“It is all superstition until it happens to you”.

Brought up in a fairly rational thinking family, I have always found it hard to argue with this statement. Having said that I do not claim to be a Science v/s God kind of person. I believe there is a greater force than what science can tell us today. But I also believe that someday we might be able to explain God and his ways in the language of science.

Our culture has always been a mix of the two. Our mythology speaks of advanced science (medical, space, psychology and weaponry) in detail. Some even with evidence that can be vouched for by scientist today. But these scriptures also speak of boons and curses, bad omens, good luck charms and the evil eye.

In many Indian states, it is a common sight to see a demon’s face (often made of clay or terracotta) placed above the front door or on a higher wall of the house. It is believed to help ward off the evil eye that passerby and visitors might stow upon the house.

The concept of the evil eye is quite simple. It stems from the belief that when someone achieves greater success or recognition, they also attract the envy of those around them. The envious thoughts are believed to have the power of manifesting themselves into a curse to reverse the good fortune. The same thing holds good when a family welcomes a baby. The grandmother or mother use black kohl to place spots on the forehead and cheeks of the baby to protect it from the evil eye of those around. From lemon and chilli hanging in front of shops, houses, offices and rickshaws to “Buri Nazar Wale Thera Muh Kala” written at the back of a truck, everything is an attempt to keep the devil’s eye at bay. The same thing holds good for good luck charms – Windchimes, laughing buddha, crystal turtles, four-leaf clovers and a zillion other things.

While most people today are hesitant to accept that these charms are a part of their belief system, they have learnt to wrap it up under banners of home decor and fashion. There is also an exclusive evil eye store for all your ‘Nazar’ needs. Click on the words to read more.

There are many questions that come to my mind when I think of the evil eye and its effects.

Could it be a Karmic Debt?

I am a strong believer in Karma and I have known even atheists who believe in it. Every single deed that we perform in this world has a price to pay. Good deeds are rewarded. Bad deeds result in Karmic debt that you pay at a later point in time. So when a child falls ill soon after attending a family function, meeting a large group of people for the first time, is it because of the evil eye of the people around? The karmic debt the child and its family is paying for their deeds (present or previous life) or is it just an infection, the child caught in the function?

Is it a complete hoax?

A few years ago, as a wanna-be-cool-teenager (okay not a few years. A decade ago), I would have said it is all bogus. The evil’s eye is a superstition with not a tiny bit of science in it. Today, I have a broader understanding of science and its branches. Psychology for instance is not a definite science. Every human mind is different and so is the way of its study. Law of Attraction is something I have personally practised and seen the effects. I have learnt that this law does not understand the positive and negative. It helps you manifest your thoughts – good and bad. The Law of attraction is a potential catalyst for the evil eye.

Where is the balance?

Science does not have all the answers. It is still an infant in the bigger scheme of things. And life as we know it is a roller coaster and sometimes even the bravest of us are brought down on our knees. Helplessness especially in the face of adversity of our loved ones teaches us to resort to even the most unrealistic of measures. Hope after all is what keeps us alive.

I believe it is okay to follow these methods of warding off the evil’s eye as long as you are not causing harm to yourself, another being or nature. If you wish to wear an evil eye amulet, a Kala teeka or a tattoo it is okay. It is your choice after all. But if you propose sacrificing innocent animals (infants in some cases), destroying nature or poisoning someone to ward off the evil, I believe it will only add to your karmic debt and this time the price you pay will be heavier.

Some good articles on this topic

  1. BBC
  2. Oddnaari

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Ashwini


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