October 19, 2008
The True Object of the Samskaras

The various samskaras prescribed by our religion are intended to mould the mind and direct thought and action properly. Samskaras should, as far as possible, be in accordance with the shastras. Whenever the shastra’s provisions cannot be complied with, recourse should be taken to nama-smarana, because, after all, the object is to strengthen faith.
The main object of our samskaras is to ensure that we follow what is good for us, and avoid what is not wholesome. This, naturally involves certain restrictions, some discipline, for the individual. No society can exist or sustain itself without discipline; it is foolish to advocate the abolition of restrictions. Restrictions have supreme importance, for it is these that have sustained our religion through the ages. At present we find religious restrictions being disregarded wholely. In the past people respected religion, and minds were generally at peace. The world today boasts of many gadgets and amenities but mankind has forfeited peace of mind because life is divorced from religion.
Some people advocate a change in the moral code to bring it in line with the current state of social behaviour. Spiritualism, on the other hand, affirms that the moral code ever remains unchanged; instead of seeking to adapt it, the individual should adapt himself to those unchangeable standards. A society may base its structure on intellectual standards, another on financial standards; but that society alone will afford real contentment to the individual which is founded on true religion. The very function of religion is to provide order; religion holds society together through the samskaras.
Many of us may plead that though they sincerely desire to attain God, the world puts obstructions in their path; they feel so because their relations with the world involve selfish interests. They cannot afford to disregard the world. They cannot behave selflessly. They should first learn to deal with everybody without any selfish consideration. This calls for control over the mind, and this can be acquired by practising nama-smarana. We can justify God’s grace in granting us human life, by remembering Him in all actions. He who sincerely yearns for the removal of obstructions in the approach to God, may rest assured that he is on the right track.
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