Hindu's Rituals

Hindu RitualsMost Hindus observe religious rituals at home. but observation of rituals greatly vary among regions, villages, and individuals. Devout Hindus perform daily chores such as worshiping at the dawn after bathing, usually at a family shrine, and typically includes lighting a lamp and offering foodstuffs before the images of deities, recitation from religious scripts, singing devotional hymns, meditation, chanting mantras, reciting scriptures etc. A notable feature in religious ritual is the division between purity and pollution. Religious acts presuppose some degree of impurity or defilement for the practitioner, which must be overcome or neutralised before or during ritual procedures. Purification, usually with water, is thus a typical feature of most religious action.

There is also the belief in the efficacy of sacrifice and concept of merit, gained through the performance of charity or good works, that will accumulate over time and reduce sufferings in the next world. Vedic rites of fire-oblation (yajna) are now only occasional practices, although they are highly revered in theory. In Hindu wedding and burial ceremonies, however, the yajna and chanting of Vedic mantras are still the norm.

In Hinduism, life-cycle rituals include Annaprashan (a baby's first intake of solid food), Upanayanam ("sacred thread ceremony" undergone by upper-caste children at their initiation into formal education.)and Shraadh (ritual of treating people to feasts in the name of the deceased). For most people in India, the betrothal of the young couple and the exact date and time of the wedding are matters decided by the parents in consultation with astrologers. On death, cremation is considered obligatory for all except sanyasis, euanches and children under five. Cremation is typically performed by wrapping the corpse in cloth and burning it on a pyre.

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