Those with flat feet bring bad luck. Putting onions under your pillow will keep bad dreams away. Having itchy hands means you will soon receive money. These are just a few of the thousands, perhaps millions, of superstitions the people of India believe. Though some of the superstitions may sound absurd to us, the people of India believe them wholeheartedly and take them very seriously.

A prevalent superstition in India is the hanging of Nimbu Mirchi, which consists of one lemon and seven chilies. Legend has it that two identical goddesses travel together. One is Laxmi, the goddess of prosperity, and the other is Alakshmi, the goddess of poverty. It is believed that Laxmi likes sweet foods while Alakshmi likes sour foods. So, in order to keep Alakshmi and the poverty she brings out of the home, the lemon and chiles are hung up for her to eat in hopes that she will be content and not enter the house. Sweet foods are prepared inside the home in hopes that Laxmi will come in and bring good fortune to the family.

A more familiar superstition that Hindus believe in is putting a tikka or a small dot on the forehead. This is done to get rid of buri nazar, which is also known as the evil eye. Buri Nazar is the idea that one individual can cause evil to another just by looking at them. The tikka is applied to keep one shielded and safe to ward off others’ bad ideas and thoughts.

Indian people believe in a vast number of superstitions. However, they all come down to the same idea: they can live happy, successful lives if they do specific things to avoid bad things happening to them. But the truth is that despite how hard they try, they will never be fulfilled without knowing the grace and peace of Jesus Christ. Please pray that the superstitious people of India will come to know the salvation and fulfillment found in Christ!