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Archive for February 12th, 2011

Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2011 12:57:41 +0530

To: am-global@earthlink.net

From:

Subject: For Optimal Health IV

 

Baba

 

== FOR OPTIMAL HEALTH PART IV ==

 

Namaskar,

Each and every Ananda Margii understands that Baba has blessed us with all

the gifts for a fruitful life. He has graciously bestowed upon us the

needed tools, guidelines, and “know-how” for a pristine and sweet

existence. And while so many of His teachings lead us in this direction,

certainly His divine guidelines about fasting are also an essential

ingredient. For it is by this wonderful process of regular fasting that our

whole entire being gets cleansed and purified– in all the realms of life:

physical, mental, and spiritual. And that propels us forward towards our

cherished Goal.

 

 

PURIFYING THE PHYSICAL BODY

 

On the physical plane, fasting plays a direct and significant role. Because

the whole health and balance of the physical body revolves around the

stomach. Non-sadhakas may raise their eyebrows about such a statement, but

those with just a little inner understanding about their bodily systems and

functions recognise that the stomach is the nucleus and the most integral

organ for maintaining human health on a day to day basis.

 

Because only in the case of the stomach does something from the external

environment actually enter inside the body. And that “something” which

enters is of course food which gets deposited directly into the stomach;

and then in turn the various nutritional (and not-so-nutritional)

components get distributed throughout the body via the bloodstream. But the

stomach is the starting point.

 

So if the stomach is not in good working order and if it cannot do its job

properly, then the immediate effect is that the limbs and the various body

parts and organs get adversely affected and diseased.

 

And what results are problems like: Acidity, gout, rheumatism, obesity,

skin diseases, and ultimately cancer, heart disease, and more. All of this

starts with the initial onset of difficulties in the stomach. And in

numerous chapter of Yogic Treatment book, Baba clearly describes this.

Yet, as we may have experienced, the practice of regular fasting naturally

controls all these problems. Because before any real difficulty develops

the health of the human body is restored. That is why most sadhakas do not

suffer from the aforementioned physical ailments and diseases. Instead we

enjoy a strong state of health.

 

And if per chance any problem does arise, then in numerous chapters of His

Yogic Treatment book, Baba prescribes fasting as a cure. Hence fasting is

an excellent resource and remedy for various physical ailments and diseases

as it helps purify the entire body.

 

Baba says, “Fasting is also included in the scope of Pramitaha’r, because

it gives rest to the digestive organs and frees the body from so many

ailments.” (AV-14)

 

Baba says, “During fasting the body’s organs get a good rest, and the

healing process is more rapid.” (YT, p.95)

 

Thus those who fast regularly maintain a healthy and vibrant existence and

find that the body becomes completely habituated and adjusted to this cycle

of fasting. Such that the body is anxious and ready for the next fasting as

the day approaches. This is the common experience of many sadhakas. And by

this way the body keeps itself neat and clean.

 

 

MENTAL CLARITY AND SHARPNESS

 

In addition, on the mental plane also fasting has a tremendous effect.

Because we have all experienced that after a big meal we tend to feel

sleepy, tired, and even a bit dull. This is the common problem and the

reason behind this is that when we ingest food then that blood has to race

to the stomach to help in digestion. And in that way less fresh oxygenated

blood goes to the brain.

 

So during fasting none of the body’s crucial resources get diverted towards

the stomach. In which case the body can better support one’s mental

functioning.

 

That is why on fasting day sadhakas experience a distinct clarity of

thought and mental freshness. The mind is flexible and sharp as it is not

dragged down by the comparatively crude bodily functions such as digestion.

 

Another everyday example of this phenomenon is that just before an exam or

important meeting or debate, then no student or professional person will

eat a large meal. Otherwise their mental faculties will be significantly

hampered.

 

That is why in numerous traditions people proclaim that a light stomach

equals a light mind. And fasting is an exceptional method for enhancing

mental concentration and energy.

 

 

BENEFITS IN SPIRITUAL LIFE

 

And of course the benefits of fasting in spiritual life are well known to

all. No doubt initially at the very beginning one may feel that it is

difficult to do sadhana on fasting days. But with just a little effort many

sadhakas experience very good sadhana on those days since all of the body’s

energy can be utilised for spiritual pursuits. And Baba’s guideline below

is pointing in this same direction.

 

Baba says, “As a result of fasting, the poisonous and unproductive waste of

the body gets destroyed and expelled. Moreover, the energy that is not

expended in digesting food can be utilised for other purposes. Therefore, a

fast day is an excellent time for sadhana.” (CC-3)

 

 

FASTING IS NOT JUST FASTING BUT UPAVASA

 

Here below Baba colorfully describes how we are to spend our fasting days.

