Superstitious Beliefs Of Tamils/Part:01

"It is beyond heart's endurance
When thought hovers on these debased
They fear, they dread and they perish
This world for them is full of fear.
Vile demons haunt this tree—nay, haunt
That tank—nay, nay, are deep asleep
On this hilltop. Thus they assert
And grieve much, thinking fear-breeding
[-poet Subramanya Bharathi-]

There are endless beliefs and superstitions[Superstition-The belief that certain events cannot be explained by reason or science, or that they bring good or bad luck; - Oxford Dictionary] governing every aspect of life from birth to death and every single item of daily life.Different cultures have traditionally held differing superstitous beliefs, beliefs that are deemed "irrational." Such beliefs go back to ancient cultures such as the Greeks and Romans, who believed that natural occurrences were a result of actions of the gods. Such fear of the gods, deisidaimonia[in a good sense reverencing god or the gods, pious, religious in a bad sense superstitious religious or The fear of supernatural powers ], was what the Romans meant by superstition.
In Western cultures, some superstitions actually caused more bad luck such as the belief in England that cats were witches and that they were the cause of the Plague. By killing off the cats, the English caused the rat population to flourish, and, thus increase disease. Of course, cats have been part of superstitious beliefs for ages. The black cat crossing one's path denotes bad luck, for example. Cats are also supposed to suck the breath away from babies, killing them.
Many superstitious beliefs are connected to religion. For instance, if one holds out a cross or wears one, the person can ward off evil. Certain talismans[The Talisman is an object marked with magic signs and is believed to confer on its bearer supernatural powers or protection. Virtually every religion in human history has offered as adherents small decorative objects which purpose is to do anything ranging between healing, protection or success.] worn or hung in houses, were to have warded off evil. Saint Gregory I the Great ordered that people say "God Bless You" when someone sneezed in order to ward off disease.
One of the oddest superstitions seems that of wishing an actor to "break a leg"["Break a leg" is a well-known idiom in theatre which means "good luck." It is typically said to actors and musicians before they go on stage to perform.] when one wishes him/her well. But, at one time someone said, "Good luck" and the actor broke a leg. So now people in the acting field say the opposite in order to ward off bad luck. At any rate, at least this one makes sense when one knows its origin.
Most common superstition in India that we have come across is a belief that if you sneeze once when you are just starting work on something or when just leaving to go somewhere, then you are likely to fail on whatever your task. This bad luck somehow gets cancelled by a second sneeze.
Also in India many people believe in astrology, which is considered superstition by many.As a
physician do fasting blood sugar lab test for screening diabetes in high risk patients, [In similar way] horoscope matching is a compulsory screening test for marriages in Tamil society. The astrology is at its peak in such an extent, that couples plan to deliver the babies near term in an auspicious time predicted by their family astrologer. The felt need is understood by the mass media right from leading newspaper magazines to television channels which amplifies their revenue. The astrology seeking behaviour is conditioned in the society. It starts from the naming of the child as per the stars, planets consultation for career guidance, manglik dosham avoidance for selecting your life partner, eliminating Saturn influence on your financial tables, timing of good and bad hours in lifestyle intervention etc etc.
That is as per astrology chart when a child is born, the timing is correlated with planets position and star constellations. The destiny of the child is determined by the chart. The horoscope chart is the hand of god to guide the child in any vital event in his or her life.
To our knowledge the most superstitious belief common in Western World is the one about number thirteen.Two other superstition that we frequently come across are about "crossing fingers" to ward off some bad luck, and "touching wood" when you speak about some thing good or desirable, so that it will continue to be that way.
We believe, the superstition about Fridays, particularly in combination with the date thirteen is quite common.
There are so many superstitions. Friday the thirteenth is a scary day. Black cats are bad luck[If a black cat crosses your path, it is a sign of bad luck, the person should go the other way to avoid bad luck.]. Don't walk under a ladder[ it is if a tool falls on your head or if you dislocate the ladder and the person on the ladder falls down.It is one of the few superstitions that seems to have a rational basis!]. Breaking a mirror brings you seven years bad luck. There are examples from every culture, and they are somewhat similar to these
Most superstitions were born with an aim to protect and were based on sound reasoning. With time, however, much of the reasoning has been forgotten and the beliefs appear unsubstantiated[ie unsupported by other evidence]. But there are also many beliefs that have no reason behind them.Of superstitions, those believed to portend future happenings are considered important. Anything from the call of a bird to the falling of utensils is considered an omen.Many omens relate to animals, birds and reptiles.
The human mind can think, reason out and rationalise any content that it receives by sensory inputs. Many cause and effect inputs are realised in our mind by facts and many are realised by myths and fiction.
A simple example, boiling of water (cause) gives rise to water vapour (effect) –realization by facts (evaporation) – science.
The crossing of a black cat when leaving the house (cause)-losing a purse in the bus (effect) – realization by myth – superstition.
The crux[a main or central feature] of this Article is to provide the reader a quick tour of many superstitions existing in the present Tamil society.

"Aalum valaranum arivum valaranum athuthanda valarchi
aasayodu eendravalukku athuve nee tharum magizhchi 
Vaeppa mara uchchiyil ninnu paei onnu aadudhunnu 
Vilayada pogum bothu solli veppaanga
Unthan veerathai kozhundhuleye killi veppaanga
Vaelai attra veenargalin moolai attra vaarthagalai 
Vedikkaiyaaga kooda nambividathe nee
Veettukulle bayanthu kidanthu vembi vidaathe nee vembi vidaathe"
"ஆளும் வளரணும் அறிவும் வளரணும்
அதுதாண்டா வளர்ச்சி
ஆசையோடு ஈன்றவளுக்கு
அதுவே நீ தரும் மகிழ்ச்சி
வேப்பமர உச்சியில் நின்னு
பேயொண்ணு ஆடுதுன்னு
விளையாடப் போகும் போது
சொல்லி வைப்பாங்க - உன்
வீரத்தைக் கொழுந்திலேயே
கிள்ளி வைப்பாங்க
வேலையற்ற வீணர்களின்
மூளையற்ற வார்த்தைகளை
வேடிக்கையாகக் கூட
நம்பி விடாதே - நீ
வீட்டுக்குள்ளே பயந்து கிடந்து
வெம்பி விடாதே - நீ
வெம்பி விடாதே"

[Pattukottai Kalyana Sundaram
Movie: Arasilangkumari[அரசிளங்குமரி], 1957]
[Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam]
Part:02[Tamil month of Aadi[ஆடி] will follow 


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