Pradosham is a day of devotion to Shiva and fasting for liberation and removal of samskara, accumulations of karmic debris. I decided to observe this today, because who couldn’t use a little extra help in removing the bonds of karma and attaining eternal freedom?
The day usually involves lots of white (flowers and clothes), prayers, certain other rituals, and fasting. I’ve come to terms with fasting. Usually I’m a fan of fasting. Many years ago I used to go vegan for Lent. I think fasting, in any form, is particularly important in our world of abundance. Personally, I find it beneficial because, while I don’t have raging appetites or an addictive personality, I’m not so good at being told things are off-limits. Practicing restraint is never a bad thing for me. However, as a nursing mum, full-on fasting from food is not wise, and I’ve already decided not to fast from meat. So what do I fast from? I fast twice weekly (and sometimes more, like this week) from social media and alcohol. That may not seem like a big deal, but remember: I live in rural Wales, as a transplant, so 99% of my social life occurs online. It’s a sacrifice, but I’m finding that it’s one I look forward to. In fact, refraining from social media and excessive blog reading and other online activities has helped me tone it all down in general. A good thing, I think.
Today I’m fasting a little bit more than normal. I’ve got a stomach bug and food isn’t too appealing anyway. I think I’ll be vegetarian by default today. But I’ll offer it up to Shiva for the removal of samskara, and stomach bugs.
Om namah Shivaya!