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Scientific Reasoning Behind The Hindu Superstitions

Beliefs
akshayedges.blogspot.in /2016/01/scientific-reasoning-behind-hindu.html
1. Cats Crossing Your Path

In ancient times, during night people used to travel through forests in bullock carts with a light of
kerosene lantern. The carriage animals get past big cats like leopards, hyenas and jackals foxes. These
animals have glowing eyes and scare the cows, horses or the bulls that pull the carts. That is why the
travelling party halts nearby and help the animals refresh themselves before they pull the carts for the
long journey ahead without any stress. Travelers shared their hard experiences and told other travelers
not to proceed travel while the cats crossing the roads and in the course of time changing, the cat
crossings got live and the people forget forest cats and took the domestic cats instead.
2. Hair Cut On Tuesday

In past days a large portion of the Indians were farmers. After a week of hard work, Monday was their
resting day. Characteristically majority of them cleaned their homes and cut their hair on that day. So the
Barber wouldnt have much deal with Tuesdays and would close his shop. This practice is continued till
date but the reason behind it is completely forgotten and lot misconceptions revolve around this.
3. Opening An Umbrella Inside The House

Restriction of opening umbrella inside house had a


sensible reason back in the days. The umbrellas were
built with hard metal spokes and spring triggers,
which could be dangerous to open. In fact, opening
one indoors could pose a danger to people and fragile
objects nearby.
Warning people not to open an umbrella indoors
served to protect the health and safety of people and
property indoors. Later this was considered as bad
luck considering the injuries and broken objects,
which often coincided with the umbrellas opening.
4. Hanging Lemon And 7 Green Chillies In Shops And
Business Places.

Superstitious belief goes like this: Alakshmi, god of misfortune brings bad luck to the shop owners or
business. In order not to allow her entering the shops they hang these 7 chilies and lemon. Alakshmi
likes sour, pungent and hot things. Therefore at the door, Alakshmi will only come up to the door and eat
her favorite food and satisfy her hunger and leave without entering the shop. It is believed that after
consuming lemon and green chillies, Alakshmi loses her urge to enter the house or shop. She will turn
around without casting her vicious eye.
Scientific Reason: The cotton thread which is used to pierce the chillies and lemon absorbs the acid
from the fruit whilst it is fresh. This smell keeps the pests and insects away from the shops. This is a
simple pesticide which came into practice from ancient times, which is mislead now superstitiously as
explained above.

5. Breaking Mirror Brings 7 Years Bad Luck

During old times, mirrors were not cheap and they


were low quality and easily defected. In order to
avoid negligence it was told that breaking a mirror
brings seven years of bad luck. That was simple
scare tactic. Romans were the one who tagged to
the broken mirror a sign of seven years bad luck.
The length of the prescribed misfortune came from
the ancient Roman belief that it took seven years for
life to renew itself. If the person looking into the
mirror were not of good health, their image would
break the mirror and the run of bad luck would
continue for the period of seven years, at the end of
which their life would be renewed, their body would
be physically rejuvenated, and the curse would be
ended.
6. Cutting Nails And Shaving After Sunset

In the olden days there was no electricity and shaving or cutting nails would result in cuts after sunset
because of darkness. Hence our ancestors advised not to cut nails or shave after sunset. In Later days it
was believed that the night spirits will be awaken and come in the search of flesh. People have been
warned to get attacked by these evil spirits in the darkness of night if people cut nails or shave hair after
sunset which continues as a superstition.
7. Lighting 3 Cigarettes With One Matchstick

Three on a match rule apparently was a tale told to the young ones after the World War 1. When it was
night and you lit a pipe or cigarette if you lit three people off the same match a sniper would have time
to zero in and he would kill the third man. Would you want the enemy knowing exactly where to lob a
grenade because you lit the pathway for him? This story was twisted around as the time passed by and
considered to be bad luck.
So folks, as long as you are not in war zone you are safe to light three cigarettes. Oh, hang on you are
not safe until you quit smoking technically.
8. Pregnant Women Not Allowed To Go Out During Eclipse

In India it is believed that during an eclipse one must not wander out, since it is believed that the Sun is
swallowed up by the demon. Pregnant women, especially, must stay indoors in order to ensure that their
babies are not born with any deformities. In fact, pregnant women are often not allowed to sew or cut
vegetables during an eclipse. Some families avoid cooking and eating altogether during an eclipse.
However, the reason behind some of these superstitions can be scientific. For example, one should
actually avoid going out during an eclipse in order to keep away from the harmful UV rays.
9. Menstruating Women Are Considered Impure And Unclean

In India, menstruating women are considered impure and unclean. This, of course, gives rise to many
superstitious beliefs. Women who are menstruating are not allowed to enter the kitchen. They are also
supposed to stay away from temples, mosques and all religious spots in the house itself. A woman on
her period is not allowed to perform regular household duties like cooking food. Some might argue that
the reason behind this superstition is scientific, and that a woman menstruating loses a lot of blood and
thus becomes weak and must refrain from strenuous activities. Others claim that there is nothing
scientific in this belief and it is just another superstition created to subordinate the position of women in
society.
10.

