From the Jacket
Rites, rituals and customs play a major role in the life of every person, irrespective of religious affiliations. This is more prominent in the case of Hindus. Right from the time of conception and birth, up to a person's passing away and even after it, rites and rituals follow a Hindu at all times, much like a shadow. Indeed, there is some rite, ritual or custom that comes into play for Hindus 365 days of the year. However, unlike other religions where many customs are mandatory, the Hindu way of life is comparatively flexible, with people in different regions following variable customs and traditions. While a monotonous way of life could figuratively kill many people from sheer boredom, Hindu rituals and customs enlien Hindus' daily existence. Besides, they also ensure that in the hustle and bustle of daily life in this materialistic era, people do not lose sight of spiritual goals. Hindu Rites, Rituals, Customs and Traditions outlines all these practices right from the sunrise to the sunset years and makes a most enlightening read for all readers, Hindus as well as non-Hindus.
Modern youth are in a hurry to grow up, to acquire education, to work and get married, to own a vehicle and a home and, finally, to arrive. Arrive where? Most youth do not know. Nor do they know their ultimate goal in life.
Those who dare answer will tell you that they are trying to make the best of their life. When asked how, they are not sure. They are in the run to find happiness. They seek this happiness from the many comforts available in modern society. But soon they realize the things that ensured happiness yesterday do not do so today. The novelty has faded and everything appears ordinary.
The truth is that mankind is driven by desires, both good and bad. When one is achieved, it leads to another. It is an endless game. Every achievement brings temporary happiness. Every failure brings frustration and a feeling of hurt. Ultimately, one realizes the futility of chasing happiness through desires of the body, mind and intellect.
There are millions of living beings around the world. Of these, life as a human being is the most precious. Did God grant this form so human beings could fulfil their desires endlessly? Could this really have been God's purpose? Hinduism teaches us that God grants life as a human being as a gift to enable a soul to reunite with Him through faith and devotion. Religious texts confirm this. A human being is specially gifted to be able to think, reason and choose a path of action to achieve this purpose.
Since a human being can think, reason and choose, when confronted with diverse situations one tends to choose what is easy and pleasurable. The fault is in choosing what one sees and feels rather than searching for the eternal happiness that already exists within the individual. The Hindu way of life teaches one to make this happiness a part of life. Activities are prescribed from the time of conception until death. One needs to understand and follow them. This book is an effort to bring simple everyday activities to householders who can make material progress worthwhile by combining it with spiritual guidance and fulfillment.
This book would not have been possible without the valuable research done on the subject by Dr Prakash Chandra Gangrade and the permission by Mr Ram Avtar Gupta, Managing Director and Mr. S.K. Roy, Executive Editor, Pustak Mahal, to use the same in this book. I extend my gratitude to them.
About the Author :
Educated in Dehra Dun and New Delhi, Prem P. Bhalla enjoys photography and travel, having traveled widely in India and abroad. Besides running his own business, he is deeply involved with several social welfare and educational institutions. The author has also been involved with the Rotary movement for over 40 years.
Mr. Bhalla has written several self-improvement books and is particularly interested in the welfare of youngsters. The author gives group lectures on personality and career development too. He has also authored Teens to Twenties, The Portrait of a Complete Man, Hello! Just Married or About to Marry, 7 Mantras to Excel in Exams and 50 Moral Tales, as well as co-authored The Book of Etiquette and Manners, all published by Pustak Mahal.
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