Mantra, Dhoop and peace of mind

Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash

Raised in a Hindu family, I had been a very devout kid. My go to action post bath had been sitting in prayer, head bowed. I still remember running out of shower, shivering a bit. Putting out the small kaleen in front of puja house. Every typical Hindu family would have a variant of puja house or space dedicated to the lords. I used to sit religiously bring out an agarbatti and lit it up. Can’t deny I had fun with the matchsticks. Some times looking till how long I can hold it while it burned to the edges. Using the faint glow from one agarbatti(incense stick) to light another stick or matchstick. That was plain wonder for me. Then starts the chant , I remembered a few mantras, thanks to my mother and my dadaji. 5 chant was a minimum then recalling other easy mantras and repeat.

https://strongholdofbali.wordpress.com/2015/09/20/gayatri-mantra/

Trying and botching a few times and saying sorry to the lords out of fear. This cycle continued for years and eventually I stopped. It started with my questions. Why we do this? Why we do that? and then carried forward with my exposure to more outside world. Where it became hard for me to digest, that any God you follow will let this happen. But some people say time is not a flat line and it is a ⭕. ️Here I am with renewed faith but different intentions.

If I start to draw parallels with my earlier understanding and now few things stand out. I will try to connect with what I have been told for years and what I understand now.

When you wake up touch the floor and send regards to Dharti Mata and when you look at the Sun send the regards for blessing us.

I think, this comes from training for gratitude. A lot of practices or books will point to the power of gratitude. Helping us understand, everyday you wake up is a gift in itself. We are blessed in number of ways and sometimes we need to count it. Maintaining a gratitude diary or log really helps with that. This knowledge was already in some form ingrained in my culture, where I was taught to do the first thing when I wake up is to express gratitude.

Puja ritual should be done daily and only post you take a shower”

Maintaining a habit is tough but when it becomes a part of your routine it becomes easy. There is a trigger when you take shower do X. It is tied, it is automated. Habit chaining in action. Forming one good habit can lead to other good habits. Keeping a habit streak not only adds a sense of achievement but also trains your mind to do boring stuff repeatedly. Discipline over motivation. That’s not all, I think we all already know the benefits of daily 🚿 but the rituals instills the idea of cleanliness. It is not uncommon in households to do cleaning of house before Puja.

Puja space should be organised”

You can see hundreds of house with different Puja spaces, but you will find the Puja space always neat, cleaned and organised. Some Marie Kondo magic happening here. It has similar effect to make your bed in the morning. One small win, one organisational habit. It starts to percolate beyond the Puja space.

“Lit the incense stick or diya or dhoop”

Fragrance can set the mood or break it. Some fragrance take you to your old memories also. No wonder we have car fresheners, washroom fresheners to room fresheners to breath fresheners. It has become quintessential. It also acts as trigger for brain to enter in the Puja mode. In Deep Work Cal Newport talks about music or triggers where before work you hit them and you enter into work mode, deep focus mode.

“Close your eyes and chant the mantras”

Meditation, if you practice you will know how relaxing and benefitting it is. If not, you should give meditation a try(Link to how to meditate). Prayer in essence is a form of meditation where you let go and enter in a one way conversation with the lords. A lot of meditation practices are build upon mantras or focusing on sound to help you focus. After going through it I realise, this is something which was being taught to me even when I was a kid.

“God will take care”

In this infinite universe we are no more than the dust specs or even smaller. In the grand scheme of things, little is under our control and we should try hard for those things. But, for rest we need to learn to let go. Believe in the power of positive thinking and positive affirmations and let things beyond us in control of the higher powers.

As I slowly walk back to old habits with new understanding. I pray you will also try to look at things with new light. Namaste.

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