From breaking mirrors to hanging lemon and chilies, India is a country of diverse culture and tradition, as well as of a lot of superstitions. We see them all around every day. The Oxford dictionary defines superstition as a widely held but irrational belief in supernatural influences, especially as leading to good or bad luck, or a practice based on such a belief. Some of us are superstitious while others find the related practices ridiculous. But believe it or not, superstitions have some logical explanation behind their origin. Unlike other religion Hindusim is more of way of living and every custom in Hinduism and belief in Hinduism has a scientific significance associated to it. Here are few such common belief and scientific reasons associated with it.
- Cat Crossing The 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.
- Don’t step out during an eclipse – Preventing loss of eyesight
Observing the Sun during a solar eclipse can cause retinal burns or ” eclipse blindness “. Based on a series of observations, our ancestors probably reached the conclusion that it was not advisable to set out during an eclipse. The superstition about Rahu’s head blocking the Sun is a story woven around this practice.
- Do not sleep with your head facing the North – Preventing cardiovascular diseases
Our ancestors probably knew about the relation between Earth’s magnetic field and the human body’s field (biomagnetism). They probably made this rule of sleeping with your head in the South because of the harmful effects related to blood pressure and other diseases that asymmetry with the Earth’s magnetic field would create. However, today we only get to hear that ‘sleeping with one’s head in the north is inviting death’ not why.
- Do Not Cut Hair 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 wouldn’t 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.
- Hanging Lemon and 7 Green Chillies In shops and Business Places.
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 misled now superstitiously as explained above.