Most people have a religion and they visit their religious places not only for the purpose of worshipping and paying homage, but also for many other various purposes. I too visited a religious place in Negombo area where I live, for the purpose of gathering information in the approach of doing a research. The paragraphs in the essay below commence with a general consideration of what a religion is? What a ritual is and the connection between rituals and religions. Religions have different rituals and practices that accompany and highlight religious experience. Familiar examples in Sri Lanka include attending church, praying, baptism and other rituals that have become deep-rooted in Western culture as part of the Christian religion. For example some Christians pray before a meal, in time of grief and guidance, for a friend or family member and before and after waking up. However these rituals are only a very small part of the vast diversity of practices that religions around the world such as Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism use. Though I am a Buddhist, I had an enthusiastic feeling to find out some rituals that is done in a Kovil .The methods I used to capture these fascinating activities are, having conversations with the devotees, preparing a questionnaire to get the most accurate and relevant details, visiting the Kovil during the “pooja hour” and contacted the people who are responsible in administratingthe kovil and the authorities in the Ministry of Hindu affairs. So my special attention was focused in this way on the “Kamaachchi Amman Kovil” in Negombo. I have described the location, history of the Kovil , rituals related to the Kovil and the religious, scientifical aspects of the rituals done along with the other special remarks in the fourth paragraph. In spite of this, a particular consideration is drawn to analyse these rituals in a sociological perspective and I did not forget to enrich it with my ideas and attitudes about these rituals in the concluding part of the essay.
What is a “Religion”?
Many say the etymology of religion lies with the Latin word “ religare”, which means “to tie, to bind.” This helps to explain the power that a religion has. The Oxford English Dictionary points out, though, that the etymology of the word is doubtful. Earlier writers like “Cicero” connected the term with “ relegere”, which means “to read over again” However scholars have given many definitions of religion and a clear idea can be grasped by referring to them.Random House Webster's College Dictionary says that, “Religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause nature and purpose of the universe especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies involving devotional and ritual observances and often containing a moral code for the conduct of human affairs” According to the philologist Max Müller, the root of the English word "religion", the Latin religio, was originally used to mean only "reverence for God or the gods, careful pondering of It gives a hint saying how a religion helps to build up the personality of an individual and how it effects the society.“Nuttall Encyclopedia” says, that Religion is a sense affecting the whole character and life of dependence on reverence for and responsibility to a Higher Power or a mode of thinking feeling and acting which respects trusts in and strives after God and determines a man's duty and destiny in this universe or "the manner in which a man feels himself to be spiritually related to the unseen world " Wikipedia describes it as follows,
“Religion is an organized collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values”divine things, piety" Edward Burnett Tylor defined religion as "the belief in spiritual beings .
From all these statements we can understand that the word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith or...
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