Six down, three to go.
But these are the top three.
There is the Mahā Ashtami – culminating in the Sandhi puja, then the Mahā Navami and finally Vijayadashami.
Tomorrow is Nirjala Upavas – no food no water until the Sandhi Puja completes, which should be around 9 pm Dubai time.
One wonders – why does a human being subject themselves to such rigorous fasts? Why deprive oneself willingly, when one can enjoy and still be spiritual?
The answer lies in trying it for yourself. Doing a Nirjala Upavas is not easy, but it isn’t that difficult either. I had written about this earlier – it lies in the mind. The experience however, cannot be described. But such an upavas is not fruitful (pardon the pun) without supplementing it with yog.
Now one may say that shouldn’t it be prayer, instead of yog? Why would you perform yog on a day of introspection and prayer?
Prayer is essentially mantra japa, isn’t it? That is also yog – dharana, and dhyāna. You sit in an āsanā, and you breathe consciously – prānāyāma.
The key is conscious effort. Some of us try to get through the day by sleeping, or lying down with a weary look on our faces. This is not fasting – it is torture for the body, since the mind is not in sync, nor are your emotions. You are fasting for the sake of fasting, and so all you are doing is staying hungry.
Vrata involves the mind, body and the emotions. Think of vrata as a purification process, a rebirth of kinds. Know that you are becoming stronger when performing a vrata, even though you may appear weaker. And participate consciously, with full dedication and surrender. You will feel a bit weaker in the body, but a whole lot stronger in spirit…
Avyakta Yog- Day 6
- Yogic warm up
- Balasana variation
- Adho Mukha Shvanasana
- Ujjayi pranayama
You may notice that I have been cutting down on the number of āsanās as the days go by. The time spent is the same, I just start to eliminate one after the other, until I am left with Dhyana on day 10. This will also be a series sometime – hopefully I can write on it this year.
But the effects are very much there to measure. Weight is down two kgs (although I didn’t have weight to lose in the first place), resting heart rate has come down by 18%, and I sleep much better. These effects have to be built upon, and not discarded once Navrātri ends. Let’s see!
Here are two readings for today:
ॐ देवी कालरात्र्यै नमः॥
Om Devi Kalaratryai Namah॥
या देवी सर्वभूतेषु माँ कालरात्रि रूपेण संस्थिता। नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः॥
Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu Ma Kalaratri Rupena Samsthita।
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namah॥