Religion, Rituals, and Rationalists


Rationalists think and say that religions and rituals are a total waste of time and money. The said allegation is hardly justified or intelligent. People who speak this way usually lack the most basic knowledge of culture, religions, psychology, social psychology, preservation of history, heritage and beliefs. The religion is a necessary thing to understand and live freely in the community and certain books written like “The Religions Of Man”. The book says, “Let just one generation fall down in its job of passing on the wisdom of fathers and a human venture will be set back half a million years.”
As a contradiction to what some people think, rituals are not synonymous with religion though they are actually inseparable. If religion is a tree then rituals are the barks of that tree. No tree can stand longer without its bark. In the same way, no religion or society can longer stand erect without the rituals. Rituals are so pious gestures and symbols of social, political, religious events of the distant past and are also so useful in teaching abstract ideas, concepts, and its significance. Ritual means something of value. The ritual can be of counting and subtracting beads on the abacus and any abstract procedures which have been conducted since ages. Rituals also create difficult and abstract philosophical ideas, thus making them easily understandable and also accessible to the masses. The spiritual sound of the words of abstract chants represents the greatness of the divine and transcendental God. Even the hardheaded military follows some rituals. They also devote much of their energy and time to see if their buttons are put right, their shoes are polished well and also they continue to march in an empty compound with discipline. When the priest reads the verse of the bible then that’s called ritualism. When there is a flag on the top of the temple and it flutters that’s ritualism. People circumambulate around the deity with devotion then that’s ritualism. When a person gets his head shaved and wear simple clothes on the death of a loved one then that is called ritualism. All religions and nations follow certain rituals. Any individual or any event is incomplete without having rituals. The intelligent leaders understand it and also knows the significance behind it. Imagine a wedding without any rituals or a birthday without candles or song. Life would turn monotonous. The rituals are not only to understand the activities of the distant past but also to enjoy the present. Rituals are our riches. To renounce them would be to invite cultural poverty and religious ignorance. Rituals also serve to present social disintegration by bringing thousands of people together with a spirit of oneness which is hard to come by while people are going about their individual daily routines. Thus, as almost complete and holistic nourishment, rituals educate, coordinate and also sublimates all our lives. Rituals define us what we are. It guides us the right path. It tells us how to live in a cultured society. But sometimes the rituals and religions are misunderstood and people start using it as a weapon to justify their double standard. They start it to use to support their own religion and tries to prove the supremacy over other religions. We can surely think of an example of the conflict that continues to grow with time between Hinduism and Islam. People from religions find it really difficult to accept other religions. This is not what our religions or rituals are teaching us. This is something which has been given birth by the grudges that we have in our hearts for each other. This kind of things needs to be understood and avoided as well because this would lead to no growth rather degradation in the culture.
In fact, the whole of human history has been that of rituals. Those who repudiate them should think about what they wish should happen to their bodies after their death. Do they wish to be buried or cremated? Or do they want their bodies to be left lying around for crows and dogs or simply collected by the municipality and discarded at a dump like they do with animals? Remember, burials and cremations are rituals too. Rituals are what make and keep us human civilized and a plane above the beasts. A priest and his friend sat down together for dinner at a restaurant. The priest began to pray first whilst the other began to eat immediately. With his mouth still full of food, he finally said to the priest, ”I don’t bother praying. I eat right away.”Even my dog does that,” replied the priest. Now you must choose-rituals or no rituals.

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