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A Dialogue: Sadhana & Food

Date: 14 Feb 2009 21:49:04 -0000 From: "Manjit S Rao" To: Subject: A Dialogue: Sadhana & Food Baba "Ke ghumiye a'che tumi ja'n, d'a'k diye ya'o..." (P.S. 2179) Purport: Baba, as the Savior and Controller of the whole universe, You are well aware about who is sleepy and drowsy, and who has lost the path of divine effulgence. Baba, You know everything. Those who have lost the Goal, You always call them and show them the right path. Those who are crying bitterly after facing their defeat, with Your divine compassion You graciously show them the proper path for their forward journey-- and help them move ahead. Baba, You are the Sadguru. Hence those who remain forgetful about You as well as those who are always calling You with deep adoration full of longing and tears, with both these two opposite types of people, You shower Your divine grace on all-- without any differentiation. Baba Your grace is for everyone. But crude people are not realising that You are gracious on them also. Whereas devotees realise. That is the difference. Baba You grace everyone; Your greatness & glory is beyond explanation…
Namaskar, In our unit, some time back there was a three hour akhanda kiirtan program and after kiirtan and dharmacakra, one acarya did svadhyaya by reading Baba's book. Dada read just one paragraph and then he explained the importance of sadhana. Dadaji told: To do better sadhana, one has to follow 16 Pts very strictly, because Baba has given 16 Points for our all-round development-- physical, mental, and spiritual. To do better sadhana, physical purification then is also needed. If the body is sick or where you are sitting mosquitoes are biting you, then concentration is not possible. So the central idea is that to do sadhana the body should be disease-free and pure. To maintain this purity of body, Baba has instructed us about proper food, asana and upavasa. In loose language people call 'upavasa' as fasting. But that is not the proper term. The real meaning of upavasa is to remain close with Parama Purusa. Baba says, "Upavasa= During these days, keeping their minds engaged in spiritual matters, sadhakas 'live closer' to God." (NSS) Dadaji continued: You may ask the question that when the stomach is hungry then how to remain close to Parama Purusa? What is the connection between the two? Well, the answer is very simple. After taking food the body gets drowsy or lethargic and then sleepiness comes. In that very state of mind what to say about spiritual sadhana or keeping close proximity to Parama Purusa, one cannot manage better thinking or writing something substantial.
Dada explained: That is why practical students during their crucial examination tests etc, they do not take anything. Rather they do fasting. Then their whole energy is channelised towards the higher cakras. In contrast, if food is taken it remains around the manipura cakra. Then to digest that food, a huge amount of physical energy is involved in that direction. And during this process of digestion the capacity of the brain gets retarded. The function slows down. Whereas, if the stomach is empty and there is nothing in it, no food, then whole energy is diverted toward the functioning of the brain. And the result is better thinking and pointed memory. So to do proper sadhana or remain close with Parama Purusa, an empty stomach is a prerequisite factor. That is why Baba has made the system that before taking food one should do sadhana. Otherwise HE would have made the it in different way. For example He would have told first you eat fully belly and feel comfortable and at ease, and then start practicing sadhana. But that would have been meaningless because after eating people would have slept and dharmacakra would have changed into a sleeping place. Even then there are a couple persons who do not care about this rule and after taking snacks they come for meditation. But in that condition they are feeling more drowsy and they often fall asleep. So by that way anyone can understand who has eaten something. Need not to ask them just if anyone is sitting behind you and they start snoring then you will know that this point is missing. Or for example in our last dharmacakra, one fairly new margii was sitting behind me and with his head he was hitting me off and on in the back. And later on I found out that the reason was what I explained. That is why Baba has made the system in different way. That is before the meal when the stomach is empty, then we do sadhana. So this point should be crystal clear that to remain close to Parama Purusa, the emptiness of the stomach is needed. That is why fasting is a very good day to remain close to Parama Purusa.
Dadaji continued: As we know our prescribed fasting system is on ekadashii, amavasya and purnima day. Respectively, the (a) 11th day after the full or new moon; (b) the full moon itself; and (c) the new moon. And these dates are related with moon, not with the sun. So specific and particular dates cannot be fixed for this because our traditional western calendar (Jan Feb Etc) is based on the sun, whereas ekadashii, purnima and amavasya are based on the moon. For example Ekadashii is the 11th moon and Purnima is the 15th moon, that is the calculation. The question then is, how is the moon is affecting our bodily system. Well again, the answer is very simple. We are living on this earth and the moon is the closest celestial body. And it is revolving around the earth and it has its own gravitational pull, so it affects the body. That is why since ages, people have been aware about some negativity about the moon. Meaning that the on this earth moon's negativity on certain days is so extreme that in the oceans, high tidal waves are generated. And many negative effects are quite visible on the human body. This is known to almost all. On this point there is no question of margii or non-margii. But of course for those Ananda Margiis who are living on other planets their fasting system is different.
You may know the term lunatic. And in the general way, lunatic means crazy or mad. And if you go in deeper sense you will see that lunatic term comes from luna, meaning moon. And weak-minded people when they are struck by the negative effect of moon, then they invite various types of diseases-some physical and some seriously mental. That is why on certain days doctors are very alert to receive and treat such patients who are negatively affected by the moon. So this negative effect of the moon is quite well known in general society everywhere.
