Vaisnavites or the Ekasarana Dharma is prevalent to Assam, and namghars (prayer halls) are synonymous to this religion. The state is full of these big and small namghars which adhere to the principles of Srimanta Sankardev. The followers of this monotheistic religion, have a unique way of singing the prayer hymns. However we are not here to discuss its features; rather we are interested in citing that this religion has its hidden health benefits. Wait, we haven’t found too many, but even three (benefits) is no less!
- Prayers, in the namghars, are sung in the form of songs combined with taal, khul, doba, nagara and clapping of hands. Clapping is said to normalize blood pressure and strengthen the heart and lungs.
- The prasad or food, which is offered to God and later distributed among devotees, comprises of sprouts, soaked chickpeas, fresh fruits and a dash of ginger and salt. Add to it some bits of coconut, the prasad is served in fresh banana leaves. Need we say more what happens when you eat these fresh foods?
- The namghar is a place of worship which also function as meeting houses for congregations, and theaters for dramatic performances (bhaona). This art needs practice; when devotees gather they communicate, share their lives and build a social bond. Having more friends makes you feel secured socially.
- Elderlies visit namghars regularly and this habit enables them to communicate with other fellow seniors. Again, interactions guarantee a content mind.