By now, we have clearly understood that reading scriptures is the only way to calm the mind. If we calm the mind – then all problems are solved.
Then, the next question is – why these rituals and poojas ?
There are four vedas – Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana.
Each veda has 4 parts. They are Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and the Upanishads.
The first two parts namely Samhitas and the Brahmanas are concerned with ceremonial rites and rituals.
The later two namely Aranyakas and the Upanishads focus on the philosophy and spiritualism.
The later portion is considered as higher knowledge.
Suppose, a person is not having the mind – conditioned to receive the higher knowledge. Then, for such people some rituals and poojas are suggested to calm the mind. So that they will be able to pursue the higher knowledge.
Example : I saw my friend drunk and lying on the road. As a friend, I will pick him up and drop him in his house. Even though I want to give him some piece of advice – I know his mind is not conditioned to receive my words. So, I will wait for the change in the conditioning of the mind – say morning – to give my piece of mind.
Similarly, there are people – generally or because of any sad event or suffering – they are in a mind state not to observe this higher knowledge. Then, they are suggested some rituals and poojas. By doing the rituals of visiting temples, homam (havan), mantra / slokas chanting, poojas etc they will develop some positive thinking and the mind will be balanced.
At this stage, they are ready to observe the higher knowledge.
Have you seen the Aarthi in South Indian temples. It is done with lots of sound. The mind stops thinking with lots of sound.
Have you noticed, when you visit any temple and somebody rings the bell – immediately you stop your thinking and look towards the side of the bell sound (even with crackers bursting sound).
In Aarthi, our concentration is only on GOD and the sound will not allow us to think. In those days, the main shrine (garbhagriha) is generally not lighted. Only with the light of the Aarthi deep the GOD and the decorations are shown. That is why the Deep is shown up and down.
A person who regularly visits temple will unconsciously stop thinking for some fraction of time. Even, this helps in calming the mind.
Watch this video of Aarthi – just to give an idea.
Similarly, by doing havan – we inhale the fumes with some herbs – which calms the mind. Along with the havan – the mantras are chanted. The vibration of the chanting also calms the mind.
These are temporary measures to calm the mind.
By using these temporary measures, we cannot grow spiritually.
To grow spiritually, we need to have a calm mind – most of the time.
There are people who blindly do these rituals on a daily basis. They get attached to these rituals. Attachment gives the fear of losing. They are scared that something will happen if they discontinue So, more attachment. There is no element of spirituality in this. It is only blind following of some habit.
There are days we are really disturbed and will find it difficult to read the scriptures or meditate. On those days, do some rituals (which you like) to calm the mind.
Receiving the higher knowledge should be the objective.
If required, change the conditioning of your mind with some rituals. Receive the higher knowledge and see the change in your life.
All the very best……………………….
Note : All the rituals for the various ceremonies and the pariharam (solution in the form of rituals for various problems) are clearly mentioned in the Vedas.