When the World undergoes many changes, the people are made to accept them either reluctantly or halfheartedly. It thus alters the life style, priorities and belief. It makes them move fast and worry more about their future. Those who stick to the old ways find it hard to prolong and feel as if they are left far behind. Looking for short cuts is one of the methods adopted to satisfy themselves. Worry and fear are two terms related to each other. Long term planning is probably the key to fear as uncertainty is seen everywhere. " What if it happens..." is the most fearful question today that frightens everybody. " How do I get out of it" is the next thought which arises instantly. The search starts to get answer to the question, " Which can give solace to my problems" . It does not stop by asking a few friends. It goes on searching with all other providers who can throw light on the subject, be it astrologers, magazines, internet etc. Eyes are broadly kept open to see what others are doing. It becomes immaterial if those acts are right or wrong. No verification is applied to get authentic information on the mind boggling issues.
Religion is also no exception to this kind of changes. The more the problems, the more religious you are. Ideally speaking this should not be the case. It should be borne in mind that religion is not just to prescribe cures to our ills. It rather prescribes the ideal path to live peacefully and attain the ultimate goal of freedom from rebirth. The lives of our ancestors itself are classic examples of how a person should lead a clean life. Though it may appear that it is difficult to follow their approach, any dilution of the system is not certainly going to show us an alternate path. Some people may criticise it as non flexibility. We may try to alter it but never succeed fully as most of the activities set by the Creator can never be changed. It is as silly as trying to reduce the child's stay inside the mother's womb from ten months to six months!
Normally we rely on many excuses to justify our actions. Time is redoubtably an important factor which plays the dominant role in our life. To make it available in meeting our routine is still in our hands. In those days people used to get up at 4 A.M. and go to bed at 9 P.M. Now we see people wake upto midnight by watching Television and get up on the next day at 8 A.M thereby losing atleast three hours in the morning which can enhance the knowledge as well as the body. Naturally the activities such as meditation , Yoga, execise, rituals etc move away from the list of priority.
Eyebrows are raised when you talk about the ideal way of life and worship. Knowing fully that we deviate from the set path, we look for alternatives and short cuts. Those who run out of patience may even skip the time tested path and lay their own. Moderates expect the religious leaders to spell out flexible procedures to suit their convenience. They fail to understand that nobody is authorised to change the procedures regardless of the present day changes in life style. By saying this, one may think that it is nothing but rigidity. Others may even think that the in-adaptability will be detrimental to the religion. At this stage, we should not forget that we are supposed to carry the principles forward to the possible extent and leave the rest to God. When we rely and obey the Chief Justice to spell his verdict, why the same yardstick is not applied towards the Almighty who is The Supreme Judge.
It was when I published a post in my Tamil blog, ( aadalvallan.blogspot.in ) about the need to discontinue the use of packed milk for doing Abishekam at Temples, some readers replied by citing the " non availability " of Cow's milk , straight from the udder. This may be the case with Metros as the Municipal bodies discourage the animals to be in the residential areas due to the fact that the cattle shed may be the breeding ground for mosquitoes and even clog the drains with cow-dung cakes. But then, it is not yet difficult to get it from some distance away from your Homes. The fact remains that we wish everything to arrive at our door step, we are prepared to walk down only upto the corner of the street to buy milk sachet from a shop and offer the same to the Temples. This is quite easy for every one and the only problem is that we fail to notice the contents of the pack. It contains stabilizers and thickening agents and supplied after undergoing the process of heating and cooling. As we do not take the extra initiative to get Cow's milk straight from the udder, we pretend as if the cows are extinct from the Metros in order to justify our act.
Assuming that there is a scarcity of Cow's milk at a particular area, the only alternate way is to offer other materials meant for abishekam. Kindly remember that cow's milk may be diluted but never adulterated fo this purpose. If nothing is available, mere water alone is sufficient to do the Puja followed by archana with Bilva leaves and flowers. Non availability does not permit us to offer any adulterated stuff that we get easily. We should not try to justify that the Lord will pardon us as the act is not done unintentionally. It will simply amount to outsmart our ancestors who dedicated their whole lives for the prosperity of the entire Universe.