This paper attempts to look at the importance of rituals in Hindu religious culture, with special emphasis on the daily puja or worship, and explicated by the ritualistic worship offered to Lord Shiva.
The term ritual, as it is used in the context of religion can be summed up as an activity that “is a culturally constructed system of symbolic communication. It is constituted of patterned and ordered sequences of words and acts often expressed in multiple media, whose content and arrangement are characterized in varying degree by formality (conventionality), stereotype (rigidity), condensation (fusion) and redundancy (repetition)” in the words of Tambiah (1981) (qtd in Jacobs, 2007)
Rituals constitute the set of behavioral expectations from practitioners of the specific faith to which they belong. These rituals are seen to “form the foundation of an individual’s everyday life.” (Tarakeshwar, Stanton, Pargament, 2003) Hindu religious rituals call upon its practitioners to start the day with “morning prayers and meditation.” (Tarakeshwar, Stanton,
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