Atul wrote:Dear Friends,
Saadhna is a process or an attempt to reach and merge with God Himself. in different religions different methods have been explained. In Hinduism, Budhism, Sikhism, Christianity etc different methods of saadhna are explained.
In any saadhna, (process/attempt to reach and merge with God Himself) there are two important aspects.
1) Mind Training
2) Surrender to God
In all religions there are some rituals mentioned. These Rituals are just a method to train our mind and to remove unfavourable grooves from our mind and to add favourable grooves in our Mind. Also they help us surrender ourself to God.
In initial stages these rituals play very important Role. Although at a later stage a saadhka rise above these rituals in process to merge with God. This is a subject of higher stage and at this stage we need not to worry about this.
There are many stages in process to reach the God. First of all is the awareness about existence and a will to know about the God. Persons who are in this stage should start some saadhnas and some Rituals. These saadhnas include, Japam, Vratam, Homam (Fire ritual), Tarpanam, Visiting Temples and shrines, Paath (Reading granths like Bible, Guru Granth Sahib, Quran Sharif, Geeta etc).
One can choose any ritual or a mixture of Rituals depending on a person's own affinity and ability.
If you want to start any ritual/saadhna but do not know what to start and from where to start. He/she can ask for assistance and opinion here in this forum. We all will be happy to help you.
The significance of rituals & purity of mind to reconginse human incarnation
Devotees having full egoism and jealousy will never worship even a stone on this earth. Thus they will worship only the formless energy or awareness or at least the energetic forms like Shiva, Vishnu etc. which are available in the upper world only. They reject this earth completely. People in Brundavanam thought of worshipping Indra, who is an energetic form. Krishna wanted to introduce something on the earth and He introduced the mountain, which is a collection of stones. At least let the people accept a formless stone because they cannot tolerate the human form introduced into the stone for worship.
Salagrama for Vishnu and Lingam for Shiva are such formless stones, which are suitable to devotees having very high level of jealousy to the human form. Somehow it is the beginning stage because at least the material with which the human form is carved is introduced. When the jealousy is slowly reduced, they can accept the human form introduced into the stone. At this level the jealousy is pacified because the human form introduced in the stone does not exist on the earth. Thus the statues of Shiva, Vishnu etc. are accepted at this level. Somehow the concept of human form is introduced.
When the jealousy and egoism are further reduced, the human forms of past incarnations like Rama, Krishna etc. are introduced. At this level also, the jealousy is pacified because the human forms are not alive at present before the eyes. Somehow this is a better step because devotees believe that God comes in human form. These three levels constitute the worship of statues through rituals. If you analyze the rituals, they are the steps of service to the human form. The training is given to worship and serve the human form of God. Sankara said that the rituals purify the mind (Chitta Suddhi).
The purification of mind means only removal of jealousy and egoism completely from the mind. When the purification of mind is completed, the devotee is ready to accept the present human form of God. When the devotee deserves to meet the present human incarnation, certainly He will have the fortune of meeting the Lord in human form. Unless the devotee comes to this maturity, there is no use of meeting the human incarnation. The human incarnation also behaves like a human being and will be meeting so many ordinary human beings daily in routine. There is no significance for such meetings.
However, when the devotee achieves the complete maturity by enrooting the egoism and jealousy, such devotee experiences God in a human incarnation in the very first meeting itself. Hanuman experienced this in the very first meeting with Rama. If the mind of the devotee is completely matured, the inner God in the human incarnation reflects immediately in the pure mind of the devotee.
If the mind is tarnished by the black egoism and jealousy, the inner God is not reflected. In such case even if the miracles are performed, there is no use. Even if the Lord pours down the divine knowledge, there will be no use.
Therefore the people who are not purified through rituals cannot have the recognition of the Lord in human form. The rituals are called as Karma (Training) to remove the egoism and jealousy towards human form. Social service is also a way to achieve this in which one serves the human beings so that the natural repulsion towards human form is removed. For the God in the human incarnation every human being is equal. The recognition depends only on the purity of mind. The sun reflects in clear water but does not reflect on the charcoal. When the God is not reflected, the human incarnation appears as an ordinary human being only. The Lord also will not try to impress all the human beings about His divinity.
If the situation is plain like this, there is no problem, but some deserving devotees recognize the Lord due to their pure minds. Generally the liberated souls who have accompanied the Lord in His mission recognize Him spontaneously and straightly enter into the service without any doubt or proof for the divinity. The second type of devotees who are not liberated souls but achieved the purity of mind through rituals or social service recognize the Lord but are unable to enter into service because of the lack of liberation from the worldly bonds. The third type of people observes the Lord but treats Him as the human being only because their minds are impure with jealousy and egoism.
The whole problem starts when the third type of people hear the first two types speaking that the human incarnation is God. Now the reaction starts in the minds of this third type of people. They cannot accept Him as God due to the impurity of their minds and therefore start mocking at these two types of devotees. If the jealousy and egoism of these people is at the climax level, they start mocking the human incarnation also along with those devotees.
If such people are strong atheists, they start even abusing the human incarnation. The atheists have no faith even in the existence of God. They reject the miracles as magic. If the experienced miracles are magic, why not the experienced scientific experiments also are magic? Why the experienced world is also not a magic?