Why Should One Perform
Whatever action we do
repeatedly is a kind of ritual and becomes very powerful in shaping
our lives. If we jog every day or watch a certain television program
every week then these things gain a certain force in our lives. Any
routine or discipline is a kind of ritual. Religious rituals are
special actions with spiritual meaning that we repeat in order to
set in motion a higher power in our lives.
Hinduism has many such
rituals which employ all the essences of creation - flowers,
fragrances, fruits, incense, lamps, and artistic forms - to help
create a favorable environment to bring down spiritual vibrations
into the world.
Yet when a religious ritual
is done without knowledge or devotion, or when there is an intention
to control others or further some vested interest through them, such
rituals become negative. They become forms of hypnosis or black
magic and can generate negative forces.
It is important only to do
rituals that are formulated to bring peace and understanding, which
link us with the whole of life, and not merely place us with a
particular community which may be opposed to others. Ritual,
moreover, should be creative. It should not be standardized or
stereotyped, though it does have its laws and processes that reflect
the great creative forces of life.
Ritual is necessary for
everyone. It purifies the mind and brings benefic forces into
society. It changes our psychic field so that we become receptive to
higher forces. We must also remember that the most important ritual
or regular action we should do is meditation, which is the great
ritual of awareness, offering the seen into the seer for the beauty