There is no such thing as Day Zero. Obviously. Its only purpose here is to commemorate this strange practice of mine — from tomorrow, I will listen to the Rudram everyday at 5 am for 108 days.
This outlandish idea occurred to me yesterday after I finished reading “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert — the book that is said to be mostly read by divorced middle aged women with no idea what to do with their lives. I’m not divorced or middle aged and oddly enough I do have a relatively good idea of what I’m doing with my life (from an outsider’s perspective). From an insider’s perspective, I’m just as lost as any other living thing.
However, if you are looking to typecast me you should know that I am a vegetarian meditator that works at an environmental NGO. I’m Indian and am currently living in Hong Kong. I’m 23 years old, and married. Yup, that’s how sorted (or unsorted) I am! My husband and I are like little kids running about in a foreign city looking for something that neither of us completely understand.
So what is a “Rudram” and why is it such a big deal to listen to it?
Rudram is one of the oldest surviving traditions in India. It is a combination of ancient chants and offerings to god that purify the mind and the environment around. The chants go on for one hour and help one go deep into meditation. They say just listening to these chants helps remove all negative emotions and thoughts, and uplifts the mind to a better state of being. Now who wouldn’t want that?
There is a very interesting analogy that was once shared with me-
“Scientists look outside and ask, ‘What is this?’. A yogi looks inside and asks, ‘Who am I?’.
So this is what this 108 days of journey is going to be about. I will get up at 4 am, have bath, and listen to the Rudram from 5:00 to 6:00, and contemplate on this question. Throughout this period I hope to share with you what (if any) kind of transformation listening to this chanting is bringing to my mind and life.
This is more of an experiment than anything else. My hypothesis is that by the end of the 108 days, I will experience great levels of self satisfaction, a higher motivation towards life, and I will be less tormented by my negative tendencies. I will also become a better writer, a better student, a better listener, a better Yogi and a better wife by the end of it. Basically everything desirable in life will be within the grasp of my tiny hands. Whatever happens by the end of these 108 days, will be a testament for everyone to see just how helpful or unhelpful such traditions are.
I’m so excited about doing this! It’s even more exciting to share something so personal with everyone on the internet where anything sacred or real can be turned into a mockery or a joke for everyone to judge or laugh at.
PS. If you yourself wish to listen to the Rudram, you may buy it over here. Or if you know me personally, I can share the audio file with you.