Tuesday 10 September 2019

How relevant it fasting for the long life of our spouse? #FoodForThought Series Vol 15

Aren’t we privileged to have been born in a country with such a rich heritage? Most of us indeed are. Right from our culture to our values we cherish quite a few things we have inherited, including some lovely customs. Celebrations of festivals like Diwali, Holi, Navratri, Karvachauth keep us close to our roots as well as well as weave the otherwise scattered for work, family, together.

For me, I am mix of traditions as well as someone who has a mind of her own. While I celebrate all the festivals, I always ascertain they are not morally regressive and are logical. You will recall I wrote how we have our customised version of Rakshabandhan in our home. Similarly when it comes to fasting for 24 hrs without a drop of water for the long lives of our husbands in festivals like Teej, karvachauth and for our progeny on Ganesh Chauth, with all due respect to our customs  and traditions, I have learnt to place my mind over my heart.

Eventually, it is a matter of our own firm belief. It is not that husbands of women who don’t have these fasts in their customs don’t live long. In my opinion, it is one lovely day you dedicate to your beautiful relation doing special prayers for him, dressing up and spending some wonderful time together strengthening your bond further and praying that you get to spend this priceless life together for long. Simple! Logical! Now why do one of them has to give up eating a single morsel or drinking a drop of water for 24 hours then?

I think if you can do it and if you wish to do it, if it medically doesn’t effect you and if you are under no kind of pressure to do it then it’s fine otherwise I abide by the principle my mother in law taught me more than a decade ago - ‘ ‘Yatha Shakti Yatha Bhakti’ meaning pray to the extend your body permits you. For e.g. I had undergone a surgery recently and I know 24 hours without a drop of water will be too much for my recuperating body, so I did keep the fast, prayed with my spouse, celebrated it with all said traditions but I kept the fast on fruits and water and I intent to continue it like this. A little customisation of the otherwise very difficult fast which even forbids you to sleep in those twenty four hours, shouldn’t be any kind of rule breaking or ill omen.

“I firmly believe God sees my pure heart not my empty belly to accept my prayers”

Customs and traditions are important but they too need revisions and customisations with time. We must take pride in our rich inheritance but at the same time not turn a blind eye to something that we are not comfortable with. A fast called Ganesh Chauth is observed every January in India for the long life of our son, does that mean if I had a daughter I would not pray for her long life or observe this fast. Little amendments are vital and mandatory with gender equality being at the helm of the progress of our society.

One more thing, it is also absolutely fine if you don’t fast, it is your personal choice, it does not effect your relationship with your God. He is not that narrow minded that he will judge you on this. I remember when I used to fast for Sai, every time the chapter where he says he does not recommend fasting at all, came in my read, on the fast days and eventually I started focusing on my clean hearted prayers rather than multiple fasts. Probably he gave me some kind of indications as fasting for long hours has always been detrimental to my systems. I am not against the people who fast for detoxing their bodies or do things like intermittent fasting for health reasons or otherwise too. I am only saying use you brain in whatever you choose to do. God is kind, he is our supreme power, he doesn’t accept our prayers for how many hours we have fasted without food or water but by how pure is our heart and soul that we are devoting to him.

Please remember friends this post is my individual opinion and I don’t intend to hurt anyone’s believes but just want to put across my thoughts firmly. Please do share your viewpoints on how relevant it fasting for you, for the long life of your spouse/progeny?

Have you read our earlier True Tales in the #FoodforThought series? Find them below.

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