Tag Archives: Faith

Indian proverb about fate

Context & Background:

Indian proverbs relating to death and fate. Translated from Hindi to English. Informant: an old lady from Rajasthan who is my late grandfather’s family friend.

Performance: (via phone call)

Proverb: “Jakho Rake Saiya, Maar Sake Na Koi”

Transliteration:

Jakho: Whoever

Rake: Keep

Saiya: God

Maar: Kill

Sake: able to 

Na: not

Koi: anyone

Translation: Whoever god wants to save, no one can kill them.   

Explanation: This proverb says to have faith in God or fate, and if you have that no one can kill you.       

Analysis:  

This sounds a lot like a religious proverb, but I don’t think it relates to Hinduism as much as Indian culture. India is a mix of many religions, including a lot of Muslims and Sikhs. The proverb doesn’t state any particular God, just one that you believe in. India is a very faithful country and most people have some sort of relation to a higher power. The proverb is used to reduce worry and have trust, like all faith related sayings. This proverb, unfortunately, is very prominent today in India because of the Covid-19 Pandemic and India is suffering from many deaths in its second wave. As we have family members in India, we use this proverb to keep us hopeful and trust in the higher power. This proverb is also used when to explain miracles that save people’s lives and tragedies that take people’s lives. 

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph — Prayer for Good Luck

Text

The following piece was collected from a seventy-three year-old woman from Vail, Colorado. She is Irish Catholic. She will hereafter be referred to as the “Informant” and I the “Collector”.

Informant: “Oh, whenever my family needs a bit of luck, or we think someone else could use it, all you have to say is ‘Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.’”

Collector: “Then what’s supposed to happen?”

Informant: “Nothing is supposed to happen. It’s just a way of trying to get some extra help from above.”

Collector: “When do you say it?”

Informant: “Well, we’ve always said it whenever we see an ambulance. If one drives by with the sirens, you say a quick JMJ and that helps. Or…haha… if you need some help on a test you think you did poorly on, I would always write JMJ very small in the corner of the paper right before I turned it in. Couldn’t hurt.”

Context

The Informant learned this practice from her father, who would always stop the car and make the kids said JMJ if they saw an accident or an ambulance. It later leaked into other aspects of their lives, more lighthearted in nature. The Informant always felt more confident, or at least hopeful, about a test that she had written JMJ on. She believed that with God on her side, there was such a better chance of things turning out well in the end.

Interpretation

            I believe this piece to be interesting in the ways it can be applied and at the same time very familiar to me. Growing up, my family’s mantra for a quick bit of help or luck came as a result of very quickly saying “Come, Holy Spirit”. Hearing another family that has a similar practice, but different words is heartwarming to me, because I enjoy hearing that people have faith in small phrases, that saying them can bring good luck and fortune.