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Sabrimala Temple is a famous Hindu temple situated on a hilltop in the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. The temple is surrounded by almost eighteen hills in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, one of the well-known reserves of India. The temple is said to be dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, who is the God of growth. From all around the world, the temple attracts Hindu pilgrims in the days of Mandalapooja in November-December, Makara Sankranti on January 14, Maha Vishuva Sankranti on April 14, and the first five days of each Malayalam month.
Origin of Sabrimala Temple
The temple is said to be of ancient origin. In fact, for almost three centuries, reaching Sabrimala temple was almost impossible because there was no way. But, then in the 12th century, a prince of the Pandalam Dynasty named, Manikandan, rediscovered the original path to reach Sabarimala Temple. Interestingly, this Prince is considered an Avatar of Lord Ayyappa. It is also believed that Prince Manikandan meditated at Sabarimala Temple and became one with the most divine.
Beliefs Followed in the Sabrimala Temple
It is believed that the pilgrims have to observe celibacy for forty-one days before going to Sabrimala Temple. At the same time, they are also required to follow a strict Lacto-vegetarian diet, refrain from consuming alcohol, let their hairs and nails grow and not cut them. Apart from doing all this, the pilgrims are also required to bathe twice a day and visit local temples daily before en routing to Sabrimala Temple. Once the pilgrims have reached Sabrimala Temple, they only wear black or blue clothes and do not shave until the completion of their pilgrimage. Also, all the pilgrims smear vibhuti or sandal paste on their foreheads.
Entrance of Women in the Sabrimala Temple
For centuries, there has been a strict ban on the entrance of women in the premises of Sabrimala Temple. This is because it is believed that Lord Ayyappa, who is the main deity, was celibate. In fact, in 1991, the Kerala High Court restricted entry of women above the age of 10 and below the age of 50 saying that this is the menstruating age. But, in 2018, the Supreme Court lifted the ban saying that discrimination against women on any grounds, even religious is unconstitutional. To this, the head priest of Sabrimala temple showed his disappointment. Moreover, this took a political turn when Shiv Sena, a political party of India, warned of "mass suicides" if women set foot inside the Sabarimala temple. Following this, protests intensified near the date of opening gates for women as hundreds of women devotees set their way to reach the temple.
Keywords: Sabrimala Temple, Shiv Sena, Supreme Court of India, Beliefs, Women, Hindu Temple
Development is considered to be an element of time, in which time evolves - people, their mindset and their beliefs. Traditions and beliefs emerge from the culture and have some positive and negative aspects. It revolves around people, and what do people do. They follow beliefs blindly without seeking its positive and negative phenomena. Beliefs were made for the people by the noblility according to the needs of earlier situations, but taking it forward into the modern world is good. The answers would be different, due to different perceptions. According to me, there are certain traditions which should remain alive and on the other hand traditions carrying bad elements should be avoided.
A country of diversity has to live in unity without seeking upper and lower categories, this should not be there and I can say people are understanding this aspect and are heading towards development by unifying themselves. Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash
Time is all about change, with time people change, evolutions occur- so why certain beliefs, traditions with uncertain customs do not change? If we look at the deep core of this question we will find "people fear", fear of losing positions in society. One who disbelieves customs is excluded from the community, it happens commonly and due to this fact people do not want to counter their community ethics and traditions. Elders of a community excluded an individual if they found, one's intention to change the norms of a community. They were called by certain names, which lead them to take severe actions, such as suicide.
Country like India is bound with many cultures, customs and traditions. Photo by Manyu Varma on Unsplash
Time and customs go along with each other, on one hand time changes but certain customs with bad effects do not change. Time never stops for people but these norms stop a person, his mindset, his thought process. Rigid traditions and customs stop people from walking on the path of development which overall stops nation development. Time needs changes so it is important to leave those bad norms and move forward to the path of change. According to one survey about 40% of mass development hinders due to bad mentality and customs. Now it's time to evolve our rooted mentality so that we can develop ourselves as well as nation.
A country like India is bound with many cultures, customs and traditions. A country of diversity has to live in unity without seeking upper and lower categories, this should not be there and I can say people are understanding this aspect and are heading towards development by unifying themselves.
India with time developing, emerging by setting examples in the world. People like Mahatma Gandhi, Vallabh Bhai Patel always motivate people to follow certain norms which present our rich culture, heritage and not bounded oneself with discrimination and disparities.
Therefore, considering all these points I can conclude that traditions are not bad but they need to evolve, we have to walk with time, then only we can walk on the path of development and head towards a golden future.
Keywords: India, tradition, custom, beliefs
Even in the twenty-first century, superstitions continue to play a significant part in the lives of many individuals. The uneducated part of society has a wide variety of superstitious beliefs, but what is much more surprising is that even the educated section of our community holds a significant number of individuals who believe in and follow superstitions. Although most superstitions from the past have been proven by science to be needless, ineffectual or just plain stupidity, they are nevertheless followed today by reasonably educated people.
