A sacred night and a resolution

Drop three bad habits. Focus on a worthy Goal, and transform your life!

Tonight, we celebrate the Karthika Pournami festival. On this full-moon night, we thank God Shiva for annihilating three Asuras. And light lamps at home.

The lamp symbolizes a cherished goal. The asuras represent inner demons to conquer. 

Remember, these are personal, so choose what matters for you. But make sure your goal and the drop-behaviors are actionable. And remember to hold yourself personally accountable (so no ending World Hunger type stuff!).

Let’s pray to God for the strength to stay the course and affirm our commitment. May we be graced to achieve success. 

Happy Deepavali!

Deepavali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, is around the corner. Let’s pray to Goddess Lakshmi for showering her blessings on the world, banish disease, and usher in happiness for everyone.

Deepavali is simple, playful, and yet has enormous spiritual depth. New clothes, sharing of sweets, a head bath, some firecrackers, wishes of friends and family, and the blessings of elders – you couldn’t ask for a better prescription for any festival – ever. Laughter, Gratitude, and Grace descend upon the whole community as they celebrate with colors and lights.

This year, given the crises, the economy and commerce are a little muted. But joy and sharing are there in abundance. You may not have a new car, but you care, and you share what you can – and that’s all that matters.

It’s also priceless for spiritual seekers. We pray for the Goddess’ grace to help us discover the light in ourselves and all around us. It’s an act of willful surrender that can provide ultimate freedom.

Let me wish you and your family a happy Deepavali. I pray for your health, success, wealth, and joy in the coming year.

The Journal habit – Day 1

We all love to build great habits. And get those habits to power our ambitions. Well, here’s me trying to get into the journaling habit – this post is day 1 of the attempt.

But wait there’s more. Today is a special Hindu festival day (yeah, there are special days even in 2020). To know more about why – we have to look at stuff that’s a little bigger – in fact at God, the Universe and all such things!

The Universe is one incredible creation. In India, we celebrate it as the manifestation of Devi, the feminine consciousness which gives rise to all of the Cosmos, sustains it and renews it continuously.

The 2020 Navratri festival has just completed. We enjoyed nine days of self-inquiry, understanding our place in the world and celebrating the created world in all its glory.

I came across this Youtube video of an ArtOfLiving Teacher explaining the significance of the Navratri festival in less than seven minutes. It’s brilliant – and you should bookmark his YouTube channel too,

OK – now that we have seen the video and hopefully internalised the teachings, it’s time to put it into practice in our own lives.!

What do we mean by putting teaching into practice?

When we are able to transform learned concepts into experiential practice, magical creations occur. And that will be my endeavour (I hope your’s as well) on this very auspicious day of Vijayadashami.

So what magic am I going to create?

The answer is, I don’t know! The splendid thing is that where Devi is concerned, everything’s game. You can ask for strength and health, material wealth, wisdom – she accommodates everything. You can even ask her for luck at the Casino – but remember, she is responsible for the law of karma too, so you may end up having to bear the consequence!

While I don’t know about the magic I will create, I do know that I will start with journaling. Journaling is a way of clearing the cobwebs in our brain and clarifying ideas. More importantly, they are great at pointing out what I don’t know. And once you know what you don’t know – it can be a blessing. You can either stay away from them or go in-depth and master them. Either way, they cease to be demons who can nip you in the dark!

Journals are also more manageable in that they are not defined. They can cover anything – your thoughts, your deeds of the day or even how you feel. In a sense, they are as great as our guideposts.

But Guideposts need to be regular – to keep from losing our way. They also keep us honest. And based on how we are doing, we can then scale-up or pivot to other actions. In case you were wondering, I just slipped in some business jargon meaning “continue doing the same activity with more rigour” or “trying out something else”!).

To wrap up, daily journals (or at least near daily!) will be my endeavour. Hopefully, it will catch me out when I get lazy! This is post one of what I hope will be ninety entries or thereabouts. It’s a stretch – no harm in giving a shot, though! I haven’t defined lengths or topics for the posts – they’ll simply flow based on the day in action. And yes, you can wish me luck.

And onward to day two…