By the terms superstition is meant an ignorant irrational belief in supernatural agency. We are thus said to the superstitious when we believe natural events to be caused by supernatural forces. Superstition dates back to the time when man began to be conscious about himself and his surrounding objects. That was practically the time- of ignorance for him. Events are taking place even to-day as they did then.
It is thus that the root cause of superstition is ignorance about the cause and its effect. As the former produces the latter, there must be a casual relation between them. But what the cause of an, event is surmised because we do not know what it exactly is, we are more often bound to blunder than not, the surmises indulged in tracing the causes of events led to the ancient superstitious beliefs and fear.
Examples of some of the superstitious beliefs are given below.
The out break of cholera and small-pox is-supposed to be due to the wrath of the goddesses; fortune and misfortune are supposed to be due to the good and evil influences respectively of the stars. Most people are caught with great fear while passing by a graveyard or cremation ground in the dark night; men suffering from derangement of the brain are said to be possessed by ghosts and women suffering similarly are said to be under the evil influence of jins.
There is again, another kind of superstitious which grow out of the weakness of human nature. The students, for example, are averse to taking eggs or bananas before going to the examination hall. The screeching of the owl and the groaning of the dog in the night are, likewise, treated as ominous. The number 13, in like manner, is regarded as a sign of misfortune in western countries.
It is said that ignorance is the mother of superstition as fear, its father. In other words, ignorance and fear, as has been illustrated sham give birth to superstitious. Education dispels both ignorance as an unreasonable fear. Hence, education and superstition are inversely related with each other, for the one increase, the other decreases. The more the world is becoming educated, the less is it becoming superstitious?
Belief in superstition is harmful, But it is not likely that the superstition will wholly go, for however educated, there will still be people weak at heart who, in times of their difficulties and misfortunes, will bow down to superstitious beliefs.