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Evil Eye

Taken on 4 Oct, 2010 in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh.

Every house under construction has these hanging on the wall to absorb the evil eye. They also have an effigy of a fully clothed man made of hay with a pronounced exposed phallus. The envy of material possessions including livestock, skill, wealth, beauty, health and offspring, it is believed, elicits misfortune. This is not seen only in India but all over the world; and the belief is so deep seated in every culture that one finds it very difficult to disconnect from it. It's called drishtidosham or nazar in India.

In India a lot of rituals are a part of our life and maybe the fear of the evil eye is the reason for many of them.

  • The mirroring back of the evil eye takes the form of small mirrors that are sewn, braided or crocheted into clothing. This mirrors back the bad energy. 
  • Indian women wear kohl or heavy black makeup to emphasize their eyes not only to shield themselves from evil eye but also to prevent themselves from accidentally inflicting it on others. 
  • Cords strung with blue beads are placed on newborn babies. When the cord breaks and the beads are lost the child is considered to have a strong enough aura to protect him or herself from the evil eye. 
  • Red cords worn upon the wrist or neck are thought to have a powerful effect against ocular malevolence. 
  • The red pigment, Kumkum, is applied to the cheeks and forehead.
  • Black dots are painted on children's foreheads/cheek to avert the evil eye.
  • Aarti, a traditional Hindu ritual of holy flame on a plate is carried out in which the plate is moved in a circular motion around the person's face so as to absorb the evil effects. Sometimes people are asked to spit into a handful of chilies kept in that plate, which is then thrown into fire. If there is a lot of smoke, your fears were misplaced since there was no one evil eye on you in the first place. If there is no smoke of the burning throat and eyes kind, you are declared freed of all the evil cast on you. 
  • A mixture of turmeric and agriculture lime resembles the blood of a slaughtered animal. This is used during Aarti on all directions to wash away all the evil eyes cast.
  • For vehicles limes or lemons being used instead of chilies. These lemons are crushed by the vehicle and a new lemon is hung with chilies in a bead to ward off any future evil eyes. These are hung at the doorways of the garage for continued effect. 
  • Hanging of the pumpkin or the ash gourd at the entrance of a house. Pests and evil eyes now have a resting place in them.
  • Many Indian shop keepers burn a piece of newspaper and then wielding it in a circular motion in front of the locked shutter of their shop. 
  • Lemon in a glass tumbler filled to the brim with water.
  • An aquarium in the south side of the main room of the house.
  • Carrying Neem leaves while travelling and burning them when you get back home.

  • dehydrating effect on its victim 
  • vomiting, diarrhea, stomachaches
  • the drying up of the milk of nursing mothers and livestock
  • problems with the blood and eyesight 
  • lack of rain, the drying up of wells and the withering of fruit 
  • impotence in men 
  • clumsiness
  • dry coughs
  • itching
  • hair loss 
  • dry skin 
  • lackluster due to the drying up of prana, chi, life force and the easy flow of prosperity in life. 
This has been a crazy post for me!

Now on, everything I see, everything seen by me or everything that happens to me, physically, monetarily or spiritually, will need kilos and kilos of red chilly and would entail a large donation of my digestive enzymes that would otherwise have broken down my starch into sugars!

© Nalini Hebbar/saycheese/2009-all rights reserved

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Anonymous said...

cool and colorful masks and nice info too!