Since ages Indians are known for their wisdom and knowledge. The ancient Indians had knowledge of astrology, weather, Ayurveda. Many Indians, especially in village areas, believe different things which might look like superstition but have a scientific reason behind it. Below is list of such common beliefs,
- Hanging lemon and green chilies in Shops:
Superstition: The lemon and green chilies oven in the cotton thread is hung on the shop door to cast away evil eye of people or to keep away the evil spirits.
Scientific Explanation: The cotton thread in which lemon and green chilies are oven absorbs the fresh juice of the lemon and chilies. This juice acts as a natural pesticide and keeps away the flies and insects protecting the shop owner and customers from viral diseases.
- Braking Mirror:
Superstition: Using a broke mirror brings a bad luck.
- Scientific Explanation: The mirror is a delicate object and was used to be costly in olden days. So to protect it from breaking and encourage people to handle it carefully the use of broken mirror was not advised. Besides, there might be a psychological reason that using a broken object would give you the poor feeling.
- Cutting Nails and Shaving after Sunset:
Superstition: Cutting nails and shaving after sunset is believed to have attracted the evil spirits.
Scientific Explanation: Cutting nails or shaving requires sharp blades to be used with precision and it also requires light. To avoid getting hurt in absence of light the people were discouraged to cut nails after sunset.
- Do not sleep with your head facing North:
Superstition: if one sleeps with keeping the head in the north it is believed that it will invite death to that person or a misfortune in the person’s life.
Scientific Explanation: the ancient Indians were very much advanced in the field of astrology and magnetism. The Earth’s magnetic field would cause the increased blood flow towards head if one keeps the head in north direction while sleeping. This might cause the person to get agitated or if the person keeps the same habit for long period, it might cause brain stroke also. To avoid these health complications in India people are advised to not to sleep with their head facing North.
- Do not sleep under peepal tree at night
Superstition: It is believed that after sunset evil spirits roam around peepal tree and they might possess the person sleeping under it.
Scientific Explanation: The peepal tree releases co2 after sunset. If the person is sleeping under peepal tree after sunset then he might get breathing problem. To avoid this person was advertised to not to sleep under a peepal tree in the night.
- Lizard Falling On Human Is Bad Luck:
Superstition: In Indian society, people believe that if a lizard falls on a human then it might bring bad luck to him and the person is advised to drink cow urine to cast away the effect.
Scientific Explanation: The scientific reason behind the belief is that the lizard releases poisonous chemicals from its body to protect itself from predators. The cow urine has many medical properties and can act as an antibiotic.
- Do Not sweep the house after Sunset:
Superstition: If you sweep your house after sunset it will be disrespect to Goddess Lakshmi and hence inviting poverty.
- Scientific Explanation: In olden days there was no electricity and people were dependent on dim light of oil lamp. If a person sweeps the house after sunset then it might be possible that small gold ornaments might get swept out of the house while sweeping. To avoid these people were advised not to sweep the house after Sunset.
What we understand from above scientific explanations is that our ancestors were highly learned and wise people who cared for the people. They set up some rules to protect the general public who were not that much educated to understand the scientific reasons.