Straight Angle™: Change!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Have you ever been to a temple and offered Puja to the deity? I mean the usual puja or archana as we call, where all your family members are spelt out and the God is invoked to bless you- or even the one where there is Sankalpa performed?
Last Prathosham I had been to the Bridgewater Balaji Temple and something that happened there, intrigued me. As part of Prathosha pujas, Rudram, Namakam etc are recited. Before they start reciting rudram, it is customary that the Sankalpam is performed, which goes something like the below:
Here, in the above sankalp, all those parts marked would vary according to the year, month, day and time of the occasion- but what doesn't vary in all parts of India is the remaining part.
In the first part, I am not sure, if we really follow the Nakshatram and thithi the same way we follow it in India. But I know for sure, if you are performing the Sankalp in US, you cannot say "Bharatha Varshe", "Jamboo dweepe", "bharatha kande", "Meroh dakshine parshwe". US is definitely not in "Bharatha Varsha" or in "Jamboo dweepa" or in "Bharatha kanda" and most certainly not to the south of "Meru"!
The Sankalp is one of the most scientific and mathematically accurate component of the Hindu rituals. Shoud it not remain so- should we not accommodate our knowledge of what it means and rather than merely repeating the slokas as a machine, should we not improvise them to suit the realities? I mean if the days and month and year can be changed, sure the geographical coordinates too can be changed accordingly. If we say we can't change because it is against tradition, are we not doing a disservice? Sankalp is supposed to say where you are and what you are doing...if we continue to "be" in India while actually in a different place, are we not cheating God?
Just thinking loud- can't we create new coordinates- say south of Mt.Rushmore or north of Rushmore? Would that be asking for too much?
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