Question: What is the purpose of rituals?
You are supposed to apply your mind. Several rituals have that, based on proper manners, showing of reverence, all these things. Just like when you shake hands, that's the proper manners to show your friendship when you greet someone. The same way when you are doing aarati, you greet the Divine with devotion showing It supreme reverence. That is the ritual. But along with that your mind has to be there. That is the significance. So, based on these proper manners they have devised certain things, but most important is the condition of the mind. You have to have your mind on the Divine. You cannot be simply offering flowers and allow your mind to be buying houses somewhere. There is no rule from God that you have to be doing this ritual - only one rule, that you must apply your mind. That is all God wants, nothing else.