Ekadashi And Daaji

From early October I found a post published to “From The Desk of Daaji” where he spoke to us about fasting and the regularly-occurring observance associated to Ekadashi and, as one would expect, he does really well at relating the practice of fasting (specifically the fasting of Ekadashi) to our practice in Heartfulness and the work involved there.

Every once in a while, I’ll be reminded by readers that it’s important to include definitions and context with regard to some of the vocab you might see here on Sthapati Samanvayam – especially because I use many “Hindu” words which are often from the Sanskrit language. I’m happy to tell you in this post that Daaji has made all that effort for me and you should feel confident to read the publication to “Daaji’s Desk” and know that you will understand fully.

One word I’d like to address just briefly, though, is autophagy, which you’ll find mentioned in the article. Here in the USA (and I’m sure really anywhere else the word would be used these days) the word autophagy would strictly fall within the medical / scientific realm and would be encountered almost nowhere else. Daaji certainly explains autophagy, and given his background in the medical field, he’s certainly qualified to explain such a word. But for me this really was a key part of the article I found. It’s a kind of alchemy, it seems. I also find it to be a fantastic pointer to the intelligence inherent everywhere in the universe and within everything inside it.

The wonder in it all is a truth I’ve known from the first time I read the Bhagavad Gita and started learning the dark-n-wondrous things of my chosen religion: Nothing is wasted. Ever. And what’s more is that we’re able (and required) to rise from our own ashes (even if it takes numerous attempts!), to make something better than what was before it – from what was before it. This is a source of immense hope to the Hindu and to the Heartfulness abhyasi.

Click HERE to read the post. It won’t take you long.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha

Aum Shanti

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Mamandaram

I’ve been kind of questining things lately. I mean… this is the usual mode of operation for me, to be honest, but I feel like I’m questioning different things these days. Going deeper in some ways, and testing the surface level in other ways.

Some time ago, I asked around about the necessity and importance of Hinduism’s deep foundational orthodoxy. My specific inquiry at the time centered on the dark-n-wondrous knowledge that was revealed and codified in the images worshipped in Hinduism, as well as the intonations and sigils employed in the Sanatana Dharma. The idea is that there are very very specific formulations in place, which are meant to be employed very intentionally and specifically, for very intentional and specific reasons. And so then, what if we “misuse” those formulations. What happens in alchemy when one follows the precise steps to turn lead into gold, but the whole time just wants to turn lead into aluminum? Or what if the formulation is for turning lead into gold but you start off with aluminum and not lead? Do you still end up with gold? Or would you get a form of gold that’s fucked up? That’s what this post is about….still.

Recently, as a treat to myself I made a purchase from the Himalayan Academy. To be clear, I LOVE the Himalayan Academy and the associated Saivite sect, known in the West as Saiva Siddhanta Church. There’s an incredible lineage behind this sect and if I were to formally join, I could do so with almost no hesitation. (More on that in another post.) I’ve ordered from the good monks a number of times and have only once been disappointed – something not worth mentioning further. Their literature can change your life; time and time again it marries modern science with truly ancient spirituality that literally predates what is now known as Sanatana Dharma.

As part of this recent purchase, I managed to get my hands on no less than five rudrakshas. And the questioning begins. You can see three of the rudrakshas below. For the record, while they FEEL like they’re made of a kind of resin, although they certainly smell as one might expect and the box they came in was marked with oil spots – I’m certain they are legit.

Panchmukh Rudraksha

Rudraksha

But what if they aren’t legit? What if they’re just decent imposters?

When I asked my other question about letting much of the “realness” of Hinduism slide, and what that might mean, a number of responses indicated that Bhakti would essentially gloss over any glitches and the rest might just be in my head anyway. Would that apply here? Does it matter at all if these are imposters, so long as I BELIEVE they are real and am devoted the the essence of real ones? Surely, whether these are real or not, if I hold them in my hand and close my eyes and do my jaapa/sadhana with love in my heart they can be as plastic as Barbie and I’ll benefit all the same, no? Will I really? Does Bhakti cover all?

I know the Gita indicates that God will accept virtually any offering made with devotion and sincerity. I actually take refuge in that consolation and also that the Gita explains that there is literally no wasted effort in one’s journey toward our Source. You do what you can, with what you can, and keep moving. Baby steps are still steps, yes? To me, this is the power of Bhaktiyoga.

But is this all that’s needed and if so, why not just go to the craft store and grab any old bead and then call it a rudraksha? I think Bhakti is a tremendous path, but I still have this nagging suspicion in the back of my heart. Many would say, and in fact have said, that in the Kali Yuga Bhatki beats all. But surely, if you’re trying to turn lead into gold you really truly must be starting with lead, or you are quite likely not to end up with gold.

What are your thoughts on this?

Om Mahaganeshaya Namaha
Om Shanti