The practice of Atmabhava (love for humanity) is like being aware of all the gods 24/7. We have seven days in the week and each day is allocated to a God.
Monday is dedicated to Shiva. Devotees fast for the whole day and can have one meal only. Fasting starts after sunrise. After rising from the bed, one should meditate on Shiva. Then have a bath and offer prayers to Shiva and Parvati. If fasting, wear white clothes. White flowers and white food are offered. Benefit is to receive Shiva’s blessings.
Tuesday is committed to Hanuman. He is the lord of power and lord Rama is said to be his devotee. Hanuman is also an incarnation of Shiva. Tuesday fast is observed so that one becomes fearless and free from doubt. Red clothes are worn, and no salt is eaten.
Wednesday is designated to Ganesha. He is the remover of all obstacles. Wednesday fasting leads to increasing of intellectual abilities and blessings. Green things are eaten and green clothes are worn.
Thursday is devoted to Vishnu and Lakshmi is also worshipped on this day. It is said that Thursday is an auspicious day to worship the God of luck and wealth. Thursday fast is dedicated to Vishnu and Brihaspati, who is also known as the guru of all gods. He is the master of sacred wisdom. Yellow sweets are offered and yellow clothes are worn.
Parvati in all her incarnations is revered on Friday. One can fast on this day and have only one meal. Mahalakshmi is also worshipped on Friday. Friday fasting leads to blessings of the divine feminine energy. Only fruits are eaten. The colors of clothes can be light blue or white.
Saturday is dedicated to worship of Shani. The planets are also worshipped to remove their hostile effects. Hanuman and Kali are also honoured. Fasting is also observed and one meal can be taken. Black sesame seed or black gram preparations are eaten without salt. Black, navy blue or purple can be worn. Shani removes the malefic influences in one’s life.
Sunday is the day of Surya. Fasting on this day is followed by eating a meal after sunset. Orange is worn. Benefits are one is freed from misery and redemption is granted.
Why do we remember God only when we are in distress?
It is normal, it happens to all of us. Is it possible for us to make it a daily practice to remember that God resides in our hearts? If we can do that then we are always in his/her presence.
Fasting and making promises that we will have no negative thoughts on the day of our fast, makes us feel that we are engaged in a noble activity. I have seen people observing fasts and I will describe their behaviour to you. They follow all the rules, wearing the colors, and letting everyone else know that they are fasting. However, their attitude remains unchanged. They feel very virtuous and important and there is complete lack of humility in them.
As children we would laugh at them as fasting was feasting for them. They ate sweets and delicious food. Scolded people and were unkind. In their own eyes and eyes of some others, they were good people, pleasing the gods. Where was their sincerity?
We must always believe that we are in the presence of the divine and act like that. Compassion, empathy, kindness and tolerance are the way. If we develop Atmabhava (love for our fellow beings), it is a daily remembrance of the gods.
To be continued…
Aim Hrim Klim
This is blog no. 500. Have you read all the previous 499 blogs?