Superstitions in India
#13
(29-Jun-2011, 06:40 PM)nick87 Wrote: I got a couple:
58. Spilling oil from the container onto the floor is a sign of bad luck and ill omen.
59. If a framed picture of someone falls off the nail on the wall and the glass breaks, the person in the photo will be met by Death, or the family in that photo will suffer greatly.
60. Whilst praying for someone if the diya or oil lamp flame goes out, the guy you're praying for is going to die.
61. In the Tamil Almanac (the "Snake book" as I called it in my younger days), there is a section called Lizard fortunes. If a lizard falls on (body part), this (event) will occur. Best example is head, death respectively.
62. Cutting hair on Tuesday is a no-no. barber shops are closed too!
63. Nail cutting after sun-set.
64. Never venture out on a day of a solar eclipse and take an oil bath afterward.
65. Seeing a religious (Hindu) procession on the road purely by chance on your daily travels brings good luck.
66. If you trip before leaving the house in the morning, sit down, drink a glass of water and then only leave.
67. Cats crying in pain or otherwise is bad omen.
68. Milk boiling over the stove is a bad sign.
69. Seeing a peacock is good, hearing it's god-awful cry is bad. (On a personal note, I heard these peacocks go off like a damn siren on my trip to Warwick Castle. It rained the whole day Sad )
70.Seeing an elephant on your travels is good luck.
71. It's bad of you to exchange items over the threshold separating two rooms.
72. Never sleep with your head facing north!
73. Bury your milk teeth in the soil (don't recall why)
74. You don't go to bed wearing new clothes. Something to do with the fact that dead people are buried/cremated in new clothes (?)
The first three superstitions are predominantly shown on Tamil soap operas as an evil premonition.



One should not sleep with the feet towards the South, as it is considered a sign of disrespect to the elders. The Logic- The North-South magnetic axis affects our bodies at a micro level without us realisng it. Since our body is like a magnet, with the North Pole at the Head, one should avoid sleeping with the feet facing South as the head in the North will repel the magnetic North of the Earth, causing some irritations in the mind.

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#14
(26-Aug-2012, 12:27 AM)suhas bhat Wrote: One should not sleep with the feet towards the South, as it is considered a sign of disrespect to the elders. The Logic- The North-South magnetic axis affects our bodies at a micro level without us realisng it. Since our body is like a magnet, with the North Pole at the Head, one should avoid sleeping with the feet facing South as the head in the North will repel the magnetic North of the Earth, causing some irritations in the mind.

Kindly provide supporting scientific literature for your claims. As far as I am aware, even though our body does produce electric fields, the fields are random and definitely the body as a whole doesn't have any magnetic polarity.

And I wonder how people should sleep on the north pole given all directions are north there ;)
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#15
(30-Apr-2010, 11:41 PM)shrihara Wrote: I had made a list of superstition followed blindly in India on facebook, posting it here. Please contribute the superstitions that you have come across.

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 )

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

11. Repeatedly yawning Sleep 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






I want let you guys know why some of these are started.

A sack full of rice will be spoilt when touched by women in periods!
this to give rest to the women in those days. Uneducated ppl dnt understand if you give reasons saying lady undergoes lot of pain so you need to give her rest.....if you say this way ppl vl def follow.

Coconut tree, Ashoka Tree, Banyan Tree etc are considered sacred
People used to cut tress for various reasons. Trees above mentioned are very useful to human life.
If there is a sacred feeling then they wont those trees. This is also to reach to uneducated ppl.

You can't have non-veg on certain days
Non veg gives you lot of calories and this is jst to maintain health again for uneducated.

Its a bad sign if u see a dead body when you head out for some work

This is because previously there used to live in joint family where deaths used to occur frequently
and ppl in those days love each other so after seeing the body their mood def gets switched and cannot give his/her 100% to the work he is gng to do.

Do not sleep with your head towards north or west.

South: earth magnetic poles are from south to north and there is iron in blood.
West: your legs vl be on east towards sun. Its a sign of respect for sun.

Widow shld nt wear colored sarees or kumkum etc

widows dont have sex life atleast in those times, if a widow focuses on her beauty then she might get diverted which ends up either by having an affair or getting leched.


