Logic Behind Superstitions | An Architect Explains

Today the scientific knowledge is much more than the knowledge of yesterday, but far too less compared with that of tomorrow. So naturally, what used to be considered a miracle, yesterday, can be rationally explained today. And what is still unexplained, or thought of as a miracle today, will be explained tomorrow, rationally.


Here, I have tried to rationalise  some of the superstitions and beliefs that have been followed in India for ages.

One should not pluck leaves, flowers of trees after dark – The Logic – One reason could be that there is the danger of getting stung by insects, snakes, thorns etc in the poor lighting. The other reason  could be  that one should not disturb nature, when she is resting, because like humans nature also needs rest.

One should not give nor hand over nor exchange  tamarind, salt, fire, light, lamps etc from hand to hand. The Logic- It may be to signify that nobody should be in a situation to beg or ask for basic essentials which should be available free for all to take without asking anyone.

One should not sweep after darkThe Logic-In earlier times, when there were only poor lighting systems, one reason must have been the fear of losing valuables, (like a small gold earring). The other reason must have been that the splinters of the broom, when swept were prone to catch fire from the lamps causing the risk of a fire.

One should not sweep after dark

One should not use  someone else’s shoes, ornaments, clothes, or water glass. The Logic It is unhygienic to use other peoples shoes, clothes and drinking glass. It is a risk to use other’s ornaments because  if they get lost, it can cause problems.

If one stamps on another person’s cut nails, they will start hating each other. The Logic – One reason could be that one’s nails may be poisonous to another person, if it pierces the skin. The other reason may be a reminder that however useless the nails of a person may be, by stamping on them, it is like stamping on the ego of the person.

One should not sleep with the feet towards the South, as it is considered a sign of disrespect to the elders. The Logic- The North-South magnetic axis affects our bodies at a micro level without us realisng it. Since our body is like a magnet, with the North Pole at the Head, one should avoid sleeping with the feet facing South as the  head in the North will repel the magnetic North of the Earth, causing some irritations in the mind.

One shall not place fire embers under a bed, nor at the foot of the bed when sleeping. The Logic- The cot may catch fire while you are sleeping and you may accidentally step on the hot embers when you wake up sleepily in the night to go to the toilet.

One shall not pass urine facing the wind, the fire or the Sun. The Logic- This is to prevent the urine from getting carried away with the wind to someone else.

One should not step over a rope to which a calf is tied. The LogicWhen you try to step over the rope, the calf may be frightened and suddenly jump away causing you to trip.

One should not run when it rains. The Logic- It is obvious that the ground will be slippery when it rains, and though you may want to run for shelter, it may be wiser to walk carefully.

One should never look at the Sun when it is eclipsed or  at noon. The LogicIt is obvious that the strong U-V rays of the sun can affect your eyes.

One should never look at the sun when it is eclipsed

India is a land of several customs and traditions, be it in dress, religion, social or food. They have been there for centuries and are followed more or less strictly even today, as they were propagated almost compulsorily from the Vedic times because the sages realised that there were scientific benefits in following these customs. The scientific reasoning behind these customs has been explained in detail here.

Similarly, though Vastu Shastra is considered by many to be an orthodox science and superstition, in reality, it is an architectural science and it’s guidelines and rules can be explained logically and scientifically. You can go through the following pages to understand how Vastu has been explained.

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11 thoughts on “Logic Behind Superstitions | An Architect Explains

  • July 15, 2010 at 3:12 am

    you really helped me. It’s a pretty nice blog but it lacks something like videos or facts to support your answer

    Hi Randeep,
    Thanks for your suggestions. I shall take note.

  • October 10, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Scaring people with vastu and superstition is something very easy and giving explanation is something that is very important and difficult. You have done a nice job by explaining it . Keep me posted.
    Thank you Dhananjaya for leaving an appreciative note. Please share in your circle.

  • October 3, 2011 at 2:28 am

    Is there any harm if a well (manually dig, Kerala style) in front of the house. Reason is that I am planning buy a land and there is well just in frond of the house. please advice
    Hi Khan,
    It should not be a problem.

  • March 15, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    really nice one..but if the ongoing superstitious believes behind the above facts were given,it would have been better.
    Hi Sanchita,
    I am adding another post with more superstitions, explained scientifically.

  • August 10, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    We are planning to purchase a house which is east facing and door towards south wall..is it a flaw?
    Hi Preetha,
    You have a south facing door which is not preferred by many. But according to me there is nothing wrong with South doors. Only make sure that the windows on the East and North are kept open during the day, to allow lot of light and ventilation.

  • June 11, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    you helped me a lot to complete my Science homework.
    Glad to have been of help.

  • December 6, 2014 at 4:31 am

    Thank you for the information.
    We are soon shifting to our new flat, but there are many wrong arrangements of flat constructed.
    For example: 1. house is north facing
    2. No single window towards east, but all in south and west direction
    3. Kitchen is in south west and bedroom in south east.

    MOST important is that our building is not straightly facing to north, it slightly tilted to north and so i am not able to understand the directions as well.Please suggest on pooja I should undergo for house warming.
    Hi Swapnali,
    I suggest you ask an astrologer and a poojari for advice on the right pooja for you.

  • December 24, 2015 at 7:20 am

    thanks for the nice post. However, the explanation for why you should not lie with head positioned north seems illogical to me. First of all, is there any scientific proof that human body is a magnet with north pole at the head? Is it logical that a north pole – north pole repulsion will cause irritations in mind? Then why do such attractions not cause any irritation?
    Hi Shibu Kumar,
    Thanks for pointing out the obscurity in my explanation. I have since corrected it and I believe it is clear now.
    There is a very strong magnetic pull towards the North pole in the northern hemisphere which is causing the land masses in the northern hemisphere to move northwards. This magnetic pull is exerted on humans as well, because our blood is rich in iron, making us magnetic in nature. When people lie down in a horizontal position, there is a tendency for the blood flow to increase in the head. If we sleep with the head in the North, the strong magnetic pull will cause the blood to rush towards the head and this can affect our health adversely. To prevent people from sleeping in the north, the head has been likened to the North pole so that the layman will consciously avoid the north-north repulsion.

  • April 19, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Kudos to you and your effort. There is no doubt Indian mythology is beyond what todays science can comprehend. But we have been fooled long and bad by people using mythology. And hence to gain peoples trust its important to clear and break the myths. I congratulate you for playing your part in doing that. I will contribute by sharing this article further.
    Hi Sid,
    Thank you so much for the appreciation and encouragement. It is important that people stop fearing so called Superstitions. If my site helps people to look at Vastu as a science that can be used to benefit them, then I have achieved something useful.

  • December 27, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    It realy helped me a lot..vry gud blog indeed…remedies for septic tank in North East corner plz
    Thank you. Mine is a scientific blog so I am unable to give you a remedy for this problem. There are some sites that suggest the use of mirrors in the North and East walls in thhe NE corner so as to create an illusion of the NE extended. Maybe you can try that.

  • June 11, 2017 at 4:31 am

    hi, good logical content explained
    Hi Prasad,
    Thank you!

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