Jaaju Jaaju stories are bed time stories narrated by a loving father to his son each night before going to sleep. These stories are collected from various sources. Besides the little one (who loves to listen to the story and sleep with his head on his dad’s shoulder sucking his little thumb), there are three other characters who listen to this daily – they are Kesavan – the elephant, Chakki – the cow, and Sundari – it’s little daughter. Each night, the story is ended at some point, to give curiosity to the listeners and it is started the next night with a question answer session. Enjoy reading each day as it is posted and pass it on to your little loved ones.
The story this time is one recounted by Kottarathil Sankunni reflects the relevance of the life style prescribed in modern times also. It seems that a pair of birds used to sit a on the branch of a tree near a bathing ghat and ask of everyone coming to bathe, ‘ko rukku?’ No one was able to understand the nature of the query and give a suitable reply.
One day Alathur Nambi, who was passing by, heard the cry of the birds and turning towards them composed a Sanskrit sloka. The sloka was acceptable to the birds and they flew away, after blessing the family of the Nambis. They were actually Aswini devas, the celestial physicians, who had come to check up on the technical efficiency of Ayurveda practitioners on earth.
What is relevant to us in modern times are the question and the answers. The question was actually ‘Kah arukku’, meaning ‘who is there who is disease free’. Nambi answered that he who eats lightly and at proper times, he who walks a little after taking food, he who sleeps turning to the left side, he who passes urine and stools promptly without delay and he who is controlled in satisfying his sexual urges will be free of diseases.
How modern is this advice! Even today, modern doctors suggest the same regimen as an antidote against modern lifestyle diseases like hypertension, elevated cholesterol levels, obesity and so on.
Ayurveda is a very scientific and systematized body of medicine. There are a number of popular stories as well as a body of scientific literature that attests to the efficacy of the treatment systems of Ayurveda. It is up to modern Indians to take up the cause of Ayurveda in a systematic manner as a life style regulating mechanism, which will appeal to the West also.
The “Garland of Legends”, Ithihya Mala, is a collection of legends prepared by Kottarathil Sankunni, a revered Sanskrit – Malayalam scholar who lived in the latter part of the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth century in Kerala.