New member introduction: shrI Krishna Vaidyanathan

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Tue Jun 16 15:52:55 CDT 1998

On Mon, 1 Jun 1998, Ravisankar S. Mayavaram wrote:

> Knowing the principles behind the rituals will help one to do it
> more effectively.  Take for instance Achamanam, when one understands
> why we do it, its power increases (atleast I imagine so) dramatically.
> When we waste so much time and effort to understand many meaningless
> things (like news), I think one should strive hard to understand the
> meaning behind the rituals.

True, but that's a different kind of meaning.  Shastras go into a lot of
detail about what is the devata of a mantra or ritual or what is the
viniyoga, what benefits will come from it etc.  And I'm sure that all the
true Bhaktas are eager to learn these things.  But the "existential"
meaning i.e. why is a particular rite the way it is, is not something that
by and large people were (or are) concerned with.  It's what is done
that's all.  Of course some people did concern themselves with these
things but just as a matter of academic interest.

Nowadays the search for meaning has more urgency because modernity has
disrupted peoples ties to culture and people don't (or feel they don't)
have a connection to their past.  But there is nothing new in this.
Modernity is only a cultural attitude and previous waves have washed over
us in the past only to disappear.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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