501 – Practice Atmabhava every day – Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about the daily practice of atmabhava and making it a part of our life. I also wrote about the different days of the week dedicated to the Gods. The point I am making is that we must be aware of God’s presence all the time. Many of us by fasting, only remember the specific God, because we desire something. The point here is fasting is good, it purifies one only if we have unconditional love for the divine. There is to be no expectations. The outcome is the divine is all knowing and without demanding, one’s wishes are fulfilled.

When I was young, I fasted two days a week, Monday and Friday until I was thirty. I had a friend who also kept both the fasts and we really enjoyed the fasting. We ate saltless food on Monday and on Friday we ate food which was not sour. We ate sweets and to be honest, we just had a lot of fun. We invented chutneys made from dates, green chilies and raisins. Ate Chapati’s made from cabbage and green chilies. Looking back though I was already a Yoga teacher, I was not so aware of the unconditional aspect of fasting. Both of us wanted something and it was to be at peace. We did not vocalize it and we also felt very superior when we saw others stuffing themselves.

We feel fulfilled

When fasts are advised by astrologers, a certain number are kept and then what one has asked for is usually achieved.

If we understand this in the real sense, then we are fasting with sincerity and like a true karma yogi. Therefore, we experience joyousness after our fast and we feel fulfilled. My mother, who was a Sanskrit Scholar and a social worker was always scornful about people fasting as she said that we must be good people, not wishing or doing harm to others.

Swami Satyananda Saraswati said,

The sum and substance of spiritual life, the best teaching of Vedanta, is atmabhava, which means feeling the pain and distress of others as if it were your own. God permeates the whole of creation like electricity, water and air. The best and easiest way to attain him is to have a genuine feeling of compassion for others. Think of others as you think of yourself.

My dear ones, I am sure you now understand what fasting is and how we should do it.

Aim Hrim Klim

Photo by VD Photography on Unsplash

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