Most Indian people claim that going near a peepal tree after dark causes evil spirits or ghosts to take over a human body. However, this fact is baseless and utterly superstitious. The ancestors knew a great deal about the process of photosynthesis, unlike our western counterparts that came to know of it only in the mid 17th century. Trees produce a good amount of carbon dioxide at night and our ancestors knew about this fact. They started following this practice of not letting anyone go near a peepal tree in the night. Inhaling this gas can cause serious problems and even death in human beings. So, one should believe in its scientific explanation and not the ghost angle that is often attached to this superstition.
7. Most Indians throw coins in holy waters – Copper acts as a disinfectant
Have you ever thrown coins in Ganges or some other holy river like the Yamuna? And do you know why you have done it? Well, for most of us, we believe throwing coins in the sacred waters helps bring good luck and prosperity. This superstition is not restricted to India, but is in practice even in the western world. People believe that when coins are thrown in fountains or rivers, it brings them good luck. But, here again there is a logic worth understanding. Coins in olden times were composed of copper, a metal that is believed to purify water when it mixes in it. Hence, our ancestors propagated throwing of coins to make the water drinkable.
8. Indians always take bath after they attend a funeral – This is done to prevent infection
Going to a funeral and not taking bath will attract the spirits from the underworld to come and attach themselves to the humans – This is an old superstition most of us know about. But, the angle one must believe is the scientific one according to which a person must wash himself after he attends to funeral rites to cleanse off bacteria and other kinds of infections. In the olden times, people had no or very little access to medicines, and there were no vaccinations available for treating dangerous diseases like hepatitis and small pox. A dead body when decomposing becomes a storehouse of all kinds of germs and bacteria. Hence, to safeguard one from these contagious diseases, this practice was encouraged.
9. Its a superstition to eat a mixture of curd and sugar before going out for important work – It is done for the body to remain cool
When your mother pesters you to eat a spoonful of curd and sugar before heading outside, you better do it! Why, you may ask? Well, it will undoubtedly protect you from getting a heat stroke, but…the good luck angle is merely a fable. For that, you probably need to work hard and harder to achieve your dreams! Jokes aside, India is a country whose summers can take a toll on people’s bodies, specially their stomachs. Curd has cooling properties and when mixed with sugar tastes really good. Hence, this custom is still practiced among all Indians.
Rural Indian homes and their floors are always cleaned and plastered with cow dung. Cow is a sacred animal in our country and is worshiped like a mother. All the things, like its urine and dung are considered pious too. People, therefore, believe that its an auspicious thing to plaster the floors with cow dung. However, there is one very valid reason to do it apart from the auspicious angle. Cow dung contains many good bacteria that act as disinfectant and repellent for insects. Back in the ancient time, people had no pesticide powders or disinfectant solutions to clean their homes, and the dung of cows was the best possible alternative. We still follow this ritual.