I have always questioned between religion and rituals…a number of religions impose a number of restrictions on “How to pray?, When to pray, when not to pray?” how to practice religion?, etc, etc. I would say that the priests have made religion so ritualistic that we have lost the essence of it…Largely speaking i have read the Bhagvad Gita, The Ramayan, The Mahabharata, The Kuran, The Granth Sahib and The Bible.
All the religions preach a few things in common…like doing good, speaking the truth, donating a part of your income, etc etc…but the rituals have taken precedence over the religious teachings and have been invented largely by the priests for their benefits…No where in the scriptures it is mentioned that eating non-veg is bad…if you read the Mahabharata extensively you find that they used to hunt and eat…Arjun, Bhima, Yudhistra belonged to the warrior clan. They stayed in Banwas (exile) and survived on those means. If you read the Ramayana, there was war, killing, bringing justice to the race and so on…Similarly, when you read the Bible, we see that Jesus mentions, You drink my blood and eat my flesh…(though metaphorically). Religion never despised food in any form…so why do we humans deem vegetarian and non vegetarian as good or bad…Religion preaches good things not a list of “touch me not”
A few other rituals are mentioned below:
Fasting…do we gain anything by fasting, yes you improve your digestive system…that is the scientific benefit…apart from that what other benefit do you obtain…My question is “will god be happy if you remain hungry?”. if his child is craving with hunger…i guess not…hence fasting was brought into the forefront cause it improved your digestive system…So do you fast for a good digestive system or do you fast for a ritual…I fast on Mondays cause we eat a lot of crap over the weekend…….it helps me set my stomach right..btw i even skip fasting during the week as i forget at times…:P
Now moving onto a few other rituals, don’t cross a road if a black cat crosses your path…come off it a black cat has crossed a zillion times and she/he has turned damn lucky for me….(though i personally don’t like cats, rather dogs are adorable)
Have a bath before praying…who said so…just keep yourself clean…cause that makes you avoid germs and illnesses…so another scientific reason…to the kitty.
Who said one can’t pray during menstruation..hell with you…who says you are impure…if the same egg had fertilised into a foetus then would that be impure too….i guess not…this ritual was invented during the old days when the household chores were done by the lady of the house…a 5 day break provided her rest from the mundane work. This has been made into a big issue these days. So lets see anyway i have never followed it.
As far as religion is concerned i practice every religion…i visit the temple, gurudwara, church, etc…I believe, God is omni present and rituals should not bind us in anyway…and btw i love the prasad its very very tasty…
Just folding your hands in front of him/her and being humble, a good human being and doing good works wonders…