Ritual is natural to human beings and plays an essential role in building personal and cultural identity. Ordinary family rituals are often given added meaning by overlaying them with forms of religious ritual, so placing the large and small events of life within a cosmic framework. Ritual gives shape to emotions and helps humans come to terms with the major events of life.
Religious ritual has generally been seen as indispensable in deepening spiritual insight. The repetition of rituals instils religious values and attitudes in the lives of the worshippers. Ritual also expresses and emphasises the things that bind a faith community together, and through ritual both individuals and communities make visible their most basic religious needs, values and aspirations.
In all religions the major events marking the cycle of life are given prominence and marked through ritual: birth, growth to adulthood, marriage and death. Seasons of the year are also marked through harvest thanksgiving, the blessing of the fleet, or rituals related to winter and summer solstice.
In Hinduism too, a number of rituals are mentioned which have great scientific and cultural reasons. Listen to Gaur Gopal Das speaking about rituals in a religion.