I am talking abt the days these are started when you have uneducated ppl more in number.
It depends on the sense of us how to proceed with these.
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#16
(05-Nov-2012, 07:23 PM)navya79 Wrote: I want let you guys know why some of these are started.

A sack full of rice will be spoilt when touched by women in periods!
this to give rest to the women in those days. Uneducated ppl dnt understand if you give reasons saying lady undergoes lot of pain so you need to give her rest.....if you say this way ppl vl def follow.

The complete reply is very elitist and condescending. Its insinuating that so called uneducated people don't have common sense. Thats irrational and outrightly derogatory. Any person can understand such basics. The rituals weren't invented as a cover up for such basic thing that everybody understood, it was just to push superstition.

(05-Nov-2012, 07:23 PM)navya79 Wrote: Coconut tree, Ashoka Tree, Banyan Tree etc are considered sacred
People used to cut tress for various reasons. Trees above mentioned are very useful to human life.
If there is a sacred feeling then they wont those trees. This is also to reach to uneducated ppl.

All trees are important. These trees are not anyway special to accord "sacred" status. Ashoka tree especially has very very little worth as compared to Neem tree or Mango tree. So the rational is invalid.

(05-Nov-2012, 07:23 PM)navya79 Wrote: You can't have non-veg on certain days
Non veg gives you lot of calories and this is jst to maintain health again for uneducated.

This is argument out of ignorance. Non-veg doesn't necessarily have more calories. A "gulab jamun" or any typical Indian desert has much much more calories than a two leg pieces of chicken.

(05-Nov-2012, 07:23 PM)navya79 Wrote: Its a bad sign if u see a dead body when you head out for some work

This is because previously there used to live in joint family where deaths used to occur frequently
and ppl in those days love each other so after seeing the body their mood def gets switched and cannot give his/her 100% to the work he is gng to do.

Again a very childish argument. If there was a death in family, most people didn't even go to work. There were elaborate rituals in the past for 13 days or so.

(05-Nov-2012, 07:23 PM)navya79 Wrote: Do not sleep with your head towards north or west.

South: earth magnetic poles are from south to north and there is iron in blood.
West: your legs vl be on east towards sun. Its a sign of respect for sun.

The theory that earth is giant magnet and affects brain has no scientific basis. What would happen to people on North pole where every direction is North?

(05-Nov-2012, 07:23 PM)navya79 Wrote: Widow shld nt wear colored sarees or kumkum etc

widows dont have sex life atleast in those times, if a widow focuses on her beauty then she might get diverted which ends up either by having an affair or getting leched.

Exceptionally sexist statement. Girls don't look beautiful to "just have sex".

(05-Nov-2012, 07:23 PM)navya79 Wrote: I am talking abt the days these are started when you have uneducated ppl more in number.
It depends on the sense of us how to proceed with these.

As I pointed out earlier. This argument is elitist and not grounded in any sort of reality.
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#17
navya79

*Do not sleep with your head towards north or west.

South: earth magnetic poles are from south to north and there is iron in blood.*

Let us assume that sleeping with your head towards the north hurts you because of earth's magnetism from south to north. Let us say it causes a head ache. Now if you sleep with you head to the south wouldn't the earth's magnetism affect you by the same mechanism. Will you wake up with a sprained ankle?
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#18
navya79,

In your post you give some plausible explanations for how these superstitions might have started. Let us assume that these explanations are true, ie these were the reasons why ancient Indians started these (IMO silly and immoral) practices. But what to do today? Do you at least agree that these superstitious practices have no place in a civilized society and should be gotten rid of asap?
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#19
(05-Nov-2012, 10:21 PM)Kanad Kanhere Wrote: What would happen to people on North pole where every direction is North?

Nothing will happen to them if they sleep like this.

http://magicunlimited.typepad.com/.a/6a0...f8b8834-pi

Lol
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#20
(18-Feb-2011, 02:22 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: Excellent list, Tarun!

(18-Feb-2011, 01:41 AM)tarun Wrote: 46. Not consuming milk and mutton during the same meal. I guess this has Jewish roots. I remember reading something about "not boiling the kid in its mother's milk" in the Old Testament.

I suspect that there are quite a few superstitions that we have borrowed, and a whole lot that we have exported. Some, such as the one about bringing bad luck by walking across a cat's path and the one about walking under ladders are both almost universal today.

