India is one of the most populated country in the world and the Indian culture is a confluence of myriad cultures which spans across the Indian subcontinent and has been influenced and shaped by the history that is several thousand years old. India offers astounding variety, virtually in every aspect of social life. Diversities of ethnic, linguistic, regional, economic, religious, class and caste groups crosscut Indian society, which is also permeated with immense urban – rural difference and gender distinction – In SHORT STRATIFICATION AT DIFFERENT LEVELS. Indian society is multifaceted to an extent perhaps like no other in any other of the world’s great civilization. Adding further variety to contemporary Indian cultures are rapidly occurring changes affecting various regions and socio-economic group in dynamic ways. Yet amidst the complexities of Indian life, widely accepted cultural themes enhances social harmony and order.
India is the most religiously and ethnically diverse nation in the world with some of the most deep rooted religious society and cultures. Religion plays a central and dominant role in the life of people. Religious identity is the first identity formed by a child. Religious identity is what one carries forth and builds upon. Religion and mythology are closely interwoven and cannot really be separated. Through generation, different stories in Indian mythology have been passed from generation to generation either through words or scriptures. The interesting fact is they are usually meant to convey subtle facts and rules to guide our daily lives.
One of the myth is of the presence of the jinns. A belief and strong superstition in islam. If you compare them with other religions, they refer to spirit and ghost. Jinn is considered very powerful and fate maker and destroyer. They are wandering soul who gets attracted to you by your work and some pious activities. Jinn, also romanized as ‘djinn’ or anglicised as ‘genies’ who are supernatural creatures in islamic mythology and theology. The Quran says that the jinn were created from a smokeless and scorching fire, but are also physical in nature, being able to interact in a tactile manner with people and object likewise be acted upon.
One can feel the presence of the djinn in the firoz shah kotla fort, Delhi. It was built by sultan Firoz Shah Tughluq in the 14th century. In the niches and alcoves of its stone walls, believers pray, light candle and diyas and write letters to djinn. Popular belief goes that ‘Laat waale baba’, the chief of kotla djinn, dwells in the minar-e-zarreen. Letters written to him are left tied to the railing protecting the pillar. People generally believe that putting the hand through the railing and touching it will grant their wishes.
Another popular myth is that the menstruating women are not allowed to enter the temple or in the kitchen. It is believed by almost half of the population that whenever a woman is going through her menses, she is not allowed to enter the temple or kitchen as during this ‘impious’ time they are considered as ‘impure’ or ‘unclean’. They are forced to stay far away from any religious spot and are not allowed to perform any kind of sacred activity. But the real reason behind this myth is that earlier the predatory animals could smell the blood and come for the hunt of the women. So, to protect the other people they were kept in a separate hut. Another reason was that menstruating women become open to receiving and absorbing energy during this time. This means, they can easily absorb other’s energies including the negative energies. Hence, they were asked to stay away from crowds.
People generally say that one should never ask question from behind when someone is going out. If someone makes the ‘mistake’ of asking a question, then the belief say that it’s not a good sign. The person who is going out will not be successful in his or her work.
Some people also believe in the superstition that whenever a cat crosses your path, we should stand for few minutes and then proceed. The belief say that if anyone proceed on the way it will bring bad omen. But the real reason behind the myth is that earlier, during the period when the kings used to rule, the traders would generally go on their horse cart passing through villages and jungles to reach their destinations. Sometimes while passing through the jungle, if a cat crossed their way, the horses would get scared and the driver had to step down to relax them which would take couple of minutes. Over the years, this had been deteriorating and the actual reason has been long forgotten.
However, superstition like ‘heritage’ are passed from generation to generation and culture to culture. People still believe it without knowing the logic behind and thus a basic fact becomes a superstition. Well, following any of the rituals or practices is completely a personal choice and may not have any scientific explanation ,still it is strongly influenced by religious identity and culture.
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