Do you blindly follow rituals without knowing them? Or do you search for the logic behind them and try to reason it out before practising?
Even in our day to day life, in the name of tradition, we unquestioningly follow traditions and customs and perform all types of religious, social and superstitious rituals without understanding the spirit behind the ritual.
I wonder why we accept customs and traditions without understanding their significance?Just like a blind man lead by others, why do we blindly follow rituals without examining the meaning, logic and significance of that ritual using our own intelligence and judgement?
Please don’t get me wrong, I am not making a statement here and saying all traditions because they are traditions are bad, but I encourage us all to examine why we follow the ones we do, ask questions and find out the logical basis for the ritual, custom or tradition and if we are convinced then we should go ahead in practising them.
Being born and brought up in late 80’s here are few myths and the scientific reason behind them, which I have found through research data available on our favorite search engine Google:
Myth: Don’t Cut Nails After Sunset !!
Logic: There was no electricity in the time of our ancestors. One could hurt himself while cutting nails in the absence of light. And this seems quite logical. But now many -a- times, we might end up not following this as we have 24*7 power backup and we are always running out of time in the morning to prepare for the day.
Myth: Sweeping the floor during the evening brings bad luck !!
Logic: This emerged out of the fact that some important things might get swept away in the dark light during the night. Following the idea, most of us clean/sweep our homes in the morning only even today.
Myth: Using lemon and green chilies to avert “Buri Nazar” !!
Logic: Both are rich in different vitamins and nutrients, and their usage will help in keeping away the diseases. This is quite scientific, but many people follow it as a superstition only.
Myth: Don’t wash your hair on a certain day !!
Logic: Our ancestors thought of the next generation way back and this was almost a great technique to save water. In today’s world, this becomes all the more important.
Myth: Have bathe after attending a funeral ceremony !!
Logic: Earlier there were no vaccinations against hepatitis, smallpox and other deadly and contagious diseases. So, this would have been so as to prevent infection from the dead body.
I did not understand this till the time I found the reason behind it.
Myth: Don’t step out during an eclipse !!
Logic: We have been told since childhood to not step out during a solar eclipse as it can cause retinal burns or “eclipse blindness”. Moreover, pregnant women are advised to stay indoors in the fear of damage to the fetus.
Myth: Women should not work in the kitchen while they are on menstruation !!
Logic: This would have been to give rest to the ladies. Probably women did not work during the early days because of discomfort and slowly this became a ritual and degraded to the form of a superstition and has become a taboo today.
Somehow over the years, the knowledge underlying traditional rituals became more and more esoteric. What got propagated was just the rule, not the reasoning. Is it time we started looking for the good in the past? We could probably find out a lot of answers to our problems if we started studying these in conjunction with our present.
Do you think now that the truth is stranger than fiction?
What are the traditions which you follow? Please share them with me and let us try to find the truth behind them.