Nowadays it is considered that many of the rituals are superstitious but many of them are not. The thing is we are not aware of the reasons behind them. Although it is not possible for anyone to give all the reasons because all these rituals are sated in the Vedas and Vedas do have different meanings. One cannot understand the true meaning of the Vedas unless and until someone who is perfect can tell him the meaning.
Here I`m giving a few which i have understood according to my intelligence from my elders and Shrimad Bhagwat Puran. No one is perfect in this universe except the creator of this universe. I am not the perfect one nor I have any knowledge but this is small contribution for the seekers.
I myself too follow many of the rituals but i have the reason behind them. The reasons which I`m writing here is just the one which i have understood.
WEARING A SINDOOR FOR MARRIED WOMEN:
Nowadays we can see many wives without sindoor. The reason is nowadays nobody likes to follow any ritual of which they don`t know the reason. Here, is the reason. For a married woman wearing a sindoor is equally important as to breath air to live. Why is this so? After marriage, a woman`s life no longer remains of her own . She devotes all her life to her husband. This is the reason why she leave her parents and even change her ser name too. It is nothing but the love of a wife. A woman decorates herself for her husband only. She wears a sindoor to show that she is married and she already has her love of her life. So, that no other may look at her with desirous heart.
Also, it is said that wearing sindoor expands the life span of husband. We only hear about the stories of 'sati savitri' and we feel them as stories only. But this can happen in any one's life. We know the name 'sati' as an evil ritual but this name actually have a sacred meaning within itself. 'Sati' means 'true'. The woman who is true to her husband is known as 'Sati'. The one who loves her husband truly, who had never looked at anyone even in her dreams to anyonther person(parpurush) is known as Sati.
All Indian women are known as 'Sati' because they all are truthful to her husband.This sindoor is not only just a red powder it is sacred . It has the power of your love,your austerity, your purity. It reflects your love for your husband , your purity, your truthfulness.
Wear your sindoor not just for the sake of elders but for your love , for the oneness of your husband. Your purity is your power, your love is your austerity.
Also know more about Sati.
OFFERING FOOD IN FRONT OF DEITIES:
There have been many arguments on this topic. The question is 'why to offer food in front of the deities?instead of that offer food to the hungry .' I`m not against of this statement nor i`m against of offering food in front of the deities.
Here, is the answer. In ShrimadBhagwat Puran it has been said that the ones who makes food for themselves are do not offer, they are eating sins. Which implies one should not cook for their own self but should cook for the lord. Many has said one should offer the food to someone who needs it before consuming . I`m going to the argument point.
There can be many reasons . If we will argue our discussion will never end up. The main point is one should not cook for his own consumption. A devotee offers food to the deities why? Do they ask him to do so? NO. It`s because of his devotion. He sees his lord in those deities and so he offers his food to his lord. Like we offer our food first to the one whom we love . It`s because of his love.
If you say one should give food to the needy. Yes, it is clearly said in the Shasta's that one should distribute all the praised to everyone before consuming himself.
The reason which i gave was of the vision of a devotee. There can be many reasons. This was one of them.
Another is "offering flower garlands and other things" the reason is same. Love for the lord. One may argue that lord is in everyone then why to offer these to the deities?
Very simple answer. Lord is there are the deities too. So, whatever we offer we offer to lord only. These rituals are for those who searches the lord in temples, deities, and sacred places. The one who sees lord in everyone no more follow these rituals because there remains no reason for following these rituals. If you see lord in everyone, then you can offer your offerings to the needy or to the Deity , the thing will be same. But whatever you do offer to anyone, offer it with your love and devotion.
KEEPING FASTS ON SACRED OCCASIONS
I know it is hard for some people to keep fast but it is more difficult for the ones who don`t know the reason behind it. Keeping fast is meant to keep you hungry. There are different meanings . One is you give your food to anyone else, so you keep a fast. Another reason is atmashuddi(self purification). How? You might have seen people eating fruits or boiled potatoes and all during their fast. These all are considered as sattvik . There are three main categories of food in Hinduism. Sattvik is the top most one and is known the excellent one. A sattvic diet helps one to progress in his spiritual life.Know about What is sattvik diet?
Another reason is through fasting you are controlling your most powerful sense, your taste. It is said that fasting gets wasted the moment you feels like to eat something. It is actually an attempt to overcome the most powerful sense(taste). It is not easy to overcome even for the great ascetics. It is said the one who has overcome his sense(taste) can be regarded as stoic( jitendriya, the one who has overcome all his senses.)
By keeping fast it is just like a training, you are trying to overcome your senses. Also, when you do not eat your sense become weak. And while fasting you are trying to control your taste, so gradually you will overcome the most powerful sense.
Also ,there are many health benefits of fasting. It`s a misconception that fasting makes one ill. If it is done in a proper way , it won`t ill effect your health or else it will improve your health conditions.
These are only a few which i gave but there could be many. Anything which you want to share , do it. I would like to know more about these.