Time to let it go -

After 12 long years, decided to let go my habit of fasting every Tuesday.

Right underneath your thoughts and negative emotions exists an ocean of love. You have but to quiet the mind to experience it.
- A Buddhist Saying

I know for someone outside, there is no link between my habit and the Buddhist proverb, to my mind there is...


Ottayan said…

It will be clear if you let us know why you were fasting. (P.S. I am new to this blog.)
Ottayan -
Do you want the long or the shorter versino?
Ottayan said…
Uh!uh! the extremely short version. :)
The beleif that it's ok to negotiate with God.
The beleif that I can protect everything near and dear to me
Ottayan said…
When there is God, how can your near and dear be in danger?
Ahh, now we are going somewhere. Am I right to judge your question with the statement that the belief in God now depends on the expectation one have from Him. I believe in God and I follow his principle, so nothing bad or nothing unexpected will or should ever happen. As I believe in God I expect something material or spiritual from Him, so you go to Him and say I need this or I need peace. What happens when you don’t get what you want? It then paves way for questions or negative emotions which challenge the very existence of God, isn’t it?

As you said on the other post, Greed or expectation are the same, we just feel one is better than the other. With my salary it’s not OK to expect a Ferrari, but it’s OK to expect a Volvo. Is that right? Underneath, both are the same. You want to car, and that’s your expectation. You can sugar coat it in different ways, to make it look better but the truth is you want something. You can argue, why can’t one live with bare necessity? Or in other words, why can’t one live without car? Well, if one live for bare necessity then there is no difference between human and other living things on earth; am I right? For me, the Greed or expectation to have something better brought Humans in the picture.

Ela, kind of pointed a good point, that the Evolution is based on survival not greed. That’s a valid point, I can buy that, some animals do evolve to protect themselves. But for most of them the most critical part of their life is food and reproduction. An animal would take an undue risk just to achieve any one of them; for them, evolution is based on how they achieve it with a less probability of risk and a high probability of success. Is this greed or survival? I don’t know, I can argue both ways right? You can state that by making that adaptation they make sure they survive on the long run. Agreed, but is that what drives adaptation? Adaptation is driven by instinct, not by a plan.

Going back to our point, expectation and God; how do we judge it, Jaya kills a Tiger to become a Chief Minister and Murali kills a chicken, so that his son can live a prosperous life? How is it different? You either accept or reject them, but can’t stand on the middle. You might say Jaya wants to mint money but Murali just wants to do what’s good for his son. Does it matter? Now, let’s link to my other question, Do God regulates life on earth? In other words, will God evaluate the request from Jaya and Murali and say Murali deserves it and Jaya don’t. I don’t think He does nor He will. Then, what is evil and what is good? You can say Murali’s action is good and Jaya’s action is evil. This is on a comparative statement isn’t it? You know Jaya’s case, so you say Murali’s is good. Now, let’s add another character to the story, a person on the street goes to God and says I need food for my son, just by adding this scenario; Murali’s case becomes little shaky right? You can state, why can’t God help both Murali and the person on the street? Well in that case, you are asking God to live your life? Is that the purpose of life on earth? If that’s the case, there won’t be any evil in our society.

You kind of wanted a short answer and I keep typing, so I will end here, based on your interest we can continue later. To conclude, expectation drives most of my negative emotion. I bring God everywhere in life, the reason I try to be good, the reason I try to be ethical, the reason for my existence, I feel that the reason is God. May be He did bless me, so far I have a decent life, can I expect that tomorrow? After all I am following his path. What happens if doesn’t? It’s going trigger negative emotions and thought. For example, the relationship I have with my sons has no expectation. I work hard in life to make them happy, will I be repaid? I don’t know and I don’t care whether I will. That’s beautiful. I want to have the same type of relationship with God; I want to quiet my mind, so it won’t expect anything from Him. I also know, today my life is secure, there is no burden or pain, so I can state this, tomorrow at the first sight of trouble, my mind will run towards Him for support. But that doesn’t mean I should stop trying does it?
Ela said…
"I bring God everywhere in life, the reason I try to be good, the reason I try to be ethical, the reason for my existence, I feel that the reason is God."

That's something i don't feel comfortable with...becoz then it automatically implies that people who have reasoned out that God is not there and they need not to fear Him, can live as they...without ethics, without the pressure of being good....is it hard to exist as a human being -with as much ethics, principles and kindness for fellow beings- without the fear of God?
Ela said…
And Slogger....it's really nice that u are planning to stop fasting only now...i stopped it nearly two years ago...it was hard for me with all the stress and work in the lab and then go home and carry on with even making some for me to eat...so i stopped it...

but i enjoyed fasting...it was a spiritual endavour rather than a religious one for me....to say no to food not becoz it was not available but i chose to abstain...that also gave me an opportunity to feel exactly how it feels to be hungry....and not to mention overcoming temptations....almost everytime i was fasting (i used to fast two days in month for the pradhosam) someone in my dept. baked some cakes or had icecream or some friend invited me for lunch!
Ottayan said…

Excuse me for the belated reply.

I have one answer to all yur questions.

It is called acceptance.
Ottayan –
Through your sequence of questions, I am making an assumption that you are making a pitch for theme that there is No God. Your blog name “Ottayan” suggest a similar tone, but may be I am wrong, if so, let me know.

I am not going to argue for or against the existence of God. I don’t have an answer, and I have a conviction that I am not going to find that out in this life either. I choose a path to believe in God and I choose a path of righteousness based on that belief. You can ask why through God? I cannot argue, “It works for me so it will for you too”. So if you reason with me that you can achieve morality without God in the equation, all I have is utmost respect for you.

My Grandfather was atheist, in an era before our independence he allowed my grandmother to work. All of my aunts have a Bachelors degree or more. He made sure that my father does not have a caste name at the end. He did more to the community than anyone in my family. I am proud to call myself his grandson. He was self made, who believed more in human kindness than God. For argument sake if someone with such high principles comes to me and asks why he needs God? I don’t think I can reason with them?

There is a saying that the extremely rich and extremely poor will have similar decision making style, because both have nothing to lose. Similarly, if you believe in God and constrain yourself to his principle, you probably will be on par with someone who doesn’t believe in God but his actions are based on human kindness. I think this is the theme on Anbay Sivam movie (Great movie by the way).

I am going to say something which will make my fellow God fearing Humans to shriek, God is for weak; God is for humans who need guidance; God is for humans who want help; God is for humans who entangle themselves with fear, emotions, human bonding, anger, pleasure, and other areas which are specific to them. In essence, God is for every one of us. If you say, I am beyond all this, in other words if your actions doesn’t pertain selfish acts such as I, mine, ours etc. then yes, you don’t need God.
Ela –
You are right; Humans want God for guidance, to put them in the right path, in other words, fear drives the belief in God. Or in someone case, expectance even if it means going to Heaven, drives belief in God. But is it right? It’s like every parents statement (more so in East), “Son study hard, I need a home to retire when I grow old”. That’s why everyone wants a Son not a Girl. That’s not right. It feels like an investment. It’s a wrong reason to believe in God.
Regarding fasting, I am obsessive so I force myself in, no matter what. So physically I think I can still do it, but spiritually I feel it drives expectation, sometime when things don’t go right, it causes negative emotions. I felt that the only way to restrain that emotion is through letting go of my habit.

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