The meaning of superstition-Indians are a superstitious people-superstitions common in other countries also. The below given Essay / Article will give you a vivid knowledge about some Indian Superstitions.
Superstition may be defined as a belief in the power o omens, the usefulness of ceremonials, and the existence of supernatural beings. Superstition and ignorance go together. The Indian are ignorant and backward. Most of them do not know even how to write their name. So India is a land of superstitions. The people believe in a number of omens, perform a number of ceremonies to achieve their ends, and live in constant fear of ghosts and evil spirits. But this does not mean that such superstitions are peculiar to India alone. They exist in every country of the world. For example, even the advanced and highly educated Europeans are superstitious. To give only one example, number thirteen is regarded as inauspicious among them. Even today, we find out a single one of their hotels with a room having the number thirteen on it, for no one would like to stay it.
Even a moment’s though reminds us of a number of common Indian superstitions. One should not go out if one sneezes, or if one sees a man with an empty pitcher, or if a cat crosses one’s path, for these are ill-omens and are sure to bring ill luck. To see a one-eyed man early in the morning is considered highly inauspicious, and one who sees him is sure not to get his meals during the day. The sitting of an owl over the house-top is a sure sign of approaching ruin and destruction. If a crow crows early in the morning, the housewife is sure that she would have some guest during the day.
Many of the Indian superstitions are based on sound reasoning and common sense. The grown-ups should not crossover a child as it would check his growth. This superstition is an embodiment of wisdom. If the grown-ups cross over the child, they might injure it. The food of the baby should be covered with a cloth or towel. This is a warning against the baby being given exposed food with the possible bacterial infection. Its food should never be left uncovered. Closed wells are abodes of evil spirits and so one should not go near them. We now know that poisonous gases come out of such wells and are likely to cause great injury to the health of the person who goes near them. Similarly, the superstition that Peepal trees are the nightly abodes of ghosts and that it is a sin to pluck flowers at night are all abased on sound scientific reasons. They are the attempts of our ancient sages to teach science to the people in a popular way.
Superstitions regarding ghosts and evil spirits are signs of human weakness. Man is weak and he lives in constant fear of unknown dangers that lurk in the dark and lonely corners. No one has ever seen a ghost in broad daylight or on a busy thoroughfare. Man’s intellect is baffled by the numerous accidents and unforeseen misfortunes that befall him so suddenly and when he least expects them. Who can be their cause and author? Surely they must be caused by some evil spirits that hover around him always ready to do him harm. He must keep them in good humor, for his own good. Hence they perform various ceremonies to please them and to win their favor.
Ignorance breeds superstitions. Hence they tend to disappear with an increase in literacy. One people begin to understand the right relation of things and the real cause of phenomenon, they cease to be superstitious. With the march of science and popular awakening, many of the superstitions have already lost their hold on the minds of the people. But many of them are so deeply rooted that no amount of knowledge or science can weaken their hold or fully shake them off. That is why so many superstitions still persists, even in the most advanced countries of the world.