An Overview of Rituals and Ceremonies in Hinduism

Interestingly enough, the rituals and ceremonies of Hinduism are performed and observed vary as there is not one single universal way. It will differ by what region of India you’re living in. Interestingly enough, it will also differ by what province in the region that you live in. It will differ from your city, town, or village as well. One place will celebrate it differently than the next place. Also, households have their own different ways of celebrating. From there, individual practitioners will have their own way of celebrating.

One practitioner will observe a ceremony differently than another.

This is interesting as this is a very liberal and very diverse religious faith as it goes hand and hand with Buddhism. As a Buddhist, I have to understand Hinduism’s influence on faith. We observe Buddhist rituals and ceremonies differently as well.

You have your moderate and your more devout practitioners. The more devout Hindus will do prayer and worship upon waking up in the morning after doing daily hygiene. My grandmother happens to be a Buddhist nun and it’s basically the same routine in Buddhism as it is in Hinduism. They would do this in a shrine or at an altar. Before my grandmother became a nun, she would do early prayer in a special room called our “Buddha Room”.

Lighting incense or candles

Like Buddhists, devout Hindus would light incense or candles. They would offer food to the deities by placing them in front of the images. They would recite from scripts, hymns, and everything else. They would meditate and chant as well. It’s very similar to what my grandmother would do every morning and night.

Every day, one would place a plate of fruit or candy in front of the images such as pictures and statues. My mother would offer fruits and other things. If my mother baked some sweets, she would offer it to the Buddha. In Hinduism, you would do the same thing but you’d offer it to the various deities such as Shiva, Kali, Vishnu, and Brahma.

Death Rituals in Hinduism

In death, cremation is a must in most cases except if the children are under five. The corpses are wrapped in cloth before being burned on a pyre. It’s similar to numerous Buddhist funeral rites except for the Tibetan sky burial.

Looking at the rituals and ceremonies, in a sense, it’s not that different than those observed in Buddhism. In a sense, it shows that Buddhism and Hinduism aren’t that different from each other.

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