So what do you think is a superstition?
A scientific, logical, ethical, and spiritually guided mind has no faith in superstitions. However, human culture due to the egotistic dysfunction of the mind relates to such pathological concepts. Superstition creates anxiety, fear, and misplaced hope in the place of reasoning, logic, and critical thinking.
So let me present you some interesting, common, rare yet funny superstitions.
The Sun, the Moon and the demon, Rahu
The story of eclipses in Hindu mythology dates back to the Samudra manthan, as described in both Bhagawat and Vishnu Puranas. After the Amrit or elixir of immortality was churned out of the ocean, the Devas used the apsara Mohini to trick the Asuras out of their share. One of the Asuras, Svarbhanu, disguised himself as a Deva and sat between the Sun and the Moon for a drink of the elixir.
When Vishnu came closer, the Sun and the Moon revealed that Svarbhanu was a demon. By this time, however, Svarbhanu had already sipped on the drink. Vishnu immediately cut off his head, but since the demon had already swallowed a bit of the nectar, his head became immortal.
The demon Rahu eats the Sun.
After all the progress the world has gone through, do you actually believe someone eats the sun?
The head, known as a separate entity called Rahu (the detached body came to be known as Ketu), then swore vengeance against the Sun and the Moon for depriving him of the elixir. So, from time to time, Rahu catches up with the Sun and the Moon and swallows them. The incident doesn’t last long because Rahu has no hands to grab onto these two celestial gods.
Dos and don’ts during an eclipse
- Worshipping or touching gods is strictly prohibited during this period. After the eclipse ends, the idols are supposed to be washed with Ganga water to purify them.
- The rules dictate that no food should be cooked during the eclipse. Leftovers are finished off before the period of the eclipse. Some people in India leave tulsi (Indian basil) leaves on cooked food items, and cover them to keep them safe.
- Sleeping, urination, defecation, sexual intercourse and makeup are also prohibited during the eclipse.
Taking a bath in Ganga after the eclipse is supposed to counter the evil effects of the eclipse.
Beliefs from around the world!
During the middle ages in Europe, one’s life was tied to one’s breath and expelling it as a sneeze led people the to believe it was fatal, and so the response was, “God bless you”. Germans say “Gesundheit” after a sneeze which means ‘good health’, recognizing it as a mere sign of coming down with illness.
In France, when one sneezes, they say ‘May your dreams come true’ – so sneezing is a lucky charm for the French. Three sneezes in succession in Holland mean it’s going to be a sunny day tomorrow!
Superstitions associated with sneezing:
In northern parts of India, sneezing before stepping out of the house or at the onset of a new task or journey is considered ill luck. Whereas, in the western parts of India, sneezing means that someone is thinking about you. For the married women, it is believed that it is their mother-in-law who’s thinking about them.
In the Badaga community of the Tamils in India, it is considered a good omen if the father sneezes before the umbilical cord has been cut when the baby is born. In some parts of India, it is also believed that while talking about something if someone nearby sneezes, then there is a strong possibility of your talks or thoughts coming true. In West Bengal, it is called ‘Shotti Hachi’ meaning if someone sneezes while a person is talking about something it will come true, whether good or bad.
Few more superstitions
- If you call out someone’s name when they’re leaving the house, they’ll have bad luck in their endeavors. According to this myth, you should not shout the names of people leaving the house as it may bring bad luck on them.
- Nazar-Battu, it has the face of a demon(Raakshas) and lemon-chilies. It is supposed to save you from Buri Nazar(evil eyes) of people.
- It’s bad luck when a black cat crosses your path.
You shouldn’t wash your hair on Tuesdays and Saturdays as it can cause harm to your brother.
- You shouldn’t look into broken mirrors as it brings bad luck.To keep or look into a broken mirror will bring you bad luck. If you look into a broken mirror, you break your inner world and you become defenseless against the dark forces.
- A twitchy left eye is a good omen for men. A twitchy right eye is lucky for women. It is considered auspicious if there is a trembling in the left eye of men and right eye of women and reverses as inauspicious. It can be seen as the current situation will improve or worsen. Like you will be benefitted in a business deal.
- Crushing lemons under the wheels of your new car prevent any future accidents.
In a few regions of India, an adult female is believed to be unclean during the days of the menstruation. They are averted from entering any ceremonial occasion and even not permitted to go into the kitchen as the food she will touch will become impure. They are not allowed to enter the temples.
So these are some of the most interesting superstitions I have heard about. There are many more in the world out there, each community, each religion, and each country. Explore!