“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.
© 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.