Full text of Motivational Speaker Gaur Gopal Das’ speech on What is the need for rituals in a religion?
Gaur Gopal Das – Engineer turned Indian lifestyle coach and motivational speaker
In London some guy asked me- What is the need for rituals in a religion? You know, whichever faith.
And I said to him- “Why are you even talking about rituals as a part of religion? Rituals are a part of life. Like two weeks back was Valentine’s day. Guys went to girls, giving them rose flowers. Giving a rose to a girl is a ritual but it conveys how you feel to that girl.”
Saying- ‘I love you’, Language is a ritual. But language is a ritual meant to help you communicate the feelings of your heart to the person whom you’re communicating to.
Giving a gift to someone is a ritual. But that gift just tells that person that you mean a lot to me.
Man United and Chelsea are playing a game. And Man United wins, then the whole Wembley stadium is rumbling – ‘glory, glory, Man United.’ Everybody’s singing. It’s a ritual. But that song tells the Man United team, how much their fans adore them.
So I was telling this guy in London, “I don’t think it’s about religion. Life is full of rituals.”
Now imagine a guy going to a girl, giving her a rose and saying, “I love you honey”, and not meaning it at all.
Now, if you see the first three letters of the word spirit, they are S, P, I. Now you add the first three letters- S P I to ritual. It becomes spiritual. You know what I mean?
Now, as soon as the first three letters, which means the spirit is gone, what you have is a mere ritual. So somebody coming in saying to a girl, “I love you” without meaning, it is ritual. But if it really meant from the deepest core of the heart it is the spiritual experience.
So I think, every faith, like every aspect of life, will have means to communicate how they feel to whether they call God, whether they call it the Universe, whether they call it energy, whether they call it power, or whether they call it nothing.
But there’s a means to communicate your genuine feelings and that’s when then these different rituals kind of come into existence. So whether it’s a mark on the forehead or beads in your neck or a certain kind of attire or a certain kind of practice that you adopt, it’s all meant to be able to express the… but once the spirit is gone, though, what we have is a mere set of rituals, which is what more or less religion kind of today’s seen as.
And which is why a lot of youth doesn’t even want to look at that side. Because they see it simply as a set of mere rituals without the spirit there being there. But I think if we can actually get deeper into what the spirit behind it is, a lot of it will actually start making a lot of sense.
“ MAKE YOUR RITUALS SPIRITUAL”
– Gaur Gopal Das