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Personal Experience: Fasting

Date: 19 Jun 2009 07:19:37 -0000 To: Subject: Personal Experience: Fasting Baba PS Intro: The relationship between the bhakta and Parama Purusa is eternal-- it has been going on since the very dawn of creation. However, the devotee was not always aware of this truth. Ages and ages passed when the sadhaka did not realise his unique and intimate connection with Parama Purusa. So when any sadhaka does get initiated and starts doing strong sadhana and becomes linked with Parama Purusa and feels His divine love and becomes drenched in His bliss, then that sadhaka feels repentant for not developing his relationship with Parama Purusa sooner. This song expresses this very notion of repentance and wishful thinking. Because in this song the sadhaka is expressing the following directly to Parama Purusa: 'In the past I was not aware about my relation with You. So now, when I have been blessed to come in Your contact and feel in my heart that You are my nearest and dearest One, then I feel sad that why did I not call You before, in the past-- long, long back. Because even when I was a non-margii then that very time also You were with me. But I never look towards You those days and I never called You back then. Why did I not do so. Why did I not recognise You back then, it would have been so blissful to have had Your proximity all these years, but instead so much time passed in vain.' So this song expresses the feeling of repentance of each and every devotee who has become linked with Parama Purusa as they reflect back on their life before becoming a margii. They wonder, 'Why did I remain oblivious of You-- it would have been blissful if I had deep intimacy with You sooner'. "Tumi a'ma'r kato a'pan a'ge bujhini..." (PS 241) Purport: Baba, You are very close to me; You are my Dearest One. Before, in the past, I was oblivious to this sacred truth: That You are my eternal Companion. Baba, all along, You were side by side with me-- near me always and with me wherever I was, in all endeavours. But it was so unfortunate that I remained unaware of Your divine presence. I never thought that You were with me. O' my Dearmost, why did I not call You and have Your intimate closeness. Baba, since time immemorial You have been with me in all my works-- small or big, meaningful and meaningless. Bu unfortunately that time I did not look towards You. Baba, You were with me in my song, rhythm, and tune. There was never any occasion when You were not there right by my side. And the string of that viina was vibrating then and resonates even today. And now I can hear ti. But it is so sad and painful how that time in the past I remained oblivious of You. I did not pay heed to the call of Your viina. I did not hear it. O' my Dearmost why did I not hear. Alas, it would have been so blissful if I had known You. O' Divine Entity, You were with me on this journey of life even when I was submerged in the deep cimmerian darkness. Even then You were with me. And now that very memory remains awake in my mind always-- that You were with me. It comes again and again in my mind that You are my close and You are with me. But alas, all that time in the past I remained oblivious of You and I did not call You. And we remained distant; devotionally we could not come close, although You were with me. It is so sad. Only now I know You are there and I can call and talk to You. Today I understand this truth; but in the past I did know You were there. O' Supreme One, why did my spiritual life not start at the very outset. I feel so repentant that I did not call You in those early days. Because I was not calling You, with a wounded ego You went away, leaving me alone in isolation in an unknown place and distant land. That time, why did I not keep You in my heart and hold Your feet. Why did I not wipe away all my dilemmas about You and hold You in dhyana and make You mine. Why did I not do this. It is so sad that time passed and You remained distant. And now today we are close and I feel so repent how my life would have been so blissful having Your proximity earlier. This pain I carry in my heart...
Namaskar, After waiting three-and-a-half hours on the platform in the grueling sun, finally there was an announcement indicating that the train was coming. I gathered my bags and readied myself to board the train. To date, I had been an acarya for seven years and had learned how to "manage" acarya life. Everything had gone well with Rajuji and the rest of the margiis in this locale but now it was time to move on.
I was doing what had become a common practice of the day amongst various acaryas: Leave town on the day of Ekadashii and then arrive in the next place and announce to everyone that I had fasted the previous day, when in fact the night before the margiis had fed me a delicious "pre-fasting day" meal. This was the way things had developed in WT life, unfortunately. I learned this "fasting technique" from my supervisor and had seen this ploy successfully carried out by any number of workers. At first I myself was too nervous to do it. But over time I became accustomed to it. Until finally it became no big deal. I was doing it all the time.
So the night prior I took full belly at Rajuji's house and then headed off to my next destination. While on the train I slept some, read the parts of the newspaper that was circulating around our train car, and talked with some of the other travelers. In this way the time passed and my 4 hour journey was nearly complete.
The train slowed as it approached the upcoming stop and finally the train came to a complete halt. I grabbed my bags and descended onto the platform. The margiis were expecting me. I looked up and down the platform-- knowing that they were sure to come and greet me. I did not see anyone. Then from behind I felt a few tiny hands grabbing onto my gown. I turned around to see the shining and smiling faces of three young boys. These were Vermaji's sons. I knew them well and their joyous presence meant that Vermaji was also close by. In a moment, Vermaji approached with folded hands and a warm look in his eye. I had been here just two months ago and it was good to be back. Immediately, Verma welcomed me and inquired about my health etc. And then the five of us went together to catch an auto-rickshaw in order to head to Vermaji's house. Along the way the boys were silently looking at me the whole time and Vermaji and I talk about the news of the day. Plus we discussed various plannings for his unit such as talks, pracar programs, the upcoming PMSA event, and he gave me a summary about how things at the school were going.
