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.