Superstitious Beliefs in India: India is a nation that is immersed in tradition, culture, and superstition. Superstitious beliefs have become an integral part of daily life in India, with many practices being passed down from one generation to the next. The influence of superstition is apparent in numerous aspects of Indian society, ranging from the significance of astrology to the belief in auspicious and inauspicious numbers.
Superstitions can be found across all segments of society, whether in rural or urban regions, and can have significant impacts on decision-making, behavior, and attitudes. This article will examine the most prevalent superstitious beliefs in India, their origins, and their impact on Indian society.
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Superstitious Beliefs in India
1. People with flat feet bring bad luck: The notion that individuals with flat feet are bearers of bad fortune is a popular superstitious belief within Indian culture. This ideology stems from the notion that those with flat feet are not adequately grounded, making them more susceptible to negative energy and malevolent spirits. Despite this, there is no scientific or evidential basis for this belief.
Rather, it is a mere superstition passed down through generations. It is vital to recognize that physical attributes, such as the shape of one’s feet, do not influence their destiny. It is crucial to reject such unfounded beliefs and promote logical thinking.
2. Curse of 8: The Curse of 8 is a superstitious belief in India that associates the number 8 with bad luck and misfortune. In numerology, the number 8 is considered a powerful number but is often associated with negative energy, such as destruction, pain, and suffering.
This belief is so prevalent that many high-rise buildings in India, such as hotels and offices, often skip the 8th floor or label it as the 7A floor. Additionally, people may avoid purchasing items that have the number 8 in their price, such as Rs. 888, as it is believed that it will bring bad luck and financial difficulties.
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3. Keeping onions and knives under your bed will drive away bad dreams: In India, it is a superstitious belief that keeping onions and knives beneath the bed can help in keeping bad dreams away. The belief is rooted in the idea that onions possess the ability to absorb negative energies and repel evil spirits, while knives are viewed as potent instruments that can ward off bad dreams and malevolent entities.
This practice is believed to create a protective layer that prevents nightmares from infiltrating the sleeping area. Despite the absence of scientific backing for this belief, it remains prevalent in India, and many individuals still observe this practice as a means of averting bad dreams and negative energies.
4. You lose your wealth, if you shake your legs: The superstitious belief “You lose your wealth if you shake your legs” is prevalent in India, claiming that shaking one’s legs can lead to financial loss. This notion asserts that shaking one’s legs results in money flowing out of one’s pockets, leading to financial instability.
Although there is no scientific evidence to validate this claim, it is commonly held by older generations in India. They often discourage children from shaking their legs while sitting. However, such beliefs can lead to unwarranted fear and anxiety, and it is crucial to approach them with a rational and critical mindset.
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5. Crow shit brings luck: In India, there is a superstitious belief that crow shit brings luck. It is believed that if a crow defecates on you or your property, it is a sign of good fortune.
This belief is rooted in Hindu mythology, where crows are considered to be the messengers of Lord Shani, the god of justice and karma. It is believed that being blessed by Lord Shani through the medium of crow excreta can bring good luck, wealth, and success. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this belief, and it is merely a superstition that has been passed down through generations
6. Sweeping floors in the evening drives away Laxmi from the home: There is a traditional notion in India that sweeping the floors in the evening will make the goddess of prosperity and fortune, Laxmi, go away from the house. This myth is held because it is believed that cleaning the house in the evening can wipe off the wealth and luck that have gathered throughout the day.
To bring luck and success into their houses, people typically forgo sweeping in the evening and instead, opt to do so in the morning. In many regions of India, this superstitious notion has persisted over the years. However, this idea is only superstition because there is no scientific proof to back it up.
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7. Cutting nails or hair on Tuesdays and Saturdays brings bad luck: One superstitious belief in India is that cutting nails or hair on Tuesdays and Saturdays brings bad luck. This belief is deeply rooted in Indian culture and is believed to have originated from astrology and the Hindu calendar.
It is believed that cutting nails or hair on these days will anger the gods and bring misfortune and bad luck. Many people in India still follow this belief, and it is considered unlucky to violate this custom. Despite the lack of scientific evidence, this belief continues to be prevalent in Indian society, and many people still follow this custom out of respect for their culture and traditions.
8. Black cats are considered unlucky and bring bad luck when it crosses your path: Black cats are thought to be unlucky in India and to bring bad luck when they cross your path. The foundation of this story is the idea that black cats have a connection to witchcraft and are considered to be familiars of witches.
This deep conviction causes many Indians to go out of their way to avoid coming into contact with a black cat. Some people even believe that spotting a black cat portends impending disaster or ill karma. But there is no scientific basis for this idea; it is only a superstition that has been passed down through the ages.
9. Breaking a mirror will bring seven years of bad luck: “Breaking a mirror will bring seven years of bad luck” is a popular superstitious belief in India. It is believed that breaking a mirror not only results in seven years of bad luck but also represents a broken reflection of the soul, which can lead to seven years of misfortune.
The belief is so strong that people take extra precautions while handling mirrors and ensure they don’t break accidentally. To avoid bad luck, people often perform rituals such as throwing salt over their shoulders or breaking another object to offset the bad luck.
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10. Leaving a house empty for an extended period attracts ghosts and evil spirits: In India, it is believed that leaving a house empty for an extended period can attract ghosts and evil spirits.
This superstition is based on the idea that an empty house becomes a breeding ground for negative energy and that evil spirits can easily take up residence in it. To avoid this, people often leave a lamp burning or keep a bowl of salt and water in the house to ward off evil spirits. It is also common to perform a religious ceremony or have a priest bless the house before moving in to ensure a safe and positive environment.
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Conclusion: Superstitions are a significant part of India’s culture, influencing people’s everyday lives. Despite some of these beliefs appearing illogical, they are considered a vital aspect of India’s cultural legacy, and they have been passed down from one generation to the next.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.