Finally, as we approached the house, Vermaji asked if I was fasting today or not. I told him that I had fasted the day prior. He was very happy to hear this as he said his wife was preparing a special meal for my arrival. And he said that he himself was fasting tomorrow, which I knew to be true. Because whenever, given the option between fasting on a Friday or a Saturday, then always Vermaji would choose Saturday. He had told me as such on earlier visits and I knew him to be sincere in this.
Anyway once he understood that I had fasted yesterday, then when we entered into the house he said I should attend to my evening duties and sadhana etc, because dinner would be ready in a short while. So I arranged all my things accordingly and did whatever I did etc, and sure enough in a short while the call came for dinner. And that night Vermaji and I ate and spoke about all sorts of organisational dealings, financial arrangements, and I gave him all the news about where I had just been. Like this the evening passed and soon we were off to bed. The next day came and went quickly. As planned, Vermaji did his fasting and I arranged my own food and attended to various inspections at the school and dealt with other affairs. And the day after I left for my new destination. That was a Sunday. My mind was feeling relaxed and I did not think twice about having played that fasting drama with Vermaji. I figured it was good he fasted and I justified that what I do is my business and that is all. In that way my mind was nonplussed or unaffected by the fasting drama as it had become a way of life.
Tragically that next Tuesday, one of the very elderly and senior margiis from Vermaji's bhukti passed away. And margiis from all around came for the Shraddha ceremony, including Rajuji. And that is when the whole thing leaked out.
Because in passing, Rajuji and Vermaji discussed about various happenings and they naturally talked about their recent visits with me, since it had only been a few days earlier that I had stayed with them both. And in their own way, it came to pass that Rajuji mentioned that his wife had prepared me a special pre-fasting day meal. And in response Vermaji said that that was impossible because his own wife had prepared me a special meal for my post-fasting day. And within one or two sentences my whole drama got exposed-- totally. They understood that neither I fasted at Rajuji's house nor at Vermaji's house. Rather I had lied outrightly about the whole affair.
I came to know about all this because both Rajuji and Vermaji are respected and senior margiis and in an effort to straighten the situation out they talked to my chief Secretary-- not my direct in-charge. Needless, to say CS Dada was very displeased with my behavior, and he scolded me that 'If I wish to skip fasting then I should keep myself hidden in the jagrti and not play such dramas with the margii families'. Then he got even angrier at me as said that, 'This ruins the reputation of all acaryas.' Even though we both knew well that so many Dadas-- especially here in Delhi sector-- regularly skip their fasting days. Anyway, the difference being as CS Dada put it was that, 'I had gotten caught and lost the faith of the margiis'. Then CS Dada instructed me that as a point of rectification I was to tell my story to all-- and by that way it would serve as a reminder for me not to do such things again. For that reason I have now written this entire chapter to all of you.
Actually I did not have to do what my CS Dada told. Because nowadays-- since the last 4-5 years-- no worker listens to their supervisors. Rather people do as they like. Some skip their departmental meetings entirely, others just engage in private business, and sadly others indulge in sexual affairs and do not care whether they get caught or not. So in that atmosphere I did not have to write my story to all of you about how I cheated on my fasting day. Because after all, what could CS Dada do to me-- next to nothing. In that way I was quite tempted to just overlook my punishment. But in retrospect I figured that I should do it as a means to reaffirm myself to Baba's ideals. Ultimately I want to follow 16 Points and I do not wish to deceive anyone. Rather I aspire to become an acarya in the true sense of the term. And I thought writing this letter would help in this regard. So for this reason I have recounted this story and by Baba's grace this will help me to rectify my misdealing as I want to be sincere in 16 Points and become a model of AM.
Baba says, "Your ideal is represented by your conduct. Your learning, your social or economic status have nothing to do with your ideal." (A'nanda Va'nii #13) Namaskar, Dada
By following the practice of regular fasting, one's entire body gets a chance to recuperate, thereby inviting better health. Baba says, "During fasting the body's organs get a good rest, and the healing process is more rapid." (YT, Appendix) Plus in this next quote Baba advises us how by fasting we will decrease our dependence on food and develop ourselves in other arenas. Baba says, "You should not depend on food too much. This is why I have prescribed fasting on four days a month for some people and two days a month for others, and personally I have proved by fasting for five years and eight months at a stretch that if people try, they can remain without food. If one's dependence on food decreases, one will gain more freedom in a particular aspect of life." (AV-7)
Anyone who thinks they can eat on fasting day and get away with it is a fool. Because even if one tricks the margiis and even if one justifies the situation to himself, even then it is a guarantee that Parama Purusa will know what you did. Baba says, "Parama Purus'a knows all the three phases of time: the past, the present and the future. Nothing is beyond the periphery of His supramundane knowledge...Suppose you eat something on the fasting day of Eka'dashii, thinking that perhaps Parama Purus'a will not know it. Certainly He will know about your secret eating, and He feels amused at what His little child is thinking. Not only the boys - the girls also make the same mistake. Perhaps on fasting day they eat chocolates and think, 'I am eating secretly - no one can see it.' This is defective thinking, because Parama Purus'a knows everything - nothing is hidden from Him." (SS-12)
*************************************************** Brave Persons
Baba says, "Do not remain worried about your individual problems at all. Be prepared to carry your own burden and be prepared also to carry the burdens f others. Then alone are you brave. Be dagdhabiija. Everyone has their own individual problems. Do not try to pass them on to others. On the contrary, bear the burdens of others. No one is your enemy. Be ready to bear the burdens of others." (AV-30, p.4)

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