Every nation has its kind of superstitions that are unique to that culture. In India, superstitions are believed to be a widespread social issue that affect the whole population. Superstition is any belief or behavior that is explained by supernatural causes and conflicts with current scientific principles and methods. It is possible that specific ideas and behaviors are deemed superstitious by some people but may not be considered superstitious by others. Superstitions are often linked to the lack of knowledge in the population.
Common superstitious behaviors and beliefs include:
Hanging lemon and seven chilies keep away misfortune: Many people hang lemon and green chili on a thread outside the entrance to keep away Alakshmi, who is considered unlucky in the Hindu tradition. Alakshmi is the sister of Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity. Alakshmi, on the other hand, brings poverty and suffering.
Many people hang lemon and green chili on a thread outside the entrance to keep away Alakshmi. -Wallpaperflare
Cutting nails after sunset brings bad luck: In contrast to Filipino superstition, which claims that cutting your nails or toenails at night will result in a death in the family, Chinese superstition claims that cutting nails at night wil awaken the ghosts and evil spirits, and the Indian superstition claims that cutting nails after sunset will result in bad luck.
Indian superstition claims that cutting nails after sunset will result in bad luck.- Public Domain Pictures
Bird-poop equals good luck: Numerous people claim that if you are going for an importat piece of work and a bird poops on you, it will bring you good luck, but I believe they say this to alleviate your humiliation at having to cope with the embarrassment.
Numerous people claim that if you are going for an importat piece of work and a bird poops on you, it will bring you good luck. -Flickr
A black cat crossing your path is a bad omen: This is a common belief in India as well as the West. It was thought that black cats were wicked animals that brought misfortune. According to this superstition, you should let someone else pass before a black cat crosses your path; as a result, the first individual will be the one to suffer all of the bad luck while you will be spared.
It was thought that black cats were wicked animals that brought misfortune. -Flickr
When a dog whines, it's a bad omen: Since ancient times, it has been believed that when someone is about to die, the dogs begin to howl because they already know it. Others believe that when dogs sense a soul surrounding them, they begin to cry.
Since ancient times, it has been believed that when someone is about to die, the dogs begin to howl because they already know it. -Photo by Justinas Teselis on Unsplash
Long back, when our ancestors inhabited the earth, logic was a rare thing. As science progressed, the reasons which were against the favor of various superstitions began to emerge. For example, people believed that cutting nails after sunset brought bad luck. But logically thinking, it was supposed to scare people so they wouldn't cut their nails and harm themselves as there weren't good lighting arrangements back then! There are similar reasons for other superstitions too. Therefore, education and knowledge are the only cures for superstitions.
Keywords: 21st century, superstitions, black cat, nails, dog, bird, lemon, good luck, bad luck, omen
The tradition of the Indian bangle dates back to the Indus Valley Civilizations. In the ancient city of Mohenjo-daro, a statue of a 'Dancing Girl' was found which depicts the use of circular ornaments on the hand. The girl is naked except for this. Bangles are an essential part of the Indian woman's attire, but the significance varies according to region and belief.
The primary usage of bangles follows from the time India was a purely agrarian society. Women had to complement the work of the men in the fields by preparing the grain at home, tending to the dairy, and household chores. The arms were used extensively, and it was believed that the strength of the body stemmed from the upper limbs. Women, therefore, began the practice of wearing bangles to preserve their strength.
Women wear glass bangles at festive ceremonies Image source: Saradhi Photography on Unsplash
The jingle of the bangles is said to keep a woman alert as she moves her hands up and down from working all day. In ancient times, activities like beating, threshing, winnowing were the jobs women did. They had to weather out standing for hours, bending over, and moving their hands. Over time, according to each region and religion, women began to have a preference for certain styles and types of bangles.
While a handful of bangles on each arm are a festive sign in the country, if one looks abroad, the concept of arm ornaments has been taken to another level. According to some historical sources, bangles were worn by Egyptian princesses. Other ancient civilizations also wore rigid metal bands on their hands.
In the west, bracelets are made of any material, symbolizing anything from friendship to personal charms Image source: Shelby Fordyce on Unsplash
In the west, the bangle is worn in the form of a bracelet, which is less of a circular ring and more of a chain wound around the wrist. They attach various trinkets to it and certain patterns qualify these bracelets to be worn as charm bracelets, which usually signify something personal or religious to the wearer. Friendship bracelets also work on the same principle.
Glass bangles in particular, bear a significance in the ceremonies that a woman is part of. It is believed that bangles are always a gift to the woman from another member of the family, which symbolizes acceptance, prosperity, and blessing. The color of the bangle also plays a role in the way it is worn. Each colour signifies a certain virtue of a woman, and the bangle-wearing woman is considered a complete woman, or the "sarvagun sampann stree".
Keywords: Bangles, Woman, Tradition, Bracelets, Western perspective,