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Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Margazhi Blogotsavam: Day 30: Mangalam!

On the 17th of December, 2019, sudden inspiration struck, giving birth to this concept of a blogathon for the entire month. When I sat down to post the first blog, inspiration struck again, resulting in the series being named #MargazhiBlogotsavam. 


And an utsavam it truly has been – marked by hectic activity and a lot of joy in the celebration. Full of bliss for the one writing the blogs, and, judging from the feedback, equally joyful, for the ones reading them.

Sustaining an activity like this on a daily basis for very long is however not possible. So, like any other festival, it is time to bring the curtains down, albeit temporarily, until the next festive occasion.

Perhaps the daily reading of the stories of devotees has planted the seed of bhakti in your hearts. If yes, it is important you care for that seed, and nurture it well, so that it germinates, takes root, and grows to yield the appropriate fruit. Here are a few suggestions towards this end.
  • Set aside some time everyday – even if it is as little as 10 minutes – to chant the Lord’s Name. In this kaliyuga, when other forms of spiritual practice are not so easy, Namasmaranam is the easiest way ahead. Chant the name of your family deity, or your favourite deity, or a small mantra of your choice (except the Gayatri mantra).
  • Select some small stotram of your favourite/your family deity. Recite it at least once every day, even if you have to read from a book/online site. Over time, when you have learned it by heart, it will become easier to recite even without those aids.
  • For some time every morning and evening, play some bhajans or stotrams in your house. It will help to create positive vibes in the environment, and foster a sense of bhakti in you. If you can, sing along.
  • Devote at least 10 minutes every day to some form of spiritual reading – it could be stories of devotees of God, or the Ramayana, the Mahabharata or the Bhagavatham – whatever is easy for you, and holds your attention.
  • Make it a point to consciously remember God, ask for help, and chant His/Her Name before you begin any important activity, or at random, 5 times in a day.
  • At the end of every important activity, or as a set routine of 5 times in a day, make it a habit to remember God, and say a simple ‘thank you’ for all the things that are going right for you.
  • When you find yourself in a stressful event, PAUSE. Cut your stream of automatic thoughts. Chant your mantra 11 times. Pray for divine guidance. Then return to thinking of how to deal with the event.
  • Keep track of how you talk. Are you always talking on and on? If yes, cultivate more silence in your life. Are you always criticizing others? Are you blaming/finding fault with them all the time? If yes, make a conscious effort to change to a positive way of talking that encourages people. If that is too difficult, just stop expressing your negative thoughts – that itself will lead to a big improvement.
  • Constantly monitor your thoughts. Are you thinking negative thoughts? Does your mind wander thinking of unnecessary things? Are you stuffing your mind with unwanted stuff? Are you getting tense and worrying about things beyond your control? If yes, practice the pause. Examine your thoughts and discard the ones that are of no use to your growth.
  • Take care of what you allow to enter your mind. The outside world is constantly bombarding us with stimuli. When you let it all go unfiltered into your mind, it weighs you down, and you end up feeling tired – both mentally and physically. If you have the ability to filter, do it. If not, cut off the stimulus itself. In other words, spend less time on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, TV, and mindless gossip.
  • Pay attention to the people around you. If there is someone in need, do what you can to help them, with a sense of gratitude for being given the opportunity to serve.

These few tips that I have given are tried and tested ways to develop a sense of bhakti. I use them too, and that’s why I can confidently pass them on to you. If there is any further guidance you need, do feel free to send me a message on WhatsApp on 98450 66050.

Do also message me if you would like to have the PDFs of two books about the several devotees from across the country – one is the English translation of Mahipathi’s Bhakta Vijay, and the other, called Bhaktamal, is in Hindi.

Through today’s blog post, I want to express my humble pranaams to all of you who have come along and been a part of this #MargazhiBlogotsavam. Thank you for trusting in me, appreciating my efforts, and sending me your thoughts when you felt touched by what I wrote. 


2 comments:

  1. Good morning Anu. Nicely written. I have to read some of your writing here which are missed due to my personal issues. God bless you and your family. I will follow your easy tips and will pass it To my friends and relatives. Once again thank you so much Anu.

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  2. How sweet! Mother Andal's choicest love and blessings be showered on you, for doing this seva. May you attain liberation in this very birth. Hari Om

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