Acharas[rituals] are those practices of our day to day life . Or it is the life style by itself. In India the acharas are practiced for the following purposes and benefits
'Acharath labhathe hi ayu: acharath dhanamakshayam acharath
labhathe suprajaa: aachaaro ahanthya lakshanam'
Acharas are practiced for the psychological and physiological benefits and for a long healthy life; acharas are followed for prosperity and wealth; acharas are followed for strong family and social bondage. By following the acharas, one gets a fine personality and dharmic vision. Says our dharma saastra books and the acharyas.
It is said that acharyaath paadam aadatthey paadam sishya swamedhaya paadam sa brahmachaaribhya sesham kalakramena cha. One quarter of the acharas is to be learned from the teacher and one quarter by the student himself, one quarter by discussing with others and the last part during the process of living ( by addition, deletion, modification and correction).
The dharma sastra tells you that : Achinoti cha sastrarthan sishyaan sadhayathey syudhi swayam acharati chaiva sa acharya it smrutha.
He who knows the scientific meaning of the acharas, teach the acharas simple ways with examples and demonstrate it by self practice, is known as the aachaarya. Take one quarter from this aachaarya.
Is it compulsory that every Hindu should follow these acharas ?
It is left to his/her discretion whether to practice or not to do so. It is said that Swagrame pooranmacharas anya graame thadarkhakam pattane tu thath paadam yaatre balaath acharatheth. If you are living in your own village, follow all the acharas. If you are living in other villages, follow one half of the acharas. And if you are in a city /town one quarter of the acharas are to be practiced. But in en tour, acharas need not be followed like a child.
How can we classify all these acharas for removing the superstition ?
There are three types of acharas. The acharas not relevant for 21st century are known as anacharas. The acharas which produce negative results are
duracharas. The acharas which produce good and positive results /effects are sadacharas.
Acharas which can produce good effects are known as sadacharas. The beneficial effects means the effects for individuals, family, society and nation.
few examples for anacharas :
Some say that Vedas should not be heard by women, Vedas should not be chanted by lower caste people, one should not touch the lower caste, should not visit a patient on a particular date. These are all anacharas if not properly described. Few more anachaas are hanging Chinese music instruments fingshui for vaastu based benefits and for solving family problems, blindly following ‘This week/month for you’ type of astrological predictions appearing in magazines, astrological prediction that Mr. X will become the prime minister, changing the position of windows or the position of kitchen, based on the advise of the so called vastu experts, etc are anacharas.
What are duracharas in Hindu dharma ? How to eradicate them ?
There are hundreds of sadacharas in Hindu dharma. Unfortunately there are few duracharas also. These create problems, if we do not analyze them properly, rationally, scientifically and logically. Almost all these duracharas crept into the our culture at a later period. Majority of them are only decades old, and some are centuries old and none is millennia old. None of them is the part of Vedic acharas. Duracharas are those customs and rituals which can create permanent negatives and bad effects for any one or more than one individuals(s)..
examples of some more duracharas ?
Cursing somebody, chanting mantras for negatives, sacrificing chicken, goat, camels and any other animals in the name of gods or demons, offering liquor as a part of religious rituals, misinterpreting the acharas for negatives .etc are duracharas.
One of the serious duracharas is dropping half burnt human dead body in the holy rivers like Ganga .Yet another durachara is the belief that if someone dies in dhanishta panchaka ( dhanishta to revati five days) there can be five more deaths in that house.
Remember, there are a number of good information in vaastu and astrology which should not be misinterpreted or misutilized. They create superstitions about silly things. One has to take the benefits from Vaastu and astrology instead of practicing the non-senses advised by quack astrologers and ‘vaastu experts
identify the truths and facts on these rituals
Analyze and classify all the acharas under Sadacharas, duracharas and anacharas. Select and use the best after refining them based on the scientific principles, rational thinking and logical analyses.