Monthly Archives: May 2012

Life in the fast lane.

“In sacrifice, I am the food of kings,
And to those who sacrifice joyously, I distribute the fruits.”
–from the Bāṣkalamantra Upaniṣad

Today is Bhīma Ekādaśī, the one Ekādaśī fast that holds the merit of all twenty-four; it is a very strict fast that proscribes both food and water. Since I do have work today, I am abstaining from food only, and willing my insistent belly to quiet down for a little while.

Fasting is useful to reveal the dark smudges on the soul; it isn’t only in the cups that you can tell a person’s full measure, but after a day without food as well. And one of the reasons I don’t like to fast is because I discover what a short-tempered grouch I can be. It seems that much of my bhakti is fueled by peanut butter; I’m devout and calm when well-fed, shaky and irritable when hungry. It’s like the Cookie Monster is alive, real, and writing this blog.

Yet today has been different. Mid-day a euphoria began, as I realised a most excellent purpose of fasting: not to past a test or to cultivate endurance, but to sharpen the hunger for Lord, to turn the force of a voracious appetite to Him. How marvelous, such an opportunity, such a universe. On my lunch break, I fed devotion with dandelions and butterflies and sunlight, and chanted while walking through a park, and forgot stomach pangs.

This small realisation has not shattered the walls of ignorance, to be sure. But it is a blessing nonetheless, to tilt this jewel of existence and see a new facet revealed by illumination.

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© Arjunī and ridiculously reverent. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Arjunī and ridiculously reverent with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Addendum, precipitation.

I got to thinking about the “black nourishment” requirement for the Śakvarī-song’s student, and good grief, it’s not exactly a treat for the senses, is it? There are so few foods that are naturally black, and even fewer that would have grown in the relevant regions during Vedic times.

The small list of dark edibles that I was able to recall included black gram, blackberries (technically dark purple), black radish, wild rice, black quinoa, black sesame seeds, kalonji, and chyavanprash (technically dark brown, but work with me, here!). Then my thoughts become ridiculous: Oreos (minus the creme filling), papaya seeds, burnt toast, rotten plantains, anything left on the fire too long, iron filings…yikes.

In other news, it’s still drizzling out today after an entire weekend of rain. I wish I could bring my computer outside to continue working.

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© Arjunī and ridiculously reverent. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Arjunī and ridiculously reverent with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Orientation, precipitation, revelation.

There are many subjects flitting through my thoughts lately, none coherent enough for an entire essay.

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Separation, sacrifice, and other light late-night musings.

Humans are seeds of bright immortality sown in dense mortal soil. We plod through insipid routine and, through that dark window, imagine incandescence. It’s such a perfect tragedy. If humankind is indeed the vehicle through which the Puruṣa dreams, then the Absolute Consciousness is a matchless storyteller.

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Restless thoughts.

Chosen. In my culture, the word carries connotations of the shining extraordinary, of being carefully selected. Perhaps it has root in Christian tradition; a saint or mystic is chosen by God as messenger or revealer, others are not. Yet when God is revealed in a pantheon, it is common to all, to be chosen by some spirit, guardian, god-form – all are named, claimed, protected. To be chosen is bare reality.

One purpose of initiation rites in many faiths is to reveal that form, that Name: the Immortal comes to claim the mortal, or to confirm what has already been glimpsed. In other groups, worship is passed down by family or community, so that one is born into the culture of one’s God. (Of course, there is always “error” possible. Those like me, who leave their family’s and community’s choices to worship elsewhere. Those who are “diagnosed” incorrectly in initiation, or who begin with a God-form that does not remain with them.)

In drifting to my path from very different origins, I have sometimes wondered: Without community, family, or other guidance, what makes that choice? Some are drawn to fill their own hollows; the repressed person embraces the ecstatic Divine, the ill one adores the compassion of the Healer, or the child distant from family delights in the loving Parent. Others are joined like to like. The career military officer wears the sign of the Warrior, the shy homebody worships at the warming Hearth, the brilliant seeker honours the Sage.

What am I, to Indra, alike in nature or opposite? And who has chosen whom?

I like to think all such relationships are by mutual choice: the soul shaped to love its shaper.
And such a master craftsman, that the human spirit is like enough to recognise the Divine and different enough to long for it…

Current Music: Ancient Egyptian Meditation Music, which is beautiful.

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© Arjunī and ridiculously reverent. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Arjunī and ridiculously reverent with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A book commendation.

I can’t really re-commend a book that I’ve never commended in the first place, but here is some expansive, effusive commendation for my current reading, along with some long blocks of quotation that will allow you all to share in the fun.

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Indra: Apollon, Dionysos, Zeus.

I love it when people ask me things that turn into posts. I adore not having to come up with my own ideas. COMMENTS YES PLEASE.

The creative spark/comment/question from a few days ago: “Out of curiosity what association do you make of Apollon and Dionysos with Indra? I know that I personally associate Apollon with Shiva (and I know others associate him with Dionysos, though I tend to associate Dionysos with Ganesh). So I am interested in your take on this, and why not Zeus?”

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Because it’s Beltane.

Poem beneath the cut. Written by Anne Lynch Botta, published in 1848.
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