The word Adhyayanam means actually to know Veda and not to recite Veda. Ofcourse in olden days when there was no printing Veda was also recited. But the knowledge of Veda was discussed and practiced. Veda itself means knowledge. Shastra says that mere recitation of Veda is worst (Anarthajnah Paathakaadhamah) without knowing the knowledge. At present Vedas are published and computerized and so there is no need of mere recitation. Please note once again that Adhyayanam means to know the knowledge of Veda and not mere recitation. Veda mocked at the person who simply recites Veda as a divine animal (Devaanaam Pasurahaha).
Lord Shiva is said to be Pashupati, which means that, He is the Lord of animals. The animal can never understand the meaning of any word and it simply follows the sound. Similarly, the blind people are just following the sound produced on recitation without knowing the meaning of any word. When the people are unable to understand even these ordinary Vedic rituals, how can they grasp the essence of the climax of the Veda (Vedanta)?
The overall essence of all the rituals is only offering food and money (Dakshina) to a deserving divine person or atleast to a beggar. This very essence is lost because all the undeserving priests are benefited, who do not know the simple meaning of simple rituals. You must select the deserving divine person by his knowledge and practice, but not by his external dress. The deservingness is mainly characterized by the absence of desire (Akamahatasya...Veda).
Today, there is no correlation between the hymn and the ritual. You are simply performing the ritual as guided by the ignorant priest, who is also your brother in not knowing any word in the hymn. When the correlation is lost, you are doing something unrelated and foolish action, which is irrelevant to the meaning and sense of hymns. For example you are pouring the ghee in the fire and burning the oil in religious lights, which are not bringing any divine fruit and instead brings sin by polluting the atmosphere. The word fire is a simile for a hungry Satguru or devotee. Ghee and oil mean the food items prepared by ghee and oil, which are considered to be the best energetic items. When you offer such best food to a deserving hungry person, the sacrifice is completed. The fire and light indicate the knowledge that radiates from the Satguru and devotees after eating such best energetic foods. Even if a poor man eats such best food, his brain will be energetic to think about God. The physical fire in the sacrifice is meant for cooking the best food item with ghee or oil.
Similarly, the rituals after death are also done without realizing the spirit. They become waste and the root-reason for this is lack of understanding and analysis of the Vedic hymns. All those hymns after death simply mean praying God to help the departed soul. You can call the best devotees and pray God in your own mother tongue since God is beyond language and such a prayer has some use for departed soul. The priest says in the beginning of ritual that by the ritual, the soul shall go to the abode of God (Brahma Loka). But, at the end, he is performing the ritual of donation of cow (Godanam), which clearly states that the departed soul is only going to the hell. If that is the case, what is the use of all the money spent on the priest and ritual? Normally, any departed soul will definitely go to hell only. In that case, what happened to all the money that is spent? You must appreciate other religions in this ritual, who pray God in their own language. Nobody analyzes anything and the practice is simply blind. Jesus was said to be a Sheppard, who is the Lord of souls. All the souls are like blind sheep, which simply follow the other blindly.
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