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At the Feet of The Mother

The Significance of Sraddha and Other Rituals

The significance of Sraddha, Shuddhi Kriyas and many other such rituals were rooted in a kind of occult knowledge about the hidden forces that work from behind and influence our lives. However, all that occult knowledge is now lost and what remains is mostly a skeleton, an outer frame without the inner knowledge and the power that is needed to activate the truth behind these things. Once useful they have lost their relevance because of the loss of inner truth within them and hence the Time-Spirit has discarded them. Whatever remnants remain are often done as a lifeless ritual and are on the way to disappearing. These things were anyways the product of a certain kind of knowledge that humanity explored at a given point of time. They are not eternal truths which alone are not subject to mutations and change. These eternal truths are the Truth of the Spirit, the Truth of the Divine and the human soul and the Grace leaning upon earth. They are also the truths of the human journey towards Light and Bliss and Peace and freedom and Immortality in which life and death and rebirth are passing incidents.

These rites and rituals are needed only as long as we have not awakened to our deeper spiritual truth. The guarantee that they work comes not so much from the outer actions and pooja performed as from the inner faith that we have in these things. It is faith and will that are the real determinants of the kind of forces that we draw into play. If our mind is full of fears and ill-will and confusions and disorder then we draw similar forces that disrupt our lives. On the other hand, if we are full of calm gladness and harmony and peace, full of goodwill and a charitable outlook and faith then automatically, effortlessly the godlike luminous forces are drawn towards us and things are set right, the sick are healed, the dead depart peacefully because of the love and peace emanating from us towards them. Even the most material circumstances of life can be changed as we know the incidence wherein the power of his All-pervading Peace that we feel even now in his room stopped the cyclone from entering inside the sanctuary chosen by him as his abode of tapasya.

This then is the real direction and sign of our spiritual progress. Just as in science the direction of progress has to been to minimize the use of equipment and machinery so too the direction and sign of human spiritual evolution would be to get as much free from outer methods such as rituals and be able to master the forces of nature in life and the afterlife by his soul’s inner power. The effort therefore, the real effort should be in the direction of bringing out the secret soul within us, in cultivating faith and will, in establishing peace and a spontaneous trust in the Divine Grace. Even if we do not succeed in doing it at one go yet it is the permanent solution, the true path for man. As the Gita says categorically, ‘My Yoga will deliver you from the great fear and even a little of it will bring deliverance. When you have once set out on this path, you will find that no step is lost; every least movement will be a gain; you will find there no obstacle that can baulk you of your advance. A bold and absolute promise and one to which the fearful and hesitating mind beset and stumbling in all its paths cannot easily lend an assured trust; nor is the large and full truth of it apparent unless with these first words of the message of the Gita we read also the last, “Abandon all laws of conduct and take refuge in Me alone; I will deliver you from all sin and evil; do not grieve.”

To this the Divine Mother adds, ‘We must learn to rely only on the Divine Grace and to call for its help in all circumstances; then it will work out constant miracles.’

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