Thursday, January 28, 2010

Evil eye superstitions

For the past several generations it is commonly believed in Tamilnadu and other places that if a person is looking at anything with great envy, that thing will go bad.
The evil eye may damage a person or an object. In order to divert the attention of the person with evil eye, certain measures are being adapted. White pumpkin is usually hanged prominently in front of a building being built. Face of a devil or a demon with horns is generally drawn on the pumpkin. A Pumpkin is kept at the middle of a road junction with some magical items. Vehicles generally avoid running over it. Some times it gets smashed by vehicular traffic and the careless pedestrians skid.

Camphor is lighted on a pumpkin and shown in front of the face of a person believed to be affected by the evil eye. It is then taken to the middle of a place where three roads meet and broken into pieces. The same procedure is also carried out with coconut instead of pumpkin.

People hang drawing of “Kan Drishti Ganapathy / Drushti Ganapati / Kan Dhrishti Vinayakar (A form of the Lord Ganesh / Ganesha / Ganesar / Pillaiyar), or drawing of donkey in front of the main entrance of their houses.
Kannaip paar siri / Kannai par siri (look at the eye and laugh) or ennai paar siri (look at me and laugh or smile) is the slogan commonly written along with these drawings.

Some people hang lemon, red chili, charcoal, alum etc, tied in a black rope in front of the house, shop, crop or vehicle, office. This is believed to be protecting them from the evil eye called kan drishti, ketta paarvai, kanneru or kan paduthal in Tamil language.

Newly married couple, while entering house are politely stopped at the entrance and arathi/ aarathi / aarati / arthi is shown in front of them and then the aarti is discarded. Lighted camphor or a mixture of lime water (calcium hydroxide) with turmeric powder or both together are shown in front the person to neutralize the effect of evil eyes. This mixture is red in color.

If nothing is available to neutralize the evil eye, some mud, sand or earth is kept within the palm and shown in front of the suffering (believed to be) person. The person showing this will spit his or her saliva over the sand, and discard it away.

The same act can also be performed with the help of red chili with common salt, but here, the chili with the salt is finally thrown in fire.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Superstitions cause delay in marriages

Horoscope (Jaathakam / Janam patrika / Janampatrika, Kundli, Janampatri, Kundali, Janamkundli, Janmapatrika) plays a vital role in Hindu marriages.

  • If a Hindu bride has Manglik dosh (chevvai Dosham), the bride groom also should have it. Then the effect of one is cancelled by the other. This is a major problem in finding a suitable bride or bride groom. Several marriages are delayed in proper match finding process.

  • In Hindu tradition, if the broom doesn’t have the manglik dosh, in order to neutralize the influence of evil manglik dosh of the bride, she should marry a Sacred fig tree (Peepal / peepul / pippala / Arasa maram / Arayal) or a plantain tree (banana tree / vazhai maram / vaalai maram / waalai maram) before the broom ties the Mangal sutra. This is a cleansing ceremony.

  • Alternatively, the bride marries a clay urn and breaks it soon after the nuptial ceremonies.

  • This signifies that the bride has become a widow, and the manglik dosh (chevvai Dosham) problem has been solved.

  • However, a large number of families afraid by hearing the name chevvai thosam / chevvai dosham. They don’t want to take any risk. Due to this kind of too many formalities and fear, many possible weddings become impossible.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Superstitions on sneezing

  • A sneeze at the time of prayer gives negative result.
  • The sneezer should call father, mother or God on completion of sneezing. Then the sneezing sound will reach heaven with the calling sounds.
  • If you sneeze without covering your face, your soul may escape.
  • The devil may enter your body when you sneeze. At the time of sneezing, if anyone says "God bless you", the devils will be driven away.
  • Sneezing to the right is considered lucky.
  • Sneezing to the left is considered unlucky.
  • If anyone says good health or long life, the sneezer will live for one hundred years.
  • A sneeze during a conversation means the words spoken is true.
  • If anyone is thinking about you, you will sneeze.

Sneeze on Monday, sneeze for danger.

Sneeze on Tuesday, kiss a stranger.

Sneeze on Wednesday, sneeze for a letter.

