Superstitions: Roadblock In The Way To An Intellectual Society?

Posted on August 9, 2012 in Society

By A. Vijay:

I was so happy when my dad agreed to get me a brand new bike. But that happiness dissolved in a few hours after we started discussing about the colour of the bike. I love the colour black but my mother interrupted with a statement that she won’t allow black since it will bring with it, a loss or mishap to our family. She also added that black is considered to be related to bad spirits. These statements and such ridiculous beliefs of people are sometimes funny and a little annoying.

I always wonder how superstitious our society is. I think only in India, a common priest with a lemon knows better how to run a vehicle’s engine than an automobile or mechanical engineer! If this case spreads out to the generations to come, people may start demanding to fix a lemon as a default in all vehicles. There is a strong chance of that happening. Not crossing the road when a cat has crossed your path is a widely seen phenomenon in Indian society and is considered to bring failure in the work of the person who crosses that road. The height of selfishness and superstition extends up to breaking pumpkins on the road which is listed as one of the reasons for road accidents. That’s really a nightmare for any two-wheeler.

Not washing clothes, not shaving or not buying oil/iron or not eating non-vegetarian food on certain days of the week are also some of the most followed superstitions in India. Hair salons and beauty parlours are closed on Tuesdays, as it is believed that it is bad luck to cut hair/shave on this day. On Thursdays clothes are not washed. Non-veg food is not consumed on Tuesdays and Thursdays, oil or iron is not bought on Saturdays.

The wall lizard can boast of having the most superstitions surrounding it. Every movement of this reptile, holds some significance, indeed, a science called the Gowli Shastra enumerates these. The colour, spots, stripes, or twittering of the lizard and where it falls on a person’s body are said to indicate future happenings.

There are also many superstitions related to pregnant women, which originated for their protection. Some of the most widespread are: A pregnant woman should not wander out alone at night or enter an empty house because evil spirits might infest her. The husband of a pregnant woman should not build a house as that might arouse the wrath of the earth spirit. He must not bathe in the sea for the seashore is thick with ghosts. All these rules were imposed on people, as ways to protect the prospective mother and father against any form of danger.

Superstitions have been prevalent in society since the beginning of civilization. Our ancestors had sown some beliefs to have control over people and to form a disciplined society. Those beliefs have somehow helped in safeguarding people’s lives. Of course it’s not good for a pregnant woman to wander out alone, but people are never bothered about the actual reason behind it and hence it resulted in framing such beliefs. That was alright till the period when rational belief and scientific attitude was lacking. In those days, people had no scientific knowledge about nature and never had any control over forces of nature. In such situations, superstitions were born as a means to satisfy the causes and effects of some mishaps. Our ancestors propagated that such incidences are have been caused by some supernatural elements. Gradually, these interpretations of events in life received acceptability and were passed onto further generations without any scientific knowledge, which now have become a part of our life.

There are only two things. One is positive energy and another one is negative energy. If you are positive and believe in yourself, you can do wonders as you are a result of your thoughts. When your belief attaches itself to some unscientific and illogical energy, it’s completely a waste and increases the level of garbage in the society’s ideology. That’s superstition. In the same way when your belief is attached to your self-confidence and attitude it will definitely bring you wonders. Life is not a matter of chance or luck; it is not something out of our control; it is largely the result or effect of our thoughts.

They believe that every action has a cause, and every cause leads to some consequences. Whatever is not based on rationality and reason should not be allowed to overpower our mind and create unnecessary fear. If you have worked hard, you cannot fail just because a cat has crossed your way. Superstitions are baseless and should be given up. They need to be eradicated from the society. If it tends to continue this way, then it will badly affect the intellectual growth of our society and will then arise to a completely illogical, unscientific wisdom – the dark wisdom.