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Essay on “Superstitions” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Superstitions

Essay No. 01

Superstitions are as old as man. The earliest men who had no scientific knowledge fell on easy prey to superstition.  Thus, illiteracy and lack of knowledge and capacity to reason out are the hotbeds which generate and perpetuate superstition.

Mahatma Buddha was probably the first great man to expound and explain the value and significance of reason which eliminated superstition altogether. He emphasized that everything should be thoroughly studied, judged and tested before being believed. Later, many other great men like Guru Nanak and Kabir exhorted the people to shun superstitions.

Many people may believe that faith is also a form of superstition. But, as we can see if we think deeply, there is a difference. Faith is a positive factor whereas superstition is a negative factor.

Earlier, superstition was rampant in villages. The belief in ghosts was common. It was believed that these ghosts operated at night and that they were visible to some people and invisible to others. Taking advantage of this many clever men burned into tan tricks and controllers of ghosts. They cheated the gullible villagers. Unfortunately, even at present, such clever men are at work.

There are many kinds of superstitions which are observed by common people. The throbbing of eyes, a cat crossing our way, coming across a Brahmin-all these are believed to be inauspicious. The cawing of a crow indicated the possibility of a guest visiting our house that day. Similarly, if we come across a sweeper early in the morning, it is considered to be auspicious.

We should try to develop a scientific spirit of mind and judge everything on the basis of reason.

 

Essay No. 02

 

Superstitions

 

Superstitions are widespread. They are found throughout the world among people in some form or the other. They more prevalent among illiterate and uneducated people. With the advancement of knowledge, learning and science, they are gradually losing ground, yet they hold their sway even among educated people of the society.

A belief based on ignorance or fear is a superstition. A superstition is never rational. It is always against the known laws of science and reasoning. Superstitions have many forms and practices. Beliefs in charms, omens, super-natural powers and beings, etc., have their roots in superstitions. What is mysterious, unknown, and inexplicable generally because fear, and fear in its turn generates superstitions and blind-beliefs.

Thus, they originate and thrive on human ignorance’s and blind-faith in things mysterious and unknown. Psychologically, the sense of insecurity, fear of ill luck and the dread of inexplicable forces in nature give birth to superstitions. Superstitions may differ from place to place, community to community and country to country, yet they have common origins. They originate from fear and lack of knowledge of things. When some phenomena cannot be explained and understood, people start fearing them and assign them divine and mysterious origins. In ancient times all races and people were governed by superstitions.

Superstitions found rich and fertile soil in human ignorance and lack of scientific knowledge. The less a race is enlightened, the more it tends to be superstitious. Some vested interests like priestly class, etc., also exercise a great influence in spreading and maintaining superstitions. Many of our religious rituals and rites are blind beliefs and tricks played by the priests, etc., on the gullible people.

The superstitions have caused mankind a lot of positive harm. The hold of superstitions on mankind is still strong. In spite of advancement of science and technology people suffer from superstitions and complexes born out of them. Take, for example, the dread of the number “13” in the West. They regard it the most unlucky number. They avoid it at any cost because they think it ominous and fatalistic. It is a taboo for them. This superstition has its origin in the last Supper of Christ. When Christ supped last, there were 13 persons, and soon after that Christ was crucified.

Because of these superstitions many godmen priests, so-called astrologers, palmists and occultists are having roaring business. The gullible and superstitious people throng their shops and willingly get duped. Superstitions have various forms and manifestations. At some places it can be seen in the worship of snakes, animals, trees and the practice of witch crafts. At others it is observed in the form of animal and human sacrifices. Sometimes a superstitious person does not hesitate even in sacrificing his own son or daughter to propitiate a god or goddess. There is no limit a. superstitious person can stoop to. Much of bigotry and fanaticism have their roots in our superstitions. Many times a woman is burnt alive as a witch or sorceress. It reminds us of Jaon of Arc of France who was burnt to death because she was considered a witch by the invading English army.

In many villages and towns there are houses, places, trees and caverns believed to be haunted by ghosts. The graveyards are supposed to be frequented by these spirits, and should therefore be avoided, at night and at odd hours. If anybody dares to go there at odd hours, he or she is bound to be possessed by the evil spirits. The only remedy available is rationality and scientific temper. The more the knowledge based on facts, the lesser the evils of superstitions. We must eradicate ignorance, fear of the unknown, the ideas of existence of evil spirits through dissemination of scientific knowledge and enlightenment in order to root out superstitions from our minds.

