What was self care and meditative life like for our grandparents?
SHRAAVAN MAHINO - Month of Shraavan (Google may say it started in July, however per our Gujarati calendar it begins August 9th)
Imagine a young couple working hard in the fields and at home, living with an extended family. Hard, labor-intense work in the fields for the man of the house, while the woman maintained and held the house front with children and elders in the house.
The monsoon season comes in the month of "asaadh" and work slows down a bit. Mother Earth is covered in lush, green vegetation in the month of "Shraavan".
Instead of simply taking a walk in nature, the couple chooses to thank the lord that blessed them with this natural beauty. In olden days, most villages had a temple of Shivaji, and most folks chose to walk over to the temple in gratitude that "Bhagawan I planted one seed and in turn you gave me thousands back."
Sometimes, these temples were far, and it would get late coming home, so they would eat fruits, and even have just one meal. The time that was saved from cooking and cleaning was spent in "bhajan kirtan" and praising God. People encouraged each other "Darshan kari aavyaa? Chaalo jayiye, jaav to mane letaa jajo" (Did you go for Darshan at the temple? If you go, please take me with you).
What a wonderful way our ancestors weaved in these traditions and rituals to allow them to reconnect with the Divine, pause, breathe and appreciate Mother Nature. Many of us know that Shraavan mahino (month) is synonymous with fasting and eating one meal. Our ancestors did this so they can dedicate the saved time in Bhakti, and some of us do it so we can shed some pounds these days.
Whatever your reason may be, may we all feel the grounding energy of this month and spend some time connecting in gratitude with the Divine power.
There are many other rituals associated with Shraavan besides "Ek taanu"(eating one meal) fasting and we will be sharing them for the next 4 Mondays (Shraavan naa somvaar)
What is your fondest memory of Shraavan Mahino?
Are you fasting the entire month or just one day or on Somvaars?
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