Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 13 Maun Vrat (Vow of Silence)

.....on the 91st anniversary of Jallianwala Bagh (Amritsar) Massacre Day.

Had I been on earth on April 13, 1919, I would have been too stunned to speak at this brutal massacre by a racist/condescending lunatic.
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I think a Maun Vrat is going to be easy because of two reasons :-
1) I am a single person,  living by myself (with a rarely visible Korean room-mate).
2) I am a PhD scholar, who needs to work on her own; and I already had a meeting with my adviser the day before.
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The Day
6:30 am : My mobile beeped to wake up me. I stretched out of bed, switching it off for the day. No calls for today, not even the voicemails.
7:00 am : Did not turn on my laptop. Did my Yog without Swami Ramdev's Youtube lecture.
9:00 am : Did not check my email. (I do not want to talk even electronically). Wrote a note-card saying "MAUN VRAT" and put it on my desk.Continued to work.
1:00 pm : Did not log on to Orkut, Facebook, Twitter. (No networking today).
4:10 pm :  A junior colleague approached. I showed him the note-card, answered his query in writing and he left in a minute.
7:30 pm : Going to the gym would endanger my Maun Vrat. So I did 40 Surya Namaskars at home, instead.
9:15 pm : The usual Tuesday night call to my parents in Kolkata is skipped. I will call them tomorrow on the occasion of the Bengali New Year (April 15th). Read the book "A PhD is not enough".
10:00 pm : Went to bed, content.
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The Experience
It was quite easy. In the last 3-4 weeks, I have been in virtual Maun Vrat most of time time, speaking only 100-150 words per day. This 36-hour experience required just the extra note-card. I realized we need not be dependent on anything for our existence, like cell-phones, laptops, e-mail, conversation, not even company. I seemed to talk to myself and know myself better. I found I do not crave for the things I avoided during the Vrat. I became detached from the maddening world and focused on my own path of self-actualization. This consumerist world cannot let me lose myself away from from myself.
In the 8-limbed Ashtanga Yog, I have now approached the fifth stage Pratyahaar (withdrawal of senses), after regularly practicing the first four stages (Yam, Niyam, Asan, Praanaayaam).
Everything is optional in life. Only the soul and its manifestation are mandatory.

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Looking forward to another Maun Vrat next month.

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