Monday, 12 August 2013

thirtham and vratas


Practical  steps  to spirituality-  section 6 part 24

Thirtham  or  pilgrimage.

                         We  are  following  the  methods  to purify  the  mind  and  continuing  the  discussion  ,lets see  what  thirtham  really  means  . In sanskrit  the  term ' thirtham  ' means  that  which  helps  you  to  cross  this  ocean  of  ignorance  and  confusion. . The  understanding  of  the  word  'pilgrimage ' may  vary  from person  to  person  . The  common  mean  understands  it  as  visiting  temples  , that  it is a  tour  of temples    on walk. To  an  advanced  seeker,  a  pilgrimage  will  mean  something  more  than  just  visiting  temples  , for  him  it  would  also  mean  taking  time  out  to  visit  the  saints  in  those  areas  , sit  under  their  feet  and  learn  from  them . Satsang  with  Mahatmas  is  a great  purifier. 

  Vratas  or  vows  

                     Vratas  are  undertaken  by a  seeker  in  the  form  of  denying  oneself  food  once a week  or  taking  food  only  after  finishing  the  morning  puja  , or  observing  silence  once a week  and  so on.   Vratas  help  increase  one's  will  power   and  help  discipline  the  mind  from  falling  for  sensual  pleasures. .In  the  West, there  is  a  'time out  ' concept  wherein  a  child  is  disciplined  to  sit  in the  corner  of a  room  whenever  he  behaves  in a  stubborn  way. . This  quietens  the  child's  mind   and  the  child  now  has  an  opportunity  to  think  about  his  behavior  . Vratas  are  a  kind  of ' time out '  when  the  mind  voluntarily  denies  itself  certain  habitual  pleasures   and  comforts , just  to  discipline  the  mind. . But  when  someone  else  enforces  ,it  leads  to suppression  

                        So  these  two practices  ,pilgrimages  and  vratas ,  each  in its  own way  strengthens  the  mind  and  helps  the  seeker  to progress  spiritually . These  practices  help  turn  the  mind  away  from  lower  desires  and  pleasures  and  turn  the  mind  in  higher  pursuits  and  remembrance  of  the  Lord.

to be  continued.....


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