Do Superstitions Have a Scientific Basis?
A few years ago, a lady I knew was preparing for an important business meeting. In Tamil Nadu, many people believe that when you start your car in the morning, you should not start in reverse gear. Otherwise your whole life will go into reverse gear. So, in the morning they always move it a little forward. So, she wanted to move the car forward before reversing out of the house. In all her anxiety and fear, while trying to move it a few inches forward, she jerked the clutch and drove the car straight through the wall into the bedroom!
Instead of creating the necessary inner and external atmosphere around us where the right kind of situation can happen, we always look for something else which could make that happen. How you experienced today within yourself is definitely in your hands. It is not decided by what superstitions you believe in. It simply depends on how sensibly, intelligently, and with how much awareness you walk and look at life around you.
So, is there no truth in any of this? Not necessarily. Most of them have some scientific basis but they have been badly distorted over time. From generation to generation the science has lost its shape and become something else. Moreover, today, because of political and other kinds of dominance, we have come to the conclusion that if something comes from the West it is science, if it comes from the East it is superstition.
Many of the things we have always said in this culture are being discovered today after billion-dollar research studies, as “great” discoveries about human nature. We have always known these things because this is not a culture which evolved out of compulsions of living. This is a culture which was evolved consciously by sages and saints. There is immense scientific value in it. Everything – from how you should sit, stand and eat – was designed according to what is best for human wellbeing. Unfortunately, the spiritual culture we see today has in many ways been broken by invasions and distorted by long spells of poverty. Still, the basic ethos of the spiritual process is not destroyed, nor can it be destroyed. It is time we reap the benefits of this profound tradition in its full glory.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in The Asian Age