White Mustard Seeds to drive away the Ghosts!


Research Article No.1743; Date:- 23  March, 2015

Written by London swaminathan

Uploaded at London time  20-21 pm

“Aa Setu Himachala Paryantam”—From the Himalayas to Kanya Kumari — is a phrase used very often in Hindu literature. Kanyakumari is also called Setu according to the Sankalpa mantra followed in the district. Hindus followed the same culture from land’s southernmost point to the Northern most Himalayas. I have already given umpteen examples from the oldest Tamil literature and the Vedas to prove this point.  Now I have found out that they followed the same technique to drive away the ghosts!

We have already seen exemplary chaste woman Arundhati, Holy Ganges, Holy Himalayas, Sages, Six Seasons, Four Divisions of Army, Rajasuya Yagna, Four Vedas, Dharma, Artha, Kama and Gods Indra, Varuna, Shiva, Vishnu, Rebirth, Karma Theory, astrology etc are followed or respected in the oldest part of Tamil literature as well as Sanskrit literature. It is the same culture with some regional peculiarities. And anthropologists and sociologists knew that such differences exist in all parts of the world. There is no exception.

white mustard

Picture of White Mustard

This uniform Hindu culture has bulldozed the Aryan- Dravidian Racist theory. To drive one more nail in the coffin here is the ghost busters from the Atharva Veda and Sangam Tamil Literature!

Sinapis alba or Brassica alba known as Baja or white mustard seeds (Aiyavi in Tamil) are used to protect wounded people, pregnant women and new born babies from the evil spirits according to Tamil Literature and the Atharva Veda. Atharva Veda is dated before 1000 BCE. Tamil Literature is dated the first few centuries of Common Era. So the same belief existed over a vast land of 1-5 million square miles for at least 1000 years!

In the Atharva veda various remedies are suggested to avoid miscarriage and abortion. One of them is an amulet with white or yellow mustard seeds. It is tied on the body of pregnant women to prevent the evil spirits attacking her ( Samething is practised in Tamil Nau!) These evil spirits are believed to cause abortion (AV 8-6-9) or pain in her hips (AV 8-6-13). They like to devour the embryo of the pregnant women (AV 8-6-23). They cause the child to die in the womb or immediately after birth (AV 8-6-18). The cure for such maladies is the white mustard. The mustard prevents problems like still birth, labour pain, bareness (8-6-26).


Picture of Mustard Plant

The Atharva Veda (2-25-3) refers to the demons called Kanvas, who eat foetus. The plant prisniparni is the wonderful divine remedy against the vile tricks of Kanvas, in particular causing abortion.

Medical Research needed!

Since 2000 year old Tamil literature and at least 3000 year old Vedic literature talk of the same remedy, serious medical research is required regarding the efficacy of white mustards in protecting infants and the pregnant women. Probably it has anti- bacterial and anti- virus qualities. Tamils used it along with Neem leaves. Margosa or neem leaves are effective anti- virus medicines which are used in treating small pox.

Flowing are the references in Tamil literature—

Tiru murugatru padai – line 228

Maduraikanchi – line 287

Nedunalvadai – line 86

Natrinai verses -40 and 370

Purananuru – 98, 281, 296


Picture of Neem Tree

Summary of the information from the above verses:

Wounded soldier’s wife says (Pura.281)

Come on, let us insert Neem leaves (Azadirachta indica) so that the ghosts won’t harm him. Let us sprinkle the white mustard seeds. Let us also ring the bells and play on Ambal pipes and lyre.

Just to prevent the ghosts, burn and make smoke of white mustard (Pura.296)

Chieftain Athiyaman is in ferocious in his attacks. Even when they burn and make smoke from white mustard,  the god of death is definitely going to take the lives of his enemies (Pura.98)

New born baby is just lying by the side of its mother. The lady has worn white mustard paste over her body (Natrinai 40)—just to avoid the evil spirits.

Another house with a new born baby is smeared with white mustard Natrinai 370

The two Natrinai verses show that new born babies and their mothers were protected with white mustard powder mixed in ghee (clarified butter). Long poems also talk about white mustard mixed with ghee is applied in some places. Commentators are very clear about it. They say that this practice is followed to drive away the evil spirits.

It is not a strange coincidence but an accepted practice that the Vedas and Tamil literature refer to. Both are speaking about the same protective measures to save the new born babies and pregnant mothers with white mustard.