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Ritualistically yours

india Updated: Jul 02, 2012 22:10 IST
PP Wangchuk

It is our ignorance that some of us make fun of those who go through a strict regime of daily rituals. They are the blessed ones who understand the meaning and purpose of rituals.

Let us put forth straightaway the most welcome aspect of ritual: They help one share one’s mind and feelings with one’s family or a group of people. It could be, for instance, eating dinner together or meeting in a temple and do the daily rituals together. Such gatherings enable one come closer.

In the same way, when people light up ‘diyas’, they are bound to be at a higher level of spirituality and they share reverence that makes their mind and heart dance with joy. That is why Christian Baldwin said, “Ritual is the way you carry the presence of the sacred. Ritual is the spark that must not go out.”

Rituals help one focus on one’s link with the self. Once that happens, a sort of discovery takes place. Congrats, you have got to know yourself and your worthiness. At this stage, you will start asking questions like why are you here for and whether you have been doing any worthwhile or have we been merely wasting our time all these years?

We know, one has to go through difficult times of great sorrows in life. The death of a near and dear one, for instance, could make some of us collapse. But one who believes in the rituals of daily activities is able to overcome such hard times because one realises the importance of understanding the impermanence of life.

Life is far from being a bed of roses. One has to take the thorns that prick one into one’s stride and make the best use of the worst situation. Rituals become a convenient tool in such circumstances. Because they help one realise what Tagore realised, “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”