I am not an atheist but I do want to know why certain practices are followed without even knowing why we are doing that ? It is not that I got this bulb glowing on top of my head after doing my rig-upakarma, but I just thought of questioning myself on the fact that will I be a good senior Brahmin who has the credibility to educate or guide my next generation or will I too be sucked into this modernized world and just be an "arm-chair cribber" and keep finding faults on everyone and everything and keep boasting of my young age where I claim to have done so many things which I have not done or seen ? I fear that some of our good old cultures and traditions are seriously fading away in this electronic world, I am not against any inventions which would improve our lifestyle, but, all I am saying is, we should never forget our roots ...
I was chanting a 6 page mantras given by my dad and I felt so bad that I could not pronounce many of the words properly even though I claim to have learnt Sanskrit, we can ask "What's the big deal", but I don’t want to do anything for the sake of doing, I want to give my 100% in whatever I do and so I tried my level best to pronounce few words to perfection, I may not have understood the meaning of many words, but I made sure that I pronounce it properly. My dad does not know the reason for doing certain rituals and saying certain mantras, may be his dad would have been a bit more knowledgeable than him, but comparatively if we have to put a trending analysis chart on the understanding quotient of the rituals we do, I would say the graph is declining to a great extent. I cannot educate my kids of why we are doing certain things, I don’t know if my kids would be interested in doing all these, but history says that every generation is still following most of the rituals and hence we don’t need to fear a complete eradication of those rituals for at least another 200 years.
There is something called "Sooriya Namaskaaram" where you need to flex you fingers in a particular way where you would form a hole and via that hole you have to see the SUN, till date I don't know why we have to flex our fingers and do that, as usually curiosity kills the cat, so I searched on the internet to see if someone has given any good reasoning for that. I got a website which tells the meanings and purpose of every ritual and there was some info about "Sooriya Namaskaaram". What they say is, that "Sooriya Namaskaaram" should be done as early as 4 in the morning by sitting on a sea shore or a river bank, and the reason we bend our fingers in such a way is, when we are up from a good 8 hours sleep, all our nerves and bones would have gone tender and hence they would not be fit enough to do their job which they are expected to do and another interesting thing is, all the nerve points in our body has some connection to our fingers, so when we do flexing of our fingers in that posture, our entire body rejuvenates and it gives freshness to the soul and the reason why we are seeing the SUN is, your eyes would have been in the dark while you were sleeping, so the retina would have softened and bulged, if you immediately get up and expose your retina to a bright light, it will take a lot of time for it to get adjusted and show the actual vision, but by doing "Sooriya Namaskaaram" at 4:00 AM in the morning, the light will be mind and dull and when you focus that light, your retina gets time to adjust itself and hence it does not need to react so fast to be exposed to a brighter light. So, all these rituals are done based on some scientific platform. How many of us know this ?? I came to know this very recently :-)
There are loads of such beliefs which we are still following and don’t know why we have to follow and I am seriously planning to find the reason behind the following things - Why are ladies not allowed into cremation grounds?, Why should we not say a "good bye" when we come from a death house?, Why should we not eat onion on a no moon day?, Why are pregnant women not allowed to venture out on an eclipse day?, Why should we not clip nails after dark?, Why should not a baby be shown a mirror till 1 year?, Why should we not play with lemons?, Why husband and wife be separate during the month of Aadi?, Why we should wash our back foot when we come from outside?, Why do we say "God Bless You" when someone sneezes?, Why does a dead person's toe thumb fingers are tied ?, Why we should not eat anything before an eclipse? And the list of questions just continues and I am flooded with such curious questions without an answer.