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Friday, 16 January 2015

Superstition : A social evil

 Society has long been plagued by the malaise of superstition. Superstition is the belief in supernatural causality. The word superstition has a very wide ambit. It includes practices such as astrology, omens, witchcraft, prophecies, and many more. Religion is a tool that one adopts in order to liberate oneself. Irony is that man often loses his path in the maze that he has constructed himself. He casts a web around him that obliterate facts and he fails to grasp the most obvious solutions to his problems.

 Nobody is prepared for the vicissitudes of life. There are a lot of upswings and downswings and in his hour of need man turns to divinity for solace. Off course every individual is entitled to his choice of religion and nobody can bar him from exercising this right. This is agreeable only up-to a degree.

The problem arises when he crosses over the line of faith to blind faith.It is not that he willingly falls into the trap but is rather coerced by his desperation. Helpless and powerless against the iron hand of circumstance he looks to some easy path to take him out of the morass.In his attempt to get out of the situation he kicks and claws but only succeeds in dragging himself down the abyss.  In some cases it is ignorance that proves his bane. Being stoic, he sticks to old beliefs and traditions and becomes dogmatic rather than pragmatic.This scenario is especially prevalent in backward and third world countries. The term 'Mob Mentality' dictates the course of action rather than sound reasoning. Of course some practices have proven facts that necessitates such action. Not all rituals are without merit. But the scope and range of such rituals is limited.

 Superstition has remained deeply ingrained in human history. Right from the pre-historic age when man attributed phenomenons such as thunder and lightening to the wrath of Gods to the inhuman burning of women under the pretext of witchcraft in the middle ages and prevalent ills and taboos superstition has remained deeply entrenched in the psyche of the human mind.It all stems from the fear of the unknown. This fear has led to a market of exploitation. It is no surprise that we see such so called 'God men' mushroom all over the world. Such 'God men' proclaim themselves to be the supreme guru and fraudulently take charge in providing a path for salvation. It should be no wonder when such 'Godmen' fall from grace as is so often the case. The poor and impoverished quickly fall prey to these notions but it is indeed alarming when the rich and the abundant too join in the fray.

 A extra letter in ones name (or surname) or the direction of one's house or the time of ones birth are all but trivialities given undue importance. Auspicious and inauspicious resides within. The spiritual journey of an individual from birth until deliverance is a solemn one and should be traversed as he sees fit. In this journey of faith he is often misled and transgresses from his soul being only to repent and regret later. Verifying facts for oneself and deciding his course is the ideal way.

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