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Patanjali Yoga Sutras

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Patanjali Yoga Sutras

Bhavatu niscayadardhyadurdhvam sastraraksanam (12).

Let the rituals and worships prescribed by the sacred texts be practiced and protected till the Bhakti becomes stable.

One may ask, "why rituals and worships are prescribed by the sacred texts?" Rituals, prayers and worships are natural products of human mind and they are not enforced by the outside forces. Human mind has the thirst for the union with awareness, purity, love and peace. True prayers and worships lead to that union.

Prayers and worships of the lower nature of the human mind are done for personal benefits. There are some people who pray for weather and health. But in deeper levels, prayers and worships have their own higher goals. We have to develop our mind towards those higher goals.

Those higher goals are nothing but awareness and purity; Love and Peace are the very nature of Pure Self. By performing prayers sincerely, one can stay in Awareness, Love and Peace. More sincere the prayer is, more stake in the Peace.

'Till the Love and Peace become stable in us, we should not give up our prayers and rites', says Narada, because there is no need for rites once the Peace is attained permanently. The purpose of the prayers is Peace.

But Krishna says in Gita "even after attaining the eternal Peace, one should not give up his prayers and rituals. Rituals should be done even by the seers to set an example to the ordinary people". That is why the great seers of Vedic lore like Vasistha and Vamadeva never gave up their rites. Great saints like Ekanath never gave up their rituals.

This article appears in the Yoga Magazine, Yoga Sudha August, 2005 edition. This article has been published courtesy

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