Monday, October 12, 2009

Worshipping the Goddess Cleansing the Temple

The very last day of our impromptu class has arrived and boy has it been amazing. Two and a half weeks of knowledge is nestled into my brain and i am excited to learn more and share it all with you (although i think that will have to wait for an in person lesson). As i may or may not have mentioned the course fell over the Navrati festival, 9 days of worshipping the goddess, most specifically Durga who is the destroyer she slashes at demons, ego and bad habits alike with her many arms and many more weapons. This is a major time of cleansing and fasting, a time when the seasons change and the sun turns southward.

This was also week filled with many many birthday celebrations, Caitriona on the 22nd, Joel on the 23rd, and Agnis on the 27th. And let me tell you i have never experienced such an amazing celebration. First, the room is decorated with a yantra or mandala (a symbol of great honour and worship). The first two nights Gangotri made an exquisite lotus flower out of different coloured flour and on the last Mandakini made a conch shell. The lotus symbolizes the individual on the inside spreading out to the world around. Inside and around the lotus were little clay lights representing each year of life and the new one to come. First songs are song asking the gods to bring light, love and health to all present. Then the lights are lit by all present with the first and last being lit by the birthday girl/boy (as we all are born and die alone). By lighting the lamps the dark memories from that year are turned to light and happy memories abound. After this each person is given a hand ful of flowers and spend a few minutes filling the flowers with all the wishes they have for the birthday and then as we all sing we go one by one and pour the flowers over the birthday girl/boy. It was the most amazing ceremony and i hope to share it with all of you :)

On the cleansing front as a part of our class and a way to get rid of all the Ama (toxins) i have accumulated i and many others did the total cleanse, Shanpakshalin, kunjal and jal neti. This involves first drinking a liter of warm salt water at a time and then doing a series of Asanas, going to the bathroom and continuing until all that flushes out of your anus is clear water, cleaning your lower digestive tract. After this you drink another liter of salt water and puke it all up cleansing your upper digestive tract. Finally you fill a neti pot with salt water and clean out your nasal passages. Let me tell you you feel very clean after such a procedure. With all the healthy food, strict routine and asanas I am feeling really fabulous.

I can not fully tell you all i have learned and experienced yet, but i can say this. I have learned how crucial discipline, devotion and commitment are to leading a happy life. I have started and plan to continue the ayurvedic lifestyle and can already feel my body mind and soul tingling with life.

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