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Superstitions among Us

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prasad1

Well-known member
Superstitions are deep-rooted, unreasonable and irrational beliefs, which have no profundity. Still, superstitions are the legacy of every civilization and are inherited by the succeeding generations. It was once believed that superstitions could be rooted out with the spread of education. But these have continued to linger with us through the generations.
Superstitions originated, perhaps, when man was at the mercy of the natural elements. He held them in awe. He respected and worshipped the forces of nature like the sun, the moon, wind and water. He worshipped fire because of its destructive ability. When man started falling prey to diseases he started appeasing the gods with offerings, prayers, penances and sacrifices to ward off evil spirits.
In today's scientific world, it is necessary that we do not blindly follow all the superstitions that were passed on to us by our ancestors. We are modem, both in our outlook and the age we are in. Therefore, we should have a judicious approach and look for some logical reason behind every superstition. We would, then, be able to give up those superstitions which have no rationality and application in today's life. It is only in this way that we can lead normal lives, befitting the citizens of the scientific era.

Source: An article published in "Wisdom" magazine in July, 2008 by Rahul Raj


Superstitions erect an absolute monarchy in the minds of Indians. As a result, most of the Indians follow the dictates of superstitions with the hope that there might be ‘something’ in them. They don’t question the beliefs and customs handed out to them.
Stressing the importance of ‘spirit of enquiry’ Mr. R.G.Ingersoll (1833-1899) says, “Man should think; he should use all his senses; he should examine; he should reason. The man who cannot think is less than man; the man who will not think is a traitor to himself. The man who fears to think is superstitions’ slave.
As per this yardstick, large number of Indians are the slaves of superstitions since they fear to doubt their beliefs and put them to logical and rational analysis. By performing meaningless rituals and ceremonies, they imagine themselves as religious and pious. They are unaware that they are ignorant. To change the condition, spirit of enquiry needs to be encouraged at all levels. People should be motivated to think rationally and review all our values. They should be encouraged to discard the useless and senseless values and at the same time abide by the meaningful values.
 
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Visalakshi Ramani

Well-known member
Man is still at the mercy of natural elements... the pancha boothaas.

Fire and water, flood and famine, earth quakes and tsunamis,

hurricanes and typhoons still claim many lives and destroy properties.

We might have landed in the moon but we cant still prevent mining

accidents.

May be it will be wiser to fear and respect Nature the way we used to

do before.



Superstitions are deep-rooted, unreasonable and irrational beliefs, which have no profundity. Still, superstitions are the legacy of every civilization and are inherited by the succeeding generations. It was once believed that superstitions could be rooted out with the spread of education. But these have continued to linger with us through the generations.
Superstitions originated, perhaps, when man was at the mercy of the natural elements. He held them in awe. He respected and worshipped the forces of nature like the sun, the moon, wind and water. He worshipped fire because of its destructive ability. When man started falling prey to diseases he started appeasing the gods with offerings, prayers, penances and sacrifices to ward off evil spirits.
In today's scientific world, it is necessary that we do not blindly follow all the superstitions that were passed on to us by our ancestors. We are modem, both in our outlook and the age we are in. Therefore, we should have a judicious approach and look for some logical reason behind every superstition. We would, then, be able to give up those superstitions which have no rationality and application in today's life. It is only in this way that we can lead normal lives, befitting the citizens of the scientific era.

Source: An article published in "Wisdom" magazine in July, 2008 by Rahul Raj
 

C RAVI

Well-known member
Yes!!!! There are 1000s of superstitious practices through out India, among Hindus. This is what to be eradicated, educating the public who succumb to such practices and get addicted.

Such prevailing superstitions and the resultant crime/cheating etc.etc. feeds Atheists sufficiently to frown upon Religion and Spirituality.
 

sarma-61

New member
Almost all of what the so-called, self-styled educated & liberated people call as "superstitions" are based on our ancient religious notions and practices. It will be very difficult to prove or disprove any one item as doubtlessly superstitious.

It is like the olden days of Plague when (I am told) that a dead rat somewhere in the village would be sufficient to create absolute panic. People did not know any cure for Plague. So, the next best thing they could do was to pray to God. Same holds good for many other diseases like small-pox.

I know a case where a lady delivered a male baby through Caesarian. She developed high fever which would not subside. 60 days went by and this single case was still in hospital. The gynaecologist, a god-fearing Nair lady then advised the people concerned to consult a good astrologer and do parihaaram if advised.

