It struck me hard recently….the meaning, symbolism & the depth that Hindu prayers have embedded within the rituals.
Take the instance of Satyanarayana puja.
It is a ritual where there is a story read out aloud at the end.
The symbolism in that story is interesting!
While I don’t want to get into details of that ritual and it is easy for you to get as much details as possible by Googling for it, I want to share my thoughts on the few things that struck me:
1. The five chapters in the story clearly say that ANYONE can do the ritual. In the days when there were distincitions of caste, creed, sex, race – it was clear that the ritual was promoting equality of every human being.
2. The story talks of SHARING wealth in a subtle way. Even if you don’t have anything substantial with you, it encourages you to share what you have.
3. The story talks of the PITFALLS OF EGO / false pride. The story clearly tries to imbibe in us, values beyond ego/ false pride. It articulates the bad effects of these strong mental states.
4. The ritual itself is capable of bringing DISCIPLINE in your life. The preparatory steps that we need to go through helps in disciplining your life.
You don’t have to be religious [I like to call myself ‘spiritual’], to seek the ‘deeper meaning – beyond the obvious’ in everything.
The more you look yonder, the more meanings reveal themselves to you. What is interesting is that you will be able to perceive them only when you are mentally ready!
As a young kid, I used to deride all sorts of rituals – calling some of them outright banal or meaningless [probably they are]. When I look back now, it seems a bit childlish. Just because you & I can’t comprehend ‘Theory of Relativity’ does not mean that Einstein’s work has no meaning or that there are no wormholes in the universe or there are no other ‘earths’ in the universe with active life in it.
Simple rituals. Yet, profound meaning, when one opens up their mind.
What do you think?