Submitted By: A. Nagarajan
The enormous rituals and customs of Hinduism which may not relate to each other, are made for the sake of different types of individuals with infinite varieties of vasanas (characteristics). The rituals and customs are taught by different types of people (sages, saints, philosophers) over a significantly long period, under Hinduism, which is a way of life.
It is something like this; in a pharmacy there are a variety of medicines out of which the doctor prescribes a certain pill of specified quantity. One medicine may not suit two different people with the same problem], as the nature of sickness is different. If more than one medicine is prescribed [for the same ailment by the same doctor, they may be contradictory.
This is amply represented in Thirukural a famous Tamil literature dated back to BC100. At one point, Tiruvalluvar says, "Asking for alms is the worst of its kind." while in another place he says in the same breadth, "Even beg to avail knowledge." Unlike the doctor who prescribed to different medicines for the same ailment, this is not a contradiction of earlier statement because the two statements address for different situations.
To research on individual topics of Hindu philosophy for betterment of society and to make it convenient for the present day by eliminating outdated practices and values is welcome. But to find contradiction in it is not needed.
In darkness when we search for something, we may hit nooks and corners. When the light is present, there is no hassle, and the object is clearly visible without effort. So to bring the light, which is a simple thing basically, but a complex process, one needs to understand the basics of life which is what Hindu teachings and rituals can provide.
A person is related to this world with his instruments of body: mind, intellect, vasanas (the causal body), ahamkar (ego), chitta, and the Atman (spirit). Purify these instruments by Karma, Bhakti (devotion) and Gnana (knowledge). The veil of vasanas gets dissolved. Break the ego with help of a Guru (master). The pure chitta is like a crystal which gives through the vision of Atman in samadhi.
If you find it difficult to understand the terminology mentioned above, don’t worry. Just serve (Karma Yoga), love (Bhakti yoga), purify (Gnana Yoga), meditate (Dhyna Yoga), and realise (Samadhi) and the simple truths of life will be shown.
More articles submitted by A. Nagarajan here.
If you liked this post, consider subscribing to complementary Alaivani RSS feed and my Yahoo group (files, photos, newsletters and more not on the site).