It may be argued that all of humanity are on a pilgrimage. A life quest of breakthrough and activities which bind us all together in a standard bond. Religious journeys that are created add to the human experience bringing magic and question on our journey offering fascinating proportions to our very life.
Quote from Old Sanskrit Text message:
"Bloom like the heels of the wanderer
His body growth which is fruitful
All his sins disappear
Slain by the toil of his trip"
Mythological traditions adopt the complete of Hindu life. None more so than the Northern territories of India where the great river Indus flows. All of the great waterways in India are believed to have divine substance. . One particular place the river Ganges is the place where the river is reported to be the liquid form of the of god, the father Shiva Vast. It is here where vast crowds collect to b cleansed and decontaminated form the physical world and also other physical locations where Great sagas and enchanting events were said to have taken place. The historical Veda( knowledge) scriptures as far back as 1500 bce registered the occurrences of the Gods and Goddesses at these dwelling places (tirthas). It really is at these places that will be the center point for a huge number not only Hindus but also for many folks from around the globe regardless of faith.
The importance of the geography of tirthas can't be forgotten. The places themselves are considered to be sacred in the eyes of Hindus. The Vedas informs of the fantastic rivers leading to forests, mountains, waterfalls, springs, valley's and hills. Ideas vary regarding the value of pilgrimages and make an effort to point out the connection between pilgrimage and travel and leisure. One such comment as by Smith V. L, 1992 Introduction- the search in guest. Annuls of Tourism Research 19; 1-17. Where he claims the original reason for pilgrimage had evolved into becoming more secular as well as perhaps more cynically have become commercial jobs. Though this may well not be overlooked. The fact remains that pilgrimage is a substantial part of Hinduism as well as for a significant variety of Hindus a means of life which is mentioned further on.
The Intrinsic worthiness that is desired by Hindus has created and still will create many views in both Ethical and Philosophical terms. Hindus and secular travelers a like may hope to achieve the same goals on pilgrimage. Whether to "experience" (Darshan) where the viewer reaches see the divine and the divine reaches see the worshipper. Darshan awakens the lifestyle of there being more to life than what is observed in the physical world. In part all observers Hindus and holidaymakers alike may promote a typical experience, if this happens intentionally or not merits further research.
The importance of the spiritual wellbeing of Hindus is vital and whatever sacrifices are created to eventually achieve Moksha ( liberation) from the constant life and death cycle are indeed useful. The path to the Ultimate Reality may be considered a combination of many areas of Hinduism and not simply pilgrimage. The realization of the ultimate truth (Brahman) based on the Gita (Hindu sacred word) identifies the earth as "impermanent and the abode of widespread suffering". This suffering does not permit freedom and expansion. All things are in fact transitional where occasions of pleasure in life are superseded by moments of suffering. No-one can avoid this whatever is achieved in life. True enjoyment may be performed when the connection to our desires and desires are cast aside. Francis Account in Anguish, Vol. 11 of The Three Basic Facts of Lifetime comments on (Duhkha) a concept in which hurting arises from three sources. Self associated with ones mind and body. Others referring to people pets etc. and last but not least the environment for example storms, earthquakes, heat and frigid.
The thirst for "forgiveness" is unquenchable in Hinduism and for Hindus there is absolutely no sin or criminal offense is too great that can't be forgiven it can be on these pilgrimages that Hindus re affirm their trust and devotion and a sense of belonging to a unified if not coherent human population The relief from the truth of living, from the never ending fighting in the physical world. Though for some that pain and hurting is area of the requirement of Hindus especially on pilgrimage and whatever agony is accessible is advantageous when the devotee eventually gets to the Divine. Purity of thought, term and deed is essential according to Brahmanism (Priestley course) so the particular one can't be accused of hypocrisy. This can be another reason for pilgrimage. Mohandis Ghandi himself viewed as divine stresses the value of keeping control of ones senses. For a few especially groups like the ascetics, pilgrimage simplifies life establishing one clear of the connection of belongings and money. Pilgrimage maybe an integral part of life in the goal to achieve mastery over their body living a life of self-denial from the physical world. As well as the spiritual well-being perhaps another value of pilgrimage is achieved. The therapeutic value for most victims may achieved at tirthas. For example; people with mental problems who would pilgrimage to the Balaji shrine where the deity is said to drive out demons. Another example being the suicide by some who seek to get release from the constant cycle of life as stated by Kloistermaier, K; A review of Hinduism 1989, p312.
At the tirthas themselves rituals and protection under the law of passage are performed as well as functions of worship (puja) and devotion. Not only these but also a complete selection of activities. Social, educational events also take place. Including the performing of Bhajams (hymns) the reciting of scriptures along with lectures and dissertations performed by educators and religious market leaders. Great throngs of people will gather often Watling for days to meet their deity. Darshan could quite possibly have a humbling influence on those seeking the Divine as they gaze in to the eyes of the deity. A two way marriage ensues. The divine crosses in to the physical and the physical crosses in to the divine and for the believer directly into the existence of the divine itself. What emerges from pilgrimages may be considered a cleansed people country both actually and mentally ready for the continuing pattern of life and death.
Pilgrimage re-affirms ethnical id for Hindus which on the whole give public order and integration. Hinduism in general is a system of worship that works for just one of the worlds most significant populations and pilgrimage is an integral part of this. Morrinis highlights in Theoretical Perspectives on Pilgrimage 1984 p 233-75 as well as Peter Truck der Veer in Gods on the planet ( 1988) see pilgrimages as privileges of passage and show what is important in Hindu culture. Modernisation has seen the growth in the number of pilgrims. Therefore sees the increase in stories, folklore, rituals and traditions for the arriving generations. Pilgrimage may be considered a family event with increasing members of the family subscribing to their husbands on the quest. An integrated rail and highway system may increase pilgrimages even more. People will no longer have to walk long ranges. Though the priests may argue that to accomplish Darshan in the fullest suffering is essential.
In summary despite whatever politics system reaches work in India. Pilgrimage can be seen a beautiful individual experience which many people can perform. It can breakdown barriers of school, colour, creed and status etc. for individuals who are soul searching. A individuals located in life cannot define who or just what a person is. Pilgrimages may give that description when someone has achieved what they they attempt to do over a pilgrimage. Though many negative causes may be at the job in he lives of millions of Hindus namely, cultural, economical and political forces. To go on pilgrimage and experience Darshan should in my view overcome any negative make on ones life. I believe spiritual enlightenment can be achieved on pilgrimage and it is of value and merit even in todays materialistic world.