Autobiography of a Yoganandini

Living Without Food In A Hungry World

on
September 1, 2018

I had forgotten what day it is. As usual. I don’t really keep a track of the days of the week, except for calendared events, and scheduled meetings. I was jolted into the knowledge that it was the first day of the month over a chat message – which meant that I could start the Nirahara Samyama today. Holding my mug of tea in my hand, I was happy to realize that I had not eaten anything yet (an otherwise undesirable habit), and that meant that I could really do the samyama.

What Exactly IS Nirahara Samyama?

Simply put, Nirahara Samyama is the opening up of the extraordinary possibility of living without solid food. It is not a fast. In a fast you (sort of) starve yourself for a day or so. It has its own benefits, like giving a break to your digestive organs, but Nirahara Samyama is NOT a fast. It is the yogic possibility of living without solid food, without hunger.

“Samyama” is a Sanskrit word that is sandhi of “sam” and “yama.” It literally translates to bringing balance to and being in tune with all of nature.

This special yogic process can be undertaken only upon initiation by an enlightened being who is the Master of all such powers – The Avatar Paramahamsa Nithyananda. It cannot be taken up otherwise.

Starting the day without food

Starting The Day Without Food

The moment I took the decision that I would be doing the Nirahara Samyama, something inside me jumped at me – it was a craving for food. I felt an urge to go microwave the food in my fridge & eat right away. Some sensation was tingling my tongue and something in my stomach was asking me to listen to it.

I didn’t listen to it. I knew that it is a craving. Why it is there, I didn’t care. But I wanted to do Nirahara Samyama & finish it this time. I hope I finish it. The last time I did Nirahara Samyama was back in 2012. I could not finish it that time because I missed a meditation session for 2 days in a row, & you needed to do the meditation for it to really be a samyama; else it becomes a fast. I always felt bad that I started something so rare, so powerful, and could not finish it.

This was my first day without food. And I was open to resolving whatever comes up. Spiritual processes are not just about fantasizing that you are peaceful. Real peace doesn’t come from just imagination. It comes from the courage to face everything that comes your way and resolve it.

I poured myself a glass of Litchi + Aloe Vera juice and decided to take this on.

Where Does Hunger Come From?

I have been having vivid visions of a tiger tearing into the flesh of its prey. Tearing its flesh apart, and digging its teeth into its flesh, and enjoying that sensation in its tongue. It is not a random vision. It is not an imagination. It is a memory.

As per the core tenets of Hinduism, every being takes multiple births, initially as plants and trees, then slightly higher life forms as insects and birds, then higher, more evolved forms as animals, and then finally several births in the human body, which is forfeited to receive liberation.

In the form of a plant, the being has all the capacity to take “praana” or life force, life energy from the Sun, vayu, and space. It directly takes all the energy, and converts it into a usable form, and runs its life processes.

Every being has this capacity. Because every being was once a plant. All the capacities and capabilities of previous lifetimes are stored as a memory in the biology of every being. It only needs to be awakened by the right process, by an enlightened being.

As animals, which hunt for their prey, and then feast on it as a law of nature, the process of hunting wires the biology to associate violence with hunger. This is why, the moment a strong memory of hunger is awakened in a person, their violence also gets awakened.

My memories were these memories. I lived as a tiger in one of my previous janmas. I have known this for long. The memories I was now having were from that birth. And they were not painful – they were just a visual explanation of the agitation I sometimes have when I am hungry.

Taking Life Force From the Air

When in the meditation, I had no trouble visualizing myself as the Bidadi Banyan Tree (this is the meditation to be done every day for 21 mins). I did not need to visualize. The moment I sat down, closed my eyes, I could already see the leaves and branches as the top of me, my legs almost like tough, rigid thick roots digging into the ground. I could see the “veins” in my girth, and ants crawling all over me. I experienced powerful levitation for the first 10-11 mins. After that the body settled down and was calm and stable. I play this song during the meditation to keep a track of time (it is 10:16 so I play it twice):

“Mahadeva” By Jai Uttal

After the meditation, I felt calm & unmoved by many things which were irritating me.

This was my journey of today so far. I will be posting a daily log next three weeks. So follow my blog to learn more about my journey 🙂

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