We have been conditioned to believe that being part of religious singing, chanting or discussion groups, attending religious discourses, reading holy books, regularly visiting Temples, Churches, Mosques etc are good and noble activities. These do make us feel good temporarily and give us the feeling that we are good persons as we indulge in such activities.
However, do these group and institutionalized activities resolve our situations of fear of our death and of our loved ones, fear of loss of reputation, wealth and other possessions; anger and hurt Ego, anxiety and worry about our past as well as our future; greed, jealousy, hatred, unhappiness and depression etc.?
Perhaps the answer is, no they do not!
Discovering ourselves can be the answer! Unfortunately, it is not a group activity which most of us enjoy, but it is a very private affair! It is like taking a deep dive within our self to understand who we are and why and how do we function? The strange thing is that if we buy a new gadget, we study it properly to understand the how and why of the gadget. But when it comes to our own self, we do not have the time or the inclination!
Siddharta left his rich social environment, his kingdom, to be in solitude for several years before he discovered himself, became enlightened, under a Boddhi tree! Siddharta became a Buddha due to his own private and personal effort!
Does that mean we also have to leave everything and everyone behind for this purpose? No, but let us try and remain in emotional and physical solitude in the little time we get to ourselves daily rather than choosing to spend that time also in group activities!
P.S. There is a flow and pattern so please start with the first post titled ‘Discover!’
Rituals bring temporary comfort to some people. They also provide validation by society. People who pray, even start judging others as being “not good” if they don’t. However, without awareness, these rituals can be a mask to the true nature of a person and even become a facade behind which we can hide for all our lives – never really knowing our true self.
Brilliantly stated and brought out! Keep this Awareness going and share it with others too as you have done now!
Rituals actually don’t bring comfort. In fact, it is very tedious to follow but many of us follow them without even understanding the meaning of it.
I think, the rituals are made to discipline our minds! To remind us of God being the supreme power and we as individuals are the tiny little powerless creatures. This keeps us in place.
Many rituals came to us from our forefathers and Gurus (Teachers) and we adopt them without necessarily understanding them! However, rituals done, when we are in the present moment, with full awareness of of our thoughts, emotions, verbal chants and our physical actions can lead us into our own vast storehouse of peace (happiness), regardless of whether we believe in God or not!