India is a land of culture and religion which results in unsolved myths and mysteries, you will find numerous Indian superstitions from a national level like black cat crossing path is ominous to particular household-specific. There is nonchalant and incredible coexistence of science and superstitions in the country. Sometimes we accept the age-old practices unwittingly and sometimes we question it.
Many believe that these Indian superstitions were once believed as well thought scientific procedures. With the passage of time, these rituals passed as superstitions only and the logic left behind.
Lets attempt to decode some of the weirdest superstitions:
Crow shitting on head
It is believed that if crow shit on your head it’s lucky for you, Indian tradition believes in that if anything bad happens to you, you will receive good fortune in return. You can imagine it as reverse Karma, facing inconvenience bring luck and causing inconvenience brings you punishment.
Eating curd before heading out
Going out on any important work in India is usually accompanied by eating curd and sugar to guarantee good luck. This Indian Superstition attached to “dahi-shakkar” is, if anything new begin with sweet it is “shubh” or good and curd is an instant source of glucose, that provide energy. So its consumption slowly linked to superstition.
Sweeping the floor at night brings bad luck
It is believed the sweeping after dark will scare off Hindu goddess of wealth ‘Lakshmi’. It originated because our ancestors used to sweep in daylight so that they would not sweep important things is dark. They preferred completing all the tasks in daylight. Hence it slowly became a famous indian superstition.
Right time to cut the nails
Its is believed that cutting nails after sunset is a bad omen, as it annoys planet Saturn (Shani) bringing misfortune. But the real reason behind this Indian superstition is, nail cutters were sharp tools and may hurt people if proper light is not available. As there was no electricity at an earlier time and cutting nails require precision, this was the reason for not cutting nails after dark.
Using Green Chilly and Lemon
The most visible Indian superstition is hanging chilly and lemon below the bumper of the vehicle or on the thresh-hold of the house or shop to ward off evil and bad luck. It was practised because lemon and chilly both work as a pesticide and antibacterial thus keeping insects away. Which later became a practice to be followed as superstition.
Adding a coin of rupee 1 to the cash money gift
In India, it has become a tradition to give an odd amount of money as a gift that is non-divisible. By adding rupee 1 to the even amount like 500 plus 1, 501. We give money on every occasion from birth to marriage and we have ready-made envelops with one rupee coin glued to it and its visible from the outside.
The logic behind it is that like 501,1001,2001 is indivisible same will happen to the married couple, they will remain together and will not get divided. Giving money ending with zero like 500,1000 or 2000, denotes end, hence it is avoided.
Putting Kala tika to protect from ‘Buri-Nazar’
Some of the Indian superstitions are so uniques and mysterious that no one can find the logic behind it, and I failed to find one for this. How the evil eye or Nazar is stopped by Kala tika or Nazar amulets, is unexplainable and purely based on belief. You put a kajal dot on the forehead or behind the ear even under the foot will ward off the evil eye, how?
You must have seen Nazar amulets being sold on shops and people buy them to protect themselves from the Nazar. Not only this, every household has a unique way to deal with Nazar, but some also burn chillies while some throwing water and God knows what!
This concept is so popular in India that many daily soaps show it , and one is even named “Kala tika”. Moreover, there is a popular Punjabi song named “Kala tika”
( if you have the logical answer behind it, feel free to comment the reason)
Plastering floor with cow dung
Not only cow is considered auspicious in India a famous Indian superstition says that plastering the floor or walls with cow dung is auspicious. It was probably started as a practice to guard against insects and reptiles from its pungent smell. But it continued and followed as a tradition.
Sleeping in the evening
Here in our country, nothing is left untouched from a superstition, so how can we leave alone when to sleep. You must have heard your elders saying that you cant sleep while two times are meeting. It is believed that its the time when goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati visit our homes and bless us. So at that time students are encouraged to study and elders do worship to get blessings.
Not only that it also affects our digestion negatively, so, in order to keep your digestion in a good condition, you should not sleep in the evening.
Do not go near the tree at night
You must have heard elders say that don’t go near the tree at night or don’t touch plants at night. We all have wondered in childhood that why is it so that our elders are so canny about what to do and what not. With time and education, various Indian superstitions get the shape of a logical practice like this one.
We all have studied in science about the process of photosynthesis in the presence of daylight when they release oxygen, and in the night the process is reversed when a plant releases carbon dioxide. Hence our elders avoid sleeping under the tree during the night.
One another reason to avoid trees at night is that you cannot fully see the trees including branches that may fall or trip you up. In addition, being around trees in a storm (at night) is not a good idea because of the lightning danger. In addition, at night you may not be able to see dangerous, spiders, bugs, or snakes that make their home in trees.
As you see almost all Indian superstitions are based on some logic and reason. You may get the reason behind it or you just follow it as a part of faith. We follow anything blindly if it is remotely related to religion, without questioning the logic behind, but our ancestors beg to differ from us, they did what was the need of the time. There were logic and reasons for their actions that’s how we are gifted with loads of superstitions.
With the passage of time the knowledge behind became esoteric and limited to rituals and beliefs only. Some believe them, while some rubbish them as a myth. We still follow them even if we believe that nothing is going to happen, because why take a chance! India is incredible and so its people!