The parents of the lady who had delivered, approached an astrologer of repute. He said this male baby was the first male in that generation, of the larger patriarchal family (according to our Tamil Brahmin beliefs) and so the pitrus were overjoyed that the lineage would continue. He advised inviting two Brahmanas to the house and feed them with the regular Shraaddham meals in the family with new clothes and dakshina, and also wrote down the samkalpa to be recited. The brahmins were fed accordingly and set of new clothes given along with Dakshina. In the same evening the lady's fever started subsiding and by the third day she was discharged. The child is now nearly 50 years old and doing well.

AFAI knew, the lady who delivered was not very much of a believer in all such things but became one after this event.

How can we therefore reject our traditional beliefs as superstitions?
 

saidevo

Well-known member
namaste.

As shrI Sarma has pointed out Hindu superstitions based on tradition should be understood in spirit--not letter. Of course, people do take advantage of those who are gullible about superstitions, but I am yet to see someone who speaks against superstitions list out them as logical and illogical.
 
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v arun kumar

New member
how to differntiate with religious practices and superstitions

are all of religious practices not superstitions

are we not following tribal practices, blindly ?

andwhy just hinduism, what about the crap dished out by other religions.
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
Mr. Kumar,

This is Tamil Brahmins site, hopefully they are Hindus. So If my article is based on our superstitions, I am sorry. I know you are defensive, but I am a Hindu, and Tamilian. I know others have their own >>>> but I do not know them. So please do not be defensive see it purely as objective.

What happens between a man and women inside in bedroom is their business, but if done in public others will comment. Similarly if you have a quirk in private, I do not have problem, but when it impacts others then there is a problem.

Mr. Sharma,
I do not disagree that sometimes miracles happen. To me a miracle is unexplained event.
For example there was a perfect correlation (probability of 1) between sun spots and chicken laying egg in an Australian farm during a study. But there was no relation found after the study was completed, they could not duplicate the study.

It is like the olden days of Plague when (I am told) that a dead rat somewhere in the village would be sufficient to create absolute panic. People did not know any cure for Plague. So, the next best thing they could do was to pray to God. Same holds good for many other diseases like small-pox.

Are you saying that we should stop vaccination and follow our age old "tradition". I hope not.
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
namaste.

As shrI Sarma has pointed out Hindu superstitions based on tradition should be understood in spirit--not letter. Of course, people do take advantage of those who are gullible about superstitions, but I am yet to see someone who speaks against superstitions list out them as logical and illogical.

Mr. Saidevo,
Like I said
Large number of Indians are the slaves of superstitions since they fear to doubt their beliefs and put them to logical and rational analysis. By performing meaningless rituals and ceremonies, they imagine themselves as religious and pious. They are unaware that they are ignorant. To change the condition, spirit of enquiry needs to be encouraged at all levels. People should be motivated to think rationally and review all our values. They should be encouraged to discard the useless and senseless values and at the same time abide by the meaningful values.
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
People believing in superstation expect wonders to happen in their lives. Under this false hope, they don’t involve themselves in any productive and creative activities sincerely. This wrong mental attitude towards life and work acts, as a major hurdle to our progress.
Auspicious days for solemnizing marriages are only 55 to 60 days in a year. The rest of the days i.e. 310 days in a year are marked as inauspicious days, not suitable for solemnizing marriages. Believing this superstition, most of the people in the South conduct marriages only on those days. Not only Hindus but also Muslims and Christians conduct marriages only on those days. To that extent, this superstition governs the minds of Indians, irrespective of one’s religious conviction.

http://www.tamilbrahmins.com/general-discussions/7875-superstitions-harmful.html


Do we assume that Tamilian's are the most happiest and prosperous people in the world? No not by a long shot.

India does not figure
Norway, Denmark, Finland are the top three countries.
In Pictures: The World's 10 Happiest Countries - No. 1: Norway - Forbes.com

So in spite of marrying on auspicious days we did not do too well.

Why is the divorce rate increasing?
Why is the divorce rate increasing? « A wide angle view of India
 

C RAVI

Well-known member
As Shri Prasad has rightly observed, there are many superstitious practices that we Theists with all reverence and belief in our Veda, Shastras, God, Spirituality etc..etc. can feel sorry for them.

