Introduction Author : S.D.Sarma
If religion should be compared to the human body,
its ritualism would be the legs, its morality the hands, its worship the heart and its
philosophy the head. The legs, of course, are the lowest members of the body, but without
them it cannot stand. Similarly, without ritualism no religion can stand. It is through
the rites and ceremonies, which we witness in our childhood that we get our first
impressions of religion.
And there is no doubt that a great many people in every country
hardly get beyond the stage of rites and ceremonies in their religious development. To
vary our figure, we may say that ritualism is only the husk of religion. But without the
husk the seed will not grow. When the sower goes out to sow, he takes paddy and not rice.
He knows that, if the husk is removed, life goes out of the seed and his sowing will be in
vain. Thus ritualism has some vital functions assigned to it in religion. Let us examine