And how do you fast?

Navratri begins tomorrow.

Some people asked me about the fasting – how long, what can be eaten, when and how to break it etc. Many many questions, only one answer.

Don’t worry about it.

The good thing about seeking (unlike belief) is that you are free to explore and find what works for you. By this I don’t mean a customized (or as they call it, bespoke) fast of sorts – I mean follow the basics, and have a few top ups:)

Basics – avoid rice, pulses and wheat. No tea and coffee. Surely no intoxicants and meat. There are some generally accepted grains like ragi, singhara atta, sabudana and the like, but I avoid them as much as I can anyway. Potatoes, curds, milk and fruits form a bulk of my vrata (fasting) diet, that too potatoes once a day around sunset and the rest only when I feel extreme hunger pangs.

But that’s of the body. The vrata extends to the mind as well. Digital detox, reduction of social media to a minimum, and in general, a reduction in the consumption of news, most of which is quite negative anyways. A focus on meaningful work – Karma Yoga.

And then there is the spiritual – which is the essence of any vrata without which any kind of bodily starvation is of no use. If you believe in Maa Durga and her various forms, then the route is clear cut. If not, choose whichever divine form you wish to invoke. If you don’t believe in any, focus on channeling the energy of the universe – the powers that are greater than the sum of all of us.

And if you believe that you are that force, then well, can’t help you:)

For the rest, yoga helps. Meditation helps. Vishnu/Lalita Sahasranama helps. Whatever it is, ensure that your put your 100% into it. Use this as a chance to reset…again. And this will not be the last reset ever (unless you are in Moksha territory). But that’s what nature is all about – restarting again, and again. Enjoying the cycle, getting back to the basics and then building up once again.

That way, life will always seem new to you, open to explore and discover.

Or as they say – to seek:)

All the best!