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Importance Of Oral Tradition In Hinduism

Oral tradition is of great importance in Hinduism. Oral tradition helps in the process of specialization. Folk songs help to inculcate good behavior and adjustment to the social structure. Narrative and elegies relate people with their ancestors. Their lives and philosophies and their achievements which generate pride among members of society, help in the process of socialization.

Moral songs help to control the behaviour of the people so that they do not neglect the norms and value systems of their community.

Stories, epic-plays and ballads are devices of social control. Stories and epic-plays describe great persons and emphasize the fact that good always wins. Even a wise and powerful character like Ravana had to die because of his evil deeds. These instances inculcate righteousness among the people.

Similarly, legends and ballads mould the behaviour of the people. Proverbs are effective and induce a particular type of action through subtle irony. Their sarcastic remarks through proverbs help modify behaviour of arrogant persons in the village. A simple proverb warns a person to be away from evil deeds: ‘When death approaches the ants, they get wings.’

Oral tradition helps in generating a value system and modifying the behaviour pattern according to the need for equilibrium and coherence in a society.

Oral tradition is also a weapon not for the struggle for land, water, forest, better working and living conditions and human rights. It also plays an important role in establishing peace and in environment protection.