I could list out some of such practices, to the best I could recollect now.

1) Smashing Pumpkins with lots of kumkum on the roads and causing havoc.

2) A widow should not witness /attend certain auspecious functions/celebrations, though she is not participating

3) Coming across a widow would bring bad luck

4) Stonning and chasing away the dog when it cries (out of its own ailments, as a matter of fact), believing, this would bring death to some one in the locality.

5) Making marks on the walls of the temple with one's name, the standard one is studying in etc.etc., as that would make the student successful in his/her exams.

6) God/Goddess has manifested in a lady suddenly during prayers and what she tells in that situation is the God's saying and what ever said should be honored sponteneously.

7) Any man with long hairs and beared and in saffron cloth who brings kumkum/flowers/pendent/small statue of a diety etc.etc. from his hairs/mouth, by just swinging hands in the air etc..etc. is a God Man and equal to God. Whatever he says is the truth and he should be honored and pleased.

8) Not to give alms to a begger/needy on Fridays as what would make the person run out of money.

9) A young virgin girl walking nude on the roads holding a fire torch would cause rain

10) Conducting marriage between two donkeys would cause rain.


etc..etc...etc...etc..there are many many peculiar practices through out India which I often see in TV programs.

Many poor people say - We don't have any one looking after us and solve our issues. Bade Saahed are all least bothered about us. We are deprived and left without any solutions. What can we do? We know there is a great modern world out there with all luxury and comforts. But, we are still left behind. Politicians and Government Authorities do not consider us as humans even. We could do nothing to solve our issues due our poverty and lack of support/empathy/justice. We have to trust in our God/Goddess only and please him/her to help us lead our life.

 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
1. A sack full of rice will be spoilt when touched by women in periods! it will also get spoilt if touched by women after having sex

2. Coconut tree, Ashoka Tree, Banyan Tree etc are considered sacred

3. The tail end of cows is considered as most sacred part as fortune Lakshmi lives there!!,

4. The "VAASTU" as a guide for floor plans of a house is a superstitious system,

5. East is the most preferred direction for all activities (I've seen some of them preferring to sit facing east even in the office),

6. Do not proceed , if a cat crosses your way, it brings omen

7. Looking at cat in the morning is jinx,

8. Looking at mother's face or picture of God as soon as you open your eyes in the morning will bring good luck for that day,

9. Giving or taking anything in the left hand is bad (you know what left hand is used for in India
biggrin.gif
)

10. Never ask the question "where are you going? " while they are leaving house, its purpose will not be fulfilled.

11. Repeatedly yawning
sleep1.gif
indicates that someone is remembering you,

12. Sneezing odd no. of times indicates that something bad could happen,

13. Sneezing once when you make a statement indicates that what you said is true,

14. If a lizard makes a sound when you make a statement, it indicates that what you said is true ,

15. Tuesdays & Saturdays are inauspicious for doing anything new or good deeds,

16. Monday is inauspicious day for shaving and thursday is inauspicious day for washing one's hair.

17. You can't have non-veg on certain days,

18. There is particular timing during daytime called "Rahukaal", where it is considered as inauspicious for doing anything new or good deeds,

19. There are two months in a year which are inauspicious,

20. No moon day is inauspicious,

21. Right eye twitching is good for men, left eye twitching is good for women.

22. Never sleep with your head facing north or west,

23. cawing of crow or itching of right palm indicates arrival of guests,

24. Never wash the front courtyard immediately after someone leaves the house,

25. If there is itching on the right palm (left for female) you can get some money or favors,

26. Unusual winking of eyes is a symptom of ill, luck or decease,

27. Going below the ladder is jinx,

28. Never cross or jump across the worshiped pumpkins or coconuts on the road.

29. During house warming ceremony, the milk is heated in a vessel in such a way that it will overflow towards east direction,

30. If you see cat giving birth, then it brings the good luck

31. Open the front door during dusk, so that Lakshmi (fortune) enters the house

32. Never sweep the house during night time or Lakshmi (fortune) will not enter your house.

33. Cutting nails, hair-cutting, shaving or stitching cloth after sun set is a bad practice, (obviously coz of no electricity during old times, doing these in the dark could be dangerous, but its still believed to be a bad practice),

