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Hinduism Through Questions & Answers



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Question 11. Why should not the ordinary spoken language be used in worship instead of Sanskrit? Will this not enable us to understand and follow these rites better? 

Pita (worship), Homa (sacrifice) and other similar religious rites are considered as sacred and holy acts. It is the Rishis (sages), the originators of our religious traditions, that have given us these rites including the procedure and the mantras to be used. Hence it is quite proper that we conform strictly to the pattern of the rites and the language in which they have been transmitted to us. This produces a solemn and sacred atmosphere.

Again, according to the science of the Mantras, the various Mantras used in the rites have a special potency. When they are pronounced and intoned properly, they exert a salutary effect on the minds of those who hear them. Hence, if translations or versions in the spoken language are used, they will just be translations only and do not act as Mantras. 

It would, perhaps, be helpful if a general description of the rites and the meaning of the mantras are given first in the spoken language, followed by the rituals in the traditional manner. The rites would then become more intelligible to the votaries. 

It should not be forgotten here that even in other religions, the religious rites and ceremonies are being conducted in the language of the original scriptures. 

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