'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

MenoSundays; Life Lived Lovingly

It is one of the peculiarities of time that life goes on regardless of any occasion it marks for us. New Year? Okay, but the kids must still be fed, the garden tended, the bread made.

Every culture has a 'new year', though it may not coincide with the Georgian calendar which has become the globally accepted operational time. For every one of those cultures, the marking of movement from one year to the next holds a level of celebration and the chance to leave 'stuff' behind in an attempt to improve what's coming. In the Hindu tradition there is the festival of Holi, which marks the end of winter. It is well known for the colourful parties, but lesser known is the practice of writing out a personal trait or habit which one wishes to correct, then throwing the paper into the Holika fire.

This is different from writing out a list of resolutions in the hope that we can manufacture some of them throughout the next set of twelve months. It involves some introspection and a positive desire to improve oneself. The intention and focus must remain as the paper burns in the flames. The visualisation of 'burning one's vaasanas' is powerful and when the first challenge and the next and the next which highlights that particular vaasana (trait) comes at us, it is up to ourselves whether we succumb, or 'retain the flame of cleansing'.

The year is yet young; it is not too late to light a candle and burn your vaasana for 2018! Is there something which you feel you could improve upon within yourself? It can be something as simple as 'I must not bang doors' right up to the big stuff such as, 'I need to be less defensive'.

With the first, all that would be required of you is that you pay attention to your activity around doors. In doing this, it may uncover a reason for why it happens; pure inattention, too much hurry... or undisclosed anger? With the bigger stuff, it will entail the further step of seeking the assistance of others to aid awareness and to overcome the challenges. Purushaartha - self effort - is always rewarded. (A more familiar adage for most of you would be, 'the Lord helps those who help themselves', but the beauty of the Advaitic approach is that it does not require you to have a deity.)

When you watch the burning paper, concentrate on the writing you placed there. Inside yourself, create an image of that part of you which you wish to improve also entering the cleansing flame. When the first challenge appears, do your best to reframe that image for yourself and work around it. Small steps can take us to distant places.


  1. I've learn if one write there hopes, dream or goals. It helps them to keep focus.
    Sometime part of our pagan ritual we will "write something on different things, and then burn them"....Coffee is on

  2. Purushaartha - self effort - is always rewarded. (A more familiar adage for most of you would be, 'the Lord helps those who help themselves',
    I really like both!
    Hugs HiC

  3. Hard to do here as we are under a complete fire ban at the moment.

  4. Love learning about the customs of other cultures. This sounds very interesting - just might give it a try:)

    Thanks for the anagram fun in your comment today.

  5. Hmmm. I am wondering if it is possible for a dog (a WFT perhaps) to suggest to his owner some vaaasnas that she might like to write down and burn?
    Just a thought...
    Toodle pip!

  6. The burning ritual is new to me but it is a great idea.In North India it is the Lohri(13th Jan.) festival which signifies victory of good over evil. Family members go round and round a bonfire throwing til- Sesame seeds,rice and other stuff chanting," udam ayei dalidar jaei: dalidar the jarh chule paei" Praying for Proactive action and burning of lethargy(the evil) for better life.

    1. Hari OM
      Very similar in purpose! Thank you for telling of it. YAM xx

  7. Hello, it is great to learn new traditions, cultures and customs. It is an interesting challenge. Enjoy your day!

  8. This was very interesting.
    I think while the new year is a good time to reflect - one can make changes at ant time!

    1. Hari Om
      This is true - but sometimes we need an occasion to prompt us! Yxx

  9. I like what you had to say and Like Haily and Zaphod's Lady, I like to reflect on the New Year/Solstice. For me, growth means paying attention to what is needed during any given season—or moment— and adjusting as I go.
    Love Barb

  10. One day and one step at a time. namaste, janice

  11. I like this post. Good one, Yam! xx


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