34. Taking a teaspoon of curd with litle sugar before exam will bring good luck

Superstitions in India
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
Superstitions have a demoralizing effect on our life. It ends our self confidence. We can not think in a reasonable way. All our thinking and working power gets paralyzed under the influence of unknown fears. We consult priests, pandits, astrologers and others for making our life 'lucky'. We often use other 'mantras' and spells to ward off evil forces. We are disturbed because of the unknown. We may not do all this unknowingly. The unknown fear hangs over us and we can not get rid of it easily.
No doubt, superstitions are an undesirable part of our life. Ignorant people have faith in something unseen. Even educated people are doing the same thing. We have got all this from our evolution from dark ages. The only cure for unnecessary superstitions is education and awareness. We should develop our reasoning power. We must have a scientific mind, we should try to analyze the things in logical way. Only then we may be free from unnecessary superstitions of mind.
Common Superstitions and Indian Superstitious beliefs






 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
how to differntiate with religious practices and superstitions

are all of religious practices not superstitions

are we not following tribal practices, blindly ?

andwhy just hinduism, what about the crap dished out by other religions.


Mr. Kumar please visit this site:
Is Criticism Of Religion And Superstition Against Indian Culture? | Nirmukta


In a democracy it should be considered a moral responsibility of all citizens to reform aspects of culture that are malignant and harmful to the people and culture of the land. We should work to create moral cultural alternatives to these harmful beliefs and traditions. Without a concerted effort that targets organized superstition, we will never build meaningful alternatives that bring out the best in all Indians.
 

renuka

Well-known member
Once I remembered having attended a funeral at the cremation grounds..we were told not to bring back anything from the cremation grounds.

The funeral service provider had handed out wet tissue and drinking water bottles and we were strictly told by the priest not to bring back even that.

I somehow had put the tissue in my handbag and took it home and upon reaching home someone remarked "hey you brought back this..OMG what will happen now"

Then I replied "Why the panic? After all we brought ourselves back home!!!

I personally feel its just a matter of hygiene as in not to bring back anything from a crematorium.
 

ozone

Active member
thats a pretty good list. Should be useful to some I hope :)
With all these superstitions on one side, I got this link in my mail box today. What say?
 

Raji Ram

Well-known member
thats a pretty good list. Should be useful to some I hope :)
With all these superstitions on one side, I got this link in my mail box today. What say?
Too late! I got in an e-mail circulation, last year!

Remember to have posted it in one of the threads too, for Sri. K!! :typing:
 

C RAVI

Well-known member
thats a pretty good list. Should be useful to some I hope :)
With all these superstitions on one side, I got this link in my mail box today. What say?

Very interesting.

The point is - "Where there is a Will there is a Way"

Basically Human brains has the potential to be omniscient. Can think and explore anything in any ways. It differs or lacks with the strength only on the basis of one's ego, interest and perception.


 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
The fallacy is that everybody has their own list, and they fight over that too.
My friend had gone to visit his nephew's wedding in India. His wife's cousin had passed away that year, so they went to visit wife's aunt during the trip. It seems my friend's cousin had trouble as his astrologer told him that would be bad omen. So he did not attend the wedding.

Later the astrologer prescribed a pariharm, but it was too late.
If you have a belief that will hurt others, be careful.
If you want to rub your palm and see it first thing in the morning be my guest, dont expect me to do it.
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
The list continues and keeps growing.
35. Turning on the lights in all rooms of the house so that Lakshmi doesn't miss your house.
36. Coming across a widow is bad luck.
37. Sneezing while starting to some place will make you reach that place late unless you sit down and have some water.
38. There are whole bunch of superstitions associated with lizards. Depending on what part of your body they come into contact different things will happen.
39. If a dog starts wailing then something bad will happen.
 

