What is Superstition?
The dictionary meaning of 'Superstition' is - "An irrational belief arising from ignorance or fear". There are innumerable number of belief which controls our life and some of them to quote:
"A widow coming in front of you while you are leaving home for an auspicious purpose, it is a bad oman!"
"A black cat crossing your way sends you a warning that something bad is going to happen!"
"If you see a dead body on the way it is a good oman"
"If you start a business on Tuesday or 13th you will be doomed!!
The dictionary meaning has few key words and one of them is "Irrational belief" which implies it is not backed up by your 'Intellect' which has the ability to connect 'cause' & 'Effect'. In this universe everything is connected with a 'Cause & Effect' and just because we are not able recognize, it does not mean they don't exist. For example apple was falling for millions of years till Isaac Newton asked "Why is it not going up?' and found gravity. Till Gallelio discovered planet earth is a globe people believed it is flat!! As one man challenged all united and poked his eyes for telling the truth. From this it appears the 'Superstitions' are 'Irrational beliefs'. For example, in the village I grew up they used to believe the home should have one entrance in the front and one exit at the back which are perfectly aligned. If not you will have serious problems in life. When I came to Bombay I was searching for the back exit and found none!! In fact I prospered here than in my village.
The second part of the dictionary definition is "Arising out of Ignorance or fear". Human beings can be controlled either by 'Fear' or 'Ignorance'. India once upon a time had the best and un-corrupted politicians. What is happening now? Can anyone become President of America or UK? No way! Ignorance is due to lack of education. Hence 'Superstition' are created by intelligent people who wanted to control the innocent people using their ignorance or instilling fear.
Who made us to believe these irrational stuff? It cannot be none other than our parents and religious masters who in turn were made to believe by their seniors. When and how these irrational things can be incorporated in our sub-conscious mind? It has to be done before we are 7 years old during which time the 'Intellect' starts acting asking for cause & effect. What is the process? A repeated statements progressively creates a belief. When we have no original thinking, we can be easily made to believe which psychology calls "Conditioning".
If we travel from the 'West' towards the 'East' we find there is a steady increase in 'Superstition' and I see a reason for this. The science advanced in the west as they enquired everything outside themselves such as 'What material is all about?' and 'Science' has born which tries to find the 'Cause & effects'. In the East we inquired 'Who am I?' and ended up in "Spirituality" which is the science of 'Self'. As everything in spirituality is "Abstract" and can't be subjected to a laboratory experiments, our seniors have misunderstood and speculated through 'Superstitions'.
We will see the ill effects of superstition in the future posts.