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Thread: Help for the sinister?

  1. #1
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    Help for the sinister?

    Namast, all,

    I know that there is a taboo against using the left hand in spiritual activities because of Indian cultural practice, i.e. use of the left as the "washroom hand," and thus never touching other people or sacred items with that hand.

    But I'd like to know if there is a specific spiritual or magical significance to avoiding the left hand - which is, in my case, my dominant hand, and the only one with coordination, apparently.

    While I would never go to temple and do everything with the "wrong" side, I'm getting awfully tired of dropping, dribbling, and dripping things on my floor during my home pūjās. Last week, my hand shook at just the wrong time, and there went a special sweet, tumbling right off of the offering-plate! After more than a year of practice, I'm still clumsy, and it's annoying.

    Obviously, I don't live in India, and we don't have the same practices and hand associations here in the West. I'm thinking that if I could understand other reasons behind the tradition, it might be less frustrating to deal with clumsy moments? Maybe?

    Feel free to invent an amusing story or fascinating myth, if no references immediately come to mind. My motivation technically doesn't need to be based in fact.

    Indraneela
    ===

    Oṁ Indrāya Namaḥ.
    Oṁ Namaḥ Śivāya.

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    Re: Help for the sinister?

    namaskar,
    Though I have never seen indian people using left hand during pujas and to receive parsad, logically I should think that if you are naturally a left handed (indian) person that it must be okay to do puja and such things with your left hand as this is your dominant hand and logically you would be doing your morning oblations with right hand (?).

    In other words, don't use the left hand thing only applies to the right handed people in my opinion.

    Just a thought. If you are non indian all bets are off.
    satay

  3. #3
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    Re: Help for the sinister?

    Namast,

    Just a thought. If you are non indian all bets are off.

    See, and therein lies my perpetual problem...

    Indraneela
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    Oṁ Indrāya Namaḥ.
    Oṁ Namaḥ Śivāya.

  4. #4

    Re: Help for the sinister?

    Namaste Indraneela,

    How funny I was just lead to thinking of left handedness the other day, we were discussing the reasoning behind right and left side of the road for driving; a regular topic with my being a Brit here in France.
    The side of choice was the left, through out the whole of Europe, this was due to the predominance of right handed people and a natural tendency to want to cross a stranger with ones hand upon ones sword.
    Now along came Napoleon whom upon conquering a country, installed the law that one must ride upon the other side of the carriageway, now my French friend concluded that this was out of kindness and a desire to make peaceful conditions. I couldn't resist adding that there was peace before he attacked and that maybe Napoleon was left handed (I must look this up).

    Yes he was, just checked ...

    This lead my to wondering about the nature of right to left written text, its ancestral origins (its obvious connotations), might it originate from a culture whose population bears more left handers?

    I have heard that left handers may have a tendency towards narcissism, I have no idea if this is true; there is surly some kind of reaction to a world which is, inherently back to front, this is of course just speculation, with no intent to offend; Trying to be realistic in understanding this fascinating phenomenon.
    Left handers may make excellent leaders, due to an inherent tenacity required to succeed in a right handed world.

    In some schools of thought the right hand represents going up and the left hand going down, this can be found in Jyotish, among others. The left hand relates to grounding and Venus's energy; the right hand, if I am not mistaken, to Jupiter.

    These planets also represent Left and right brain function, Venus, the right brain, thus left side of the body to desire and all that is creative. Jupiter to the right side of the brain, and all that is pious and some what regimented, religion even; both are Guru. Could this explain the left and right handed paths?

    To my mind this is a reflection of the right left brain paradigm, all part of the highly complex dynamic which is human social structure ...

    An interesting thought and thread, thank you.



    praNAma

    mana
    Last edited by Mana; 16 March 2012 at 12:59 AM.

  5. #5

    Re: Help for the sinister?

    no left hand rule is strictly islamic and not Indian, atleast to my knowledge i have never been told not to use left hand due to reasons you mentioned. so use a good soap and you should be ok using both

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    Re: Help for the sinister?

    Namaste Indraneela,

    I have not seen any such "rule" in any authoritative scripture. Normally people are right-handed and if they do things with left hand then it is considered that he is doing it casually and not giving due respect to the person/occasion. Therefore, it is expected that one should use his/her right hand.

    If you are a natural right-handed person, the opposite of right-handed people rule should apply to you. I have not seen any left handed person in India trying to do things clumsily with left hand while doing Pooja. You are unnecessarily worried. It is God who made you left-handed. So, He must accept you as He made you. He can't be so eccentric !

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Help for the sinister?

    Vannakkam Indra: Personally, I think it has to do with the washroom rule, and nothing else. Of course its been extended through history beyond plain common sense to a cultural taboo. My wife is left handed. About the only thing in puja she does with her right is the waving of aarti. But by the sounds of things you are quite extreme in the 'dominance' continuum, as it does vary in range. I know a couple of Indian devotees who switched to their left naturally when they came here.

    The only philosophical or mystical thing that comes to mind is ida/pingala. Aardhinarisvara has Shakti to the left, if I remember right.

    And then I think of the man I knew who lost his right arm in the war.

    So just go for it, and don't worry.

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: Help for the sinister?

    Namaste all.

    Fwiw... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etiquet...ing#Right_hand

    http://www.culture-4-travel.com/indian-customs-2.html

    When accepting or receiving anything in India, use your right hand and not your left hand. According to Indian custom, the left hand is for cleaning your butt after going to the restroom. Yes, this also applies to a handshake. If you are left handed (as I am), then to simply put it, "We're screwed."
    śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ

  9. #9

    Re: Help for the sinister?

    If you are left handed then I think you should use that hand, it is "worse" to drop things I think.

    The only philosophical or mystical thing that comes to mind is ida/pingala. Aardhinarisvara has Shakti to the left, if I remember right.
    Would this be opposite if you are left handed?
    Probably not right? I have never thought about this.

    Maya

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    Re: Help for the sinister?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maya3 View Post

    Would this be opposite if you are left handed?
    Probably not right? I have never thought about this.

    Maya
    Vannakkam: In short, no. So your hunch was correct.

    Aum Namasivaya

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