Law of Attraction: Place of ritual in spirituality

I had an interesting conversation with my sister recently. She told me that she was going to light earthen lamp, called Diya, for nine evenings of Navratras for good luck.  Navratra is a Hindu festival, where worshippers of a female deity called Durga Mata (Mata meaning mother) is observed by fasting for nine days and eating only once in the evening. Since I am a Sikh I try to keep ritualistic routine to a minimum in my spiritual journey. Although my sister too is Sikh by birth, there might be influence of Hinduism on her due living in India, just like I celebrate Christmas living in UK. However, this post is not about a discussion around how majority populace could influence the minorities where they may join in certain celebrations. I think its healthy and shows unity in diversity. Nevertheless, my only interest for the scope of this post is to reflect on the diverse meanings and psychological effects of rituals on a person and its impact on one’s spiritual growth.
Most people start their spiritual journey with some kind of ritual or the other. What could a worshipper be gaining instantly from lighting a Diya in the temple or a candle in the church? What could be the motivational factor for such an action? In my strong views, people do it to satisfy themselves. It gives them a sense of achievement and thus, fulfilment. And this creates a positive mind set within. It might be temporary but for those few moments they must feel what peace and calm would feel like.  
Ritual doesn’t stop at light which one can see, it spreads to other senses too. Bells and singing hymns in places of worship can be heard. Pictures and idols of imaginative deities and gods can be touched. In sikh Gurdwaras (Sikh place of worship) there is free vegetarian food offered to every visitor, regardless of nationality, caste, colour or creed. So, now the satisfaction within is aroused by taste buds. Incense stick or rose water has no spiritual connection on its own but an atmosphere is created through its scent. Together the mixture of the five senses makes one feel complete. You are in bliss, even though it’s transitory. As a beginner you like to sense spirituality in tangible terms- see it, touch it, hear it, smell it and taste it. Incense sticks, colours, aromas are all tools to help toning your celestial health, like the gym has all various  equipment to tone different parts of the body. So, performing ritual is a MUST to start the spiritual journey, in most cases. It’s equivalent of ‘Amuse-Bouche’ in the fine dining experience. Even though it’s not a complete meal nor would satisfy your hunger for long, it washes your palate and prepare the appetite for the first course. Similarly, the package of rituals might not be Nirvana in itself, but it encourages your spiritual journey. The concoction of this creates an abstract image in your mind, which, in my opinion, is the first picture of spirituality drawn inside you. Everyone paints this picture in own favourite colours and strokes. You are the artist of your own celestial being.
This is elementary stage of treading on Almighty’s path; it’s a long way ahead. So, don’t stop at this carnal level as your limit could be beyond the skies. If you spend the whole valuable life time in just lighting the candles, the divas; sing hymns to enjoy the harmony but not the meaning; seeing the pictures for their colours but not the abstract symbol and in fact going to Gurdwaras to eat langar (vegetarian curry offered in sikh temples)…well, then you would only experience short spurts of satisfaction but not peace. There is higher education too available in this school. Don’t stop at pre-nursery. You are capable of a lot more. Meditate. Meditate. Meditate.
Rest in the next blog. Please refer to earlier posts on how to meditate in the meantime.      

The connection between Karma & Law of Attraction

Where we are born is as per our previous karma. But rising from poverty to riches and reverse is our destiny which we weave through our thoughts and  corresponding actions.
If you are born in a rich family, you become rich by default. We’ve all heard about ‘Born with a silver spoon in the mouth’. We also call it ‘luck’. When things happen par chance and you cannot explain its occurrence, it certainly is your previous karma unless you’ve manifested a desire.
The difference between an unexplained occurrence due karma and manifestation is simple- if it’s karma then you’ll begin from the point of occurrence; and if it’s manifestation then you started from a lower level and rise to the point of occurrence. For example, son/daughter of wealthy parents would inherit a luxurious life from the very birth without any efforts but if a poor person’s child aspires to become wealthy, then he/she would have to work hard and take actions to become rich. Hence, if we are born poor we could grow rich, if we are born rich we could grow either richer. On the other hand, we could remain stagnant at the starting point. The process could work in reverse too. Someone born rich could turn to poverty with or even without efforts. Our actions could cause us huge losses but equally, our ruination could occur without an apparent reason. In both cases, it means that  after a small deposit of good karmas was withdrawn and spent, we dropped to the lower level. Now new action would be required to rise again. So, our action in every scenario is vital. Someone might ask about those who are born rich and remain rich through their life, what action are they investing? A fair question and it has a simple answer- they will have material wealth, but they would never feel satisfaction. That’s why rich have greed to keep multiplying their money even beyond the point of excess. Think of a hamster on a wheel who never reaches anywhere but can’t stop running, until death puts a stop to the race. It’s not better than a curse, think about it.    
With relevance to Law Of Attraction and scope of this article, I would like to insist again that the only mandatory action that we must invest to manifest our desire is to MEDITATE. Meditation is a state of mind and not necessarily the lotus position or set of physical rituals. This state of mind has to be positive and to reach the positivity we must train our thoughts. THIS training is the only action that the Universe or Akal Purakh is expecting from you. Otherwise, 9 to 5 would have churned out millionaires everywhere in the world. I have written before in detail with regard to action in previous posts.
I can tell you with conviction that this revelation has solved many of my sceptic riddles and helped me to build my belief further. I hope it might help my readers too. So what are you waiting for? Get ready to meditate to manifest your desire. It doesn’t matter if you have to start from behind, you can still win the race.