Tuesday, October 19, 2021
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In the Garden of Bhakti

It’s a space for me to be myself, to be at ease, connected and creative.

A garden can mean different things to different people. A place for a stroll and reflection, a space to create beauty and gather peace. A sanctuary to nurture, nourish and grow not just plants for food but to cultivate an attitude of respect and extending loving kindness.

Bhakti is a word describing the offering of service with love, which comes from the ancient spiritual language Sanskrit, which was spoken over 5,000 years ago. It is a language that is sung in various uplifting melodies. Bhakti-lata-bija is translated as the seed of devotion, likened to a devotional creeper that is cared for within the inner core of one’s heart. It is watered through spiritual practices, grown in the supportive association of likeminded souls. In the Vaisnava-Hare Krishna and Hindu traditions a special day of devotions is observed, twice a month on the waning and waxing moon phases, a day of fasting called Ekadasi.

On this auspicious day, engagement in the offering of devotional prayers, meditation and actions is increased and one’s bodily demands reduced by fasting from meals with beans and grains or choosing to take no meals at all. No meats, fish or eggs are taken on this day.

Ekadasi day is a spiritual dynamic lifter of the natural kind boosting the spiritual growth of all who observe it, whatever spiritual tradition they practise. Ekadasi is a day to dance with the divine spirit that connects all living entities. Observing Ekadasi is an invitation to enter into a Garden of Bhakti, where there is an unlimited reservoir of divine love awaiting us in which to bathe, to uncover and nourish our soul-self and experience spiritual happiness and union.

Ekadasi can be a day of solitude, a retreat from our day-to-day activities, to study spiritual wisdom, dive deeply into prayerful acts of devotion, singing hymns or chants. Or it can be observed in community, sharing meals or inspirations.

 

 

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