Two different cultures, Rituals and Symbols

Discussion in 'Chitvish on Hindu Culture & Vedanta' started by Chitvish, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    In the culture of our country, the two different cultures are materialistic culture and spiritual culture. They are different in the particular philosophy they uphold. Neither philosophy should be taken to an extreme, but both should be kept in balance.

    Materialistic culture gives the most realistic meaning to what is tangible and perceivable by the senses. The main idea here is that this whole world is meant for our enjoyment. The idea emanates from conquering and making use of nature for personal convenience.

    Spiritual culture gives more importance to the unseen than to the seen. The idea is that there is something, unseen and invisible, which is not non-existent. For example we are not able to find out through the sense organs or any other instruments of knowledge, about “ what makes the body function? ” The invisible appears to have total control over that which is visible. Spiritual culture helps us understand and live in harmony with nature and finally go beyond it. This is a typical feature of our Indian culture different from the materialistic culture of the west. The spiritual culture, in the end, totally transforms the life of the individual as well as that of the entire community.
    For the Hindu culture, vedas are the source book. They consider all aspects of human life. They deal with our daily discipline and duties imposed upon us by others, which we must fulfill as long as we benefit from the society.

    Rituals:
    Hindu culture gives importance to rituals in every individual’s life. They are called Samskaras. Samskara, literally means purification and technically purifactory ceremonies.They improve the condition of body, mind and soul. In the performance of the ritual, an impression is left upon the minds of the persons involved, so that they feel they are beginning a new life and have a new responsibility to fulfill. Dayananda Swamiji equates our big rituals to the graduation ceremonies in the U S and calls them modern social rituals ! Tradition lays emphasis on rituals because they help us develop self-discipline and strengthen our inner personality. For a man’s safe journey through life, our culture has prescribed a schedule of duties, daily and compulsory, which when performed with sincerity and as acts of dedication to God, will fetch a man moral strength to withstand the impact of even powerful influences.

    Symbols:
    Swami Chinmayanada says, every idol represents an ideal. When we salute the national flag, we do not salute a piece of cloth, but our national aspirations, our values, infact our entire culture. A symbol represents a greater ideal upon which to fix the mind. The use of symbols for worship is meant to make our minds single-pointed, whereby we gain the very same qualities of the ideals we revere. When the mind is thus purified, sharpened and made single-pointed, it becomes a powerhouse of energy and with such dynamism anything can be achieved. This is the essence of worshipping symbols in Hindu culture.

    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
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  2. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

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    lucid

    Dear Mrs Chithra,

    I finally understand the precise meaning of 'Samskara'- thanks to you. And it is very fulfilling to see you quoting Gurushreshta Poojya Chinmayanandar. And you have explained it so well for laypersons like me to follow.

    Thanks for this thread, you are doing yeomen service.

    Also, may I request you to hone up the Specific Slokas thread? Can u take one issue at a time and give us a collection of slokas for that- for example: education, employment, begetting children, marriage etc? And then others can also chip in with their collections. So, it will be easy to read and index.

    Thanks in advance.
    Love
    Vidya
     
  3. safa

    safa Bronze IL'ite

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    dear chithra,
    are you writing about hindu culture ? here i quote some of what you have written..
    Spiritual culture gives more importance to the unseen than to the seen. The idea is that there is something, unseen and invisible, which is not non-existent. For example we are not able to find out through the sense organs or any other instruments of knowledge, about “ what makes the body function? ” The invisible appears to have total control over that which is visible. Spiritual culture helps us understand and live in harmony with nature and finally go beyond it.


    For a man’s safe journey through life, our culture has prescribed a schedule of duties, daily and compulsory, which when performed with sincerity and as acts of dedication to God, will fetch a man moral strength to withstand the impact of even powerful influences.

    this is what actually we believe in islam..the GOD who is unseen to us, controls our mind and so our deeds...by doing act of worship HE brings discipline in our daily life... i enjoy reading the thread and please post more!
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2006
  4. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Chitra,

    I am really fascinated by the simple way you have brought out these profound thoughts. I liked your explanation on Rituals also....this line ...."In the performance of the ritual, an impression is left upon the minds of the persons involved, so that they feel they are beginning a new life and have a new responsibility to fulfill. " It brings out the importance of performing rituals....great thought!
    Also the Symbols and their importance.....no one says all this to younger generation and that is why it is slowly losing its value.....But thanks to you for really keeping it up and sharing what you have learnt!
    Keep it coming....
     
  5. anjana

    anjana Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear Mrs CV,

    I enjoyed reading the significance of rituals and symbols.You have explained it very well.I have always wondered about the ritual part in our culture.Now I get it to some extent.Looking forward to such postings.

    Love,
     
  6. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Thankyou, Vidya !

    For a Hindu , shodasha samskaras are important in life beginning from " Garbadhana" to the last one " anthyeshti". I did'nt want to go into details. I just want it to be understood that they are not to be "scorned" and do have their own significance.
    I am contributing to the specfic shlokas thread, depending on the feedback.
    Thankyou for the F B .
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  7. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for your explanation, Safa !

    I am happy to note that you are following this thread closely and reading what you have written about Islam only confirms, whatever religion one follows,
    " All roads lead to the same destination". Please contribute similar thoughts from Islam for us to understand the similarity in all religions.
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  8. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for encouraging me, Sudha.

    Dear Sudha,
    This subject is so vast that however I try to explain, I cannot do justice, in my attempts. Still it is nice to know that you are able to appreciate the significance of rituals and symbols. Please be with me in this thread, Sudha.
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  9. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Anjana, thankyou very much !

    Anjana,
    You are encouraging me in both my forums and I cannot thank you enough. It is mainly for youngsters like you living abroad, that I attempted to write on this subject at all.
    Please continiue to be with me - only then I can go ahead in this thread..
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2006
  10. Varloo

    Varloo Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Chitvish,
    I should go thro your posts many more times, so that I can fully understand and keep them in mind. I am slightly out of the religious circle, due to several reasons. But I am a believer in God and I go to temples. But in everyday life I am somewhat negliegent in rituals etc. So now I am more interested in knowing about our culture and religion and you are making it the more interesting. I have cleansed my mind thoroughly so that it is clean and it can recieve and retain whatever you are now giving. I am going thro your posts as if I am hearing it for the first time so that I can grasp it well. If I feel that I am aware of such things, my mind may not absorb all that you are saying. I have now great confidence in you, you will give the best of culture also to us.
    Thanks a lot starting this thread.
    With warm wishes,
    varloo
     

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