There are many rituals being practiced in different religious practices. Some of the them seems to be illogical in current context and some seems to be completely baseless without any foundation. However a proper study of such practices with reference to the authorized literatures brings a clarity in understanding and make a complete sense of it. Hence the rituals should be practiced under the authorized spiritual guidance and should not be done based on cheap sentiment. Here in this article I have tried to understand a ritual of sleeping with respect to the directions of south-north or east-west. The question is why do we sleep in south-north or east-west direction? This is article is an initial attempt to understand it from scientific perspective, means how does the sleeping direction affects our body, mind, and how does it help us evolving ourselves spiritually?
BIRDS AND MAMMALS CAN DETECT THE EARTH MAGNETIC FIELD:
A pigeon can decode the earth magnetic field to the extend that they can decode it to know the direction of field. And hence they can change their flying direction and can orient accordingly. Similarly the mammals can detect the magnetic field.
HUMAN MAY HAVE INNATE MECHANISM TO DETECT THE GEOMAGNETISM:
As the animal and birds have the ability to see or sense the geomagnetic field due to the presence of a specific type of protein called 'cryptochrome 2'. The study conducted by UMAS researcher published in Nature communication suggest that indeed the protein molecule cryptochrome 2 expressed retina helps in detecting the earth magnetic field when it is planted in bird. Hence the possibility of human be able to detect the field is very much there.
EARTH MAGNETIC FIELD AND ITS EFFECT ON HUMAN AND ANIMAL:
An interesting article on how the living creatures on this earth are subjected to earth's magnetic field and to other man made fields is very elaborately explained here[2a][2b].
Some of the recent findings suggest that the earth's magnetic field polarity could possible get altered soon, changing the field direction from north-south to south-north. There could be health hazards due to change in polarity.
EARTH MAGNETIC FIELD AS IT IS KNOW TO VEDANTIST:
It is a popular rule generally followed by almost all Indians in orienting themselves while taking rest by sleeping posture. The rules is to sleep such that the south-north or east-west, head to south or head to east is considered auspicious, direction should be maintained. So, few questions arises here. Whether this sleeping posture is related to the earth's magnetic field or there is other spiritual reasons. If the reason is geo-electro magnetic field(GEMF) then the next question arises is how far the knowledge of GEMF is explained in Vedic literatures? And also why it is considered east to be auspicious, it is does not seems to be related with magnetic field? However it might be having relationship with rotation of earth. This needs to be explained or researched thoroughly. Directions are also been given much importance in other aspect of spirituality like Vastu, temple construction, sitting while doing fire sacrifices etc. So there must good reasons for all of these things. And also everything need not be scientific I mean it may not be feasible to explain some of the phenomena with physical rules or rules of physics and mathematics, because they are of different nature. [more to be written].
RELIGION IN GENERAL:
Defining religion plays very important role in understanding what religion is actually. It helps us removing our prejudice that religion is just a belief. The sanskrit word for religion supposed to be DHARMA however some of the dictionary defines religion as a faith of group of people. The word DHARMA however is not defined as a faith or belief in original sanskrit dictionary. The word DHARMA comes from the root word DHAR which means something which sustains. In other word we can say that the thing which sustains something is fundamental to it, which means a fundamental properties of certain object(living or non-living). So accordingly the DHARMA of SOUL(ATMA) is revealed in Vedic literatures primarily in Bhagavad Gita and also in other literatures like Bhagavatam and Upanisadas. According to the literature the soul has got three fundamental properties, these are SAT(Eternity), CHIT(Knowledge), and ANANDA(Bliss). The remaining qualities are the derivatives of these three. These three characteristics are very much visible in human being as well as in other living entities. The SAT manifest in terms of the desire that want to live for ever, we want to be happy for ever. The CHIT manifest as the quest for knowledge. And as a result of CHIT we have got science, philosophy, logic etc. The ANANDA manifest as our hankering for everlasting happiness. Now this is the philosophy part of religion. The other part is rituals or daily practices to make the progress in the path of self realization or knowing that we are not this material body but spirit soul.
It is very important to understand that the basic characteristic never changes where as the rituals or practices may change according to the time, place, and circumstances. So we may some time find some of the rituals to be inapplicable or invalid in the current context. However this never disqualify the spirituality as the reality based on the fundamental characteristic of spirit soul.
A careful study of science and religion(spirituality) will surely brings harmony between these two realm.
 Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhagavad Gita As it is, BBT Mumbai.
 Dr. T. D. Singh, Essay on Science and Religion, Bhaktivedanta Institute, Kolkata.
Jaynarayan, Bangalore, India
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