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Special Articles on Hindu Dharma ~ Level - 3 ~
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Realization of Supreme through the Vedic Karma and Thanthra Rituals
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Chapter - 6
Rituals and Prayers to obtain Spirituality
HR 322 - 06
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Lesson 06.01:
Rituals combined with Prayers of Devotional Path
For Next Lesson
Please See Below
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The Devotional Paths or Bhakthi Marga in Hindu Dharma is an ancient form of practice followed by Bhagavathas, singing prayers in praise of various forms or manifestations of Supreme Paramathma, as already explained. Siva, Sakthi, Ganesha, Vasudeva and Varaha were worshipped as icons or vigrahas in a Temple form of structures since ancient times. This was in parallel to the customs of rituals for fire and water and for natural forces in practices following Vedic teachings of Hindu Dharma.

In Poorva Mimaamsa teachings, the Karmakanda prayers and rituals to Vedic gods and natural forces like Indra, Varuna and Agni were believed to have offered the benefits by themselves. Later, the Vedanta teaching of Upanishads and Uttara Mimaamsa traditions added the part of Paramathma whose will and blessings were the only cause and effect for obtaining all these benefits of rituals and prayers. This is the first phase of explaining the Spiritual Realization with the rituals and prayers, realizing the forces of a form of the Supreme Brahman or its forces of nature.

Explanations of Sri Vyasa's Vedanta and later explanations of Brahma Sutra by Acharyas combined the philosophy and ethical teachings of Dharma along with devotional practices of Bhakthi path for our daily worship. When the Vedic paths and Devotional practice merged, during the period of King Vaivasvadha and again during the period of Gupta Empire of Hindu renaissance, Vedic prayers and rituals joined the Vigraha forms of worship at home and in common places like Temple. So, several forms of rituals of Vedic teachings and also several Mantras and songs as musical devotional services to the Deity were combines in our daily practice in prayers at home as also in the Temples.

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Indram mitram varuNam agnim ãhuh, - atho divyah sa suparNo garutmãn |
ekam sad viprãh bahudhã vadanti, - agnim yamam mãtarišvãnam ãhuh ||

Vedic teachings explained this as "Truth [Divine Supreme Paramatma] is One that the wise ones speak in diverse ways; though we pray to various forms of Devathas." - Rigveda 1.164.46

 
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Lesson 06.02:
Different Rituals and Prayers in Homes and Temples
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As we see different prayer rituals, we see most common at home is the simple Deity worship, in a Tamasika form of Bhaya Bhakthi, where different forms of Deities are worshipped for different purposes and on different festival days. Most of their worship is with simple devotional prayer songs and few simple mantras or simple names, like "Om Namasivaya", "Om Sakthi, Om Sakthi Om", "Hare Rama - Hare Krishna" "Swamiye Saramayyappa" and similar simple prayers.

They just express their problems and desires, asking for Divine help and also thank for all the good things happening in simple devotional songs. Some will pray in thoughts within their mind or Manasika Prayers at home or when they visit the temples. Then, at a more advanced level of Rajasika form of Ananya Bhakthi, they learn from a teacher or priest some simple prayers to a particular Deity of their choice as Ishta Devata, and some even get formal initiation [Adhikara] for the prayers.

For most Hindu devotees, this is good enough for them, satisfied with their practice. They visit temples or arrange home pooja performed by a learned priest who will perform all the rituals for the families as taught by the Vedas and Agamas. Again our daily prayers insist that unity in the Divine Supreme in many forms.

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Ãkãsat pathitham Thõyam Yadhãgatchati Sãgaram |
SarvaDeva Namaskãrah Kesavam Pratigatchati ||
"As the drops of water in a rain from the sky ultimately reach the same ocean, so do all our prayers reach Kesava".

There are special rituals prescribed for each form of Deity, manifestations of Paramathma for our phenomenal world in Their Transcendental forms and also with variations in different communities within the nation. The Orthodox priests and few learned individuals, get complete training in all Hindu rituals, Sastras, Vedas and Agamas. They perform elaborate rituals and prayer services in Temples and homes as prescribed for them in these texts.

In this, the Devotee or priest needs to learn the details of procedures and mantras from a Guru or teacher and follow the steps accurately. This has been well preserved over several centuries only through oral traditions and repeated recitation and memorization of the mantras. Thus they get the adhikara for performing these prayer services.

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: Lessons : -: 6.01 : - : 6.03 : - : 6.05 : - : 6.07 : - : 6.09 : - : 6.11 :
A Collection of Lessons on Hindu Dharma discussed in Satsangh
There are Two Lessons on each page - so thay you can read two lessons each day.
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