Thursday, September 21, 2023


Beliefs and Superstitions

Religious Beliefs

In the beliefs that  the god will reciprocate, people make vows and carry them out. Parents desiring off spring  promise that if a child is born, they will donate the child's first hair  to the deity  which grant  the boon  or they will hang a miniature cradle in a temple to beget a child by god's grace . 

If a child is ill the parents or grand parents promise to present  silver or gold articles to the deity on the child recovering its health. Offerings are made in the shape of parts of the body which have subject to disease. Elderly persons roll their body around the temples outer boundaries, on the earthen road several times and even for several kilometers  to thank  providence  for mercies shown. In Thiruvannamalai it take the form of girivalam  or circling  the hill, a distance of 13 km. 

On buying  a new car, many persons make the first drive to a temple. If a cow is purchased,  the first milking is used to anoint a deity. The first ghee melted from the cows  butter is poured in to the temple lamp as fuel  to brighten its glow . 

When faced with dilemma, instead of considering merits and demerits, villagers put up some flowers in a temple and see which way the wind lifts it  to decide an issue. Or they draw lots in front of their favourite  deity to decide whether  they should go ahead  with a suggested surgical operation etc.

When a coconut is broken  in the temple, it should part in to two regular and equal halves  and not break at tangent  in to the eyes  of the coconut. A decayed  or rotten coconut foreshadows serious mishap  to the devotee . 

If two families fill out and they later join hands, each family  contributes  a token  sum and the money is jointly deposited in the temple  cash-chest to seek the deity's approval of the reconciliation. Other wise, it is feared that the reunion may be just a temporary  phenomenon .

If the axle of a temple car  cracks or give away, the event is likely to bring misery to that village. Another fear is that a dwelling house built higher than that of the tower of the local temple  may cause havoc to the inhabitants.

After sneezing, people  exclaim 'Shiva', 'Rama ' or 'Krishna'. If some one yawns, the person  yawing or his neighbour snaps  his fingers to the right and to the left to scare away evil-spirits .

The first pumpkin or for that matter any first produce in the vegetable  garden  is donated  to the temple-kitchen.

In Thenbaranadu, which is in Thiruchirappali district,  a person sent to select  a bride  should give up his mission, if he happens to cross a bamboo, fire wood  or a reptile  or if hears the sound of the deer.