I don't think that it is superstitionNo. some people have allergy to this combination. I know some people who vomit when they have curd after eating fish.
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#21
If there was a regulation banning anybody and everybody from eating nuts and seafood because a tiny fraction of the population might have an allergy to it, that wouldn't make a lot of sense, would it?
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#22
Quote: 74. You don't go to bed wearing new clothes. Something to do with the fact that dead people are buried/cremated in new clothes (?)

So when is a new Pajama worn? LOL!

I have another superstition to add to this growing list of absurdities.

75. Right after starting the car people do not drive in reverse even if that is the only way they can get out of the parking space. Instead they drive the car forward for an inch and then pull the car out of the parking space in reverse. Apparently this will help them to always go forward in life.
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#23
Here are some superstitions whose longevity and prevalence maybe accounted for by the fact that they occur in Puranic stories, which means that they are constantly reinforced due to repeated narrations of these supposedly sacred tales and believed to be true by the faithful who treat such lore as historical evidence. Below, the list is only suggestive and references are provided whenever readily available.

Ramayana:

76. Avoid traveling in threes when embarking on an important undertaking. (This belief probably arose out of the observation that Ram, Lakshman and Sita leaving for the fourteen-year exile as a trio, ended up encountering much suffering. )

77. Always enter right foot forward while entering the house of kinsfolk or while embarking upon a constructive mission. Enter left foot forward while entering enemy territory. (Hanuman enters left foot forward while infiltrating into Lanka. Vaalmeeki Ramayana 5:4:2)

78. Early-morning dreams come true. (The Raakshasi Trijata's dream about the destruction of Lanka apparently occurred in the wee hours. The dream itself teems with references to the symbolism of garments of certain colours, which in turn feed other superstitions. Vaalmeeki Ramayana 5:27)

79. Twitching of left eyelids and throbbing of left limbs of a woman heralds the arrival of good times for her. (Vaalmeeki Ramayana 5:29)

Bhagavatam:

80. Expectant mothers should be exposed to devotional and scriptural materials which the fetuses in their wombs can imbibe. (Prahlada, the devotional child prodigy, was fully indoctrinated in the womb itself. Bhagavatam 7:7 A cautionary example is that of Abhimanyu whose half-baked womb-training proved fatal in the Chakravyuha episode.)

81. One shouldn't engage in conversation or any transaction at the door-step or threshold to a house. (This is supposedly because the threshold was the site of an inauspicious activity, namely the gruesome slaying of Hiranyakashipu. Bhagavatam 7:8:29 )

82. Maternal uncles' well-being is threatened by nephews born under the Rohini constellation. (This is but one example of a superstition in which mythology intersects with astrology. Krishna was born under Rohini (Bhagavatam 10:3:1-5) and slew his uncle Kamsa. Taken together with the reference to the maternal uncle Shakuni's pernicious influence on his nephew Duryodhana in the Mahabharata, there is a superstition still prevalent in some parts of India forbidding maternal uncles to travel alone with their nephews!)

83. Auspicious undertakings shouldn't be begun on Ashtami and Navami days i.e. eighth and ninth days of the lunar fortnight. (This is a superstition drawing upon both the Ramayana and Bhagavatam, where mythology intersects with astrology. Ram and Krishna were born on a Navami and an Ashtami day respectively and since the purpose of both births was the destruction of demons, there is an embargo against beginning constructive activities on such days.)

Mahabharata:

84. Reading the text of the Mahabharata within the house causes strife among brothers. (Apparently, it is permissible to listen to the story via a narration in a temple or elsewhere.)

85. Women shouldn't 'let their hair down' as it bodes destruction of kinsfolk. (Draupadi's open tresses are the leitmotif of vengefulness that leads to fratricide, according to some of the faithful.)

86. Secrets should not be shared with women. (Apparently, women can't keep secrets due to Yudhishthira's curse rendering them unable to do so. He cursed all women thus, as a punishment to womankind for Kunti's keeping of Karna's identity secret, which if declared would have prevented the destruction of the Kurukshetra war.)
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#24
87. Shaving or getting hair cut on Thursday causes defamation

88. Seeing moon on Ganesh Chaturthi night causes defamation
smile
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