Sri Ganeshaya Namaha
urataasi is the 6th month in our Hindu Calendar and
dedicated to worship Sri Mahavishnu as Venkatesa or Venkateswara or Balaji. During this Auspicious month Tamil and Telegu speaking Hindus fast for the whole month abstain from meat and alcohol, smoking and all sort of material pleasure and physical relationship . Everyone does special prayers at homes to protect their families and seek the blessings for good health, wealth, peace and prosperity. Many families and young Hindus observe this as a mechanical processand do not understand why i am doing this special fast and prayer during this period. As a concerned Hindu brother i tried my best here with my limited knowledge to share some light on these issues. My Sadguru H.H. Swami Sivannada says He who lives to eat is a sinner, but he who eats to live is verily a saint.
Fasting is advised by all religions. It is the first step on the ladder of Divine Life. When the body is rested by fasting, the energy that is saved can be used for meditation, prayer and study. The mind is free to think of God for many more hours that it may do normally. The fast makes the mind one â€“ pointed. Energy is restored. Fasting changesour personality. We get closer to God, It brings lightness of the body, and this brings about a senseof inner freedom quite different from outer freedom. There is a joy that lingers in our body and mind. This joy is part of the joy of God, the kind of joy that sheds its rays on all whom we contact. We become divine personalities with a sweet charm all our own. Fasting also develops our will-power and gives us a great power of concentration. We become more steadfast, calm bold and courageous. A secret divine power is released through fasting and prayer. The feeling of happinesscannot be described. It is heavenly and bears no comparison to anything on earth. Fasting is not starvation. It is a means of attaining self-control and regaining health. It is voluntary. It is a sign of cooperation with nature to let her do her work in proper manner. One of the great benefits of fasting is that it develops the will to a great degree. It makes you a master of the palate, and not a slave of it. If you stuff your stomach with food where there is no hunger, it is a sin. You are then going against nature and she will punish you. So fast and pray. Do not overload the stomach. Be moderate in diet. You and your family will be happy and healthy and will make good spiritual progress. A prayerful mood comes easily when you fast.
A diet suitable for the practice of spiritual disciplines is called an ideal diet. Diet has a close connection with the mind. The mind is formed of the subtlest essenceof food. One’s inner nature becomespurified by the purity of the food one takes. Purification of the mind leads to remember Of God. Food plays an important part in spiritual Life.
Sattwic foods The Sattwic kind of food calms and purifies the mind. It gives rise to holy thoughts and feelings, poise and calmness. Sattwic foods are Milk, Milk products; cereals such as maize barley, wheat, oatmeal; fresh fruit of all kinds; fresh vegetables, such as leafy vegetables, white pumpkins, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots; almonds, nuts, coconuts, dried ginger, brown sugar, sugar- candy, sugar cane juice and honey.
Rajasic foods The Rajasic kind of foods generates passion and restless tendencies. Rajasic foods are Meat, fish, eggs, tea, coffee, cocoa, chillies, pickles, tamarind, chutneys, highly spiced dishes; dry and hot foods; bitter, sour saline and pungent foods; oil, too much sweets, white sugar, radish, brinjals, pastries,
fried foods, cucumbers, sesame seeds, drumsticks, and foods producing wind.
Tamasic foodsď Œ Tamasic kind of foods makes a person dull, lethargic and lazy; it gives rise to exciting, impure thoughts. One should be given up these foods in order to make a spiritual progress. Tamasic foods are Beef, pork, alcoholic drinks, all drugs, all kinds of stimulants such as red bull , garlic and onions; all half cooked foods; and those foods that have been re-heated. I hope this little info will guide you from now and make you not to feel terrified when you hear the word FASTING. In the next few weeks I will send you some more info. Reg who is this Lord Venkatesa or Venkateswara or Balaji. Have a great purataasi month with the richest blessings of Lord Venkatesa The dust of the Gurudevâ€™s Feet Gurukrishna, CapeTown,ZA