Several attempts have been made to link old age superstitions with scientific explanations. However, people are rigid to change and continue to believe in them in a hope of pleasing their deity or encountering something auspicious. Here are some of these superstitions and their possible explanations.
Viewing the sun with the naked eye during an eclipse may cause permanent retina damage thus resulting in loss of eyesight. As a result of which our ancestors reached a conclusion that it is not advisable to venture outside during an eclipse as one may accidently be curious and look up at the sun resulting in blindness.
We hear the notion that sleeping with our head facing North invites death but is particularly unadvisable because the earthâ€™s magnetism and our bio magnetism clash with each other in the northward direction leading to rise in blood pressure and other coronary disease, as a result of which its unadvisable.
3. Donâ€™t do certain things while girls are menstruating
Menstruation is a stressful activity which continues for five days and takes a toll on every woman. They are subjected to cramps and rise in body temperature and many preferred to take rest during these five days. As a result of the discomfort they did not work and a result this ritual became a form of form that women are not allowed to do sacred things while they are menstruating.
We hear a myth that peepal trees are inhabited are inhabited by mysterious beings at night and it is not advisable to go near them. In reality all trees emit more carbon dioxide during the night than at day which may cause serious health issues if inhaled. As a result, ghost stories were made around these trees to stop people from going and sleeping underneath them at night.
Possibly the most visible sign of superstition evident, these ae used in most Indian households and vehicles. Their use has not been scientifically explained, but it is said that the ancestors used the combination to promote the health benefits of consuming them.
6. Bathe immediately after a funeral
It is said to take a bath immediately after a funeral as a sign of ritual of cleansing your soul from the impure beings which might have visited to take away the soul of the departed. This practice might have been developed by our ancestors to cleanse our body of germs and prevent contagious diseases that may be present in a number of people who are attending the ceremony.
Superstition says that the soul of the departed may be burned if one lights a fire and cooks at home before the last rites are performed. In reality the practice may have been adopted to give the families proper time to mourn and cope up with the loss
It is said not to cut nails at nighttime but no there is no explanation to back up the cause. Earlier blades were used to cut nails which were very sharp in nature and one might get easily hurt if cut after sunset in the dark. Hence advisable to cut nails during the day.
9. Donâ€™t wash your hair on certain days
The practice of washing your hair on Tuesdays and Thursdays might bring you bad luck but in reality it may have been followed in the past as an efficient water management theory.
10. Donâ€™t sweep after dark
Superstition says that sweeping the floor of your room after sunset will bring bad luck and evil spirits, but this practice might have been followed in the past as there was a lack of adequate artificial lighting facilities and something important lying on the floor may get swept away in this practice.
Often linked to bringing good luck, eating curd and sugar before going to work or school is a common practice in many Indian homes. This practice might have been followed as curd and sugar are rich source of protein and energy and also has a cooling effect on the stomach, which is exactly what you need before venturing out in energy sapping heat.
Tulsi is considered as the avatar of Goddesses Lakshmi and is hence considered an insult if we chew and eat them. In reality tulsi leaves despite being extremely beneficial contains traces of Arsenic which may damage the enamel of your teeth and give rise to sensitivity issues in our teeth and is hence recommended to directly swallow.
13. Crush the head of the snake after killing it
It is believed that the snake stores an image of the person who killed and the next of kin take revenge on them and hence we should crush the head of the snake even after killing. This absurd claim can be explained by the fact that since it is a cold blooded animal, many of its organs remain active even after death which results in a slow and painful death. Crushing its head gives a quick and painless death.