Importance of Hindu Rituals Held in Sacred Sites: Message to Non-Resident Indians (NRI)
Rituals are a central part of Hindu life. The Hindu sacred texts, holy epics, and ancient traditions have laid down the various rituals that Hindu devotees must perform and conduct throughout his lifetime. In the Hindu religion, the dedication of holy sites is also important because these are regarded as the holy abodes of the gods. The Hindu’s life is a prayerful life that is complete with rituals, homages, and ceremonies. Most of these devotional forms of worship that complete a Hindu devotee’s life are held in temples and other sacred sites such as bodies of water and other forms of nature.
Scriptural manuals specify the sanctity of these sacred sites. Vedic priests or Brahmin pandits perform rituals at these purified sacred locations. The overreaching concept behind these is the attainment of peace by pleasing the gods. When devotees visit these sacred sites or abodes of the gods, they should be clean and pure in body and mind. After all, the main purpose of visitations is to perform rituals that ultimately cleanse the soul or spirit through the process of atonement. Rituals held at prescribed sacred sites are important because they formalize the Hindu identity and his devotion to the worshipful gods.
Visits to Hindu sacred sites and performing devotional worship and prayers in them make the Hindu closer to the Divine Being, a concept that is of prime importance in the Hindu religion. At these sacred sites, the Hindu reflects upon his life as a Hindu follower and how God has helped shape his progress in the material life. It is also a place where religious homages to the dearly departed loved ones and ancestors are conducted, making them pure and sacred—thereby pleasing the souls in the afterlife and helping ancestors journey more easily towards uniting with the Divine Power.