Updated: Aug 16, 2019
Today was Avani Avittam, the quintessential Vedic ritual followed by TamBrahms (Tamil Brahmins) and other Brahmins and Kshatriya and Vaishya community, who have their sacred thread ceremony done and have it on their body (though many I know do not wear it). This ritual is to change the thread along Vedic recitals. This day has become so important in these modern days because most of my generation and after, spend time only on this day to make sure we are brahmins and chant the Vedic hymns / slokas associated with it; whereas we were supposed to do majority of the recitals everyday according to our religion. The best thing about this day is the lunch, a lavish spread of TamBrahm delicacies to appease the soul after the hours spent spiritually.
I used to chant the Gayatri Japam often and to be a good boy / Tam Brahm, I would chant it 1008 times on this day and it used to take 40-50 minutes to finish it.
After the stroke, I couldn’t remember the words in the Gayathri Mantra at all, though - as you would expect - many told me to recite it when I was in the hospital. I tried everything to remember it. Played YouTube videos, which had the words in Sanskrit or Hindi or English or by heart with a picture of the words, but nothing worked. I couldn’t recite it in May also when I was in India and a relative couldn’t fathom it and I had to explain to him how the neuro paths have to rebuild for the words to come again.
Today, I said to myself I will try and Hola, the words came from my memory. Honestly the pronunciation was a disaster and I would peg at it 50% from what I remember chanting it from the past. They say it’s good to NOT recite any sloka at all when compared to reciting it wrongly. I have believed my entire life; it is the INTENT to do something which counts the most than the outcome. E.g. when your customer doesn’t have the intent to buy your product or service, there is no point working hours with them to convince them or if in any relationship, if, one or both the persons, do not have the intent to progress the relationship, the relationship would break. INTENT is the life line of life and I hope, the gods might be more impressed by my intent to chant the mantra than pronouncing it right.
I struggled today to chant 108 of the Mantra. It took me around 25 minutes, whereas in past it would take 5-7 minutes. It wasn’t seamless to say the least. I would forget the mantra a lot many times and had to dig deep to remember but finally completed it. It has to go to my muscle memory to get back to the chanting of the past, which creates one more to-do in my ever-growing list. And to make it tougher I had to remember the count, thankfully I had my 108 spatika japam mala (Rosary beads made from Quartz Crystal) to my aid.
So when I can do it, so can you. Make INTENT a part of your life.
Finally, if YOU or your relative / friend, has come out of / survived a life threatening illness / condition and want to share their story to the world, I would be delighted to talk and (re)connect. This GOAL of sharing my personal and others' experiences is to energise and empower people to do more for themselves first and for their near & dear one’s next, to spread the knowledge of how to condition yourself with the current situation, or how to survive the period after the event and be Healthy and Majestic human beings. May be this will evolve into a book or a full fledged website or a NGO, who knows ? But from the last 15 years, I know that unconditionality has the power to move things.
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