Written by Sri Swami Chandrashekarendra
I have stated again and again that the people must perform the rites
handed down to them from forefathers, that they must adhere to the
practices pertaining to the tradition to which they belong and they must
wear the symbols appropriates to the same, like the holy ashes or
Tiruman, the rudraksa, etc. Some people hold the view that all that is
needed is conduct and character, that conduct is a matter of the mind,
that religious customs are but part of the external life.
In truth, however, your outward actions and the symbols worn by you
outwardly have an impact on the inner life. There is a relationship
between bodily work and inner feelings. Let me illustrates this truth.
day, unexpectedly, a man comes to know he was won prize in a lottery,
say, one lakh rupees. His joy knows no bounds, but it makes its own
impact on his body. He becomes so excited that his breathing itself
for a moment and he faints. "A particular feeling creates a specific
in the process of breathing". From this practical observation yoga
develops lessons in breathing to create healthy and noble feeling and
urges. Often the outward appearance reflects the inner feelings. When
you are angry your eyes become red, your lips quiver. When you are
sorrowful your eyes become moist and you shed tears. If you are happy
you are agape, showing all your teeth. Thus there is a definite
between the body and the mind, between the boy and the inner feelings.
Based on this fact, the wise have devised yogic postures that are
calculated to nurture particular Atmic qualities.
Will soldiers be less valorous if they do not wear their uniforms? All
the world members of the defence services wear uniforms and it is
claimed that they keep them fighting fit and inspire courage in them.
The symbols worn outside, the samskaras performed outwardly, are
inwardly beneficial. If you think that it is all a disguise so it will
must resolve to wear the symbols in all sincerity and perform the rites
too. Then they will truly cause purity within. Outward action helps you
It perhaps natural that I should give importance to samskaras, to the
custom of wearing symbols like the sacred ashes, rudraksa, etc. After
am the head of Matha and you will come to me only if I wear all these.
You will give me money for the conduct of the Matha. So all these
symbols that I wear serve a purpose in my case. But your case is
You have your own means of livelihood and you may be able to perform
samsakaras even more sincerely than I do and make yourself pure by
wearing the symbols of our religion.
Let us wear the signs that remind us of the Supreme Truth. Let us
perform the rites that keep us away from evil. Let us be of good conduct
and character and cleans our consciousness. And let us meditate on the
Ultimate Reality, experience It inwardly, realise bliss.