|AHYMSIN NEWSLETTER, ISSUE - August 2020|
Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…
Sometimes students have written to or asked Swami Veda Bharati, Swami Ritavan Bharati, and other senior teachers in our tradition questions about practice. This is one such “Question and Answer,” or Q&A.
Two questions: 1) Could you please tell me if Gayatri mantra is connected to surya and therefore should be only recited during day time and avoided after sunset? And 2) I believe that we are not supposed to practice any special mantras (mantras apart from our diksha mantra) during 12 midnight to 3 am and 12 noon to 3 pm (6 hours in total). Is this correct?
Stephen Parker (Stoma) and Lalita Arya (Ammaji) have answered this question.
From Stephen Parker (Stoma):
The Gayatri is indeed a solar mantra, the most powerful one, in fact. But the sun addressed is the inner sun of Ātman. There is no reason to avoid reciting it after sunset.
With respect to appropriate hours for japa, one explanation of these rules is that these are the hours when the devas are resting. But by what clock? 12 midnight here is 7 AM in Europe. And what time on the North Pole of Mars?
Swami Veda always maintained that because women are given extra respect in our Śrī Vidyā tradition, there are no such restrictions for women. He said that the same is true for nishkāma-japa, japa without a desire based purpose, done solely for the purpose of liberation.
Japa of special mantras for spiritual prosperity, for healing, or to find a spouse, done by male sādhakas, should follow that rule.
From Lalita Arya (Ammaji):
I agree with Stoma. My added comments -
Mantra japa has to do with the subtle and does not refer or allude to the physical like sunrise/sunset, hours of day and night, which as Stoma well explains differ from location to location. When the mantra is absorbed into the atma-self, there is a continuous throb/hum that goes on, so no limitation.
Rituals, however, that have to do with the manifest physical may have limitation in their practice times- these are almost always done with consultation from the experts.Seeking the truth is the journey to moksha.
If you have a question about spiritual practice, you can use the "Contact the Spiritual Committee" link on the AHYMSIN website to ask it.
Previous columns can be read at “Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…”