Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
India, Rituals of
Rituals are part of India's rich cultural heritage. Religion is one of the prime social areas in which rituals function. A ritual may be defined as a type of organized behavior. It acts as a conservative force, binding the members of community. Ritual is mainly of two types: one that is directly related with religious activities, the other being life stage rituals, which polish and refine the individual's attitude toward society. Here, the discussion centers round the first type, the rituals associated with major forms of worship in India. In fact, due to a national transition and global communication and interaction, Indian society is now facing change, though there are limits to change. Certain expressions that are the products of age-old beliefs do not change, and these provide the distinctive cultural template for the people of India. These rituals act as mirrors, in which the behavior of the people is ...