Omens and Their Significance

Hari Om

Hindus have always believed in omens, both good and bad, telltale signs, shakuns, nimittas especially when they undertake certain important tasks to be accomplished or achieved. It is but human psychology to worry and get anxious over the outcome or result of any specific task, and therefore these so called omens, superstitions, or certain ordinary happenings such as —cat or mangoose crossing path; offered flower falling off certain side of the deity;calling out a person from behind;observing natural events such as– a myna bird or a crow on certain days; kumkum falling on the floor, etc— evokes positive or negative vibes about the task being undertaken.

Omens can generate ‘feel-good’ or ‘worrying’ moments or events for people, as their entire day mentally will be then based on these events. Some may dismiss this article for fun, but for many of us, this is a serious piece of writing. Let us discuss on some omens, superstitions followed by us.

Hinduism is a religion that claims uncountable number of omens in its astrological scriptures. Here are some of them –

Omens of Animals

1. If You’re leaving home for an important task and you see a dog and it starts scratching its ears, your job will not be done.

2. It’s very common belief that if a dark-coloured cat crosses your way; your job will not be done. But if an off-white cat crosses your path, it’s quite lucky.Should a cat be in front of anyone when he may be considering any business, that business will not prosper.

3. If anyone sees a cat, just on awaking in the morning nothing he may do that day Will prosper. A cat coming towards anyone who is leaving home shows that the object he had in view will fail.

4. Should a cat follow anyone who is leaving the house, the object in view will be accomplished without any hindrance.

5. It’s common belief that if crow repeatedly sounding at your roof top or in your courtyard is an indication that some guests are coming to your home. Be prepared to welcome your guests.

6. If a mongoose crosses your path or you see a mongoose while going for an important task, your job will definitely be done.

7. It is a good sign, if a dog comes near anyone with a piece of old shoe in its mouth.

8. If a dog passes by with a raw bone in its mouth it is a lucky sign.

9. If a dog has a burning stick or a dry bone in its mouth, it foretells death.

10. If a dog sneezes while one is going out, it is a good omen.

11. If you happen to hear the voice of a koel, it’s a good omen. But if you happen to see koel, then it’s a bad omen.

12. If an owl, pigeon, bat, crane, eagle or vulture comes and sits in and round home, it’s bad omen. If a dead vulture drops on the roof, courtyard or verandah of your home, it’s quite likely that some death would take place (touchwood) in your family.

13. If chakva (normally during rains), kingfishers or fish (even dead) are seen accidentally, your job is likely to be done.

14. Cow entering the house is a good omen.

15. If one sees a cow along with its calf, it is a good omen.

Omens of Lizards

16. If lizard chirps, it is a bad omen.

17. If lizard falls on body, in general it is considered as bad and one should take bath immediately. Also depending on the part on which it has fallen, there are different effects: For example, if it falls on back – bad for the next sibling.

18. Stomach(of women) – indicates that soon a child is going to be born.

19. Falls on Hand and legs – bad in general.

20. Falls on head, it is good – for girls it is said as ‘she will be a queen’.

Omens of Snakes

21. To see two snakes fighting denotes a quarrel between the beholder and his relatives

22. To see two snakes making off in the same direction forebodes poverty.

23. One snake swallowing another is a sign of famine.

24. The entrance of a snake into a house denotes wealth to the householder; but just the reverse if it is seen departing from a house.

25. If a cobra is seen with its hood expanded and its tail erect, going across from the left to the right, it is a good sign; if only its hood is expanded as it thus proceeds, it denotes a good meal for the beholder.

26. If a snake comes towards a person from the right side it foretells success ; but it is a bad sign if it should come from the left. If anyone sees a snake crawling about in the road in front of him, it denotes success to his projects; but evil will follow if the person halts.

27. If when the snake sees anyone it expands its hood and erects its head, it foretells wealth and prosperity; but, if it crawls into its hole, it denotes wealth to the poor, but poverty to the rich.

Omens of Humans

28. Another commonly believed bad omens are: If you’re going for an important task and someone sneezes, you may not accomplish your job.

29. If you encounter somebody and he or she asks ‘where are you going?’ it is also a bad omen.

30. Or somebody calls you when you have your back to them, then too, your job may not be done.

31. If you see a group of nine-women, then take it that your job will not be done. If you see a happily married woman, your job will be done.

32. If crossed by a woman with pot of water, it is considered a good omen.

33. If crossed by a widow with shaved head, it is considered a bad omen.

34. If crossed by a barber with his instruments, it is a good omen. But if crossed by a barber without his instruments, it is a bad omen.

35. If a flower falls from God’s idol or photo towards right side, a good omen.

36. If lower left eye lid twitches , it is a good omen for women, but bad for men and opposite is true for right eye.

37. If a dead body is being taken across, it is a good omen.

38. If the coconut that is offered to God turns out to be spoiled inside, then it is actually a good omen as opposed to some believing it to be inauspicious. This interpretation is similar as Good as seeing a dead body in a dream.


AUSPICIOUS ITEMS: Following fifty items are auspicious items & seeing them is auspicious at all the times:

Curd, milk, rice, pot filled with water, ripe food, mustard, sandal, mirror, fresh green grass (Durva- a kind of grass), conch shell, meat, fish, soil (wet), a bright yellow pigment prepared from urine of cow ( Gorochan), cow dung, cow, honey, idol of god, Veena (a musical instrument), fruit, seat of king, flower, black items used to decorate eyes (Anjan / Kajal / Surma), ornaments, hand weapon, beetle leaves, conveyance, palanquin (Palki – man carried conveyance), a covered pot or box to keep medicine or wine (Sharavsanput) , flag, parasol (Chhatra), hand fan, clothes, lotus, Kakash (pot), glowing fire, elephant, goats, drums, device to control elephant (Ankush), tail of animal used to whisk flies (Chaamar), gems, gold, silver, copper, herd of tied animals or an animal whose legs are tied, medicine, drink, tree with fruit, fresh vegetables.


A sparkle without smoke, ash, fuel-wood-cow dug cake (Upla), rope, mud, device used to make powder by hammering action (Tilkuta), cotton, husk (Tush), bones, opened hair (untied hair), black item, iron, bark of a tree (Valkal), skin of a tree, black sesame (Til) or black pulse, stone, stool, snake, medicine, oil, raw sugar, boneless meat, empty or broken utensil, salt, dry grass, butter milk, wood, iron chain, rain & wind.


AUSPICIOUS PERSONS : Sight of the following persons is auspicious: a king, happy Brahmin, prostitute, virgin girl, gentle person, well dressed person sitting on a horse or ox, a fair complexion lady in white dress & wearing white garland on her fore head; a pious Brahmin wearing white clothes-sandal & flowers-having properly fed & having received donations, reciting Mantras; a lady with a man or either of them having fruit in his or her hands- seen in front; a child saying something on his own; a beautiful person, person dressed in white clothes-wearing white garland, speaking sweetly if is found coming from front or right side during journey or at the time of entrance- it is an auspicious omen.

INAUSPICIOUS PERSONS : A person doing vomiting; hair-less or clean shaved head; having any body part severed; naked; untidy; body part oiled; ill; dirty; angry, drunkard; having long hair (Jatadhari); quarrelsome; having black complexion; opened hair; sitting on a camel / ass / buffalo; loudly weeping; eunuch; ascetic; a lady wearing black clothes & black garland on her fore-head; a lady having menstruation; pregnant woman.

GF’ Blessings.