Thursday, December 1, 2016

905. Ritual Repetition and Rational Reflection....!

A ritual is an action performed purely for symbolic value. Performing a ritual itself does not make a person a blind follower of the ritual. There are many rituals which has a meaning to it like just before the reciting the Gayatri mantra it is advised to do Achamanam (sipping of water). Scientifically this ritual is done to moist the vocal cord so that while repeating the mantra the mouth does not go dry.

The ancient rituals had the scientific explanation; it is wise to know the reason behind them. The rituals performed after knowing the relevance helps for the better cause. In many cases there is no logic or rational explanation and yet we see those rituals being followed. It is become a craze today for those so called astrologers to introduce a new ritual to gauge their popularity. One astrologer announced that on a particular day lighting a lamp using sesame oil would benefit. That day the oil stores ran out of the stock of sesame oil. 

I wonder why we accept customs and traditions without understanding their significance. Just like a blind man lead by others, why do we blindly follow rituals without examining the meaning, logic and significance of that ritual using our own intelligence and judgement???

Could the reason for performing rituals be fear or desperation??? 

Will not repeated repetition of the illogic rituals over the years gradually become a part of culture??? 

Once a Brahmin attended the house warming ceremony of the rich merchant of the neighbouring village. After the ceremony and a lavish lunch some gifts and presents were given to all. The Brahmin too collected the gifts and set out to his village, it was time for Sayam Sandhya ritual. He went to the ocean to take bath before doing the Sandhyavandanam.      

He had this huge bag of gifts with him. He thought, “If I leave this bag on the shore while I bathe, someone may steal it. And I cannot trust anyone here. On the other hand, if I take it with me, it may slip from my hand and get lost in the waters. What should I do???” 

He thought for a long time and decided to dig a hole on the beach and put the gift bag in it and top it up with sand. To locate the spot after he returned back he made a sand linga over the buried bag. Heaving a sigh of relief, he proceeded to take a dip in the ocean. 

Some people on the beach saw the Linga on the shore and the Brahmin going for the dip in the ocean. They assumed that if one makes the linga in sand before going in to have a dip in the ocean as done by the Brahmin it might give benefit and promptly followed suit. 

Sometime later, the Brahmin came out of the ocean and what did he see there? Not one or two but numerous lingas made of sand. 

“Oh My God!” wailed the Brahmin, “What happened? How did all these Lingas crop up? How am I to find out the Linga that I had made?” He wondered.

He searched for his bag under some lingas but failed to find it. Finally, he returned home without it. 

The above story gives a glimpse of the fact that many have the tendency to follow others without a second thought. Blindly following others is inadvisable. Further, the tendency of people to follow those whom they revere makes it imperative for teachers and religious personalities to set good standards.

No comments:

Post a Comment