 

BABA says, “‘Upa’ means proximity. And va’sa means to live, to reside. So

the upava’sa word means to live near the Lord. In these days of fasting,

what the aspirants are to do? Mentally they should live near their Lord. On

all other days there remains a balance between external objective

adjustment, and subjective approach. An adjustment between objective

adjustment and subjective approach. But on these fasting, or upava’sa, the

aspirant remains more in proximity to the Lord than in other mundane

duties. That’s why these days are known as “upava’sa”. The word ‘fasting’

doesn’t carry the proper sense or the proper spirit of the term ‘upava’sa’.

To go without food, for this the proper word is anasan. ‘An’ means not,

‘asan’ means eating. And not upava’sa. So these ekadashii, amava’sya, and

purnima they are, upava’sa. Do you follow?” (BABA)

 

And Baba’s next guideline further details how fasting days are perfect for

an enhanced spiritual routine.

 

Baba says, “These fixed [fasting] days are called upavasa since during

these days people keeping their minds engaged in spiritual matters ‘live

closer’ to God, and any possibility of mental degradation is averted: their

humanity is not endangered by the lengthening shadows of annihilation.”

(NSS, p.188)

 

By all this we an understand that on fasting days one can enjoy heightened

spiritual awareness and thus deepen their devotional link with Parama

Purusa– Baba.

 

 

CLOSING AND REQUEST

 

We have all experienced how our AM practices produce a beneficial effect.

Thus when fasting itself has such a direct link with one’s physical,

mental, spiritual development, then others are encouraged to share some of

the things they have experienced by this important practice. It will be

inspiring to hear other’s stories and reflections.

 

Namaskar,

Manjit

 

 

Note 1: LINKS TO OTHER LETTERS ON THIS TOPIC

 

http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2011/02/for-optimal-health-iii.html

 

http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2011/01/for-optimal-health-ii.html

 

http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2011/01/for-optimal-health.html

 

 

Note 2: Here following Baba says more about the process of upavasa.

Baba says, “Upavasa in the sense of fasting is also useless…if one does

real upavasa that can do a lot. The scriptural meaning of uspavasa is– by

derivation– upa which means “near”, and va’sa, which means “to stay”.

Upa’vasa therefore means “to make the mind stay near Parama’tma'”. In other

words, it means to withdraw the mind from thoughts of physicalities and

keep it near Parama’tama’. The sanskrit word for fasting as such is

anashana [remaining hungry / starving].” (AVM 23, p. 36-7)

 

 

Note 3: THERE ARE MANY IMPORTANT POINTS REGARDING FASTING

 

This is the fourth part of this series on the benefits and importance of

fasting and how to break fast. Because as we know fasting itself is not

enough; as sadhakas it is essential that fast be broken in a complete yet

gentle manner. Otherwise the health benefits of the fasting will be lost.

Thus for a complete view of fasting please also reference the other

postings on this topic noted above

 

 

PRABHAT SAMGIITA

 

“Toma’y khunje khunje priyo, din je ket’e ja’y…” (P.S. 3982)

 

Purport:

 

Baba, my most adorable One, with deep longing in search of You my days

are passing in vain. In the absence of getting You my whole life is

gradually getting wasted. O’ my dearmost, where have I not looked for You.

I have wandered around and searched in the seven oceans, on the mountain

peaks, as well as on the earth, and also in the caves– in every nook and

corner of this world, but alas I could not get You.

 

Baba, day and night, secretly I also searched You in the flower garden

and in various holy lands and tiirthas– all done in hopes of getting a

glance at You. Baba I searched everywhere with the hope that one day I will

find You. But, in the end, all my efforts were for naught.

 

Baba, with deep longing in my heart, I have also searched You in the

galaxies, meteors, nebulae, and in the stars– all around & everywhere.

Also I searched for You in the dark, black coloured clouds on the rainy

days, in the scorching heat of the summer season, as well as in the shade

of the tree in springtime. Baba, I have searched for You with a deep

yearning and longing in my heart; I have looked for You everywhere.

 

Baba, by Your grace on one colourful golden dawn saturated in the

effulgence & aroma of a newly blossoming flower, You advented in my heart.

Your grand arrival came after a long, deep, dark, & painful night of

searching for You. But in the end You graced me and advented in my mind.

Baba, You are so gracious…

 

 

***************************************

Life is For Baba

 

“This life is for Him…”

“… His universe we will serve in coordination team…”

(PS 5009)

 

Note: In Baba’s above divine teaching, He is guiding us that we should work

unitedly. However, demonic groupist leaders are trying to ruin this. To

please Baba, our collective duty is to save this situation in a united way.

***************************************

 

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