Do Not Leave A Dead Persons Eye Open

This is a very common superstitious belief in India, if a dead persons eyes is left open it
is believed that the other soul around the dead body will be taken away with him through
his eyes. But the real reason behind this is to make the dead person look as if he is
sleeping peacefully and nothing more or less.
11.
Bats Entering The House Brings Death

The fact that few species of bat drinks blood does not help to the superstitious beliefs
revolving around them. There is an old myth that if a bat enters the house or flies around
the hose for three times or more then death is waiting for someone in the family. There are
many different myths associated with the bats in different countries and culture which
adds up to bats being an bad omen.
The real reason behind the bats entering the hose brings death is because of the disease transmitted by
bats were deadly back in the days when there was no medicines for these disease. Rabies, Nipah,
Hendra, Ebola and Marburg are all viruses carried by bats that can cause serious disease in humans.
Marburg virus and some strains of Ebola virus can kill up to 80-90% of humans infected.
12. Lizard Falling On Human Is Bad Luck

Every movement of the wall lizard holds some significance according to Gowli Shastra in India. The
colour, spots, stripes, chirping or twittering of the lizard and where it falls on a persons body are said to
indicate future happenings. However the fact is that, lizards that are poisonous in nature release
poisonous chemicals from their body in order to protect them from their enemies. If such lizard comes in
contact of a persons body or falls in a food item like milk etc. then is bound to make it contaminated.
One should wash that particular spot and area to avoid infectious disease.
13.

Friday The 13th And The Number 13 Is Unlucky

The number 13 is considered an unlucky number in some countries. The superstitious


sufferers try to avoid bad luck by keeping away from anything numbered or labelled
thirteen. As a result, companies and manufacturers use another way of numbering or
labelling to avoid the number, with hotels and tall buildings being conspicuous examples
(thirteenth floor). It is also considered unlucky to have thirteen guests at a table. Friday
the 13th has been considered the unluckiest day of the month.
One major reason is that, at Jesus Christs last supper, there were thirteen people around the table,
counting Christ and the twelve apostles. Some believe this unlucky because one of those thirteen,
Judas Iscariot, was the betrayer of Jesus Christ. Another major reason for Friday the 13, On Friday 13
October 1307, King Philip IV of France ordered the arrest of the Knights Templar, and most of the
knights were tortured and killed.
14. Fallen Hair Around The House Will Bring Fight In Your Family

The myth is that if you throw fallen hair inside the house instead of binning it, soon you will see a fight
within your family. Well, who would like to pick up a quarrel at home?
But the real reason behind this superstition is if you leave the fallen hair inside the house it may end up
falling inside the food when the wind blows.

15. Twitching Of The Eye Is Inauspicious

Twitching of the left eye is considered to be either a bad or a good omen, depending upon which culture
we are referring to. These superstitions take into account the gender and the part of the eye in which the
twitching is observed as well. Eye twitching or the sudden involuntary movement or spasms in the
eyelids is a common condition. Although there is an established explanation for these constant or
intermittent involuntary muscle twitches, including various medical reasons behind them. Apparently,
these twitches are natures way of warning a person about some impending problem or indicative of
some good news on the way.
16.

Adding One Rupee To A Gift Sum Is Auspicious

It is common in India to give money for weddings and auspicious occasions. It is


considered auspicious to add a rupee to the sum total.
There are various reasons, for some, it is a blessing, a token of love and luck. For some it is the
beginning of a new cycle. For some it makes the sum an odd number and indivisible which is a good
omen for the married couple. If the rupee is not added the sum total will be separable or it will end in
zero which indicates the end, so adding the rupee will make the number odd hence assuring continuity.
17. Walking Under A Ladder Is Bad Luck

There are a couple of theories about this superstitious belief. Many Christians are believers in the Trinity
that God is made up of three parts, the Holy Father, the Holy Son, and the Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit). A
ladder leaning up against a building was seen as a triangle of these three. To walk through this triangle
was seen as breaking the Trinity and hence considered as bad luck. Another origin of the superstition
was a bit less specific, and had to do with the similarities between a ladder leaning against a wall and a
gallows. However the fact is that, it is simply unsafe to walk under the ladder and you may get hurt or
might hurt someone around by knocking the ladder down.
18.

Crows Are Referred As Our Ancestors

Crow is the vahana of shani who represents the karmas of past. We are indebted to our
ancestors who have given us birth. So offering food to crow is regards as pacifying the
hunger of ancestors where ever and whichever form they are reborn. It is believed that
crows are being related to our ancestors since the treta yuga.
As per this popular legend, once Jayant the Son of God Indra, disguised in the form of crow and hurt
Sita. In turn God Rama took hay and used it as an arrow and parted one of the eyes of Jayant. After
realizing his mistake, Jayant asked for God Ramas forgiveness. Then Rama forgave him and blessed
him with a boon that when food is offered to the crows that will reach the ancestors.

19. Do Not Sweep The House After Sunset

This is another common myth in India. If you sweep your house after sunset Lakshmi will walk out of the
house and hence inviting poverty.
But the real reason behind this is back in the days when there was no electricity, light of lamp was not
enough to spot any small gold ornaments while sweeping and hence chances of sweeping them away
with the dust is high. Hence it was not advised to sweep after dark.
20. Sacrifice Of Goats To God

In all the ancient religions of the world, the ritual of animal sacrifice has remained a great means of
attaining the nearness of the Almighty. In India, Goddess Kali is known to favor animal sacrificesgoats
in particular. Killing a goat in her name is believed to relieve one of negative emotions such as fear,
anger, and jealousy.
There is no scientific explanations behind this tradition apart from having a feast. Sadly this is still in
practice in most of the parts in India. Can we justify the act of killing animals for whatever superstitious
belief is been passed on ?