A very common Indian custom is to hang a nimbu-mirchi outside of our homes, shops, or cars. On the streets of India, you might see nimbu-mirchi hanging on the door of some homes. Now, this has been done for hundreds of years. Today, many people think it’s just a silly old belief, while others think it has some meaning.
In this piece, we’ll look at this tradition from many different angles. We will try to discover what this practice has to do with religion and science. So, let’s start with the religious answer.
Religious Importance of Nimbu Mirchi
The goddess of happiness and wealth, Laxmi, is said to have a twin sister called Lakshmi. She follows Laxmi everywhere she goes. Alakshmi, on the other hand, brings poverty and lack. So it makes sense that people want Lakshmi to come into their homes but not Alakshmi.
Goddess Lakshmi likes sweets and similar meals. Because of this, sweets are always on the table at every local festival. But Alakshmi likes things that are sour and sharp. So, people dangle lemons and peppers outside of their homes. So, when Alakshmi comes, she is happy when she gets to the entrance and doesn’t come inside.
People did this to make sure that Lakshmi came in but not Lakshmi. Folklore also has a story that is often told. Once, both sisters went to a shopkeeper and asked which one was more beautiful. He did something very polite. He said that Lakshmi was beautiful when she came in from the outside and that Alakshmi was beautiful when she moved outside.
Now, let’s look at some other places to look into. Many well-known scientific theories try to figure out what this practice means. Let’s also look at how these things make sense from a scientific point of view.
One of the most common explanations for this practice is that people used to walk through forests alone in the past. So, as a precaution, they brought some lemon and chili peppers. When thirsty, they squeezed a lemon into a glass of water and drank the juice. Lemon is full of vitamin C, making you feel less tired and giving you more energy. So lemon is a very useful journey, buddy.
People used to pass through forests where there were a lot of snakes. So, they got bitten by snakes a lot. They used chili peppers to test whether the snake was poisonous. They would just bite chilies; the snake wasn’t deadly if they tasted bitter. Because if the snake were deadly, the nerves would go numb, and the chilies wouldn’t taste. Even though this is a very logical explanation, it doesn’t seem to have the depth that this tradition is meant to be based on.
Another well-known scientific idea is that lemons and chili peppers are natural pesticides. So, mosquitoes and other bugs will stay away if you poke a hole in them and dangle them outside the house. The air would just carry away the lemon and chili smell through the thread.
There is also a moral reason for it. Most people dangle chilies and lemons outside their homes because they believe it keeps evil eyes and bad energies away. Spirituality says that there are both good and bad forces in the world. So, these methods can be used unless a person has grown spiritually and can protect himself from bad energies.
So, people think that lemons and chili peppers dangling together absorb these bad energies and keep them from coming into the house. But since this answer moves beyond the physical, it can’t be checked with physical tools.
After all, new studies of many old Indian customs have shown that most are not just silly beliefs. They are important in both science and spirituality. But many of them just couldn’t hold up over time. They changed so much over time that they no longer meant what they used to.
Due to the lack of writings that explain these traditions, we may never fully understand what they mean. We might never find out why there are 7 chilies and 1 lemon. People often use different numbers, like 5 chilies and 3 lemons. Also, we might not know why we dangled it up on Saturday and threw it away on Friday.
Most people follow this tradition, not because they know why, but because they’ve seen others do it. It is best to learn about these traditions from people who know. No one knows what will happen if they unthinkingly follow these customs.
So, culture can be kept alive if people understand, are aware of their surroundings, and don’t just follow the crowd. After all, India’s culture, customs, and spiritual history make it what it is.