Why India has no uniformity in religious and family customs and practices?
A woman devotee asked like this:
“Hare Krsna Prabhuji, I read your posts daily. It has helped me change my life. Please hide my name.
Each family in India has different customs and traditions. Why is there no uniformity in practices? Why is it important to follow family customs and traditions without fail?”
India was not a single country in the past. It was once a group of 500+ countries called samasthans. They were collectively known as Bharath Varsh.
After Independence, India was brought under a single central rule and also many states to manage the local affairs.
So, you can’t expect a single tradition or custom for India.
In the north and western provinces, the worship of Krishna, Rama were very popular. In the west, Ganapathy worship is also very popular. In the east, kali worship was very popular. In the south Karthikeya and Ganapathy worships were very popular.
Most of the people in India hesitate to worship Krishna in a fear that Krishna will give renounciation and Krishna Bakthi is only for Mukthi, not for material benefits. They worship Shiva, Durga and Ganapathy more because they believe that these gods will offer their material requests also.
Most of the people are interested in getting more and more material benefits. So, they go to different gods with different expectations.
Rajo Guna dominated people have some typical material expectations. Thamo guna dominated people have some typical material expectations. So, they go to the respective gods such as Shiva, Durga, Ganapathy, Karthikeya, etc.
The Satva guna dominated people do not show much interest in material achievements. They want materials just to continue their life peacefully, not to show others proudly. Such good hearted people come to Krishna and His forms Vishnu and Narayana.
Thus, based on the nature of people, they need choices.
Sri Kanchi Sanlaracharya Sri Chandrasekarendra Sarasvati Swami had written about why there are many devotional patterns in India. He said:
“A child will not like a single colour object. It always like multicolour materials (like dolls, balls, balloons). Similarly, every person needs varieties in his life. He is not satisfied with a single pattern of life. So, of we take him straightaway to the topmost level of devotion towards a single target straightaway, he may find it difficult because he used to varieties. So, our country has many gods according to the taste of different people. A person worships many gods that gives him variety. So, he is satisfied. Stage by stage, we have to bring him to the top position of worshiping a single form of Supreme.”
How meaningful his explanation is!
Thus, India was clever to introduce many types of customs and worships with the aim of satisfying all the people.
Varieties make the life interesting. India has varieties.
Different customs make the tourists enjoy them. If there is similar scenario all over India, the people may not have much interest in travelling and learning about cultures.
Since India was ruled by hundreds of kings in 100s of samasthans, every samasthan had a different set of rules, cultures, etc.
Devotion is not controlled by family traditions and customs. However, it is good to follow a particular way of life as per the custom we have, because humans are expected to live with certain codes of conduct. Our traditions play a major role in making the people to lead a regulated and disciplined life.
Just imagine how the society will be if there is no set of regulations, customs, etc.
At the same time, anyone from any culture, tradition can worship and get Krishna. These customs and cultures are mainly to regulate the lives of people.
So, it is good for the social peace to follow your own customs simultaneously taking efforts to go back to Krishna.
Hope you are clear.
My worry is that though India has this much of variety of arrangements in everything and great vedic culture, the people do not maintain their country clean and they themselves encourage corruption to finish their works fast. All these customs and traditions could not make the people responsible citizens. The reasons have been analyzed in THIS POST.