Why Ritual Matters (Criticisms of Hinduism Series)

It is amazing to me that people could complain that Hinduism has too many rituals. Apparently these days rituals are out of vogue and and non-religious people scoff at the "superstition" of ritual while religious people emphasize spontaneous prayer.There is a time for spontaneous prayer, certainly, but there's also a time for ritual prayer.To start off with I'd like to address this idea that believing in ritual makes you superstitious. The truth is, we are all superstitious. It's a … [Read more...]

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The idea of fasting comes up in several different religions which makes me think that there's more to it than meets the eye.Ritual fasting in Hinduism seems to fall mainly into two purposes: pleasing the Gods and focusing the soul.A lot of the stories show the benefits of currying favor with the Gods. When people perform austerities to an impressive enough degree, they are rewarded with favors from the Gods.At the same time, the wise men suggest that these austerities, such as f … [Read more...]

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