There’s a lot of people who will tell you when and how to do what. Like don’t pray facing this direction. Don’t prostrate in that direction. Don’t chant without taking bath. Don’t eat with that hand. And on and on.
Are these rituals or rules important? Yes, very much, but…
But, standalone, these rules are meaningless. As my Guru states very clearly in chapter 18 verse 3 of the Amazing Simple Gita, all these external rituals are only important to overlap a clean mind. If the mind is not clean and purified, then all these external rituals have no meaning.
Here is His outstanding example in the purport:
Again this purification is superficial, if the Knowledge of Reality is lacking. Each time the mind is purified, it is like dusting our veranda. The next day, the veranda has new dust. Only when the windows and doors are shut tight will new dust not accumulate.