In India there are many superstitions. Beliefs in ghosts, witches, omens, spirits, age old rotten customs and traditions are to be found almost everywhere in India. For thousands and thousands of people in India superstitions are synominous with religion because they are weak-minded and rationally not developed. They are victims of the superstitions and irrational rotten faiths in the guise of religion, traditions and rituals. Not long ago small-pox was considered as the result of the wrath of a goddess. Still in many villages and towns the goddess Shitala is worshipped as the authoress of small-pox. Similarly, sneezing at the start of a work or a travel is considered as an evil portent. The crossing of a cat while you are going for some work is also regarded as equally ominous. In such an event it is presumed that the work is sure to end in failure. The barking of a dog, the crying of a cat, the howling of a jackal and broying of an ass are also taken as ominous. But a man or woman, with a pitcher full of water, crossing your way, a sweeper sweeping the road before you, are looked upon as auspicious.

There are certain days and hours which are auspicious. The people of India have set beliefs and want to perform work accordingly. They consult an astrologer or a priest for an auspicious movement to start an important work or a journey. The time and date of a marriage, inauguration, foundation laying of a house, start of a business, etc., are fixed according to the positions of the planets and stars. There are certain inauspicious days and months when no good and important work can be undertaken.

For the Indians the sun-eclipse, the sight of a comet and a shooting star are very ominous. They signify some disaster or national tragedy to them.

“When beggars die there are no comets seen, The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.”

 

Essay No. 03

 

Superstitions

Superstitions  had  their  origin  in  the  element  of  fear  in  man. Whatever  could  not  be  explained  by  reason  was  looked  upon  as an  object  of  terror  and  was  worshipped.  However  even  now, when  civilization  has  progressed  and  education  has  spread, superstitions  are  current  all  over  the  world.  Superstitions  reduce a  man’s  efficiency  and,  therefore,  should  be  done  away  with.

Superstitions  cut  across  caste,  communal,  and  even  national  boundaries People  an  over  the  world  have  superstitions,  though  they  may  differ from  country  to  country  and  region  to  region.  Not even the  educated  arc free  from  superstitions.  In some  cases,  superstitious  beliefs  are  very  deep- rooted.  In  spite  Of  all  evidence  to  the  contrary,  people  continue  to  hold  fast  to  them  and  allow  their  lives  to  be  regulated by  them.

The  origin  of  superstitions  can  be  traced  to  the  element  of  fear  (which  is anti-rationalistic),  the  urge  for  security  and  material  welfare.  Human beings  Cherish  a  deep-seated  wish  for  their physical  Well-being.  They, would  go  to  any  length  to  ward    Off,  real  or  imaginary, danger  to  ,their bodies  and  falling  prey  to  diseases  and  death.  Also  the  desire  for  success; in  projects  involving  material  welfare  is  so  great  in  human  beings  that  even  the  thought  of  failure  unnerves  them.  They,  therefore  believe in certain  superstitions.  Some of  the superstitions  involve either  positively doing  certain  things    or  avoiding  certain situations  or  happenings; Superstitions  are  a  legacy  from  the  Stone  and  Wood  ages.  The  primitive men then  did  not  understand  a  large  part  of  the  natural  phenomena. Their  reason  was  not  highly developed.  They  attributed  their  success  or failure,  or  physical  condemn  to  irrational  beliefs.  Also  superstitions  came into  vogue  through  repeated  coincidences.  For  example,  if  a  person  often met  a, particular  type  of  animal,  while.  going  out  on  a  mission,  and  each time  he  was-unsuccessful,  he  began  to  regard that  animal  as  a  bad  omen. Or  conversely,  success  associated  with  a  series  of  coincidental  happenings; also  created  a  superstition.

In  the  Western  civilization,  one  of  the  most  well-known  superstitions the  ill-luck  number  thirteen  is  supposed  to  bring.  A  person  getting  number thirteen  for  his  car  will  shudder  to  drive  his  vehicle  for  tear  of  accidents. TA  house  with  this  number  will  fill  the  inmates  with  fear  of disease  and death. But  such  is  not  the  case  in  India.  Also, in the  West,   passing under  a  ladder  is considered  unlucky. This superstition  also  is  not  current in  India.

