I hear some people say as time changes rituals need to change in order to make them compatible with the modern world.

Is it possible to change or alter rituals that are found in scriptures followed since hundreds or thousands of years? Does Hinduism allow such changes? If yes what scriptures advocate changing or altering of rituals?

  • 1
    In short, a big no. Feb 4, 2019 at 7:09
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    I think the same is being asked here in another way: hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/31919/…
    – Rickross
    Feb 4, 2019 at 7:27
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    One cannot change Vedic or Agamic rituals, since the Vedas and Agamas are eternal. Same with Smriti rituals since they are based on Shruti. However, one can change pop-culture "Hindu" rituals that aren't based on any scripture.
    – Ikshvaku
    Feb 4, 2019 at 15:53

1 Answer 1


This is a good question.

The Sanatana Dharma puts most importance of Sraddha.From Kathopanishad(Sraddha arose in Nachiketa's mind) to Bhaktirasamritasindhu (Pu. Pr.La. 11) of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, the primary requirement of all spiritual activities has been mentioned as Sraddha. In Gita, Sri Krishna repeatedly mentions the His preference for Sraddha.In sloka 17 of chapter 16, He says:

Self-conceited, haughty, filled with pride and intoxication of wealth, they perform sacrifices which are so in name only, with ostentation and regardless of the injunctions.

So we must put our best efforts to follow all the rituals, religiously.

But our capacity is limited and our Indweller knows it fully well.

So at the end of the puja, we chant a mantra that we get in the Puja-paddhati books:

jad asangam kritam karma jaanataa baapi ajaanataa/ saangaam bhavatu tat sarvam twatprasdat Sureswra/Sureswari

meaning O God/Goddess, let whatever has been improperor incomplete knowingly or unknowingly , get fulfilled by your grace.

The presence of this very mantra means that if we may have to keep some aachara incomplete or undone knowingly, because of some limitations and God makes everything Purna by His/Her grace.Because it is our inner feeling that matters, as says the sloka(Naradapancharatra,1/10/39)

Murkho vadahati Vishnaya dhiro vadati Vishnave/ ubhayos stulyam artham cha bhavagrahi Janardanah//

meaning an illiterate utters mantras wrongly and a scholar rightly. Both are equal to God as He accepts only our love.

  • You say even if a person wrongly utters the mantra god will accept it. So can't we change the mantra/rituals knowingly and then later chant the puja-paddhati mantra you have referenced in order for god to be happy with the change in the ritual? Will that work?
    – Somanna
    Feb 5, 2019 at 10:20
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    @Somanna no thats not the logic. if a child calls his father by pa, the father accepts it.But for an fullgrown son, this iss not desirable:) our limitation is what God forgives, not ourc clevery
    – user17294
    Feb 5, 2019 at 10:22
  • @Somanna most welcoe_/\-_
    – user17294
    Feb 5, 2019 at 10:25

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