It is often said that stress emerged in the modern world and people in ancient times didn’t experience it. This is a total misconception. People in those times did undergo stress, probably more than today’s world, and maybe in different levels too. But, in ancient India women depended upon some secret rituals and practices, without being aware of its effect, to deal with stress. These rituals can be easily passed off as superstitions in modern times, but, after studying them we can find these gems from the ancient sacred scriptures that are applicable even in today’s world.
Ancient Indian women worshipped the four elements as Gods and there are numerous rituals and ceremonies revolving around these four elements, as well as a lot of superstitions too. If you take away the worship, and superstitious parts of ancient Indian practices, we can derive new practices for modern times.
When you get up in the morning, sit in bed, then take some time and observe and feel the normal breath. A close observation of your breath makes one aware of the feeling of cool air passing through the nostrils followed by warm air letting itself out of the nostrils. Try to do this for 5 to 6 cycles of breath.
Begin your morning by drinking a glass of lukewarm water before you have anything else. Drink the water very slowly, feeling the water flowing from your mouth, down to your throat towards your stomach.
Even while you shower, feel the flow of water as it runs through every part of your body. This will take you to a feeling of being present. This means cutting yourself away from unnecessary thoughts.
When you get out of bed in the morning, plant your feet firmly on the ground. Be there and take a breath for a moment.
Try to think of the earth. The Earth is patient and carries a vast burden, but yet it provides resources to preserve all life forms.
In ancient times, when waking up in the morning, women used to touch the earth with their hands, seeking forgiveness before they set foot on Mother Earth. This was, in fact, an occult practice because touching the earth carefully fosters modest behaviour.
Fire burns everything, leaving nothing for tomorrow. Therefore, fire is engaged in the present activity and is not at all concerned about tomorrow. Thinking of fire brings us into the present.
Fire symbolizes the light that spreads knowledge. It dispels darkness and ignorance, everything creative is looked at as the work of fire. The Cosmos, the Solar system and all planets work with fire. Every formation is a work of fire. Fire is the essence of all existence and the also basis of all life forms. It is internal and inherent. With fire, ancient Indian women used to worship this greatest source of energy. They prayed so that it could dispel darkness and spread the light of knowledge in their lives.
Just as darkness disappears with light, cloudy thoughts in our minds disappear the moment one thinks of fire. It is an instant source of light and also alleviates stress immediately.
Ancient Indian women worshipped these four elements with prayers and offerings. In the modern world, we can be stress-free just by observing or being with these elements.