not eat while the evening prayer is on. Why?176
175One should not stay eating as a guest bids farewell. Why?177
176Telling riddles turns one poor. How?178
177Do not split firewood at dusk. Why?178
178Why should young children wear anklets made ofPanchaloha(alloy offive metals)?179
179Should charity begin at home?180
180The inner beauty must reflect on the face. Why?181
181Will talkativeness adversely affect longevity of life?181
182'Spot the star Arundhathi and you will not die soon'. What is the logic behind this belief?182
183Playing chess should not be promoted. Why?183
184Who all will remain unaffected by evils?184
185What is the most important duty of a father to a son ?184
186What is the concept oflove in our tradition?185
187How can we do away the hostile attitude of others towards us ?186
188What is the relevance of a sweet-tongue?187
189What should be the criterion of a favour done to a person?188
190Who never gets redemption?189
191Who is an ideal middle-man?190
192Which sore cannot be healed?190
193What supports man in his journey oflife?191
194What is the most unethical and sinful act?192
195What is the noblest of qualities?192
196How should we treat the evil-doers?193
197How does envy ruin one's life?194
198Whose wealth remains safe for generations together?195
199Young women are not allowed to assume asceticism in Hindu tradition Why?196
200Can women chant the spell' Ohm' ?197
201Why is Annadaana (free offering of meals) considered great?197
202What does the symbol ofTilak (mark on the forehead) represent?198
203What are the prescriptions for lighting the lamp for the evening prayer?199
204What were the different types of marriages prevalent in ancient India?200
205What is the symbolic significance of Kanyadanam (giving the girl in marriage to the groom)?201
206Facing what direction, one should take dip bath?202
207Should we dry the back first after bathing?203
208Why should wet vibhoothi (holy ash) be worn after bath?204
209Evil should be defended with virtue. Why?205
210Why should we save material wealth?206
211What is true donation ?207
212Why is kindness regarded as a noble wealth?208
213Why do learned men avoid eating meat?209
214What act of man is as noble as performing thousand Yagas ?210
215Why should we share our food?210
216What according to the holy books is the best of life's ethics?211
217What is the relation between non-violence and truthfulness?212
218What is termed a sinful virtue ?213
219Whose fate is poverty and chronic diseases?214
220How does Time interfere in the day-to-day life of man?214
221What happens if you deceive your conscience?215
222When is a lie preferred to truth?216
223Will anger cause sorrow?217
224Why should we conquer the emotion of anger?217
225What should be the role of money in a man's life?218
226Who all are supposed to observe penance?219
227What accounts for the increase in the number of the poor in the world?220
228What accounts for the degeneration of the present day world?221
229Why is desire the cause of misery?222
230Why is human birth very important?223
231What is the message of Bhagavatha ?223
232Why is the blessing of Guru (preceptor) important in a man's life?224
233What are the six evils in the character of man that cut short his longevity?225
234What is the path to salvation?226
235What is the advantage-of attaining Supreme Knowledge?227
236Why should we cure ourselves ofKama, Krodha and Ajnjana (Lust, Wrath and Ignorance)?228
237Who experiences incessant bliss ?229
238What are the advantages of colours?229
239Which colour dress is suitable for each day ?231
240What are the advantages of tender coconut?232
241What accounts for diseases?232
242What are the healthy habits prescribed by our forefathers?233
243How can we acquire peace of mind?234
244What are the don'ts prescribed by our forefathers?235
245As per the traditional prescriptions, what all we should hide from others?237
246What are the taboos on women?237
247What are the taboos for maintaining a healthy life?238
248What are some of the rare tips one should keep in his knowledge?241
249Will money and wealth compensate lack of education?242
250An illiterate person is like an animal- how?243
251Why is ear important in acquiring knowledge?244
252How do the words of learned men help us ?244
253What differentiates the qualities of an individual?245
254Which weapon safeguards one till the end?246
255Where does God abide?246
256What all are prescribed for the one who celebrates his birthday?247
