Sunday 16th June 2024,
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Ten Dharmic Steps to making the Lockdown work in your favor

Ten Dharmic Steps to making the Lockdown work in your favor

Pinak Shiva

If you’re living in any one of the major countries in this world and reading this article, chances are that you’re living under a lockdown of some sorts. While the definition of a lockdown may differ from one country to the other, one thing is for sure that you’re movement is definitely restricted. Here are ten simple changes inspired by Dharmic living that you can bring about in your life to make the lockdown prove gainful to you.

Start studying the Bhagwad Gita

While the canon of Sanatana Dharma is filled with wisdom from countless sources, included lived experiences, to my experience nothing matches the wisdom of the Bhagwad Gita.

If you haven’t done this before, take time out and study make this change to your life. While the choice is entirely yours, I would ask you not to read any commentaries while studying the Bhagwad Gita.

Don’t allow someone else conclusions determine yours. Pray to Krishna to be your guide and you’ll find this one of the most profound, life changing journeys that you’ve ever undertaken.

Nama Japa

Nama JapaThe most powerful spiritual exercise that you can undertake. What’s special about nama japa is that its only in the human form that we can gain from the spiritual benefits of undertaking japa, even the Devas envy us for this.

During Kali Yuga, nama japa is said to be the most powerful tools for mankind.

Depending on which spiritual tradition you belong to and which deity you worship, you can start with a single round of japa on the mala (Rudrakash or Tulsi). If you don’t have a mala, you can count the japa on your fingers. Build this as a habit that will last you through a lifetime.

Meditate (Dhyana)

For several reasons, I will not ask to you indulge yourself in deep pranic meditation. However, you can practice some very basic forms of meditation such as sitting in the lotus posture with your eyes closed for 5-10 minutes each day.

If you wish to move further on this path, my suggestion would be to find an authentic guru who can take guide you to be a more meditative person.

Physical workouts

If you’re already in the habit of routine exercise, you might want to include some exercises that were partaken by the greatest warriors of Sanatana Dharma.

I would personally suggest Gada (Mace swing), Jodi (club swing), Surya Namaskar and Bethak. Start with two sets each composing 5-10 reps each depending on the level of your physical conditioning. While it’s quite possible that you don’t have the necessary equipment at, you can use any others items such as a baseball bat, etc to duplicate the effects of the original equipment.

If you’re a neophyte to exercise, I would suggest that you do some research on the Akhara exercises. There’s a huge wealth of information out there on youtube and other media. Start slow and build gradually. As your strength and endurance grows, you’ll start loving these exercises and the benefits they bring to you.

Rid yourself of addictions

The topic of addiction is a very expansive and for the sake of brevity, I would only confine myself to substance abuse.

Not only does the substance to which we are addicted limited the ability of our minds and bodies to function optimally they also enslave us. It’s not uncommon to see people addicted to substances go crazy when they aren’t able to find whatever it is that they’re addicted to.

From cigarettes, alcohol to other chemical substances people find themselves entangled in different substances which not only lower the quality of their lives but also entangle them in a vicious cycle which prevents them from experiencing the beauty of life in its entireity.

If some of you have been abusing substances for a long time and believe that you can’t rid yourself of this addiction on your own, seek help and counseling from a professional. This is the perfect opportunity. Take that step towards freedom.

Learn new skills

The post Covid world is going to be one of great challenges. With these challenges also come new opportunities. Question is, are we prepared to take on these opportunities without the necessary skill set?

There are several portals available online that provide access to different kinds of learning online. Some are free while others charge a very minimal amount. However these skills can not only help enhance your life as a professional, but also give you the economic independence that you’ve always wanted.

Understand first what all is available and what suits you best before you take the plunge. Being economically independent also means that you’re left with more time to pursue Dharma than commute to some corporate center of Adharmic “excellence” on a daily basis. Tomorrow, if you’re able to build a business, you can also gainfully employ others life yourself thus giving them a shot at liberating themselves from the controlled structure that bars your ability to freely express yourself.

Make your diet more sattvik

Its generally agreed by health professionals that one of the major reasons behind the Covid 1n9 proving fatal is a lowered immune system. The food that we eat has a lot to do with our immunity. All those cheeseburgers, sodas and fries that you’ve been gulping have done your body’s defenses no good.

Learn more about Sattvik foods and ayurveda and how these can help you enhance your life thus giving you and your family a much better fighting chance in the post Covid 19 world.

A change in your diet will also bring more positivity to your entire personality. You’ll be a happier person, someone others wish to associate with and communicate with. Depression and anxiety levels will be lowered. Go slow though, makes small but incremental changes to your diet with each passing week starting today. You’ll observe the health benefits gradually and thank yourself for making that choice.

Build bonds with your family

In Sanatana Dharma, itsthe family that and not the individual that’s the center of existence. Therefore its highly essential that we maintain these bonds with our immediate family. Those who are married, spend more time with your husband or wife.

Care for each other. Discuss the future and your aspirations together. Share the positivity you’ve experienced by being more Dharmic with them and make their your partners in this journey together.

As for your children, give them the love and care that they deserve. Teach them about our history and why being a Sanatani is the greatest gift. Tell them stories from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and what values those stories give us. If your children are older, encourage them to read the Ramayana and Mahabharta by themselves and ask questions. Curious children are a boon, so encourage them.

Cut your television hours

Stay away from the meaningless garbage that television or even other forms of pop culture entertainment promote.

Personally I feel that entertainment is overhyped and over-sold as a necessity when it’s not required in the high doses as modern societies consume it in. From half crazy news anchors to semi-pornography soaps, the television is not really your friend.

I understand that people need entertainment, but then why does it have to come from television. I feel entertained listening to the stories that my children tell me, painting, exercising and in general enjoying life as it occurs around me. Of course, you may still wish to watch television or some other form of entertainment that’s audio visual but my suggestion is that cut it to a bare minimal. Definitely not more than two hours a day and even that’s too much.

Help those less fortunate than you

Last but not the least, maybe this lockdown could be an opportunity for you to think of those who are less fortunate than you in any number of ways. See if you can reach out to these people and help them in any way that you can without risking your own life.

Make this a habit, it really helps you in climbing the ladder that Sanatana Dharma provides to you. If you’re a business owner and in a position to employ new people, do so.

If you can help create a fund to pay for the school fees of those children who’s parents have lost their livelihood, then do so. There are so many ways in which we can help others.

However, as Hindus we know that all forms of life deserve respect so that let’s not forget those forms of life that we have made a part of our lives and need our support for sustenance.

Yes, I am referring to the jivas (hate referring to them as animals) who may not have a loving and caring family to look after them anymore. No matter where you live, see if you can adopt some of these jivas. If that’s not feasible then donate to worthy organizations that do actually look after them and take good care of them. See if you can reach out to Gau-shalas and help them with any kind of resources possible.

Regards

Amit Pandit

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