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Thoughts on Vedic Rituals – Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal

The purpose of the Vedic rituals is to take us, by degrees, to go beyond the three gunas and realize the true state of the Self.

So long as we believe that the world is real we worship the deities so as to be vouchsafed happiness.
And this world, which we think is real, is also benefited by such worship. Thinking the deities to be real, we help them and in return, we are helped by them. Living happily on this earth we long to go to the world of the celestials and enjoy the pleasures of paradise. So far, so good.

But if we stopped at this stage, would it not mean losing sight of our supreme objective? Is not the goal our becoming one with the Paramatman? Would it not be foolish to ignore this great ideal of ours and still cling to mundane happiness?

In our present state of immaturity, it is not possible to think of the world being unreal.

Recognizing this , the Vedas provide us rituals to be performed for happiness in this world. Because of our inadequacies, we are unable to devote ourselves to a formless Paramatman from whom we are no different. So the Vedas have devised a system in which a number of deities are worshiped.

But, in course of time, as we perform rituals and worship deities, we must make the effort to advance to the state of wisdom and enlightenment in which the world will be seen to be unreal and rites will become unnecessary. Instead of worshipping many deities, we must reach the state in which we will recognize that we have no existence other than that of our being dissolved in the Paramatman.

Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal (1894 - 1994). The pious soul was the 68th Jagadguru of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham

SourceBook titled ‘From Introduction to Hindu Dharma, MLBD’