Is India a Land of Superstitions and Sacred Rituals

Is India a Land of Superstitions and Sacred Rituals

Logic of Superstitious Beliefs and Customs in India


India is a land of superstitions and sacred rituals. Here you would find people professing superstitious beliefs in abundance. Right from the perils of sitting under a Peepal tree at night to a cat crossing your path or even sleeping with your head facing the north directions, superstitions can be found just about anywhere and everywhere. But before we debunk these superstitions in the name of science, we should take a minute or two to understand as to why these superstitions were created and is there any logic behind them. You would be surprised to know that many of these superstitions, if not all, have some logic attached to them. Let us take a look at some of the few superstitions that are prevalent in today’s society and what is the logic behind them.

Do not cut your nails after sunset

Cutting your nails after the sun goes down is not right, at least that is what your elders tell you. But before wringing your hands in despair, let us tell you that there is a logic behind this and it goes back to the old times. Before the advent of electricity, people were advised not to cut their nails after sunset as they would hurt their hands due to lack of light and visibility. The tradition has continued into the 21st
century, but the logic behind it has been forgotten.

Cat crossing your path leads to bad luck

How many times has a cat crossed your path leaving you gloomy and frightened all day long as it would surely bring bad luck. This belief again dates back to the times when people used to travel by bullock carts or horse-driven carriages and the thick jungles were yet to make way for urban cities. Many at times when these carriages or carts were ferrying people from one place to the other, cats would often jump before them frightening the horses to bullocks with their flashing eyes. This would lead to accidents resulting in injuries and sometimes even death. Thus, there is nothing to fear about as a cat is not ominous at all, it is just a belief dating back to the old times.

A bat entering the house can cause death

A bat is another animal that has, unfortunately, been associated with doom thanks to Hollywood movies about blood sucking vampires, especially Dracula. Thus, the superstition goes that if a bat enters a person’s home, death in the family is imminent. Talking about logic, it is not the bat that is ominous, but the germs that it brings along with it. During old times, bats would enter people’s homes bringing germs with them which would affect people in the household. With medicines and treatment not as advanced as they are today, people would often fall ill and some would even die. Thus, bats came to be associated with death and illness.

Do not sleep with your head facing the north

This superstition has to do a lot with our physical and mental well-being. The earth’s magnetic fields have a direct relation with the human body’s fields which are known as biomagnetism. So, if your head, while sleeping, is towards the north, you are experiencing repulsive magnetic force which would have negative affects like blood pressure, nightmares, uneasiness, etc. So, change your sleeping position towards the south and everything will be alright.

Bath well after attending a funeral

It is a ritual to take a proper bath after one has attended a funeral. But, it is more than just a ritual and has medical and health reasons associated with it. When a person dies, especially after a prolonged illness, there are bound to be germs and bacteria. Moreover, the body also begins to decompose. Thus, to avoid contacting the germs or illness, it is essential to take a bath after attending a funeral.

Worshipping the Tulsi plant

Tulsi is an auspicious plant and was an integral part of every household in the old days. Even today, some households grow a Tulsi plant. It is not just a ritual that is observed by the Hindu community, but there are several medicinal and environmental benefits associated with Tulsi that make it so sacred. Tulsi is known for its anti-bacterial attributes. The plant plays a huge part in keeping at bay mosquitoes and other insects that are harbingers of disease and death. It also finds mention in Ayurveda and is said to boost immunity. Thus, the next time someone talks about the religious significance of Tulsi, you would know why it is so important.

These are just a few of the notable superstitions prevalent in the Indian society, there are many more. However, as mentioned, each one has a logic behind it, which was known to our forefathers but is unknown to the present generation. So, think about the logic whenever someone talks about a superstition the next time.