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Krishna says "Abandon All Rituals"
But once my boy fiend asked me:
If Krishna says to abandon all rituals then isn't iffering aarati to Krishna not a ritual?
I was dumb founded and could not reply her...
Can I please get some clarifications on this???
Hare Krishna Mataji. Pamho. All glories to Srila Prabhupada
The verse in [Bhagavad Gita 18.66: Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.] Krishna here saying abandon all kind of religion that doesn't lead a jiva or living entity towards him.
There are two kind of rituals prescribed in vedas as follows:
1. karma-Kandya - The rituals of different sacrifices to achieve heavenly planets, wealth, good birth, beauty and all. But this all are activities for one's sense gratification. This are selfish activities and doesn't lead one to liberation rather it binds a person birth after birth in this material existence.
2. Jnana Kanda and Upasana kanda - This is the path of knowledge and devotion , which leads a living entity towards liberation or achieving Kingdom of supreme Lord Krishna. Now in this process there are some activities has to be performed like japa, archana, offering Bhoga , This activities are called sadhana. They are spiritual ( spiritual = ritual of spirit) activities not ordinary rituals that people perform with the desire of getting something for Bhoga ( sense enjoyment)
goptṛtve varanaḿ tathā
According to the devotional process, one should simply accept such religious principles that will lead ultimately to the devotional service of the Lord. One may perform a particular occupational duty according to his position in the social order, but if by executing his duty one does not come to the point of Kṛṣṇaconsciousness, all his activities are in vain. Anything that does not lead to the perfectional stage of Kṛṣṇa consciousness should be avoided.~ BG 18.66 Purport
Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.2: dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmatsarāṇāḿ satāḿ ~Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhāgavata Purāṇa propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart.
So Krishna saying that we have to abandon the religion or rituals that doesn't lead a person towards him (Krishna). The verse doesn't saying to reject any process or rituals that is favorable to attain Krishna.
hope this will help
Hare Krishna Mataji!
Sudipta Prabhu summed it up excellently. Just to add some extra thoughts on it:
The keyword(s) in BG 18.66 are: 'surrender' and 'abandon all varieties of religion' . Basically, Krishna is saying that forget everything I've just said, and surrender onto me, I'll personally take care of you. Have no fear.
But what does surrender mean?
Krishna answers this in the previous verse (18.65):
man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māḿ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaḿ te
pratijāne priyo 'si me
Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.
Surrendering simply means becoming dependent on the other. When we surrender to Krishna, we simply rely on Krishna and His plans, AND we are completely satisfied by whatever He arranges (fyi, surrendering isn't as easy as it sounds).
From 18.66's verse, Srila Prabhupada states in the purport:
The Lord has described various kinds of knowledge and processes of religion — knowledge of the Supreme Brahman, knowledge of the Supersoul, knowledge of the different types of orders and statuses of social life, knowledge of the renounced order of life, knowledge of nonattachment, sense and mind control, meditation, etc. He has described in so many ways different types of religion. Now, in summarizing Bhagavad-gītā, the Lord says that Arjuna should give up all the processes that have been explained to him; he should simply surrender to Kṛṣṇa. That surrender will save him from all kinds of sinful reactions, for the Lord personally promises to protect him.
In the Seventh Chapter it was said that only one who has become free from all sinful reactions can take to the worship of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Thus one may think that unless he is free from all sinful reactions he cannot take to the surrendering process. To such doubts it is here said that even if one is not free from all sinful reactions, simply by the process of surrendering to ŚrīKṛṣṇa he is automatically freed. There is no need of strenuous effort to free oneself from sinful reactions. One should unhesitatingly accept Kṛṣṇa as the supreme savior of all living entities. With faith and love, one should surrender unto Him.