257What are the' don'ts' for the one who celebrates his birthday?248
258Why should we use sesame oil in the prayer lamp ?249
259What is the relevance ofKaali-Sastha temples?250
260What is the glory of betel leaf?250
261What is the importance of the direction East?251
262What is the importance of the direction South?252
263What is the importance of the direction West?253
264What is the importance of the direction North?254
265What are the taboos in food habits?255
266What are some of the best combinations of food that contribute to our health?257
267What are the effect of serving food on plates- made of different materials/metals?257
268What are the effects of prayers submitted to different planets?258
269What were the five virtuous acts prescribed by Sage Vyasa that help the observer obtain salvation?259
270Why should we wear a ring in the left hand's finger?259
271How should we conduct the evening prayer?260
272What are the taboos with regard to sleeping?261
273Why is cowdung considered an auspicious object?262
274What is Agnihothram ? What is its benefit?263
275How does the performance ofAgnihothram help the plants?265
276How does Agnihothram help in the cure of those addicted to intoxicants?265
277What is the importance of Grihasthashrama ?267
278What is the importance of pilgrimage?268
279What is meant by Rishiyajnja?269
280What is meant by Pithru Yajnja ?270
281What is meant by Manushya Yajnja ?271
282What is meant by Bhootayajnja?272
283How do temples differ in their construction from the worship centres of other religions?273
284Why should we go to temple?274
285Why is the tank attached to a temple important?275
286What is the importance of circumbulating the deity?276
287What are the different yaarn (a term for a two-hour span of time)?277
288Who is a really reputed person?278
289Whose wrath one cannot survive?279
290Why should we lead an ethical life ?279
291What actually is one's ethics?280
292In what respects is a family-bound person greater than an ascetic?281
293What is India's traditional concept of a wife?281
294What does' heaven' represent?282
295What is the significance of omen?283
296What does the term 'Doota Lakshanam' stand for?284
297Why should we chant' Ohm Santhi, Santhi, Santhi' ?285
298What are practices? How can we distinguish between practices and evil-practices?286
299Is suicide permitted in Hindu tradition?287
300How should a dead body be treated?287
301What is Pancha Sirassu ?288
302What should we do with a deserted well?289
303What is wrong with maintaining two kitchens in a house?290
304What does the tradition say about selecting domestic and pet animals?291
305What is the role of house lizard in divination?291
306What effects are there if the house lizard chirrs from different directions on Sunday?292
307What effects are there if the house lizard chirrs from different directions on Monday?293
308What are the effects of chirring of the lizard for Tuesday?294
309What are the effects of chirring of the lizard for Wednesday?294
310How does the chirring of the house-lizard affect one's fortune on Thursday?295
311How does the chirring of house-lizard affect the fortune of a person on Friday?296
312How does the chirring of house-lizard affect the fortune of a person on Saturday?296
313What are the effects of house-lizard falling on different parts of one's body?297
314How can we decide on the gem one has to wear?298
315What gems are recommended for each star?299
316What are the gems recommended for cure of different diseases?300
317What are the things to be taken care of while collecting flowers for worship?301
318What are the flowers used in the worship of Lord Vishnu and Lord Siva ?302
319What is the effect of a girl attaining puberty on specific stars?302
320What are the different categories of fasting?304
321How is astrology different from other sciences?304
322What is a horoscope?305
323Why should we consider the compatibility of horoscopes in deciding on marriages?306
324What are the different types of piety?307
325How is piety compared to lust?308
326What is the significance of triangle in Indian spirituality?309
327What are the seven tongues of Agni (fire)?310
328What does the offering of breaking coconut before Lord Ganesha stand for?311
329What are the important prescriptions ascribed to a Hindu priest?312
330What are the shad-darshanas (six visions)?313
331What are Smritis?314
332What is Sruti?315
333What are Yanthras ?315
Sample Pages

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