Long ago, a village in northern India was facing a severe rodent infestation, to counter the menace almost every house purchased cats at attractive prices. However, during the Ganesha Chaturthi – since the mouse (also a rodent) is considered a vehicle of Ganesha – the elders of the village decided to cage all the cats to prevent them from eating the mice. Years passed, and the rodent infestation became history, the cat population also dwindled. Yet, for over a hundred years people made it a ritual to find a cat – if they didn’t have one – and put it in a cage during Ganesha Chaturthi. The rituals went unquestioned until a rishi(sage) visited the place and made people question the ritual through his knowledge and wisdom.
Moral: Rituals and traditions happen for a reason. While traditions are part of civilizations – following them, blindly, makes no sense. However, rebuking our ancestors for the rituals which have no justification today – isn’t wise either.