As mentioned a few paragraphs prior, moon dates are not fixed dates. Just see. Suppose in one month ekadashii is on the 8th then the next month it may be on the 7th or 6th. So certain dates are not fixed. That is why since thousands of years various people & different astronomers have been calculating the rotation of the moon. And they are making different calendars to fix when there will be ekadashii, amavasya, purnima, and all sorts of dates. And in our AM system many things are depending on the rotation of the moon. So if we do not know the proper rotation of the moon in that country where we are living, then we will miss the entire benefit of fasting. As well as other pursuits like kapalik sadhana. Dadaji said: Let me clear it more. Suppose here in India today is ekadashii. Then the moon will certainly affect the lithosphere of India today. But at that same time the moon may not be present in England. So if margiis of England start using the Indian calendar then most probably they are doing wrong. Because when ekadashii has already passed in India then they may not be experiencing ekadashii there in Europe. So in this case to avoid the incongruity, depending on the local calendar according to the area or country is better. And this local calendar must be a local, lunar calendar. One other approach is to check various astronomical websites or astronomy academies for example like in the USA they have the Naval Astronomical Dept etc. That has the official calendar of phases of the moon and similarly there are so many sites like that. But the sense is remaining in dogma and following the Indian dates of fasting or amavasya will not serve the purpose. That will be treated as mindless or dogmatic approach. After listening this entire discussion from respected Dadaji, I raised the question. 'Dadaji, what way are you managing there in Suva sector where you are posted. Because these types of moon calendars are available in India, because most parts of India the moon calendar is used in the agricultural system. So here such lunar calendars are commonly available, even illiterate villagers know about this. But how in western countries are people aware about the moon calendar?' Dada replied, 'Remember, this is the advanced age of science and people have various types of calendars. I have seen in different countries that the moon calendar is not very common but if anybody searches then they will find it. 'So each year I purchase an astronomical calendar published in Australia that gives the exact time of the phases of the moon, ie when Purnima / Amavasya start and finish etc and the peak time, according to Australian location on the planet. According to this we do fasting and I do Kapalik.' Then I asked, 'Dadaji, does everyone follow like this, is it a commonly known thing? What about general margiis and other Dadas. Are they also aware about the moon calendar, and accordingly do they do fasting and Kapalik sadhana?' Dada replied, 'There a few perfect that is very aware-indeed some margiis are very careful and profound on this point.' 'Or let me say some clearly that some WTs in Suva who do fasting and some Avadhutas who do Kapalika follow the AM diary published in India. And that is completely different dates from Suva Sector. I have been aware that certain Dadas / Didis do Kapalik sadhana a day sometimes 2 days before the Australian Amavasya date. And according to the Australian calendar sometimes it happens that the day they are doing sadhana is not even the time of Amavasya. So you see it is their ignorance.' I then asked, 'Dadaji why did you not correct them?' Dada said, 'Many persons correct themselves but some are still following the dogmatic path. Those who did not like to understand when I raise the question to them, they generally reply dogmatically that for them the AM diary is the most important guide. Some of them even joke that they imagine they are in India, that is why they follow India dates and times. But the number of people who do like this is meagre, and shrinking more and more. Because these days people are following logic and reasoning more than dogmatic beliefs, so the situation is getting better and better day by day.' After listening to all this one margii suggested: 'In the future the administration itself will issue a statement that each sector must publish their own fasting / Kapalika sadhana calendar for margiis / Kapalikas according to the lunar cycles of that place. Otherwise this international AM diary with published fasting/Kapalik dates is causing confusion and dogma amongst margiis.' After listening to all this description in detail, we thought that this is quite an interesting chapter and that the entire global margii society-- those margii brothers and sisters living in each and every country-they should also be benefited. And not only this I personally am more interested to know other senior margiis and WTs valuable thoughts and opinion on this highly practical subject which is directly related with our sadhana. Please write your opinion. Brotherly, Manjit Note 1: In dogmatic religions like Christianity during their prayers they eat also. And what they eat we are all aware-- wine, bread etc. Because they are purely ritualistic so they do not know higher things so they get stuck in dogma. And same is with the Muslims. They do not eat but their namaz is just like stretching the body-- means it is just like some physial exercises etc. These are all the proof how they are tied up in the tight noose of dogma. Note 2: When people of this earth will start travelling to other planets then their fasting dates will be changed. Note 3: Up above in the main letter one point was addressed about AM has reached to different planets. Those who attended that General Darshan on 3rd January 1979 in Patna where Baba is talking about how AM of Jamalpur became universal, and in that very discourse Baba is telling that now A'nanda Ma'rga has reached to 49 planets and is spreading across the from one planet to the next. Specifically Baba says that AM has already spread and now it is spreading more. So those who do not have the cassette they should find out and listen-- remaining in ignorance is not good. In the book Ananda Vacanamrtam part 7, those who transcribed the discourse did not have the shakti in their heart so because of their standard of mind they knowingly omitted those lines of Baba's discourse about AM being on the 49 planets and spreading to more-- so that could not come in the printed book. (Reference AV-7, Disc 150 'Spiritual Truth Surpasses Everything') Note 4: Here below Baba tells about the deep importance of sadhana. "Question: What is more important in this life: Brahma Sa'dhana' or constructive work?" "Answer-- The aim of a living being is Brahma Sa'dhana'. Just like having a bath, eating, and sleeping, constructive work is also a part of Brahma Sadhana. Therefore Brahma Sadhana is more important than anything else." (APH-3, p. 227)

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