12 most popular superstitions in india and possible Logic behind them!

Around the world people believe various notions. At present many people deny them as myths or superstitions. But in India some of the notions are not just superstitions, they are way of life. Our ancestors were too smart and generous, every custom made by them had a reason tagged to it, which worked well according to that particular time or era. They presented those notions in such a way that every common person should understand the importance of that and follow those notions whether in the fear of God or in the fear of avoiding any mishaps. But eventually things took a turn for bad and people simply started following the rituals blindly, without trying to grasp the reason or modifying the ritual as per the time. This basically happened with the fall of Vedic era.  I am presenting some of the famous notions or superstitions with the logic behind them. 

1. People (Specially women) should not sleep in the evening after sunset as Laxmi (Goddess of prosperity) comes home that time and the women should welcome Laxmi by staying fresh with clean home. 

Logic- Previously most of the people were farmers and they used to come home from the farm after sunset along with their buffaloes. The farmers and the animals were the bread winners of the family and believed as one who brings prosperity and they were taken care by the females of the house after coming home. If woman sleeps during that time, then the men, who come tired, get irritated and may become quarrelsome and the animals left undernourished and they stop providing all the benefits and good fortune. Thus, the point of Laxmi (Goddess of prosperity added in this notion).

Even today when man come home after his work and he finds the house is clean and woman is well dressed and fresh, he feels happy, with fresh ambience he forgets all the fatigue he experienced through out the day and work hard to earn more for the benefit of the family and that automatically brings prosperity. Today many women also work and take it in male chauvinist way but what if they take it in vice versa? 

2. One  should not sweep the home or cut nails in the evening, if so, then Laxmi will walk away from home and bad luck will follow! 

Logic- Earlier there were no lights. People used only lamps and diyas in the night. Nails were cut with knifes or sharp weapons. There were chances of cutting the fingers in the dark, which is why they prohibited cutting nails in the night. And if they sweep in the evening, there were chances of sweeping out the precious things like coins or tiny ornaments which are believed as Laxmi.

3. One should not cut the nails and hair on Saturdays or else bad luck will follow us and we will make Shani dev (Saturn - God of discipline.) angry!

Logic- Its very simple, Saturdays are believed as day of worshiping Shanidev or Saturn. Who is a powerful god and assumed as God of discipline. And this day people prohibit flow of blood in the home and hence some people do not even eat non vegetarian food on this day. 

As said above cutting the nails with sharp weapons would cause injury and one could get hurt with it, so they stopped it on Saturdays to avoid blood flow in the home. 

And earlier period, barbers used to cut the hairs and shave for men. These barbers belonged to lower castes and they used to worship their Gods on Saturdays, therefore, they used to take weekly off on Saturdays. Thus, cutting hair was banned on the day.

4. In case of Birth and Death in-house, one should not walk into others house and prohibit worship for 10 days. Popularly known as Sutak or Sootak in India. 

In case of birth – The first 10 days of birth are considered to be very crucial period for both mother and newborn. The process of a baby birth needs to be carried-out in a proper hygienic way, in case of negligence it could attract germs and infections which could affect both newborn and the mother, that was the reason in-house people never went to others house and if outsiders came to meet newborn they cleaned themselves before seeing the baby and the mother. Earlier women used to give birth in the house but this is followed present day as well, with all modern medical facilities we believe personal hygiene is very important. Worshiping need to be carried out in a clean mind and body, when all the people get completely concentrated in taking care of the new born and the mother for 10 days almighty waits. That is the reason for this notion.

In case of death - As the word itself describes, death of a person will attract billions of viruses. That is the reason in Hinduism dead body is burnt, so that no virus or infections of dead to be spread in the society. Due to which people don't even cook in the house of dead for the first three days. They discard all the belongings of deceased person by flowing them all in the river along with Asthi (bones) on the third day, and on 10th day, people clean the entire house and even paint it to regain the hygiene. That was the reason outsiders never used to walk inside, and in-house people never go to others house for those 10 days. As said above, worshiping god is done in a clean way. But with sad and upset mind in the memory of the deceased, how could one divert towards almighty. 10 day time is believed as sufficient to start with the new life. 

5. If a cat (Specially black cat) passes by the path you are traveling, brings bad luck! This myth is believed all over the world! And if Fox comes on your way it’s your lucky day!

Logic- Cats are common pets of humans and nobody keeps Fox as their pets! Still I don’t understand why this myth is created on them.

However in ancient India people never had Cats or Dogs as pets, they only had Cows as pets. Dogs were kept in farms to guard it and never allowed inside the house. Cats were always considered as thief, since they used to walk in the house without consent of people and drink the milk, they also helped the humans as they used to hunt mouses inside the house. Anyhow, in this modern India people pet Dogs and Cats, and Cows are discarded on the roads. Yes, of course it is not possible to pet Cows in small houses and apartments!

However, coming to the point, India never had such superstition except for degrading cats for their nature of stealing. In Hinduism, black colour is associated with Shani dev (Saturn) who is powerful god of bringing bad luck if you do not follow rules in life.

Egyptians believed cats as their lucky charms. They even constructed the sculptures of cats. In medieval era people started associating black cats with witches who are imbibed with evil, and started believing that cats, especially black cats bring bad luck if they cross your path. 

As far as I think, this is just a myth, some people must have experienced misfortunes when the cats crossed their path, which might be just a co-incidence, and made stories on cats. Cats are hunters, they do travel in night and day in the hunt of their pray.  They are strong, killing and fuzzy.