There  is,  however,  a  long  list  of  superstitions  which  are  prevalent  in India.  A  black  cat  is  one  of  the  worst  omens. (In  the  West,  too,  it  is thought  so).  If  a  black  cat  runs  across  someone’s  path,  it  is  believed,  he either  fails  in  his  job   or  meets  with  an  accident.  Owl is  another  illomened  bird.  Hooting  of  an  owl  is  supposed  to  bring  disaster  in  the neighborhood  or  to  the  particular  house  he  is  sitting  on  at  the  time of hooting. Cawing  of  crow  announces  arrival  of  SOW  guests.  Wailing  of  a dog  foreshadows  death.  If  one  meets  a  Brahmin  immediately  on  setting out  for  a  job,  one  is  Most  likely  to  fail.  On  the  Other  hand,  if   one  meets sweeper/sweepers,  it  is  supposed  to  bring success  in  job.  (It  is  a  rather contradictory  superstition.  Shudras  are  regarded  as  low  and  Brahmins  as twice-born  high  caste    beings  in  Indian  society).  Looking  at  alt  empty Vessel  at  the  time  of  corning  out  of  the  house  is  also  supposed  to  bring failure.  If  someone  sneezes,  when  one  is  getting  ready  to  go  out  to accomplish  a  task,  he  is  likely  to fail,  People  don’t  like  to  be  called back  and  asked  a  question  when  they  are  setting  out  for  some  work. Women’s   braids  are  hung  at  the  back  of  vehicles,  sometimes  even  cars belonging  to  the  posh  people.  A newly-built  house  has  to  ward  off  the evil  eye.  This  is  done   by  hanging, on  the  facade  of,  the  house  an  ugly, fearsome  face,  usually  painted  at  the  back  of  an  earthen  vessel.

At  times, superstitions  are  stretched  too  far. Particular people  are  regarded as ill omened  just.  because  a  death  or  a  serious  crippling accident  took place to  a  family  member  after  they  appeared  on  the  scene.  In  the  Indian setup,  the  newly-married  brides  often  have  to  pay  a  heavy  price.  If immediately  after  the  brides  entry  into  her  in-laws  house  the  death  of her  husband  or  father-in-law  or  even  some  other  member  of  the  family occurs, she  is  blamed  for  it.  For  the  rest  of  her  life,  the  daughter-in-law  is subjected  to  taunts  and  torture  for  no  fault  of  hers.

Some  of  the  superstitions,  however,  are  meant  to  bring  about  social  good or lesson  the  pain  or  feeling  of  loss.  For example,  finding  of  a and  carrying  it  along  is  considered  a  sign  of  good  luck.  The  action, thus  performed,  actually  Proves  beneficial  to  satiety:  The  horse-shoe,  an otherwise  dangerous  thing,  which  could  hurt  a  human  or  damage  a  wheel removed  from  the  road  by  the  picker.  Similarly the  breaking  of  crockery  on  the  occasion  of  a  marriage  ceremony  is  considered  auspicious. The  superstition  is  again  calculated  to  lessen  the  feeling  of  loss  that would  otherwise  be  caused  on  account  of  a  financial  loss.

Superstitions,  to  say  the  least,  affect  human  conduct.  They  ,fill,  men  with unnecessary  anxiety  and  fear,  which  lead  to  nervous  strain.  They  reduce the  capability  of  men  to  perform  certain  tasks  or  delay  the  accomplishment of  jobs.  Many  a  man  go  back  home  because  they  have  encountered  some ill  omen.  Superstitions  sour  human  relationships.  Sneezing  is  a  biological need  likewise.  Asking  a question  when  somebody-  is  about  to  leave  for some  job  is  a  natural  curiosity  of  human  beings.

The  purpose  of  education  is  to  reduce  the  area  of  darkness  and  instill among  people  courage,  self-confidence,  and  thereby  free  the  society  from the  tyranny  of  superstitions.  Although  superstitious  beliefs  are  still  current, with  the  spread  of  education,  many  of  the  superstitions  have  died.  Since most  of  the  superstitions  hinder  positive  action;  the  elders  can  play  a crucial  role  in  freeing  the  youngsters  from  the  yoke  of  superstitions. They  can  explain,,  to  them  the  futility  of  believing  in  them.  Also  they can  set  an  example  by  themselves  not  falling  victim  to  superstitious  beliefs.

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