Stress shraddha and superstitions dr. shriniwas kashalikarDocument Transcript
One of the major causes of STRESS; is the confusion
about the superstitions and the consequent division, strife
and clashes; between “religious feelings” and “scientific
temper or rationality”!
It is true that blind beliefs or superstitions; are due to
deficiency in rational thinking and are often harmful.
The rationalists amongst us; seem to think that
superstitions are bad because they are irrational and their
opponents think; that superstitions are part of religious
faith and devotion; and hence can not be and should not
be condemned in view of the beneficial devotional element
“pivotal to any religion”; in them.
Even as; none of them; actually justifies the crimes
committed by the superstitious elements; the conflict
continues due to their partial view and inappropriate
evaluation of the superstitions.
We have to appreciate that; it is not mere irrationality
that makes the superstitions, harmful; it is irrationality
combined with utter pettiness and brutality; that makes
them so much harmful as they are. We have to also
appreciate that the rationality per se; is also harmful
when combined with pettiness and brutality!
Even as it is commendable that many rationalists are
working against the irrational and brutal superstitions,
with noble purpose; they are missing the fact that
irrationality is only one aspect of harmful superstitions.
Their solution of trying to insist rationality (which is not
devoid of antihuman trends) in every sphere of life; is
therefore too inadequate to counter the viciousness
integral to the harmful superstitions (and also evils within
the rationality, which are left unattended to)!
We all have to understand that; the human life is
profoundly rich by virtue of art, poetry, literature,
instincts, feelings, aspirations, compassion, bravery,
imaginations, intuitions, creativity, love, faith, devotion,
dedication; which are often unexplainable by rationality
or logic; and not merely rationality. Most importantly;
human life is uniquely rich by virtue of self knowledge
and enlightened wisdom embodying individual and global
blossoming; which is beyond the purview of (though not
against) rationality. Even the roots of the desire of social
welfare; that inspires the rationalists or their opponents;
amongst us; has no logical or rational justifications or
Harmful superstitions are the activities motivated by
being blinded by pettiness. Thus when we get blinded by
our petty need, greed, bias, prejudice, fanaticism, hatred,
passion, pettiness, fear, anger, sorrow, shock and so on!
They can make us make us a blind exploiter, a blind
exploited, an arrogant criminal, a meek beggar, a fanatic
ruler and a helpless follower. Thus, actions of a petty
person are blind to the welfare of others; and whether
fuelled by technology or rumor so called superstition; they
are always motivated by petty selfishness and cruelty; and
can lead to any criminal and antisocial activity.
We tend to associate the harmful superstitions; with
illiterate people; because of giving excessive importance to
the element of irrationality in the dangerous superstitions
and ignoring or neglecting the heinous barbarism
involved in them. We don’t realize that worst
superstitions (though; perhaps; with little more
rationality) which inspire malevolent activities; can
originate from people held in high esteem as “well read”,
“well informed”, “scientific”, “rational”, “intelligent” and
“progressive” but always; petty antihuman individuals.
There; the element of irrationality can be much less and
that of brutality be much more; making it difficult to even
to identify them as superstitions and counter them!
The war therefore has to be not merely against the
irrationality in superstitions as such but against anything
and everything; whether rational or irrational; that is anti
“individual and global blossoming”!
One more point we have to understand and that is; human
life is like vast ocean. The unconscious, subconscious
(and? super conscious) realms; are not still within the
purview of we rationality. The need of beliefs (rational or
irrational) is actually integral to and as old as the history
Biologically; the “beliefs” are seen in animals; in the form
several responses e.g. parental behavior! The beliefs can
be instinctual, emotional and intellectual and lead to fixed
patterns of behavior; and we get STRESSED and restless
if we are abstained from a particular specific behavior.
Even as the horizons consciousness; broaden through
overall evolution and progress; and the nature of beliefs is
also “evolved”; the beliefs per se; are integral to life. The
theories such as “big bang” or “organic evolution
conceived by Charles Darwin” are intellectual “beliefs”
termed “scientific”. They are based on the observations of
many apparent aspects of nature; especially those; from
conception to death! They; like many scientific theories;
cannot be verified! They are limited by the physiological
limitations of the development of the human nervous
system. Even the social theories based on observations of
the apparent progress; are subjective and “beliefs”;
fondly harbored by many; as scientific “truths”!
Not merely, science and technology but even the so called
“ultimate” “visions” and “revelations” in philosophy are
full of assumptions, beliefs and/or so called convictions!
Beliefs of some kind or other; whether called blind beliefs,
superstitions, faiths, convictions, theories or principles are
crutches; the mankind has been used to; and dependent
This human frailty is biological, physiological and
psychological and hence need not be and should not be
condemned. Instead of harboring condescending attitude;
we should realize the need of “crutches” for most of us;
who can not live in outright uncertainty and without any
kind of belief; conscious or subconscious! This is true;
even if we are great scientists or profound philosophers.
Living without any kind of beliefs is almost incompatible
with life of sanity!
Hence we must conquer not the “superstitions” per se; but
all the malicious aspects of; the blind beliefs, superstitions,
faiths, convictions, theories, principles and the actions;
whether “rational or irrational”, “theist or atheist” and
“secular or religious”; through; study, analysis, synthesis,
practice, experimentation; coupled with NAMASMARAN
embodying; the individual and global blossoming!
These ideas; however; can not be discussed beyond a
certain point. They have to be verified by practice (and
overcome the STRESS of confusion about superstitions)!
The self less and spontaneous motivation and dedication
involved in such practice; is called SHRADDHA.
Having said all this; we ask ourselves; “Is it possible to
live beyond the realm of physiological limitations and
without any kind of beliefs whatsoever? Is such freedom
from all possible crutches possible?” Empowerment with
self realization; is said to make it possible through
NAMASMARAN. One can try it and verify.