Rituals – In Gita Verse 6.11-12 To practice yoga, one should go to a secluded place and should lay kuśa grass on the ground and then cover it with a deerskin and a soft cloth. The seat should be neither too high nor too low and should be situated in a sacred place. The yogī should then sit on it very ﬁrmly and practice yoga to purify the heart by controlling his mind, senses and activities and ﬁxing the mind on one point.
Understand Krishna’s difficulty over here. If he has to practice the same thing he can live in the world and practice. But when he is addressing to Arjuna he need to say where Arjuna is.
It will be very easy for us to understand through our life. To our children we have to send them to school for education but for us if we decide then we can learn from wherever we are. At the same time we also guide our children to use their wisdom and not to follow the syllabus without their wisdom. So that in the life they remember that syllabus as a tool to live the life with their own wisdom.
It is important to understand what he is saying to practice rather than what ritual we need to follow. If we take the word literally then we will go to a secluded place and sit on the deerskin, etc but nothing will happen to us. But if we practice even while living in the objective world we will reach to that point where Krishna is guiding us.
This is the reason all the enlightened persons are against follower. They don’t want us to follow them they want us to use the present moment’s circumstances to reach to yourself.
Krishna tells Arjuna when yogi start their inner journey they go to a secluded place and follow all the rituals. By following all the rituals of yoga yogi reaches to himself where he experience the wholeness. He then don’t see anything as compartmental life.
In my Bhagavad Gita Verse 2.49, I wrote regarding the whole process of seed to tree and again becoming seed.
To experience the whole process of oneself as transcendental, flow, only the form changes, in yoga they have given certain rituals. But rituals are just the tools. Most of the people like to follow the rituals as they don’t want to take their own responsibility. They wants to throw their responsibility on others so they become followers and follow the rituals.
Patanjali when gave this Rituals they were spontaneous. But who followed the rituals they are not spontaneous.
Religion deteriorates into rituals. When a religion is dead, it becomes ritualistic. When a religion is alive, it remains spontaneous. If you want to pray, let it be spontaneous. Don’t repeat rituals; otherwise it is futile, it is meaningless, you are wasting time. If you get up every day — a particular time, a particular prayer, a particular way to do it, and you repeat it in a mechanical way, you will never come to know what prayer is.
Prayer has not really to be done. It has only to be allowed. Sitting silently, looking at the trees, suddenly it is there. Sometimes it comes; sometimes it does not come. It is not within your power to drag it. A prayer dragged is no longer prayer. Prayer is like love: sometimes it is there and sometimes it is not there. And you are helpless; you cannot do anything about it when it is not there. You can pretend. You can show that you are very loving and you know deep down there is no love. And if you get accustomed to this, by and by you will forget what real love is.
If you watch you will see sometimes like a breeze it comes. Right now there is no breeze and the trees are silent. What can they do? They wait. When the breeze comes they will dance. They don’t have a ritual. They don’t say, “Now it is morning and it is time to dance, and where is the breeze?” and if it is not coming, “Then we will try on our own — we will do some yoga postures, we will perform some ritual, we will do some exercises and somehow sway.” No, they don’t bother. They wait. Look, they are waiting. When the breeze comes they will dance. Prayer is like that: it comes. It comes without ever giving you any indication that it is coming.
Krishna says that follow the rituals from within, so you will remain available, like tree, they wait.
Sometimes sitting in your bed in the night, suddenly it is there — the whole room becomes full of some unknown presence. Not that you can do anything about it. It is there. You can enjoy, you can be joyful, you can delight in it. You can dance; the breeze has come. You can sway, you can sing a song.
And let that song also be of the heart, of this moment. There is no need to repeat anything from somebody else. There is no need to cram anything. There is no need to repeat the Christian or the Hindu prayer. They are all false. The real prayer simply arises. Sometimes it may be silent. You may not say anything, not even a thank you. The ways of love are very mysterious — and existence will understand.
Let your prayer be very spontaneous. If anger is there, what else can you offer to him? Offer anger. If love is there, offer love. Godliness is nothing but a tremendous understanding that existence shows towards you. But if you are false, then you are trying to deceive, and you cannot deceive existence. That is not possible. You can deceive only yourself. And you will go on piling up deceptions upon deceptions around you, and you will be choked, suffocated in your own deceptions — you will die under the burden of your own deceptions.
Just be wherever you are, and be true and be authentic and be spontaneous.
Krishna tells Arjuna by the rituals also you can reach yourself. I am just reminding you that by rituals means through any act you can reach yourself. Rituals simply means that certain act by which you can reach to yourself. Through your actions you surrender your attachments and emotions and you will reach to yourself. You will become whole. Unless you become whole you cannot fight the war without any judgements.