Indians belong to the land that gave the world the treasures
contained in the Vedas and the evergreen philosophy of the Bhagavad
sculptures and paintings are comparable to the best in Greek
and Roman Art. Its architectural heritage was acknowledged
by Lord Curzon to be “the Greatest Galaxy of Monuments in
the World.” In fact it was here that flourished the great
Indus Valley Civilization, a marvel in social set-up and
communal living-millennia before the birth of Christ.
venturesome ancestors migrated to the Canary Islands to try
their fortune at the turn of the century. My parents took me
there while I was an infant. It was in 1955 that I was
enrolled in to a Spanish Catholic School run by Dominican
Nuns. As luck would have it. I was the only Hindu girl in a
class of over 40 Spanish students.
and brought up in a predominantly western atmosphere. I grew
up totally westernised in my thoughts and outlook. Denied
access to our rich cultural heritage. I could not meet my
classmates in discussion when they wondered aloud how Hindus
could be so pagan as to worship cows, monkeys and elephants.
It was, perhaps, this humiliation, of which I was a victim,
which sowed the seed in my mind to know and delve deep into
the origin of our customs and beliefs, which, at first
sight, may appear superstitious to outsiders.
my return to India to complete my studies, I was shocked
that the majority of the people here, with whom I came in
contact, had little or no knowledge of the significance of
the rituals and customs that had come down to them from
ancient times; I found them practicing them mechanically
because it is a tradition, without going into the “Why and
wherefore”. My searching enquiries elicited no
satisfactory explanations. It was then that I decided to
seek the answers for myself by attending lectures and
discourses by learned people. I felt mentally relieved when
I learned that every belief and ritual, in Hinduism had a
scientific and logical explanation and had been prescribed
with the good of the individual in mind.
beliefs and rituals date back to the ancient times. Due to
intellectual inertia, the reasoning faculties of the large
mass of the people are not always developed. The wise ones
therefore found it necessary to give these beliefs and
rituals a religious base, so that the masses would follow
them in their daily life and derive benefit though they may
not be aware why these have been enjoined upon them.
people everywhere have the evil genius to exploit the
credulous for their selfish ends. As time passed, It was
easy for much men to inject an element of fear in the credulous that non-performance of the age old customs and
rituals is a heinous sin and personal disaster would be the
outcome if they were not followed to the letter. They also
contrived to bring about unsavory accretions to the customs
and rituals for their own advantage. As has happened
everywhere else, the credulous and unthinking among the
people took to these customs and practices without
questioning. Thus was born superstition, the source of which
aim in writing this book is to make the reader approach the
subject with a constructive and open mind and try to
understand for himself the scientific origin of our customs
and beliefs, thereby getting rid of himself and those around
him, from the superstitious accretions, which have found a
place in our rituals and practices.
shall feel amply rewarded for my labours if this humble
attempt on my part helps In dispersing the darkness which
has clouded our customs and practices and restoring them to
their pristine purity in the mind of the reader.