Friday, July 15, 2011

Not just another full moon...

Today is Guru Purnima, the day to honor the guru (it also would have been Sri K. Pattabhi Jois's 96th birthday).

Guru Purnima is a sacred and auspicious day in the classical Yoga tradition. It is a day for disciples and students to make offerings and rededicate themselves in their spiritual sadhana. Traditionally, spiritual seekers commence to intensify their spiritual sadhana from this day into the period known as Chaturmas (four months) beginning from this day.
(From the NCSY newsletter).

In other words, this is the time to revere the guru or teacher, and to recommit to one's spiritual practice.

(For example, an irresolute asthanga student could commit to coming to class three times a week rather than two. Someone with a sitting practice could commit to sitting twice a day rather than once a day, or to increase their pranayama by one round each day, or do a certain number of japa each day, etc. Of course my interpretation could be turning this into Lent, which is something else altogether).

I suggested Wednesday that ashtanga students consider refraining from eating garlic and onions.

This was met with loud protests.

Dharma said last weekend, in reference to something other than Guru Purnima, that in the olden days yogis would give up sugar and salt for a month in order to increase their willpower.

That idea appeals to me.

But one suspects that that wouldn't go over so well, either.

So many of us are conditioned to expect the benefits, without doing the tapas.

Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu,
Gurur Devo Mahesh Varah.
Guru Shakshat Para Brahma,
Tasmai Shri Guruve Namah.

More info here and here.


  1. I should sit today, but I'm not sure I'll have time! This is because I'd rather do primary+ :)

  2. Ralph -

    I deleted your comment. If the few people who read the comments want that information, they can do due diligence - as you did.

    Boodiba -

    Are you saying that you choose to honor the guru of the yoga system you love by practicing on a moon day - a day when he closed the shala and asked students not to practice? And not just any moon day, but Guru Purnima *and* his birthday?

    As for the time issue....

    As Dharma said last weekend, the aspirant should spend at least 15 minutes a day sitting:

    "You can stare for three hours at the TV [or the internet/iPhone] but you can't find ten minutes for meditation? You must be self-disciplined. You are your worst enemy when you are not self-disciplined."

  3. My comments keeps disappearing!!!

    Ralph from DeKalb

  4. That doesn't mean they're not appreciated!

  5. To C.K.

    I know -- as you said in your newest post: "Speak less. Talking wastes valuable energy - especially when speaking of useless things."

    I'll extend that to 'comments'. Hahaha.

    Ralph from DeKalb

  6. You are so right!

    Thank you for understanding....