Of Tradition and Rituals

In our session with Alpna today we had a very insightful discussion on tradition and rituals, which i thought of sharing with others since it helped bring some clarity to my thinking. 

She pointed out that it is the duty and responsibility of a Brahmyogi to ensure that our loved ones ~specifically our parents, our spouses, our siblings, and our children are taught to be free from the trap of ritualistic worship. There was a specific reference to the Diwali festival just gone by and the Laxmi-Ganesh puja done on this day in most households. My husband and i have over the years tried to keep alive some traditional festivals where the family sits together at the family altar…Diwali being one of them. It was a bit difficult for me to wrap my head around how i could suddenly turn around and say all this devotion and faith is rubbish even when in my heart i have realised that the Divine cannot be reached through such worship. This conundrum is what Alpna’s distinction between celebrating-traditions and blindly following rituals helped clarify.Traditions she said add joy and colour to life. They are your cultural identity, your celebration of life. They don’t limit you, they give you happiness.Rituals are limiting, they bind you for they feed on your insecurities and your fears. The minute you add the element of religious-compulsion to a tradition, it becomes a humdrum routine, a dull ritual.That is the trap we need to avoid. Teach your loved ones to celebrate traditions with joy and not follow them out of mere compulsion or to just propitiate some man-made God or Goddess. 

Author: Sunita Sharma

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