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Kartik Inspirations Day 4 - How to Enhance Your Spiritual Practice

Welcome to day 4 of the Kartik Inspirations.

There is a very famous Upanisad, the Candogya Upanisad (7.26.2), which informs us about something we can be mindful during this month: ahara-suddhau sattva-suddhih “When one’s food is pure, his mind also becomes clear and pure.” So, during this month we really need to look at the food we take. It’s good to avoid heavy foods that dull the mind, making it so that we cannot engage it in spiritual practice.

Another point of great value is that eating is not only done through the mouth. You can eat, or take in impressions, through all the senses. There is an example that teaches us to be mindful of what we see through our eyes, what is our “eye-food,” if you so want. Ajamil was a man of great virtues. Extremely well-versed in scriptures, truthful and inclined to serving others, especially the elders. One day it so happened that when returning from the forest, after collecting the flowers and fruits which he needed for his worship, he saw a scene that very much upset his mind. He saw a prostitute, half naked, being embraced by a shameless man who was full of lust. As he took in that impression, his mind became upset and disturbed. There were now very unfavorable impressions in his mind. So, you are not only formed by what you eat, you are formed by what you see, and in this way “eat” through your eyes.

During the month of Kartik it is very good to surround yourself with good pictures. Look at photographs, images, and feed yourself with divine and spiritual impressions. That will really create within you a mental response of devotion. Yes, devotion can be increased by feeding good impressions through your various senses. Eating pure food, seeing good, inspiring, impressions, and hearing is also very important, with kirtans and so on. Let there be a stream of encouraging, strengthening, nourishing impressions through all of our senses. Bhakti means to engage our senses in the service of the Lord by taking these positive impressions into our mind and wherever it goes.

See you tomorrow.

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