Raji Ram

Well-known member
What I have observed so far is that the belief each individual has about superstitions varies. If a person believes that he has come

across a bad omen, it keeps haunting him and will affect his work. A few weeks back, I was told that my birth star has 'kantaka shani'

and I have to be very careful while crossing roads! It took me about two weeks to get back to normal, as this thought, though I did not believe, was haunting me! :decision:
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
What I have observed so far is that the belief each individual has about superstitions varies. If a person believes that he has come

across a bad omen, it keeps haunting him and will affect his work. A few weeks back, I was told that my birth star has 'kantaka shani'

and I have to be very careful while crossing roads! It took me about two weeks to get back to normal, as this thought, though I did not believe, was haunting me! :decision:

Yes it does impact us even if we do not believe it.

satyaM brUyAt priyaM brUyAt na brUyAt satyam-apriyaM /
priyaM ca nAnRtaM brUyAt esha dharmas-sanAtanaH //
Speak what is true, speak what is pleasant;
Speak not what is true but unpleasant;
Nor what is pleasant but not true;
This is the tradition of dharma

We specifically tamilian have strong convictions and spell it out. Somehow we do not feel that what we say is "unpleasant".
 

ozone

Active member
Got this in my mail box today.
For being superstitious, one need not depend on religion or tradition alone.
Even science can help !!



BRAIN DAMAGING HABITS



1
. No Breakfast
People who do not take breakfast are going to have a lower blood sugar level. This leads to an insufficient supply of nutrients to the brain causing brain degeneration.


2
. Overeating
It causes hardening of the brain arteries, leading to a decrease in mental power.


3
. High Sugar consumption
Too much sugar will interrupt the absorption of proteins and nutrients causing malnutrition and may interfere with brain development.


4
. Air Pollution
The brain is the largest oxygen consumer in our body. Inhaling polluted air decreases the supply of oxygen to the brain, bringing about a decrease in brain efficiency.


5
. Sleep Deprivation
Sleep allows our brain to rest.. Long term deprivation from sleep will accelerate the death of brain cells..


6. Head covered while sleeping

Sleeping with the head covered increases the concentration of carbon dioxide and decrease concentration of oxygen that may lead to brain damaging effects.


7
. Working your brain during illness
Working hard or studying with sickness may lead to a decrease in effectiveness of the brain as well as damage the brain.


8
. Lacking in stimulating thoughts
Thinking is the best way to train our brain, lacking in brain stimulation thoughts may cause brain shrinkage.


9
. Talking Rarely - I definitely don’t have this problem J
Intellectual conversations will promote the efficiency of the brain


The main causes of liver damage are:




1.
Sleeping too late and waking up too late are main cause.

2.
Not urinating in the morning.

3
. Too much eating.

4.
Skipping breakfast.

5.
Consuming too much medication.

6.
Consuming too much preservatives, additives, food coloring, and artificial sweetener.

7.
Consuming unhealthy cooking oil.
As much as possible reduce cooking oil use when frying, which includes even the best cooking oils like olive oil. Do not consume fried foods when you are tired, except if the body is very fit.


8.
Consuming raw (overly done) foods also add to the burden of liver.
Veggies should be eaten raw or cooked 3-5 parts. Fried veggies should be finished in one sitting, do not store.

We should prevent this without necessarily spending more. We just have to adopt a good daily lifestyle and eating habits. Maintaining good eating habits and time condition are very important for our bodies to absorb and get rid of unnecessary chemicals according to 'schedule.'


The top five cancer-causing foods are:



1..
Hot Dogs



Because they are high in nitrates, the Cancer Prevention Coalition advises that children eat no more than 12 hot dogs a month. If you can't live without hot dogs, buy those made without sodium nitrate.


2.
Processed meats and Bacon



Also high in the same sodium nitrates found in hot dogs, bacon, and other processed meats raise the risk of heart disease. The saturated fat in bacon also contributes to cancer.


3.
Doughnuts



Doughnuts are cancer-causing double trouble. First, they are made with white flour, sugar, and hydrogenated oils, then fried at high temperatures. Doughnuts, says Adams , may be the worst food you can possibly eat to raise your risk of cancer.


4.
French fries



Like doughnuts, French fries are made with hydrogenated oils and then fried at high temperatures. They also contain cancer- causing acryl amides which occur during the frying process. They should be called cancer fries, not French fries, said Adams .


5.
Chips, crackers, and cookies



All are usually made with white flour and sugar. Even the ones whose labels claim to be free of trans-fats generally contain small amounts of trans-fats.


 

sarang

Well-known member
So it boils down to: all (including superstitions) are good in small quantities; over doing (eating, indulging) beyond a critical limit (varies with persons) is injurious to health.
 

sarang

Well-known member
This year, in maharashtra, board exams are in progress. District education board has prohibited students from sticking a picture of their personal god in the clip pad they carry for the exam. Only the logic for this ban is perverse. This will hurt the sentiments of minority community.
 
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