Rituals or samskaaras are essential features of all religions. They
help us to cleanse the mind, purify the heart and spiritualize the attitude
of man. From birth to death, man has to undergo different samskaaras.
The most important samskaaras are:
1. Jaatakarma & Aksharaabhyaasa in childhood.
2. Upanayana in Boyhood.
3. Marriage in Manhood.
Every man has to perform certain rites everyday: -
These are Sandhyaa Vandana, Panch Yajnas etc.
The Pancha Mahaa Yajnas is: -
1. Brahma Yajna: - Studying scriptures and holy texts.
2. Deva Yajna: - Offering worship to deities or Ishtadevataa.
3. Pitri Yajna: - Grateful remembrance of ancestors and offering of
oblations to their spirits.
4. Bhoota Yajna: - Feeding of animals & birds.
5. Manushya Yajna: - Offering of hospitality and food to guests and
RITUALS OF WORSHIP: - Worship helps us to establish rapport
and communion with God. In the beginning we worship Lord as a being
outside us and slowly this transforms into worship of the Lord seated
in our hearts and thereafter worship of the all pervading spirit. The
worship of the idol is usually 16 fold (Shodashopachaara) and consists
1. Dhyaanam: collecting our mind and concentration
2. Aavaahanam: Invocation
3. Simhaasanam: Offering a throne or a Seat
4. Paadyam: Washing of feet
5. Aarohyam: Offering of hospitality
6. Snaanam: Ablutions or giving a holy bath
7. Vastram: Offering of clothes
8. Yajnopaveetam: Putting the sacred thread
9. Chandanam: Offering sandalwood paste
10. Pushpam: Offering flowers
11. Dhoopam: Burning of incense
12. Deepam: Lighting of lamp
13. Taambulam: Offering of betal leaves
14. Neeraajanam: Waving of lights
15. Suvarna Pushpam: Offering of gold or something considered valuable
as a token of gratitude.
These rituals help us to cultivate an eye and heart to see God in every
part and particle of His creation and make our hearts all expansive
and learn to love and respect everything created by God.