Whom do we pray to or worship or pay respects

CategoryObject of worship or veneration or reverence
Physical Natural forces like Agni (fire); Varuna (water); Indra (rain). Super beings and objects like huge trees, mountains, powerful animals.
Great men, heroes, prophets, ancestors
Mental or abstract We are sure all this exists, but can not be described in terms of physical laws. Life force (prana), consciousness in the individual; Mental states like happiness, anger; Satyam (truth), Laxmi (wealth), Saraswathi (Knowledge), Yama (death)
Unknown or beyond explanation Spirits (ancestors and other natural); soul (atma); creator of the universe (Paramatma); [Prayer: "God if there is one, save my soul if there is any"]

Myths in Bharath

Until 14 years old, for me, puranic stories, slokas and our beliefs were beyond doubt or questioning. They were my only source of my knowledge. We believed that Hanuman will fight chinese and save Indians during Indo-china war. Indra is pouring water from heaven to get rain. If you fly upwards, you can meet Indra and Gods. Godmen will talk with Siva and Kamakshi during night. Priests can talk to ancestors. I believed that snakes are Gods and we have to give milk to them as part of worship. My friend showed me Encyclopedia to prove snakes can not digest milk. It is a myth. So, my source of knowledge is not perfect. I should check whether information obtained from religious people is true or not.

At school, for names, they will give some meaning. For tamil names, we know what it means like Rajaraja and Kalaivani. For sanskirit names, we just say it is gods/goddess name. We tell the story of the gods/goddess. At times, this showed ignorance. If we understanding meaning, it is easy to talk and discuss. same way if we understand background and reason behind customs, it is helpful to discuss and make it two way communication.

When I was 16, I went to a mutt to serve and pray. After serving for 2 or 3 days, I just realised that they are also just human beings with different skills and abilities. People regard them as divine beings because they do abisheka and other pooja. These activities can not make them divine beings. We consider learned, musicians, magicians, good administrators and spiritual business men as Gods/Godman, with super natural powers. As in Bajagovindam, many godmen just pretend to be Gods to earn livelihood. [ஜடிலோ முண்டீ லுஞ்சிதகேஸா | காஷாயாம்பரபஹுகர்தவேஷா| . பஸ்யணபி சந பஸ்யதி மூடா| உதரநிமித்தா பஹுகர்தவேஷா| - There are many who go with matted locks, many who have clean shaven heads, many whose hairs have been plucked out; some are clothed in orange, yet others in various colors --- all just for a livelihood.]

We expect wonders. Buddhist teachings enlightened me. "we are all ruled by Dhamma, powerful divine law or law of nature. Buddha can not bring back life of "Gautami's child". All have to accept, as of now, no one can cheat death. Every one should seek enlightenment or their own Nippana. Guru/Teacher can show you reference material, explain some terms or some belief theories. You have to find your own enlightenment.

We should use our knowledge, logic and reasoning to accept right things and to reject or correct wrong ones. Be different. Be yourself. The only way to get to know this real self is through research and contemplation

Astronomy Myths

Language Myths

Geography Myths

Biology Myths

Botony Myths

Racial Myths

To conclude, let us pray to almighty as per one's own traditions as per old song below:
பிறவா யாக்கைப் பெரியோன் (Sivan) கோயிலும்
அறுமுகச் செவ்வேள் (Murugan) அணிதிகழ் கோயிலும்
வால்வளை மேனி வாலியோன் (Bala deva) கோயிலும்
மாலை வெண்குடை மன்னவன் (Thirumal and indhiran) கோயிலும்
மாமுது முரல்வன் வாய்மையின் வழாஅ
நான்முறை மரபின் தீமுறை யருபால்.
[இந்திரவிழவூ ரெடுத்த காதை 169- 175 - ilangO atikaL described the festivities to support different local traditions in various temples devoted to deities