Sneeze on Thursday, something better.

Sneeze on Friday, sneeze for woe.

Sneeze on Saturday, a journey to go.

Sneeze on Sunday, your safety seek—for Satan will have you for the rest of the week!

One for sorrow

Two for joy

Three for a letter

Four for a boy.

Five for silver

Six for gold

Seven for a secret, never to be told.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Married women and the year 2010

Ladies, especially Indian ladies appear to be generally happy this year due to the belief that this year 2010 started on Friday and will end on Friday.

But in the middle of January, Tamil month ‘Thai’ was believed to be born on the vehicle of lord of death.

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Yama is the Lord of death. His vehicle is buffalo. He is also the Lord of Dharma. He is the king and ruler of hell, which is the place of departed souls, called Yamalog, Yamalogam or Yamapur.
He takes away the life of people and so people afraid even to here the name of Lord Yama.

He is also called Yaman, yeman, eman, Yamaraj, Yamraj, Dharamraj, Dharmaraj, Dharmaraja, Yamadharmarajan, Kalan, Kaalan, Kootruvan, Kootram, etc.


Married women (Sumangali) of Tamilnadu, due to fear, and in order to save their respective husbands from death, visited nearby temples. Each woman tied a Manjal Thali, a simple mangalsutra, on a peepal tree (Sacred Fig / Bo Tree / Arasa maram) or on a neem tree (Margosa tree / Vembu / Veppa maram). (During a Hindu wedding, the groom ties the Mangalsutra, a sacred thread of love and goodwill, around the neck of the bride, signifying their union.). Manjal means turmeric or haldi / haldhi.


This activity was based on a widely spread rumor to do so.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Gifting of white bangles and green saris (sarees)

In the year 2001, shops in Saurashtra area of India were crowded by people who want to purchase white colored bangles. This was due to a temporary superstitious rumor spread in that area. The rumor was, “White bangles are to be bought and offered as a gift to sisters-in-law (husband’s sister / nanand') by married women, (bhabhi) to protect their respective husbands from ill effect and evil forces.” Earlier, there was a different type of superstition. “Husband’s sister has to present a sari (saree) to her sister-in-law in order to protect her brother.”

In TamilNadu the rumor based on superstition was gifting green color saree by brother to his sisters.


This type of rumors spread now-a-days fast due to advancement in various communication methods and some people believe.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Superstitions on solar eclipse and lunar eclipse

In Hindu astrology and mythology, Rahu and Ketu are invisible planets. They are enemies of the Sun and the Moon. It is believed that at certain times they swallow the Sun or the Moon causing either a solar eclipse (Surya grahanam) or a lunar eclipse Chandra grahanam).


Superstitions:

  • Eclipse brings bad luck.
  • Don’t eat during solar eclipse.
  • Take a bath after the eclipse.
  • Cover water, food item, etc. with Holy Basil (tulsi leaves).
  • Throw away left over food.
  • Don’t expose to sunlight during eclipse especially pregnant women.

Some don’t believe by saying it is all superstition. They plan to conduct parties and get together. Solar eclipses or lunar eclipses are scientific phenomena. People must not be scared.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pongal superstition and fearful rumor

In the year 2007, a rumor was spread across the world rapidly, from Tamil Nadu, regarding Pongal festival of the year. According to the rumor, “Pongal or Makara Sankranthi arrives in Simha Lagnam (Simma Lagnam) and due to that the male members of the society will be badly affected. As a remedial measure, a plantain leaf (banana leaf / vazhai ilai / Waalai / waazhai / vaalai) is to be spread in front of each house, rice is to be spread over the leaf and a lamp is to be lit.” This rumor started reaching different regions with some different modifications. In some places the number of lamps per house (deepam / vilakku) was made equal to the number of male members of the house. Some houses kept this arrangement even for three days. People were praying to God with fear. People started informing their friends and relatives through mobile phones. The recipients also conveyed this rumor to their known friends and relatives in order to save them from evil. Others, by seeing the illumination everywhere, enquired about the reason and started following. On conclusion of this superstitious activity, the lamps were immersed in ponds, pools, lakes, rivers or sea as per convenience or belief.