Coming to Fox, they are smart and witty. They can get their food in any manner with less effort, hence, they are believed as lucky. If it comes on your way,you gets your work done as easily as Foxes get it done. May be based on these behaviors of animals, people believed these myths.

6. Breaking a mirror bring bad luck for 7 years!

Logic- Earlier people used to see their reflection in the clear water, and if water is disturbed with small wave of wind, the reflections also used get disturbed. Later, mirrors were invented, people saw their reflection and believed that mirrors reflect ones soul. Mirrors became only things which reflect ones self after the water. And if mirror is broken, the reflection also will break into pieces and in those days people were afraid to see the pieces of their faces and this myth has been created that it may bring bad luck. Some also believe that mirrors have magical powers and hold the key to the future. And logically if the pieces of glass fall in the house it might cut a person. That might have taken a form of superstition.

However, I broke around 5-6 mirrors if this stats applied on me then what would have happened! Till now I never experienced anything bad after breaking the mirror. Common, it’s a thing made of glass, accidentally if it falls then you can’t stop it from breaking!

7. Tying the lemon and green chillies on the shop doors and vehicles will keep Alaxmi away. (In Hindus, Alaxmi is believed as sister of Laxmi, who is opposite to Laxmi and brings bad luck) As chilly and lemon are hot and sour combination food items loved by Alaxmi, she gets satisfied with her offering outside and do not enter the shops and vehicles to bring along the bad luck.

Logic- The cotton thread which is used to pierce the chillies and lemon absorbs the acid from the fruit as 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 and also the smell keeps human mind fresh.

8. Putting a black spot (Kaala Teeka) with Kajal on the cheek or forehead of children to keep away the evil eyes.

Logic- with the black spot on forehead or cheek will make kids look ugly and that will distract anybody from the good looks of the children. Thus, bad eyes or any evil eyes will not affect the children. And camphor is used in black kajal which is good for eyes as it keeps eyes cool.

9. One should not walk under the ladder-

Logic- Its so obvious that if someone is on the ladder and if we walk below that we may hurt that person with just a simple push while walking or get hurt by the person who is on the ladder if he is holding some tools or things in his hand.

10. Friday 13 is believed as unlucky day.

Logic- I just want to ask one question on this notion, what should a person do if he/she is born on Friday 13th? Is he/she will be unlucky in his/ her entire life? 

It’s a western superstition not very much believed in India. Some people laugh on this and some actually have the phobia of this day and they avoid their routine tasks on this day. Till now nothing is sure why this is believed as unlucky day. This might be created by the bunch of people who actually experienced bad things on this day, which are hundred percent co-incidents. If some people died on 1 st then it doesn’t mean that 1 is unlucky day!

11. One should not touch the idols or enter the temple without bathing in the morning.

Logic- This is natural as people attend many natural calls in the morning like peeing, pooping etc., they even have sex in the night, And gods and temples are believed as sacred places so we should go and do our rituals with fresh body and mind to gain actual peace of mind.

12. Lastly, very important, during menstruation women kept in separate room and are not allowed to touch anyone or enter the temples, touch the idols. They are not allowed to cook and touch pickle.

Logic- In Hinduism, no Shastras or Vedas ever told to discard the menstruating women. This tradition started from ancient period with other intention. As I said above our ancestors were very smart and they invented this tradition with two main reasons-

Firstly, there were no absorbent napkins available that time, women used clothes to absorb the fluid, and the cloth after being used frequently, was unable to soak much fluid and naturally would turn leaky. And if a woman enters the temples and roam around house with those leaky clothes the fluid would spill all over. Obviously, that wasn’t hygienic for everyone. So she was isolated in a separate room.

But the main reason for this isolation was, woman needs rest during menstrual cycle so she wasn’t allowed to cook or do any of her routine work. Many women lose lot of blood during this period or undergo pain as a result of which occurs deficiency of Iron in the body.  That is why she was advised rest during those 3 or 5 days, for healing. And she was given sweets and healthy food during those days.

Pickles are very delicate dishes due to the portion of spices added into that, there are chances of its deterioration even with the sweat in hand.  During that era, anti-bacteria soaps and hand washes never existed, people washed hands with ashes, menstrual women may touch their pubic while changing the clothes, and just by washing hands with water and ashes may harm the delicacy of the dish, so they were not allowed to touch pickles.

Temples were not built only to worship gods! They were built to exhibit the talents on the stage, to discuss the community matters and cultures, and to attain piece of mind with the atmosphere. Ancient temples were built for healing by its magnetic waves. Women during menstrual may undergo any kind of health problem in such magnetic vibes, so they were prohibited to enter the temples.

We need to understand that the previous generation would not accept or initiate change or modulation in their custom so easily, as they've been raised in that way. It is us who have to bear the torchlight. The God or temple will not become impure if a woman, who is menstruating, enters the temple area. God is beyond all these beliefs. My grandma used to say that even goddesses undergo with menstruation period. Menstruation is something with which women reproduce, so she should be treated with care and love all the time.

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  1. Logic in some of the cases is totally flawed. 1,2,7&12 are correct conclusions

    1. Thank you for accepting some points. However, I concluded all points with possible logic based on that time.

  2. Correct inferences!Especially 12th one.I wasnt aware of pt 7 superstition though.
    Maybe next article you can write about some common customs followed...like tying mangalsutra etc.

    1. Thank you, sure will do research on those customs and give my best.

    2. Hello,
      I posted an article on hindu wedding rituals, you can read and comment your views on it.
      Thank you

  3. very nice explanation ,,, helps a lot

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