‘Nazar Lagna’: The Indian evil-eye



Looking prettier today? If yes, better brace yourself against the admiring eyes.

A traditional Indian would like to have a black spot somewhere on the body as a defence measure. After all, no one wants this mysterious sickness that consists of weariness, apathy, and sometimes even fever.

Although medically unrecognised, the phenomenon of ‘Nazar Lagna’ (which can be translated as ‘being affected by sight’ in English) is taken somewhat seriously in the traditional parts of the Indian society. But like the other ‘supernatural’ phenomena, newer generations tends to laugh it off.

A lot of people see the Indian phenomenon of ‘Nazar Lagna’ as a form of the Evil Eye, which is popular in many parts of the world. But in reality, the phenomenon we are discussing here, is fairly different.

What is it?

When someone looks remarkably good (beautiful, handsome, or just very cute), or someone has done something remarkable (for example, in sports or at workplace), then she or he is vulnerable to this mysterious sickness. The praises that come from others (verbal or just mental notes), can be dangerous. Not always, but sometimes they may cause the sickness. Some people are more vulnerable than others. Some people are more likely to cause it than others.

How to stay safe

Of course, avoiding to look good or avoiding to do remarkable things would not be an option. Fortunately, there are easy defence systems available. While ‘Evil Eye’ has  numerous devices and ways to defend you in different regions of the world, defence system against ‘Nazar’ is only a black spot. Mark a black spot on somewhere on your skin and then you are safer. Not entirely safe, but you are safer.

And, that is the reason you see that black mark of mascara on foreheads of the Indian babies and children.

The cure

What happens when the black mark fails to defend you? Don’t think that doctors are going to help you much. Even if they do, they might take many days to cure you.

Fortunately again, this mysterious sickness has a mysterious cure. A special ritual and some mantras., performed by a qualified person (Take your college degrees and get lost. From ‘qualified’, we mean qualified in this particular field, not the academic qualifications). That said, you are going to locate a qualified person. Luckily, that sort of experts can be easily found everywhere in India.

The curing ritual is different at different places within India. The ritual that is popular in the Banaras region involves ‘the expert’ running an iron made household instrument (for example, a knife, a trowel, or a sickle) on the skin of the sick person gently, and simultaneously chanting some mantras. The result is usually very quick.

On a serious note

Legitimacy of such supernatural occurrences is always questionable and logically rejected. And this whole phenomenon of Nazar is talked about in a light mood nowadays. However, it causes some real confusion even among some people who don’t believe in supernatural occurrences. There are people who are highly un-religious and see everything logically, who find themselves confused seeing the result of the curing ritual.

The effect of the ritual on babies and toddlers is surprising. Not always, but yet on many occasions, they seem to get well very quickly after the ritual is performed. It might be the gentle humming sound of mantras, or gentle touch of the metallic instrument, or both. Or just a coincidence, or just wrong statical perception. But after all, it remains as a mystery.

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