The rhythm of nature
ANDREAS KRAMER looks at natural cycles, and how our practice can be most in tune with those cycles.
“It is a scientific principle upon which the division
of the timings for puja and sandhya is based
in accordance with the natural effect of the time.”
If we look at the movement of the sun during 24 hours, and draw a diagram with the zero-level corresponding to the horizon, we get a curve like a sine wave. This shows a continuously repeated pattern of day and night (figure 1).
The first twelve hours are full of light, and devoted to activity and work, where as the second twelve hours are more for recreation and sleep. We can say that the first part has an active, outgoing quality, there is light and heat, and the second part has a more passive quality, there is no daylight and the temperature cools down. For the sake of simplicity we say that out of the 24 hours we devote 8 hours to work and ideally the same amount of hours to sleep, with a gap of 4 hours in between, bearing in mind that this is an ideal pattern with real life more or less diverging from it (figure 2).
When we observe the position of the different parts of our practice – Meditation, Cleaning and Prayer – we can see that their position is defined in relation to work and sleep. Cleaning should be done when the day’s work is over, and Prayer is done before going to sleep. So these two parts are closely related to work and sleep, the first one at the end of work, the second one at the beginning of sleep (figure 3).
Meditation has also a very significant place in this picture. Babuji says that it is best done before sunrise, that is, when the night is over and the day has not yet begun. In his commentary he explains that the balance between the two forces is helpful for the Meditation, so its place is where the sun crosses the zero line (figure 4).
As Meditation is the center of the practice, let’s put it at the center of the picture. Then we can see how the other two parts of the practice are perfectly symmetrical with Meditation in the center (figure 5).
Seeing it this way, we understand that the whole scheme is in tune with the rhythm of nature, and how we can use the quality of time to arrive at a balanced state in Meditation. We actively remove the impressions in Cleaning by using our willpower, whereas in the Prayer we open up our inner self to the Divine in a completely passive attitude.
The three parts of the practice are completely in tune with the rhythm of nature. And if we make full use of this active quality during Cleaning, and the passive quality in the Prayer, it will help us to be more balanced at the time when we sit for Meditation. Thus we are able integrate the rhythm of nature into our practice.
Article by ANDREAS KRAMER
July 31, 2019
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