I believe that any tradition is a practice, the originating logic of which has been forgotten, but is repeated foolishly in the belief that this belief will replace the wisdom of logic. Funny thing is there is no reason why the belief shouldn’t work. So is following a tradition a good thing or a bad? Depends, on how happy you feel doing it.
I have seen a so called ‘well-educated’ Indian woman, who was glad to rush home in the evenings, to light an evening lamp near the Tulasi (Holy Basil) tree at her home. I have often wondered, if she ever cared for the reason why Tualsi was supposed to be prayed to- her belief (then) was that Tulasi would bless her husband with long life, and happiness at home.
I wonder how this practice must have come out. I think women rushing home from work(if ever they worked at all), more so during the torrid Indian summers, is to reach home (before sunset), prepare well for the night (before the ‘bulb’ was invented) and of course water all the plants that needed care. I’m no expert at this – but I often wonder if my friend did any of these. While there is no point questioning her intention of praying for a happy and long life for her husband, I wonder how many times she had cared to pluck Tulasi leaves and use them in tea she made for her husband on a daily basis – Tulasi would have definitely given longish life to her husband (which apparently has been proven empirically and scientifically).
So what was the question again?
Tradition or Logic? – My say – any practice without inherently understanding the logic behind it is useless. But we can’t hold the same logic with life and living – can we – after all, it will take more than few life times to understand the logic of life ( if it ever can be understood) and then trying to ‘live’ would be foolish.
What I basically mean is that logic has ‘applicability issues’ in practice, but that doesn’t and shouldn’t mean that ‘only practice without logic’ is better. Oh my my… this agnosticism is damn cunning and never seems to leave me…!!!