Abhyanga

Abhyanga massage

 

Abhyanga means applying something such as oil on the body and massaging.

Abhyanga snana means taking a bath after that.

Abhyanga is also called abhyanjana.

Abhyanga has got relevance both in Ayurveda and Hindu religion.

 

Abhyanga in Ayurveda

 

Ayurveda prescribes applying oil from head to toes and massaging on a regular basis.

If this is not possible, an oil massage should be done at least on the head, earlobes, and feet.

 

Benefits of abhyanga

 

  • Keeps the body youthful.
  • Pacifies vata, and kapha diseases.
  • Keeps the skin soft and glowing.
  • Nourishes the dhatus of the body.
  • There are two nerves at the feet connecting directly to the eyes. Massaging the feet is good for eyesight.
  • Removes dirt from the body completely.
  • It has a cooling effect.
  • Good for sleep.

 

When abhyanga should not be done

 

  • If kapha is vitiated in the body.
  • If there is indigestion.
  • If there is vomiting.

 

Abhyanga in Hindu religion

 

The smritis prescribe regular abhyanga snana except on some forbidden days.

Not taking abhyanga snana can deprive one of his health, longevity, wealth, and fortune.

In addition to oil, the smritis prescribe various other materials like mud, flowers, and durva grass.

In the religious context, abhyanga is meant to purify the body, mind, and atma.

 

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How Ganga got the power to purify?

During Vamanavatara when the Lord was measuring the sky with his foot, his thumb pierced the top of the universe. Through that hole descended Ganga touching his thumb. That gave Ganga the power to purify all.

Agnishvatta (अग्निष्वात्ताः)

There are seven kinds of Pitrus - Agnishvatta, Vairaja, Garhapatya, Somapa, Ekashringa, Chaturveda, and Kala. Someone who performs all the rituals mentioned in the Smritis such as aupasana, sthaleepka but does not perform the Shrauta Yajnas would attain the Loka of Agnishvatta Pitrus.

Quiz

Which legend is Ashtabhuja Perumal temple, Kanchipuram associated with?
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