If as auspicious. Superstitions are not only prevalent

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If someone sneezes just when one is about to go out, one is likely to fail- If one is about to go out for some work and someone interrupts one by asking why or where one is going, one will meet with failure.

Some superstitions, it is thought, enable one to ward off the evil eye. For example, when some people build a new house, an earthen pot is suspended with an ugly face painted on it on the facade of their house. Similarly, owners of new cars or scooters ward off the evil eye of other people by hanging women braids at the back of their vehicles.

Strangely enough, sometimes one superstitious belief contradicts the other- According to one most commonly held belief, Brahmins are high-caste and Shudras are regarded as low-caste. But if one goes by superstition, meet a Shudra on one’s way brings success, but meeting a Brahmin is likely to res in one’s failure.

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Certain birds and animals are regarded as the worst omens. If a black cat comes across one’s path, one will either fail or meet with an accident. Wailing of a dog foreshadows death. Hooting of an owl spells disaster.

Sometimes, people go to the extent of not celebrating a festival throughout their lives simply because someone in their family died on the day of that festival. One may believe it or not, but it is a fact that in India if soon after a marriage, if someone dies in the family, the poor bride is blamed for it.

Some superstitions are supposed to bring good luck or happiness. If you find a horse-shoe and bring it home, it could bring luck to you and your family. The breaking of crockery on the occasion of a marriage ceremony is regarded as auspicious.

Superstitions are not only prevalent in backward countries, but even the advanced western countries have not remained unaffected by this irrational phenomenon. For instance, people in western countries believe that the number “13” is an unlucky number. They will not do anything important on the 13th of a month lest they should come to grief. Inmates of a house carrying this number will dread disease. Passengers do not like to travel in a taxi with a number plate bearing this number.

Surprisingly, even when a particular superstition does not come true in actual life, people do not give it up. On the contrary, they cling to it for whatever it is worth.

The hold of superstitions on our mind is so strong that even if nothing happens to a man after a black cat cuts across his path, or he meets with success in spite of a sneeze, he will not stop believing in these superstitions.

There is nothing wrong in sneezing. In fact, it is a biological necessity. It can come to a person at any time of the day. So, if it comes when a person is about to go out, one need not raise one’s eyebrows. Similarly, when a person is about to leave, it is but natural for the other person to ask questions to know where he is going. One should not read too much into such spontaneous questions raised by people who are curious to know.

Superstitions lead to mental disorders. A person believing in superstition is always haunted by unknown fears and anxieties. He suffers from strain and stress. Sometimes he may even suffer a nervous breakdown. A superstitious Person loses self-confidence. Education alone can play a positive role in convincing people about the futility of superstitions.

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