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Traditions and Customs May 5, 2009

Posted by eods in Dialogs, The Journey.
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Like any other youth, I always had/have a tenancy to question the established customs and traditions. My parents often focused on performing a ritual exactly the way their forefathers did, and I honestly didn’t like it. Why is it necessary? Do rituals have any significance in reaching God?

My question was later accidentally answered by a person I had deep respect for. He himself had spent his life performing various rituals. He asked me, “Do you really think your parents are doing things exactly the way their parents did ?” My answer was “No”. They have modified several customs for convenience and to suite the modern times. I answered faithfully.Then he drew my attention to the fact that the rituals which we say are thousand years old may not have been preserved and practiced exactly the way they were done 50 years ago. Over the generations they have some times refined, sometimes polluted, sometimes complicated, sometimes simplified. Whether they are worth doing or not is a question that possibly can not be answered with a sharp logic. It will depend on the Sanskara’s that are embodied in your genes which you have inherited from your last so many generations he said.

He told me that this continuous change in rituals and traditions probably shows man’s desperate search to find that door or that path that takes him to the divine. Following a tradition gives a sense of permanence to that legacy while constant change ensures that there are new ideas added and it does not stagnate.