Directly or indirectly we all are influenced superstitions and belief’s we grew up with some of the superstitions have overpowered our mind in such a manner that we unconsciously get carried away by them, as our mind takes that superstition as a daily deed, without giving it any different behavior.
Ever tried opening an umbrella inside a room, you can most certainly receive a guaranteed response from someone in the room that it is unlucky to open an umbrella inside. This actually dates back to the Victorian times where Victorian umbrellas were a sturdy affair, with sharp, eye-pokey metal spikes on spring-loaded devices – a pretty dangerous device to deploy in an enclosed space.
Why it was given the status of “unlucky”, rather than downright dangerous is a bit of a mystery. Perhaps because opening an umbrella off in a small space or room would have led to immediate strife, arguments and possibly injuries, none of which can be considered particularly lucky.
The most common understandable logic behind the superstition that “you shouldn’t walk under a ladder” is probably that walking a ladder can be dangerous to both who is on top of it and to the one on the ground in case any heavy object falls on head.
Whatever the origin may be in Christian era the superstition became something of biblical proportions. Christianity considered the triangle as a sacred symbol representing the Holy Trinity. When a ladder is leaning against a wall, it creates a triangle, and walking through it would cause it to break, hence it was considered as a bad omen.
So serious was the offense that walking under a ladder could even have one branded as a witch, or at the very least, someone who was in association with Satan. This was definitely not a label that would have served one well in a society embedded with deep Christian philosophy unless of course you enjoy being dunked into rivers and hung for practicing evil magic, this added with a fear that someone might drop something on you while walking under a ladder.
A superstition regarding not lighting 3 cigarettes with one matchstick has been around since world war 1, (although this superstition fell into some obscurity after the invention of lighters), it was particularly considered bad luck.
The supposed reason behind this superstition was many experiences of soldiers who were shot while lighting a third cigarette in a row. According to the legend, it takes a good sniper roughly three seconds to load, take aim and fire, the approximate timing of lighting the third cigarette somehow coincided with the sniper’s timing of being able to aim and shoot the third soldier who would light his cigarette. This would mean that, if you were being watched by a sniper, the third person to have his cigarette lit would be the prime target for the sniper. To be fair, as bad luck goes, being shot in the face by a sniper is pretty up there.
It would be much safer for each person to light their cigarette at the same time, giving the sniper only one second to react (well, as safe as inhaling poisonous smoke into your lungs in a war zone can be). It is also thought by some people that this was a rumor put about by match companies in order to get people to use more of their product.
If your mirror has broken down, or the cutlery made of glass has broken down, dispose of it off as soon as possible. Don’t keep it or any part of it in your house as it would give an invitation to fights and quarrels with the people. Now, these people can be your family members, your neighbors or even the person that is walking down the street. If you think carefully the actual reason, this superstition was created was to avoid anyone getting hurt with the broken pieces of glass. In order to dissuade people keeping broken articles of glass and other materials at home a fear was created around it.
Bad dreams are a part of everyone’s life, however, if they lead to sleep problems or health challenges then it creates challenges. Getting up in the middle of the night with nightmares is a sure subconscious fear lurking inside the deep confines of our mind. The easiest way out is to reassure yourself of the ability to handle any challenge by keeping a knife or a pair of scissors under your pillow before you go to sleep. This does boost your confidence in yourself and would prevent all the negative thoughts coming to your mind.
This superstition is so prominent in the minds of people that they change their whole route just because a black cat crossed their way, and if by mistake, they walk the path crossed by the cat, the fear in their mind is so prominent that something bad surely happens with them.
In ancient times, people used to travel through forests in bullock or horse drove carts with a light of kerosene lantern at night. Sometimes the carriage animals would get frightened when animals like leopards, hyenas and jackals foxes would cross their paths. The glowing eyes of these animals would scare the cows, horses or the bulls that pull the carts. The traveling party would, therefore, halt and allow their animals to overcome the threat and then move on. without any stress. Travelers shared their hard experiences and told other travelers not to proceed travel while the cats crossing the roads and in the course of rapidly changing time forest paths converted into roads and big cats were replaced by small cats, however the superstition continuous to live.
The belief is like this: Alakshmi, god of misfortune brings bad luck to the shop owners or business. In order not to allow her entering the shops they hang these 7 chilies and lemon. Alakshmi likes sour, pungent and hot things. Therefore at the door, Alakshmi will only come up to the door and eat her favorite food and satisfy her hunger and leave without entering the shop. It is believed that after consuming lemon and green chilies, Alakshmi loses her urge to enter the house or shop. She will turn around without casting her vicious eye.
A Scientific Reason: The cotton thread which is used to pierce the chilies and lemon absorbs the acid from the fruit whilst 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, which is misleading now superstitiously as explained above.
In India, it is common to give money for weddings and auspicious occasions. It is considered auspicious to add a rupee to the sum total.
There are various reasons, for some, it is a blessing, a token of love and luck. For some, it is the beginning of a new cycle. For some, it makes the sum an odd number and indivisible which is a good omen for the married couple. If the rupee is not added the sum total will be separable or it will end in zero which indicates the end, so adding the extra rupee will make the number odd hence assuring continuity for any future reasons that money will be consumed for.
Sweeping the floor in the evening hours is said to be a big no-no in Indian culture. It is said to deplete you wealth and bring in bad luck at-home. This is quite a peculiar way of making someone fearful of something, as a person gets what he thinks. If he thinks he is going to get something bad, he performs accordingly and ends up in achieving that bad results.
The only probable reason for our ancestors preventing us to sweep the floor at night time was that in those days there was no electricity and the light of a candle or lantern would have been very less to prevent some valuable product getting swept away in the darkness of the night.
About the Author
Dr. Amitabh Singh is the founder of AadyantaLife and Bio-Energetic & Crystal Healer and Wellness Coach. He provides Alternative and Complementary Healing therapies to difficult ailments including Cancer. He specializes in Mindfulness Meditation Coaching for Corporate and Business Leaders. His thought-provoking Enlightening Lectures.